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Blaptica dubia is one of the fastest growing trends when it comes to feeding your exotic pets. The babies are the perfect size for any small pet, from baby geckos, baby bearded dragons to just small tarantulas. As adults they are rather big compared to crickets so it takes fewer Blaptica dubia to fill up your pet, which in turn saves you money! Being a slow moving roach they allow pets that are not up for the chase an easy meal, but they also move enough to attract the feistiest of predators.

Lobster Roach (Nauphoeta cinerea)

One of the most popular roach species is Nauphoeta cinerea, the lobster roach. For such a nasty, it’s bought by a lot of people. You can buy a starter colony for about the same price as you can buy one for crickets. They are overall just like crickets minus the noise. They are great climbers and their frass (nice word for poop) has a horrible smell to it. They are extremely fast and can escape just about any enclosure you try to keep them in! If you compare them to Blaptica dubia, the only plus to breeding and raising this species is how fast they reproduce. That being said, it is very hard to control the size of your colony due to the difficulty of sexing them. With Blaptica dubia, if your colony is getting out of hand all you have to do is remove a few males. However, to slow down the reproduction of lobster roaches you have to kill some off and hope you eliminated enough to slow down production.

Keeping Blatta lateralis

Want a better option feeder than Nauphoeta cinerea? Then you are in luck. Another popular species is called Blatta lateralis, or the Turkistan roach. This is another great roach that is in high demand since it is fairly cheap and easy to breed. There is always a “but”: this species is an egg laying species. They lay an egg case about once a month. It can take the egg case 40 days to hatch, and if the temperature and humidity are not right, they DIE! Blaptica dubia is a live bearer species of roach. You may randomly see an oothecae every now and then. That is ok. They “air” this sack out sometimes to either let it dry or to get extra humidity. The only time you should worry is if you find a lot of the oothecae’s on the enclosure floor. If you find these then something is wrong in the enclosure. Check the temperature, the humidity and all other variables.

Blaptica dubia alternatives

Live in a state where Blaptica dubia are illegal? (If you don’t know, Blaptica dubia are illegal to own and breed in the state of Florida.) That is fine.  There is a native species that is very similar to Blaptica dubia. It is Blaberus discoidalis, or the discoid roach. In all ways but two, this species is just like Blaptica dubia. Blaberus discoidalis is a live-bearing, non-climbing, non-flying, non-stinking roach species. They do grow rather large, up to 3”, which is too big for a lot of the pets we keep today. A few exceptions are very large tarantulas and monitors. Both sexes of Blaberus discoidalis have wings, so it is harder to tell them apart. You have to flip them over and look at the very last scale. If it is tiny, then it is a male; larger scales represent a female. The great thing about Blaptica dubia is that adult males have full wings and the adult females have little stubs.

Why Blaptica dubia are your best choice

In conclusion, Blaptica dubia are one of the best feeder insects to own. They are fairly easy to house. With proper temperature they breed very rapidly, producing about 20 babies a month. They have trouble climbing smooth surfaces so you can easily house them in glass or plastic enclosures and never worry about one escaping. The frass has no smell whatsoever, most of the smell you get from an enclosure is actually the food or gut load you are feeding them. They are entertaining to watch and so are your pets running around and eating them!

By Chris Wiggins of Buy Dubia

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