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Hissers vs dubias

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by rattlesnakejake, Feb 13, 2012.

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    I know this question has problably been asked several times. But i wanted to know what people thought about just feeding roaches to tarantulas and nothing else. Is this a bad idea? Ive heard hissers are a little high in fat. I would be happier breeding my own roaces than dealing with crickets.

    thanks for any info,
  2. mark e sic

    mark e sic Arachnosquire

    Yes they are better in my opinion.
    they retain the food they eat for longer meaning that when you gutload. your T.s get all that nutrition.
    also they dont smell, jump, die fast and are easy to take care of . ohh and they dont smell. This is all my opinion and the idea of roaches retaining their food is something I heard about(not sure if it is a fact). either way check out the "Insects and other"... forum for more info.

    ohh and not sure about the hisser vs. dubia part.. although Hissers take longer to mature.
  3. twentyeggs

    twentyeggs Arachnosquire

    I would advise against the Hissers unless you have a large Tarantula (even still i'd advise against it). I have a few reasons for this. First Hissers have very hard thick slippery shells. If your Tarantula has not bitten into a roach before definitely do not put a hisser in there. Tarantulas need to develop a technique or need to have plain and simple brute strength to get through roach shells. Dubia roaches have a softer shell than most roaches and this is generally why most tarantula owners say their spiders love dubia roaches. this is also known as meat to shell ratio. Dubia's have one of the highest. second, Hissers are terratorial roaches and often engage in fighting each other. if you have ever picked one up they are very forceful and their natural reaction is to fight back against other roaches and predators. this makes eating a hisser more stressful than eating anything else. third, roaches have defensive spikes on their legs. Like chrickets and grasshoppers when they are bitten they move their legs up and down like a saw to injure the predator. Madagascar Hissers have larger, sharper, and sturdier spikes than the other roaches and it means the tarantula needs to have a decent leg span to tiptoe on to help clear these spikes until the venom takes effect. this is why i only advise that if you must feed hissers to your T that only the larger tarantulas receive them and not the smaller ones. a good stick could open up a portal of entry for opportunistic bacteria fungus and parasite. you don't want to turn your tank into the coliseum every time you need to feed your T. Hissers are resilient, the gladiators of the roach species, and even after being bitten and injected with venom, they will put up a fight for a long time.

    I don't know what species or how big your tarantula is but i recommend dubia roaches all the way. they are softer less aggressive and can't fight back as easily. I typically sell hissers to large reptile owners, bearded dragons ect.. and sell my dubia's to people with tarantulas and smaller reptiles. they also cost less.

    Dubia roaches are an awesome alternative to crickets. They offer MUCH more nutrition per bug because of their size, 1 dubia roach can be equivalent to 10 crickets. this makes dubia's very good bang for your buck. They also last much much longer than crickets and can easily be maintained. If you were to buy 20 crickets, in a week half will be dead. if you buy 20 dubias in a week, as long as you have a few pieces of food which range from anything to anything, all 20 roaches should still be alive. Also, dubia roaches do not stink like crickets. if you have ever opened up a container of crickets, they produce a putrid horrible smell and i've done the whole hold your breath thing for a long time. dubia roaches are quite the contrary. also dubias can not climb smooth surfaces so escape is not likely.

    in short, if you have been taking weekly trips to the pet store for crickets, your wasting your time and money. if you have been breeding crickets, your house probably stinks and your probably doing ALOT of cleaning of dead carcasses. Dubia roaches are a win in every way, its time to switch.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
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  4. I take it thats why Large Tarantulas stand high on there back legs??? a hazard to avoid leg spikes? in prey
    I observed my T stirmi / L Parahybana standing tall
  5. twentyeggs

    twentyeggs Arachnosquire

    most definitely, standing tall and wide and arching their backs and raising their front legs are all ways of clearing any defensive mechanisms their prey may hold.
  6. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    I don't have much experience with roaches but within a couple of months ago I tried using dubia roaches for my G. rosea and P. murinus sling. I put in a tiny one for my OBT sling and it found a spot and stayed there for 24 hours. I took it out. The one I tried with my G. rosea basically burrowed and is incognito to this day. I tried again with my G. rosea. She wouldn't go after it no matter how many times I threw it on its back and tried to make it look enticing. She still wouldn't go for it. I didn't want to leave it in there because I didn't want this one to burrow and disappear too so I actually removed its head so it couldn't burrow. It didn't burrow and spent the next few hours running around the enclosure headless. My rose followed it, looked curious, then ignored it. Not a great newbie experience with dubias for me.

    As for hissers, I thought they were usually kept as pets instead of feeders, but I'm sure people use them as feeders too.

    I agree that crickets suck. I had a little "to go" package and they were horrible. The smell and the noise... Disgusting. BUT, my Ts go for em. I want to try out red runners. I've read good things about them. Don't smell, make noise or burrow (usually from what I have read). Blatta lateralis (red runners).

    I've always read that roaches are far more nutritious but I feel if I at least "gut-load" my crickets there will still be plenty of nutrition for my Ts. How many Ts you trying to feed?
  7. Jessie

    Jessie Arachnopeon

    ^ I know that every spider is different and whatnot, but I just bought some dubias on Saturday from a shop and the guy specifically mentioned that G. rosea spiders tend to not eat the roaches. My SCF G. rosea hasn't eaten anything since I got him; my RCF G. rosea has hollow legs and will eat anything and everything in sight.

    Now that I've tried dubias, I doubt I will go back to crickets. My A. sp New River, B. vagans and the aforementioned RCF G. rosea gobbled them up like nobody's business.
  8. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    I've heard similar things. My only other two Ts are slings. How do you keep them from burrowing and disappearing? I've both read and heard that not feeding your rose for awhile so it's hungry could also help. I do wish they worked out but since I only have 3 right now it's not practical for me to start a colony of any type. It's pretty easy for me right now to just pick up 5-10 crickets every couple of weeks. I have multiple pet stores within a five mile radius as well.

    I have read/heard many success stories using dubias. It just didn't work for me. When my other two slings plus any additions I may have in the future get large enough I may try the roaches again. I really do wish it worked. They are so easy to deal with.
  9. twentyeggs

    twentyeggs Arachnosquire

    few tarantulas are picky and won't touch a roach. this was the case for my theraphosa, she had a bad hisser experience (which is where i discovered some of the info i wrote above) but the majority of tarantulas prefer dubias to crickets. i think the biggest reason for refusing a roach is confidence. crickets are real easy to catch and eat, roaches have a hard shell so your tarantula may have gone for it when you weren't looking and couldn't get its fangs in and discouraged it from trying in the future. it is REALLY important the first time you feed you T a roach to not find the biggest fattest roach. give them something small so they can discover how to catch and eat it. if your T already refuses the roach, the best way to combat this is to stop feeding your T for a week so they are hungry. take some tongs, chopsticks, ect grab a roach and slowly advance it up-side-down with its legs in the air toward your T's mouth or trip lines. the belly of the roach is soft and if your T goes for it, then it will likely build up the confidence to do it on its own. most people will not have this problem but if you really want your T to eat dubias this is how to do it.

    dubias are known for burrowing the second they hit the floor so you want to drop them close to the T, or use tongs. you can pick up some feeder insect tongs for like 5 bucks at your next pet store visit... don't be that cheap, whats 5 bucks.. lol
  10. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    Thanks! I tried the "on its back" method and the waving method, BUT I did pick one of the big guys. Maybe I'll try it tonight with a smaller one and see what happens. I just assumed it would go for it and never thought about her not having enough confidence to go for it. The other two T's I have are pretty small. I tried a little roach with the P. murinus sling because they are supposed to be ravenous. He didn't go for it, but he did end up molting not too long after and hasn't eaten crickets either since then.
    Do you have any experience with red runners?

    ---------- Post added 02-13-2012 at 10:28 PM ----------

    I should also add that my T HATES my tongs and once she realizes they are in there with her she gets pretty defensive and no longer cares about anything else. I can pet her legs without anything more than a quick spurt or crouch but if she knows those tongs are in there she throws up threat displays.
  11. jayefbe

    jayefbe Arachnoprince

    I'll be sure to give my tarantulas a pep talk before each feeding to build up it's "confidence".
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  12. jakykong

    jakykong Arachnobaron

    Kent, Wa
    Yep, I have a rosie that is exactly the same way. Docile enough to be almost friendly around hands, and bares fangs at tongs.

    Nevertheless, she'll take food from tongs without a problem. :)
  13. jakykong

    jakykong Arachnobaron

    Kent, Wa
    By the way, you asked about red runners. Blatta lateralis are really nice roaches :) I bought 1k for $10 a while back and I'm certainly going to have an overabundance of roaches because medium sized grew to adults in about a month. Geez.

    Anyway, they are softer than dubia, but also *much* smaller and *much* faster, so great for smaller Ts (or maybe many of them for a larger T? Dunno. I don't have anything big enough right now to find out.)

    What I do is have a deli cup, shake the egg crates from the main container over the deli cup to get some roaches. They can't climb the cup, so then you can grab them with tongs without much difficulty. But if you have escapees, don't even bother trying to catch them. They're too fast.

    All my Ts love them. Even my slings snap them up. (and the smallest lateralis are easily small enough for all but the tiniest sling, another plus.)

    So, for what it's worth, they're probably too small for the largest Ts, but I have found Blatta lateralis to be excellent feeders.
  14. gottarantulas

    gottarantulas Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    Here's my advice...small, medium and large female dubias will bury themselves into the substrate if left to roam in your T's enclosure. So alternatively you offer them via tongs to your T. Better yet (for juvi to mature tarantulas) order/purchase only male dubias given that they don't bury themselves into the substrate but, rather simply will peruse the enclosure or climb atop furnishings. As far as Hissers go, I have several colonies of them (that I breed for for my monitor lizard) and I agree with the gist of what "twentyeggs" has stated in that adult hissers are not really good prey items for T's short of the larger species such as Acanthoscurria, Lasiodora, Phormictopus and Theraphosa.
  15. Lopez

    Lopez Arachnoking Old Timer

    I was a roach cynic for years - now I would not even contemplate going back to crickets.

    My colony of B.lateralis feeds everything from newly hatched spiderlings to adult Poecilotheria. And it costs me virtually nothing to do so - about £1 worth of dried cat food a month and 50p of bug gel crystals. Initial investment was £10 for 800 babies and a handful of adults. I've got more roaches now than I know what to do with.
  16. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    That's awesome too know! Those are the roaches I want to get when I need a colony sometime in the not so distant future. I was wondering if they would be able to feed adult tarantulas. Thanks for the info!
  17. Lopez

    Lopez Arachnoking Old Timer

    Yep - they are small, but they are almost all meat. I just throw in a handful of adults when I do my monthly feed of the adult spiders.
  18. jakykong

    jakykong Arachnobaron

    Kent, Wa
    +1 - they're about the size of crickets, but much easier to keep.