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Looks like I have an unexpected project in the near future. LA
Kyle Kandilian, Dearborn, MI, November 22, 2009
Just wanted to let you know that your "lobster roach" page actually shows a different species in your pictures, Blaptica dubia. Unlike lobster roaches, this species cannot climb smooth plastic/ glass. Also, adult males have a full set of wings, while females have only wing stubs.
Also, the following pictures are of another species of roach, probably Blaberus fusca or a Blaberus sp. hybrid.
Here's a reference picture of some of my lobster roaches: http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=109382&stc=1&d=1258758670
Also, here are some pics of my dubia roaches (AKA Guyannan spotted roach)
Adult female and subadult female.
Subadult male (top) and subadult female (bottom)
A: Sumanagun. Just one more example of
why we shouldn't believe everything we read on the internet. I
knew you were right as soon as you said the dubias can't climb up
the glass. The roaches I have never even tried to climb the
glass. Darn. They were a gift from someone I thought
knew what he was talking about. We'll, you handed me a big
bunch of re-writes to work on. LA
Origin. Since these little scuttlers come from Mexico and other countries south of the border, they are probably the original heroes in the "La Cucaracha" song. You know that they prefer warmer temperatures.
Size. Adult dubia roaches exceed one inch in size. They make a pretty good mouthful for many of the medium lizards or tarantulas. Sugar gliders like them also, as do other insect eating mammals
Fast Runners. The half-grown teenagers move fairly slowly. The one inch and larger dubia roaches will take off running. If one gets loose and under something, you'll not see him or her again.
Sexing. Both sexes look very similar. However, since they breed in colonies, it probably matters little once you get your colony into production. If you want to start picking males out to feed your critters early, you'll need some way to sort out your males.
Food. Roaches eat nearly anything you'll eat and lots of things you won't eat. Fresh foods need constant monitoring or they spoil. Fresh foods also attract fruit flies. Small pelleted foods (in this case, bird food) make a much easier to use roach food. Once your colony gets going, they'll clean up their food rather fast -- once, that is, they number in the hundreds rather than in the dozens. Slices of carrots make a good choice. Lately we've been feeding them rabbit pellets.
Babies. Babies are even more adept at hiding. They squirm into the tiniest crevices -- usually under a piece of wood or bark. You probably won't see baby lobster roaches unless you start turning over objects and specifically look for them. They also like to hide in the substrate if you decide to use a substrate. Containers without substrate are easier to clean.
Teenager Upper Side. Young (but not baby) dubia roaches are about the same size, shape, and color as a Lincoln penny (sans beard, of course). They look entirely different than the adults.
Teenager Bottom Side. Mostly legs and head. This stage moves slower than the larger adults. They're easier to catch. And even softer than the adults -- sorta squishy if you squeeze too hard.
Water Source. Adults and teenagers easily access shallow water bowls. The babies need a different solution -- like a ladder in and out. A better solution? Perhaps a daily misting? Misting unfortunately encourages mold. Fresh food? Also encourages mold. Slices of carrot every other day will give your dubia roaches moisture as well as food.
Water and Food Source. Little guys are going to have a problem using a water bowl. They have problems getting in AND getting out. They're not as stupid as crickets but they are likely to go out past the ropes in spite of the life guard's whistle. Fresh foods will keep them from drowning. If they don't eat the food within two days, change it or you'll likely get mold or fruit flies -- maybe both.
Thigmotactic. Dubia roaches (and most small nocturnal bugs) seek tiny crevices to wedge themselves into. They instinctively know they're low in the food chain. Birds, lizards, and small mammals love to eat bugs. Larger bugs and spiders also eat smaller bugs.
Adult Dubia Roaches. At this stage, dubia roaches become accomplished runners. I couldn't photograph this specimen without the net. I had to keep re-capturing him every 30 seconds. He was easily three fingers in length. Maybe the wings just make him look larger. Males use their wings to attract mates but not to fly.
Last Word. Once your dubia roach colony starts cranking, you'll have a constant supply of nutritious live food in a variety of tasty sizes. LA
Special Thanks. Thanks to Joe
Gallagher (confirmed tarantula enthusiast) for giving me his culture of
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