Here is a video of a hissing cockroach giving birth

So. That happened.

Interesting tidbit for those of you too horrified to watch: Hissing cockroaches apparently give birth upside down with their lady parts up in the air.

Another thing I learned: Animals giving birth is apparently a fairly popular YouTube genre. Check out the sidebar for cats, snakes, and more cockroaches.

Video Link

A hearty thanks to Amos Zeeberg, without whom I would never have seen this horrible thing.



  1. This is far, far more horrible than anything I could have imagined.  In fact, the sections of my imagination responsible for imagining unspeakable horrors are currently recalibrating.  My previous imaginings are like cute fluffy bunnies compared to this.

    Even unicorns cannot wash mine eyes of this.

        1. Ignoring the blood, the mecomium, the vernix and the stale amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord is blue and spiral.  It looks like something that Ripley would shoot.

  2. This proves that baby anythings can be cute!  White cockroaches are kind of adorable.  Even mom looks cuter-than-usual upside down.

    1. Why am I not surprised to find you in the comments on this article, Rob? :)  Maybe I’m too much of a nerdy biologist, but all I could think was “Awwww… so cute!”

  3. “You,” I said accusingly, “said that it was a video of Rick Astley singing ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’ Instead, I got… I got…” I couldn’t even say it. What do you say when you’re confronted with a big insect squeezing glutinous eggs out her posterior instead of a nice video of Rick Astley? Thanks for the educational opportunity? This reverse Rickrolling thing had gone too far.

    1. Mama roach was definitely pooped, so she and all her babies had a big cuddle puddle in Part 2.

      At least… I think that’s what they’re doing.

  4. Sweet manky jeebus…. there are not enough unicorns in the world to …cannot unwatch.  Cannot look away.  They are movingohohohohoh  the end of days is upon us.  Ai! Ai! It’s Shub-niggurath! The black roach of the woods with a thousand young!

  5. Apparently I was not too horrified to watch (whew!). It’s fun to anthropomorphize a teeny bit and imagine the mom cockroach being all: “Awwwww! I am covered with meh behbies! LOVE LOVE LOVE.”

  6. Looks like a nasty grotesque and possessed  ice cream cone  giving birth to seaweed flaked rice pudding, or in other words, a hissing cockroach giving birth

  7. I was not going to watch but couldn’t help myself as it was too fascinating. I wonder how many roach babies did she have?

  8. Oh, c’mon! *Nobody* looks good while giving birth!  The only way I was able to click, was that hissing cockroaches have never shared a home with me, they’ve always been the unsung villian in a monster movie- I guess it’s not so much their hissing that makes them right for film, but their large size makes them show up on film better than the other kinds.

    That they give live birth makes them just a little bit niftier than they were already.

  9. In other news, Maggie’s fascination with disgusting youtube videos and upsetting natural creatures continues.

  10. I have had this happen with the roach in my mouth.

    Back in 2009 I was doing shows in Vegas during which I had a gag where I would stuff roaches into my mouth (I also put a live scorpion in my pants – it was a goofy show).  One night,  one of the roaches started giving birth while in my mouth.  It was supposed to be a gross act where eventually the roaches would run out of my mouth and onto my face with lots of drool, etc but this really pushed it over the top as the one giving birth decided to stay in mouth until I reached and pulled her out and coughed up her offspring.  They all survived and were perfectly fine but some changes were made to the program after that set.

    1. I choose to believe that this is a fabrication, because I’m going to have to sleep again someday.

  11. Yeah, yeah, whatever. I was waiting to hear the Hissing Cockroach equivalent of “YOU DID THIS TO ME, YOU BASTARD!!!!”

  12. Pooping them up into the air like that makes it like a big ol’ fountain of grossness.  Like fireworks of yucky.


    Actually, doesn’t that breeder have ANY idea that there are trillions of hissing cockroach babies just waiting to be adopted?

  14. Starts off horrific, actually ends up sort of cute… eventually. The teeny little cockroaches with their beady little eyes swarming over Mom are sort of endearing, even if I wouldn’t want to touch them.

  15. Actually hissing cockroaches are kind of cool as pets (in a terrarium, not loose in your home). I got to borrow a couple over the holidays once when I befriended an entomologist back when I was in 6th grade (there wasn’t a birth imminent).  I’m guessing the entomologist was overjoyed that a 6th grade girl thought they were as cool as she did. These aren’t the German cockroaches of ‘under-the-fridge waiting to throw the fridge at you’ fame.

  16. Huh – I would have thought they laid eggs – is this a sort of  “live birth” of nymphs?

    Arthropods – truly disgusting creatures.

    1. For Christmas dinner, my in-laws customarily eat Alaskan King Crab.  I’m the only adult there who feels no shame in eating pizza at the kids’ table.  And seeing those otherwise lovely people wielding their carapace-cracking tools with buttery grease sliding down their grinning chins… man, it nearly makes me lose my appetite for pizza, too.

      1. Tools? I grew up in New England, where we just covered the table with newspaper and tore lobsters apart with our hands.

  17. At first they looked like those little bananas at the supermarket, all bunched at one end, and then they just kept coming, and then more, and it never stopped, and it looks as if the previous ones grow as more come out.  I wonder why the mom had to be on her head.  She didn’t look comfortable.  I had no idea they come out live and seem to grow in front of my eyes.  12:21, lunch time.

  18. Honestly not horrible to watch at all. Didn’t even bother me while eating my leftover shrimp stir-fry and rice..

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