Roaches...

Valael

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Which one?



I've been trying to find a decent roach for a decent price for a while now, and it seems as htough Kelly Swift has the best selection for the price.



So which should I go with? Lobster Roach (Nauphoeta cinerea) or Surinam Roaches (Pycnoscelus surinamensis)?



I realize Lobster Roaches are the most popular, but being different is kind of nice, too.


The big advantage with the Suriname roaches is that (According to Swift's site), they're all female. As a breeding amature, htis sounds as though it's pretty easy to deal with. On the negative side, it says they like to hide under the dirt, too.



I'm wanting something as a tarantula feeder, and possibly a lizard feeder. (I've had bearded dragons in the past, but got rid of them due to the 35 - 39 minute drive to get Crickets.)
 

Frank

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For the things I know about roaches, you could go with madagascar hissing, they are good feeder, don't hide under the dirt, don't fly, hmm and that's it lol :) oh yeah they are cheap too :)





Frank
 

Valael

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Well, from everything I've heard, a lot of tarantulas won't bother with them because of their hard shells.




That and the fact that they're usually close to a dollar a piece..





I can get the above roaches for 3 dozen for $25 on Swiftinverts.com
 

Frank

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I'm not sure if that's true, but I've heard that for hissers, they can be given to Ts if hissers are 1 1/2 inch and less...






Frank
 

atavuss

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another thing to consider is that does it matter to you if the roach can climb glass or plastic containers? I prefer death head roaches so I don't have to worry about them climbing out and escaping their bin.
Ed
 

Wade

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There seems to be a certain amount of trade off with these roaches. If they can't climb glass, then they hide under the substrate. Glass climbing might be a good thing when feeding an aboreal critter.

Most of my T's will accept hissers, but a few reject them. The Blaberus sp. (death heads) are usually more readily accepted.

One trick that works when feeding non-glass climbing roaches to herps is to use a smooth-sided ceramic or plastic dish and put the roaches in that. The lizards (or in my case frogs) quickly learn to find them there.

Wade
 

Code Monkey

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I've got to sing the praises of the orange spotted roach (Blaptica dubia). No glass or plastic climbing abilities, no smell, big enough as adults for anything short of a blondi, and the perfect size at birth for most slings. They live up to 2 years as adults and breed at a pretty good clip. I started with 18 nymphs in June, had breeding adults by late October, and am now able to feed my smaller slings off the wee ones. As soon as I get a new crop of adults I'll start feeding from the larger nymphs.

That's the only down side to a roach colony, they do take a while to get established, but once they do, whoa. I started with 18 nymphs, have fed two of the adults to my Ts as test subjects, and now have a couple of hundred already. It will be an unbelievable number by this summer.
 

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Botar

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I've had the same results as CM with my Giant Cave Roaches... the scientific name escapes me at the moment. I started with about 15 nymphs in October and I've just recently seen my first babies.

I also had a colony of Lobsters, but I quickly had hundreds and as glass climbers, they made me pretty nervous. You put one in a kritter keeper and if the T doesn't get it, you've got to worry about them getting out through the ventilation slots. I ended up freezing mine.

Botar
 

Wade

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Originally posted by Botar
I've had the same results as CM with my Giant Cave Roaches... the scientific name escapes me at the moment.

Botar
Blaberus gigantea, I think. Don't have my references with me at the moment.


Wade
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Botar
I also had a colony of Lobsters, but I quickly had hundreds and as glass climbers, they made me pretty nervous. You put one in a kritter keeper and if the T doesn't get it, you've got to worry about them getting out through the ventilation slots. I ended up freezing mine.
Yeah, I do not have the balls (literally, my wife would cut them off if they got out) to keep glass climbers. I can't even manage to keep crickets completely contained so all I need is a roach that can sprint up the side of kritter keeper, or their container if the vaseline/fluon barrier got crudded up enough for them to get some traction. I've been very pleased with the lack of escapees with these guys. The only scary moment I had was yesterday when I expanded their "roach motel" of slatted cork board. I was knocking them off of the old slats so I could incorporate them into the new and improved roach motel when I smacked a piece wrong and launched a number of nymphs onto my living room carpet - yikes! Even though they don't move very fast, I did :D
I'm just glad my wife wasn't around to witness that.
 

Valael

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Maybe I should hold out. The petstore near by here is raising some Archimandrita tesselata (Giant Peruvian Roaches). He's only got about 30 babies right now (The adults died off after giving birth for some reason) but 30 is enough to get them going once they get larger..



I'd really like to order some from Roachman, though -- but his prices are a bit high for me heh.
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Valael
Maybe I should hold out. The petstore near by here is raising some Archimandrita tesselata (Giant Peruvian Roaches). He's only got about 30 babies right now (The adults died off after giving birth for some reason) but 30 is enough to get them going once they get
That species is s l o w to get any sort of colony going. I considered them and Roachman steered me clear as they're not really a good feeder roach unless you've got 2+ years to wait.

One thing to do is keep an eye on the classifieds here and other forums. Although professional dealers charge some premium prices for roaches, hobbyists whose colonies are ready to burst at the seams often sell off starter colonies at good prices.
 

atavuss

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Originally posted by Code Monkey
I've got to sing the praises of the orange spotted roach (Blaptica dubia). No glass or plastic climbing abilities, no smell, big enough as adults for anything short of a blondi, and the perfect size at birth for most slings. They live up to 2 years as adults and breed at a pretty good clip. I started with 18 nymphs in June, had breeding adults by late October, and am now able to feed my smaller slings off the wee ones. As soon as I get a new crop of adults I'll start feeding from the larger nymphs.

That's the only down side to a roach colony, they do take a while to get established, but once they do, whoa. I started with 18 nymphs, have fed two of the adults to my Ts as test subjects, and now have a couple of hundred already. It will be an unbelievable number by this summer.
CM, are you using pegboard in rubbermaid containers? is that vermiculate (sp?) for substrate? I use paper towel and toilet paper tubes with no substrate for my roaches. I use the polymer stuff to water them and fish and dog food along with any leftover veggies to feed them. I had a bit of a roast beef sandwhich left over from lunch the other day so out of curiousity I put it in with the death head roaches, within a minute I could not even see any of the sandwhich, it was completly covered with roaches.
Ed
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by atavuss
CM, are you using pegboard in rubbermaid containers? is that vermiculate (sp?) for substrate?

Ed
It's cork board. Half of it is some 12x12 "tiles" I got at the craft shop and cut in half, and the other half was an even better bargain: my dad is a beekeeper and the "peg board" stuff is what's left over after they punch out the plugs for queen cages. My dad, being a regular Sanford, gets this stuff from the factory for free as they're just going to throw it out, and when I saw it, I immediately begged a sheet off of him. I then just used some pieces of 1/2 x 1 crown molding as spacers and hotglued the whole contraption together. It provides pretty much as close to optimal surface area for the roaches as I can imagine.

Substrate is about 1" of vermiculite as the newly born roaches like to burrow before moving into the roach motel. Feed is mostly dogfood with, like you, some leftover veggies thrown in for variety.

This is a better picture of the roach motel:
 

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Frank

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What's the kind of dog food we see that looks like big balls? We're giving some big balls dog food like that to our dog.. I would like to see if that's the same as ours.. (maybe to use with my future hissers) and do they like it or do they eat it to have something to eat?



Thanks, Frank
 

Code Monkey

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The big pieces are Science Diet Tartar control - they love it, and I guess their mandibles stay clean :)

My wife gets all kinds of different dog foods for free or nearly free as a vet student so I've had a bit of fun seeing what the roaches seem to prefer. They tend to devour the tartar control and vegetable kibbles first. Heavily colored dog foods tend to go last. We just got some new dog food being made by Marshalls and that also seems to be a hit.

I don't think you have to stress this issue too much. They are roaches. The thing that I find most amazing is how little food it takes to run the colony. It's no wonder they can become such pests in homes - the glue off of a stamp must be able to feed a family for a month ;)
 

invertepet

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Lobster roaches smell (especially if you grab them - YUCK, like bad B.O. and rotting cabbage combined). They're not that big even as adults, and the smaller ones are nearly impossible to grab. Furthermore, many T's I have won't eat the damned things (they probably smell bad them, too). So I give a thumbs-down to the lobsters unless you're adept at catching them and don't mind the smell and have spiders that will eat them. They CAN climb very well, so you have to use that Fluon stuff to prevent escape from unsealed containers. The upside to them is they're tough, reproduce very fast and eat just about everything so are easy to keep going.

I also like orange spotteds. They get nice and large, don't smell and I've fed them to 10" blondi before, so they're big enough for any tarantula. They just don't reproduce as fast as I'd like.

Good luck,

bill
 

Valael

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Anyone try death head roaches?



There's some for sale for $10 in the For sale section.




He said they can't climb glass or smooth plastic. And as much as I want to trust him, before getting a colony of roaches, I want to be 200% sure they can't climb plastic.
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Valael
Anyone try death head roaches?
Wade raises these for feeders. They're a bit larger than B. dubia or B. discoidales - my two favorite species to recommend - but they fit the bill and the price is good. They are non-glass climbing, non-stinking, non-aggressive, well breeding roaches with no hardened exoskeleton.

Whatever you get, get as many as you can afford within reason to start with. The more breeding adults you have sooner, the sooner the colony will reach critical mass and become self sufficient. Starting with 18 nymphs, well 16 considering that I fed two of the adults out when they emmerged, I'm looking at about a 12 month start up period for the colony. In hindsight, considering what I'm going to have spent on crickets in that 12 month span, I should have started with at least 2X that number, maybe even 4 dozen.
 
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