Hissing Cockroaches Hatch Right Out Of Their Mom's Butt

I’ll bet you didn’t know that Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) brooded their babies inside their bodies. Now you do.

It’s not exactly like pregnancy in a mammal like a cat or a human, where food and oxygen get passed from mother to developing young. In this species of cockroach, a mother puts her fertilized eggs into a soft, flexible egg case and stores it inside her body until the babies are ready to hatch.


A mother roach doesn’t feed her babies while they’re inside her, but after she releases up to 80 tiny mini-roaches she secretes a viscous blob of protein-rich goo that gives them their first meal.

[Perry and Nalepa 2003 | Schweid 2015]

Image by Matt Reinbold via Flikr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Contact the author at diane@io9.com.

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