Small roach feeder species?

arcane

Arachnosquire
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Jun 25, 2003
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Are there any good feeder roaches that are on the smaller size? Maybe 1/2 - 1 inch?

The best would be ones that dont smell, climb glass, fly and are prolific, looking cool is a plus too ;) ... but the most important I guess would be no smell and prolific.

Should I just go with deathheads or orange heads and feed some portion of the youngins instead, or will this screw up the colony (reducing youngins but keeping large adults)?

btw what about Malaysian Zebra-Stripes or Zebra Roaches (Dorylaea orini , Eurycotis decipiens) they climb, but how are they as feeders/smell goes?
 
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Code Monkey

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Once you get a colony really going (which can take a while with many of the feeder species), you couldn't possibly feed enough of the young to harm the colony.

I'd recommend either B. discoidales or B. dubia (B. crannifer would be a 3rd and E. prosticus not even on the list just because of their nippiness).

I rear B. dubia. My advice that I learned the hard way is buy about 2-3X whatever you think is a reasonable amount of roaches to start with because most dealers just sell nymphs. Then you have to wait for them to mature, then you have to wait for them to have young, then you have to wait for some percentage of those young to grow up past the size you want to harvest...

I started with 18 nymphs, if I knew then what I know know I'd have started with 48 nymphs. I've blown twice what I saved on roaches in crickets during the period waiting for the colony to hit critical mass.
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
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How are your B. dubia doing CM?....how fast did the population grow from 18 to whatever you have now?. I want to get those soon...they were actually my first choice based on your post with the pics of your setup. :)
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Buspirone
How are your B. dubia doing CM?....how fast did the population grow from 18 to whatever you have now?. I want to get those soon...they were actually my first choice based on your post with the pics of your setup. :)
They're doing great. I've finally got adults that were born in my colony and in just about 2 months time it's going to completely explode.

They seem to take about 6 months to mature. I started with the nymphs in June 2002, had some adults by October and babies starting in late November/early December. Those first babies began to mature in the past couple of weeks. According to the sources I found they take about 4-6 weeks from breeding to live nymphs and have about 30 young per female, and this is probably about right based on what I've seen. The population has been getting steadily larger, it's at least a hundred or so good sized nymphs (the size of your last thumb joint or bigger) and who knows how many little ones buried in the frass and vermiculite. As soon as I get the second generation breeding it's going to be roach madness.

EDIT: This time frame is why I wished I'd started with more. If I'd had two dozen females instead of eight, I'd have been able to start feeding larger nymphs this past spring instead of having to wait a couple of more months.
 
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Buspirone

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On one of the roach boards I go to some the the keepers there claim that adding a little olive oil to their roachs' food once or twice a month increases breeding or decreases mortality rates of new births, especially in colonies that may not be breeding well. Have you ever heard of that?
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Buspirone
On one of the roach boards I go to some the the keepers there claim that adding a little olive oil to their roachs' food once or twice a month increases breeding or decreases mortality rates of new births, especially in colonies that may not be breeding well. Have you ever heard of that?
I've never heard it, but that doesn't mean anything. You've got to figure that anything that contributes to a varied, nutritious diet is going to help in some small way.
 
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