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What things cause the most hissing in hissing cockroaches?


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Hi all,

I have a student doing a project on the disturbance hiss in what are probably hybrid G. portentosa ish hissers. For part of this project, we want to know what causes the most disturbance hisses, or what is mostly likely to consistently produce the hiss behavior. The scientific literature is a little lacking on the topic. I have my own ideas and experiences, but I'm curious what your personal experiences are. What do you think? Say you were wanted to get the most hissing possible, like if you were doing outreach for example, how would you stimulate them to hiss? The two rules have to be: you can't hurt the animals, and you can't just select those that are most vocal.

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Hello, we've been breeding Hissers for about 7-8 years now. We vend at reptile shows and have a lot of kids, and adults, wanting to hear the Hissers hiss....I grab a male by the legs and give them a light shake. They try to pull away and pretty much in the process start hissing up a storm....if they are cold they don't tend to hiss much. I'm talking about the roaches not the kids..... 🙂  Mike

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I had not considered messing with their legs. Thanks.

I actually have some data on the heated vs cool and male vs female topic. Warm male roaches are definitely the most vocal, at least from my colonies.

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Usually for me it's the initial touch, whether you try to grab them or accidentally brush against them, that makes them hiss the most. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

None of my G. portentosa actually hiss often, although I think the shop I got them from has some poor stock for whatever reason. However, when Bessie was pregnant/gravid, she'd hiss if you just looked at her wrong - so that might be something to include. 

Otherwise, Angus, who I've only heard hiss maybe three times since I got him, hissed up a STORM when I accidentally flipped him onto his back. 😂 He hissed for a good 20 seconds straight, then stopped the second I was able to flip him back over. 

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