Madagascan Hissers


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I got my first 2 hissers today! Ive been trying to get some for at least a year now. I introduced one to my chameleon and he actually turned away from it and went to the other corner of his enclosure...big wuss :)

I love these little critters, I think Id like to keep one as a pet. The first time I handle the bigger one of the two it hissed and it really caught me off guard, I actually dropped it on the floor.

Unfortunetly my girlfriend hates them more then anything so if my guy wont eat them Ill have to get rid of them.

Still, heres a picture:

Great pic!
Did you order those online? I have a local store that sometimes has them, but it's not a pet store I like to shop at.
I just discovered tiny little additions to my roach box. It was very exciting!

Mine are blapitca dubia. I ordered my original colony from and then bought some more from a guy on reptile auctions. The reason I chose this breed is because they are non-climbing and non-flying. They are still pretty good at escaping my chameleon's cage though.

Daddy roach plus....


Mama roach....

Equals baby roach! :eek:


Yours are bigger than mine, Jonathan...

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Ive been trying to get some of these for a while now, but selling or importing them is illegal in Canada so you can see my predicament. I did get in touch with the Blaberus guy from which Heika got his, very nice guy but because Im in Canada, he told me I needed to order at least 100$ worth for him to ship here. Too many cockroaches for just one chameleon:rolleyes:

After talking and talking to different reptile store owners I got one to admit he had a colony of hissers and false deaths heads. He said he bought around 12 of each species and that was enough for him to start two colonies that hes had for 15 YEARS NOW!

When he understood that Im not a crazy guy that just wants to breed them and then release them everywhere he agreed to sell me a few. 10$ a piece is quite a treat my chameleon is getting, he better appreciate it.:eek:
Agreed...there are only two insects I refuse to is millipedes and one is roaches....hopefully Wolfgang won't be too angry with me.
I fear roaches too :eek:

Locally there are some really nasty ones. Big juicy things with wings.

Nice photo of the baby roach. I don't think I've ever seen one.
Like they say...after nuclear winter, there will be two things left on Earth. Cockroaches and Keith Richards.
I dont know why cockroaches have such a bad reputation. To me its better then criquets for many reasons such as, they dont jump, they dont seem to eat each other, they are somewhat slow which makes em easy to catch and best of all they dont stink.

I also like that some get really big so when its walking around on your hand you can really distinguish its features.

Sadly its been two days and my chameleon still wont eat it.
Hi Jonathan,

My cham won't eat full grown ones of the dubia either. They are a bit too big. However, he does eat nymphs without a problem.

I agree completely that they are soooo much nicer to keep than crickets. I have had mine in the same container without replacing the substrate since I purchased them. I clean out the shedded cockroach skins from molting, give them new fruit, gut load and powdered cat food once a week or so, and have a small pan of water crystals that I add water to once a week also. And, they just thrive. They are as easy to keep as super worms.

Mine live in the garage to avoid the potential of escapees. The garage gets cold, and it would most probably kill them before too long if they didn't live in a heated box.


Hi Jonathan,

My roach box is far from special. It is a sterilite drawer box with a hole cut in the top for a dark light. Sorry I didn't post anything sooner, I haven't had a chance to get out there for pictures. Here are some pics:

The box:


The not-too-straight hole I cut for the light:


The light is a 25 or 30 Watt reptile dark light:


Inside the box... I use a chick food dish found at the feed store for water crystals. The cover seems to help keep substrate out of them, and the roaches don't have any trouble getting in and out of it. I use a paper plate for their fruit, which they love. That way, I can just pick the entire little plate up and toss it when they are finished with it. Egg crate and paper tubes for furniture. I use coco bark substrate in big chunks, and spray it once in a while to help keep some humidity in the box. Lots of people don't use any substrate at all for these roaches. Mine burrow in it regularly, and the nymphs hide in it too.


The roaches tend to hide as soon as I open the box. Here are a few under the first layer of egg crate.


They all seem to like the tubes. I need to find some more, because all three of the ones I have in there are always jam packed with roaches. I brightened this photo a bit so the inside of the tube is a little clearer.


I love roaches. They're an awsome way to vary the diet, and plus they're a sinch to keep. I recently bought a colony of cuban banana roaches. They climb....and fly....Sounds like a bad combination, but their flying is a bit more like fluttering, and as long as you keep a nice tight lid on, you dont have to worry about climbers. The chams go crazy over them. They're a smaller roach so my breeders wont hesitate to take a full grown adult either. Their shell isn't too thick either, so they're nice and juicy. The chams love em.
I agree, roaches can be a great addition to ay chams diet....... in moderation.

I have had 2 colonies (Hisser and lobster) going for a few years. I give away a lot and feed off nymphs as I can... They are by far cleaner and easier to care for than most other feeder bugs, just have to get past that harder exoskeleton... Not so sure how slow they are though.. :eek:

I had a scare with one of my chams and an obstruction related to hissers.... small ones at that... if interested, you can read more here.... If nothing else, it could be educational ;-)

Jonathan, I'm not surprised your cham turned it away, thats a pretty big roach!!
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