Biggie and the Gang
Species: Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Diet: Detritivore (decaying fruit, vegetables, and occasionally other insects)
Biggie and his team of insect educators are true experts at changing the minds of entomophobes (people with a fear of bugs). They may look like “just a bug,” but biggie and the gang will tell you they aren’t your ordinary arthropod! In fact, they are one of the cleanest animal on the planet!
For humans, 99% of all roach species, including hissing roaches, are beneficial to our environment, and are invaluable aid in recycling a large majority of Earth’s dead or decaying plant matter. For example, tropical forests in Madagascar are often called “green deserts” because their soils are poor in nutrients. The forest vegetation is lush, but it has survived only through ingenious life-support systems. Cockroaches are one of the building blocks of these systems, breaking down plant matter into nutrient rich fertilizer. Without these incredible critters, dead and decaying vegetation would smother tropical forests.