Roaches - Blatta lateralis

Charlie_Scorp

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Ok, I know this topic comes up quite frequently but I am getting a bit fed up of crickets. Mine never smell too bad but its getting a little more expensive now that I keep more animals.
Now, I know some people favor roach sp. A or roach sp. B etc but I get the impression that Blatta lateralis (Red runners, I think) are pretty neat. They have soft bodies with a good 'meat' to exoskeleton ratio, are highly prolific, PLUS they cant climb glass or smooth plastic.

My question is whether any one else uses they guys and what they think of them....


Charlie
 

docevazan

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I switched over to lateralis roaches about 3 months ago and never looked back. They're the perfect replacement, don't smell, make noise or climb: I just tossed the 50 that I bought into a glass aquarium, smeared vaseline around the top (just to be extra safe), put a heat pad on the side, and dont do much to maintain them besides throw in some dry dog food and shredded carrot every couple days. They don't seem to cannibalize their young either, I've been feeding them pretty heavily to my 20+ T's since day 1 and there seems to be more than ever in there, with egg cases all over the place.
 

Charlie_Scorp

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Well, thats exactly what I wanted to hear! Presumably you constantly have a nice range of sizes also?
1 other thing. I hear they are amazingly fast, even more so that lobsters. How do you go about catching and feeding them?
 

Cirith Ungol

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Well, catching them is easy. I use tweezers and grab them by the back part of the abdomen (no brain there it seems so they always recover quite quickly). Catching isn't the real problem, releasing them into the tank is! Never ever let one out of sight or control while transfering them into the tank! These things can flip out of your grasp and scuttle off between your belongings in no time and finding them then is near impossible. Personally I'm a bit lucky on that part though, since almost every single escapee has been found in the bathroom (presumably it's the moisture that draws them there). The one that wasn't found there was found by the cat (I followed its trail of destruction and as I assumed I would, found a missing roach on the other end).

So: tweeze them, squeeze them, and never let go unless you're sure the thing falls into the tank. Other than that, they're just great!

Food: Sweet fruits go down well and dog food pellets. I've also come up with my own "roach quencher". I just stir up some gelatin powder (made purely out of animal products!) in hot water, press the juice of an orange into it and then let it cool down in the fridge until it's solid. At room temperature that stuff melts so slowly that there's always just the tiniest puddle of water arround the edges the roaches can drink from and the orange juice helps them to find it easier and to like it better.
 

Taceas

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I have a colony of them as well and they are a pretty good roach thus far. I had Lobster roaches previously and I really like these a lot better.

These have little to no odor, eat anything, are prolific (once I figured out they needed more humidity to hatch the egg cases) and best of all they cannot climb glass or smooth plastic. I had lobsters everywhere when I had them, even with Bug Stop or vaseline.

I feed mine a roach diet from www.thecarnivorousorchid.com and they get a half of an apple every 4-5 days for moisture.

These are a softer exoskeleton insect and most of my spiders greedily gobble them up. The nymphs also don't burrow when placed into enclosures, something which the lobster nymphs excelled at it seems.

I say give them a try and see how you fare. I could never go back to crickets as a staple diet. For me it was a waste of money, as I was never very adept at keeping them alive. So by the time I got a box of 1000, half were dead in a couple of days. And oh my gosh the odor, I've smelled better smelling litterboxes!

You should search for Blatta lateralis posts on the forum, I know they've been discussed occasionally down in the "Insect section". =)
 

Charlie_Scorp

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DONE! :) I now have about 75 arriving in a couple of days. Mixture of adults and nymphs so I guess we'll just see how it goes. Thanks for the help and advice. Think I'll go for some cat/dog dry food and then some fruit for moisture and I guess extra vits and mins. Humidity for the egg cases and hay presto...well, we'll see :)
 

Mina

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I agree they are wonderful, just be careful not to give them too much humidity. If you do you will get little white mites that are so small they look like moving grains of sand and they get everywhere!!! They are harmless, but I didn't want them in with my T's or my scorps. Just thought you would want to know.
 

musihuto

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if you keep the main colony too moist, you may start to get a faint manure-like odour... though doesn't compare to the stench of crickets!

i have a seperate, small, high-humidity hatching chambre, i pick out egg cases every three days or so, (takes about 5 minutes) and transfer them... i heavily mist this whenever i add the egg cases, and then i mix the eggs and soil (allowing it to remain loose). i have a piece of egg-crate covering the soil, and the nymphs tend to hang to its underside. i take this out and shake the nymphs loose onto my main colony.
i seem to be hatching about 100-200 nymphs a week right now, from my 100 - 150 adults.

this way, my main colony only needs to be moist enough so that egg cases can survive 1-3 days until i collect them. this avoids any mould and odour issues...

i feed mine a staple diet of high-end dog food (the stuff my mother feeds her beloved airedale), and chopped carrots... occasionally, apples, mixed organic greens, etc. also get fed.. they're nice, but not entirely necessary. i've heard some lower quality dog foods may contain i) red dye, ii) some sort of fungicide. both of these, while non-lethal lower the lifespan of roaches, and presumably if bio-accumulative may have possibly more severe effects on arachnids/myriapods/herps/etc. something to keep in mind!

as a water source, i use agar jelly, which i get in powder form from the health food store... i use 1 part powder to 50 parts water.. its made from some sort of seaweed i think? and doesn't go bad like gelatin, and remains solid at higher temperatures.

cheers! :D
- munis
 

Charlie_Scorp

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Muinis...Im glad to hear you sorted out your 'mould and odour issues' :)
Seriously though everyone...I googled around for a couple of days and didn't find this much useful information so thank you very much! I in turn will let you know how I get along of course.
Agar..hmm..yes, its from algae and luckily thats easily got hold of although I was under the impression that the fruit/veg would be enough...as I use with my crickets (I use carrot also).

Anyway, thanks to all of you for your help. If anyone has anything to add feel free but its looks pretty comprehensive now!

Charlie :)
 

Cirith Ungol

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DONE! :) I now have about 75 arriving in a couple of days. Mixture of adults and nymphs so I guess we'll just see how it goes. Thanks for the help and advice. Think I'll go for some cat/dog dry food and then some fruit for moisture and I guess extra vits and mins. Humidity for the egg cases and hay presto...well, we'll see :)
Skip the cat food, it has too much protein for roaches. They can only use so much protein in their food before it litterally kills them.
 

Charlie_Scorp

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Another nugget of info I shall talke on board. I thought the higher levels of protein for a good thing. Where did you get that info? Thanks for that?
 

Mr. Mordax

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I'd like to add that while tarantulas seem to love these roaches, some scorpions can be quite picky. Mine never ate them, and so far have only accepted crickets and mealworms.
 

Charlie_Scorp

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Hmmm..thats a little disconcerting. Cirith Ungol and Docevanan, were you refering to your success being with Scorps (I hope so!) :)

Charlie
 

musihuto

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hey...
for the record, i never had mould or odour issues myself, from hearing about others' experiences, i avoided them from the get-go, as you hopefully will too!

if you have a constant source of fresh vegetables, an additional water source is not necessary... though it can't hurt, and doesn't require much extra effort imo. i mean, if you're trying to absolutely maximize the productivity of your colony, you should probably do it... if you're taking a more laid back approach, then don't bother! ;)

wrt protein, different roach species have different requirements, n. cinerea and e. prosticus for example require higher protein e.g. catfood, or will start to eat each other i believe...
for b. lateralis though, dog food seems ok!

oh yes, and as for scorps: a number of my scorps, c. vitattus, c. gracilis, m. martensii, h. franzwerneri, and h. polystictus have all accepted b. lateralis of varying sizes!
i haven't tried feeding them to non-buthids yet... there *might* be a difference maybe??

cheers! :D
- munis
 
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Rizzolo

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i do what musihuto described, taking out the egg cases ever couple of days to hatch separately. that increase production immensely. otherwise, the egg cases dry up and not nearly as many hatch. that way you can keep the colony drier and avoid the slightly funky smell (still not nearly as bad as crickets).

also, my Blatta lateralis don't enjoy dog food nearly as much as my B. dubia. maybe i just don't have the right brand. but they love love love potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and red leaf lettuce. they eat some sweet fruit, but not nearly as much as they eat of the others. mushrooms disappear like magic! my dubia love oranges, but my lateralis seem to eat very little of them.

good luck
 

Mr. Mordax

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The only scorps I offered them to were in Scorpionidae. My baby buthid hasn't accepted them yet, but I'll keep trying.
 

musihuto

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totally out of curiosity,
what species is the buthid which rejects lateralis nymphs?

cheers! :D
- munis

The only scorps I offered them to were in Scorpionidae. My baby buthid hasn't accepted them yet, but I'll keep trying.
 

Mr. Mordax

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Parabuthus leiosoma. Roaches have a habit of finding impossible to reach hiding places, so I don't keep the feeders in with him. But I'll see him patrolling his terrarium with his pinchers open . . . So I'll reach over to try feeding . . . and he scurries away in fear!

If I take his hide out and just offer him B. laterallis nymphs or mealworms, he seems more intent on escape than anything else. I may just have to bite the bullet and go back to crickets. :evil:
 

Cheshire

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I've never been a fan of B. lateralis simply because quite a few knowledgable people are quite adamant that they can infest.

Discoids are pretty good feeders, as are dubia (but also expensive).

Lobsters right now are my favorite soley because of price, but I'm going to be investigating more options here soon.

Quite a few people dislike lobster roaches because they climb or they say that their pets don't like them.

I've never had a problem with the latter, with the possible exception of one male A. seemani who was in pre-moult.
 

Dom

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My WC adult centruroides don't seem to like lateralis but they will take dubia.
My CB Centruroides and other scorps eat lateralis no problem.
 
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