On Valentine's Day, express your love with a giant hissing cockroach

On Valentine's Day, nothing says 'I love you' more than naming a giant Madagascar hissing cockroach after your beloved. Now the Bronx Zoo is offering just that opportunity.

Tom Sweeney/Stat Tribune/Newscom/File
One of the largest species of cockroach, the Madagascar hissing cockroach, can grow to nearly 4 inches long. They can hiss by expelling air through the breathing pores in their thorax and abdomen.

For those still searching for that perfect Valentine's Day offering, the Bronx Zoo in New York City has a gift that is romantic, practical, long-lasting — and no delivery box is required. Thankfully.

For $10, you can name one of the zoo's 58,000 resident Madagascar hissing cockroaches after a loved one.

More than 4,000 romantics have already named one of the giant roaches — the world's largest roach species — after a beloved forValentine's Day, sending a clear message to their sweethearts that their love will endure, just like a roach.

Some of the roaches at the zoo are now blessed with such names as Hissing Hottie, Cranky Frankie, Lisa Lovebug and Hisssterical.

"Nothing says forever like a cockroach," said Jim Breheny, senior vice president for Living Institutions and director of the Bronx Zoo. "They are resourceful, resilient and have been around for hundreds of millions of years."

Each gift comes with a colorful e-card sent to your loved one announcing that a cockroach has been named in his or her honor, and the funds raised will help support the efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society, an organization that runs the zoo and is dedicated to saving wildlife and wild places around the world.

Madagascar hissing cockroaches grow to nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters) long. The hissing noise that gave the insects their name is emitted as a defense mechanism. Like nearly every roach species, Madagascar hissing cockroaches are not considered pests and rarely enter homes.

There's still time to name a hissing cockroach for your sweetie (or your worst enemy). The program ends at 6 a.m., EST on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Go to: www.bronxzoo.com/name-a-roach.

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