After a long day of counting, our Animal Interpretation Associates (AIA) finally have a number: 2,174! That's the amount of Madagascar hissing cockroaches we have in our habitat. Way to go, team!
And here's all 2,174 of them being released back into their habitat:
We hold the Cockroach Count every year on Pi Day (March 14), when our AIAs spend the day counting every single one of our cockroaches. They do this for a few reasons:
1) To check on the health of our colony, by comparing the number to last year
2) To change the substrate, or dirt, that the roaches live in
3) It's a lot of fun!
As they spend the day counting, the AIAs answer questions and provide cool facts about cockroaches, such as what makes them insects, why they hiss, what they eat, and why it's a misconception to think of cockroaches as gross and scary.
The AIAs also spend the day taking submissions from guests on what they think the number is. For the first time, we took submissions from users online during our Facebook live stream!
Congratulations again to our AIA team for a job well done. You can meet the Madagascar hissing cockroaches, as well as 110 more fascinating species, on the third floor in our Eat and Be Eaten exhibition.