Can Madagascar hissing roaches breath on their backs? I ask because it seems that if they are stuck lying on their backs for too long they slowly loose life until they just die, and I am not sure why. I have observed this multiple times though.
I think you are seeing the older ones pass on. My adults when they are near their end, will somehow get on their back & die but I dont thinks it from them not being able to breath. The parts in charge of breathing arent on their backs or stomachs & their body weight is not enough to smother the breathing parts internally. Hopefully someone will post that knows more than me! Kim
Yes roaches can breathe in any position. Typically if a roach is healthy, and it somehow get onto its back it will flip over fairly fast. If you have a roach on its back and not obviously righting itself within seconds to a minute (or at least trying very hard to do so) then it is dying. Drying roaches normally are on thier front or backs and make little to no effort to right themselves.
I would agree, hissers are excellent climbers and their "feet" can get a grip on any smooth surface. Usually they get back on their feet within seconds so if you see a roach stuck for hours it is probably dying for other reasons.