Guyana Orange Spotted Cockroach, Blaptica dubia
The Guyana Orange Spotted Cockroach, Blaptica dubia, is one of the best feeder insect for lizards, monitors, geckos, frogs and predatory insects. The soft exoskeleton and high nutritional content is far superior than crickets. Blaptica dubia cockroaches are from tropical climates with mid range humidity and easy to care for since they can not fly or climb.
We keep our roaches in Armstrong Cricket Bins that are designed to hold 1500 crickets. These cricket bins are sturdy construction and have a screen top to help prevent escapes. The sides of the enclosure are sanded so your insects can climb 3/4 of the side but a smooth surface at the top does not allow them to climb out. I actually prefer this so if the Blaptica dubia colony reaches greater numbers there is more surface area for the insects to use. You should use egg crate stacked sideways to give a sense of security along with a food and water dish with porous sides for nymphs to climb up and be able to eat and drink. We use water crystals in our water bowl to prevent drowning and the build up of bacteria and mold -- no smell unlike sponges. Roach nymphs are bred in the Cricket Bin and moved once a week to a Large Kritter Keeper that is setup the same as the adult breeder bin.
Temperature, Humidity & Lighting
This is a tropical species so a temperature range of 75–95 °F (24–35 °C) should be provided for reproduction or moderate room temperature in the 70 °F range if you plan to only offer them as food and order the sizes needed. Do not allow the temperature to fall below 68 °F.
Humidity is best in the mid-range but this species is more tolerant of lower humidity than others. If the humidity is too low there will be problems molting. We have no problems with the humidity in the 60% range.
Lighting is not a requirement for dubia cockroaches but we do provide indirect lighting on a seasonal cycle of 10 hours a day in the fall and winter to 12 hours a day during summer months. Dubia roaches will be more active at night, savaging, securing territory and mating.
Diet & Nutrition
Dubia roaches are omnivorous scavengers and should be offered a mix of fresh produce such as carrots, apples, oranges, lettuce (not iceberg or romaine), and fruit. Along with the produce you should offer grains with a good amount of vitamins and minerals -- baby cereal is a good source. Allen Repashy has determined that a constant consumption of high protein results in lactic acid build up which can result in massive colony die-off. If you are to mix your own diet Allen has determined that the maximum protein for colony production is 12% of the entire diet. Repashy Superfoods offers Bug Burger, a nutritionally balanced product to feed insects and we highly recommend this product.
Sexing and Breeding Blaptica dubia Cockroaches
As a sexually dimorphic species the males will be slender with wings and females appear wider and wingless. Sexual maturity is reached between four and six months. Dubia roaches are ovoviviporous. The females will lay an egg sack (ootheca) and then pull the sack back inside allowing the eggs to incubate for nearly 30 days, hatch and the nymph to exit giving the appearance of live birth.
- Mold and fungus are detrimental to the colony and should be prevented by routine cleaning.
- Ventilation and humidity are key. Select a screen top or add ventilation as needed to the enclosure.
- Keep the colony at a ratio of 1 male to 3 females using the leftover males as food for your reptile.
- Add a section of packing tape across the top of the cage to prevent escapes.
Some people have claimed that mild allergies have developed after producing a large colony of Blaptica dubia roaches and believe it is due to the feces or dust during cleaning. That's it, hopefully with this care sheet you will have a thriving colony capable of producing consistent feeders of the highest nutritional content to your pet.