Hissers in the Bohart

Jan 29, 2010

It’s a comfortable life.

Eat, sleep and mate. And then eat, sleep and mate again.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are a popular attraction at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis. The museum, directed by entomologist Lynn Kimsey, professor and vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, houses more than seven million insect specimens from all over the world.

The "hissers" are part of the Bohart's go-live "petting zoo."  

They're large. They're colorful. And they communicate, in part, by hissing. 

Beetle enthusiast Fran Keller, a doctoral candidate in entomology, is not particularly fond of the roaches. Emily Bzdyk, a first-year graduate student, is. 

You can tell by the photo below. 

The hissers, native to Madagascar, can reach 2 to 3 inches in length and in nature, live on the forest floor. Read more about them on the National Geographic Web site.

The Bohart Museum, located in 1124 Academic Surge and founded in 1946 by the late Richard M. Bohart, former chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, is dedicated to teaching, research and service. 

For more information on the Bohart Museum, visiting hours, and guided tours, contact education and outreach coordinator Tabatha Yang at  (530) 752-0493 or tabyang@ucdavis.edu. 

Yes, you can pet a hisser. 

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

UC DAVIS graduate students Emily Bzdyk (left) and Fran Keller show different reactions to the cockroaches at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. Keller admits to liking other insects better; she's working on beetles for her doctorate. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Different Reactions


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