As the name implies, this insect can produce a loud hissing noise by forcing air through breathing holes called “spiracles”. It is the only insect that makes noise in this manner. The male has horn-like projections on its head that it uses to ram other males, all the while hissing loudly. Females also hiss, but usually just as a defense mechanism against predators.

The female carries her fertilized eggs inside her body until they hatch. She may bear as many as 60 nymphs.