Blaptica dubia care guide
the dubia roach (Blaptica dubia), also called the Guyana orange spotted roach, is a common feeder insect in the exotic animal keeping community, and for good reason. They are very easy keepers due to their longevity and inability to fly or climb smooth surfaces. Breeding them is a breeze as well. Their nutritional value compared to other feeder bugs has been evaluated by several sources. They are well-known as being high up on the list of healthiest feeders and they eat nearly anything, which also makes them great candidates for gut-loading. They range in size from about 3/8” to just under 2”, making them ideal for all but the tiniest of slings. At Marshall Arachnids, dubia roaches are our primary feeder bugs, and we highly recommend every keeper explore the possibility of switching to them.
mixed sizes & sexes
dubia can be kept in very simplistic containers as they do not require much to thrive. Native to tropical regions of South America, they are adapted to breed in high-humidity, high-rainfall, warm conditions. However, dubia can easily be kept in dry enclosures with no supplemental heat and will still survive and grow, albeit slowly. They cannot climb smooth surfaces like plastic or glass, so you have many options for containment. A 10-gallon tank, large Kritter Keeper, or a 15qt Sterilite bin will provide plenty of space for a small quantity or starter colony. Lids are optional for nymphs, but adult male dubia can leap and glide, so it’s usually best to have a secure lid just in case. Provide your dubia with some rough climbing/hiding structures (egg crate flats are perfect for this). A rough-surfaced dish is optional and convenient for clean-up, but you can also place food directly onto the floor of the container. It’s important that your enclosure has some sort of ventilation to prevent the buildup of humidity and condensation within. Our feeder colony kits have mesh soffits in the sides, and our larger colony bins have screen mesh lids.
our dubia are fed both ground dry food (we feed our own megamash) and fresh produce. In the wild, these roaches eat whatever edible matter they can find, which consists of dead and decaying proteins, fungus, and vegetation. We try to replicate this while maintaining proper nutrition for our animals that eat them. Studies show that feeding dubia high-protein diets can cause disease in the animals that eat them (Repashy), and can even kill the roaches themselves. Therefore we recommend feeding a dry diet formulated specifically for roaches, with a protein content no higher than 20%. We feed megamash to our colonies twice a week, and an assortment of fresh produce scraps two to three times weekly. As a rule, we feed our dubia the same fruit and veg that is considered safe and healthy for herbivorous reptiles, and avoid potentially harmful produce. Squash, carrot, sweet potato, beet, bell pepper, banana (no peel), apple, berries, and dark leafy greens make up the majority of the produce our roaches eat. Avoid produce that has been treated with inorganic pesticides. You may offer commercial water gel to your roaches for moisture, but we don’t believe this is necessary. Our roaches get plenty of dietary moisture from their fresh produce and the occasional misting.
dubia roaches will only breed if kept much warmer than “room temperature”. We have best results when providing our roach bins with a heat source set to 90-100°F via thermostat. Feed heavily (while avoiding excess uneaten food), and that’s about all there is to it. Generation time is very slow compared to other insects. A newborn nymph can take several months to reach maturity. Females incubate their eggs internally then give birth to live young which number about 15-30 per clutch. Ideal sex ratios of adults are often discussed when setting up a new breeding colony. We recommend approximately 1 male for every 5 females, although this is a very loose suggestion. Limiting the number of males can reduce the genetic diversity of your roaches, and could even slow down reproduction if males have a hard time locating females. We also recommend introducing new genes into your colony about once per year, just to maintain genetic diversity.
adult dubia are very easy to sex from a distance: males have long brown wings that cover the entire abdomen, whereas females are shiny black with no wings. Distinguishing the sexes is a bit more involved with nymphs, however. In order to sex the little guys, you’ll have to examine the last few abdomen segments on the underside. In males, the segments are divided and the segments themselves are short and wide. By contrast, the last two abdomen segments are fused together in females and the last segment appears much larger than that of a male. It’s best to compare them side-by-side to really understand how to recognize the differences.