Macropanesthia rhinoceros


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Macropanesthia rhinoceros  Bits & Bugs
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SPECIES  Macropanesthia rhinoceros

ORIGIN   Australia

FRAME   16.5x16.5xD5cm Made from recycled products.

DESCRIPTION   AKA Giant Burrowing Cockroaches, Rhinoceros Cockroaches or Litter Bugs

Giant Burrowing Cockroaches are the heaviest cockroaches on earth, growing to 75mm in length and weighing up to 30g. They are found in the dry eucalypt scrubland of northern Queensland, where they live underground in burrows they dig themselves using their powerful spiny legs. They usually only venture to the surface at night to forage for food and to find a mate during the breeding season. Their food in the wild consists of dry leaves, particularly those from eucalypt trees. Unlike most other cockroaches, breeding pairs of this species care for their young in an extraordinary manner. The young (which are born live) remain at the bottom of their parents burrow for several months before venturing to the surface themselves. During this time the parents collect dry leaf litter and take it down to the youngsters, often tearing it up into smaller pieces for the young to easily feed upon. Like other insects these cockroaches grow by shedding their outer skeleton (exoskeleton). This process is called ecdysis or moulting. Immediately after moulting they appear almost white in colour until their new exoskeleton hardens and develops its true colour. These cockroaches are slow growing and long lived. These native Australians occur in open forests in northern Queensland and are important recyclers. Giant Burrowing Cockroaches can be bought and kept as pets for up to 10 years.