switching to roaches, but what species?

Lycanthrope

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Messages
624
hey all, im considering getting a breeder colony of roaches going, because i hate crickets. i want something that cant climb smooth surfaces, but doesnt burrow like the orange headed roaches in busiprones thread. it would also be great if they were fast breeders, the faster the better. is there a species that fits this description? sorry i dont know the first thing about roaches.:rolleyes:
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
1,064
Discoid Roaches(Blaberus discoidalis) or commonly referred to False Death Heads are cheap and readliy available. From most of the info I've read most if not all nymphs will burrow or hide(I'm seeing that even in the the orange heads that burrowing isn't as prevalent in the adults). Sam Marshall describes Discoids as "perhaps the best roach to breed as a feeder for pet tarantulas" in his book Tarantulas and other Arachnids. You can also look at the Peppered roach (Archimandrita tesselata), Death's Head Cockroach (Blaberus craniifer) or Guyana spotted roach (Blaptica dubia). IIRC, All are fast breeders, except the Peppered roach, and none are glass/smooth plastic climbers. Good luck with which ever you decide on using! I'm actually enjoying my little colny more than I expected to.


I've also been looking at the Orange-spotted roach (Panesthia angustipennis angustipennis) but can't seem to find anyone offering them so I expect that if I do find them I'll pay a premium for it.
 
Last edited:

Mendi

Arachnowolf
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,387
My critters just love their roaches, and I don't think they are too terrible anymore. I've got the Discoid, Dubia, and a few Madhissers... even though the last ones can climb glass. I didn't keep the Lobsters very long for that reason, but they were the fastest breeders.. It's nice to not be dependant on those noisy, nasty, smelly crickets. Just be careful when you start your colonies to let them get started before you really start feeding them though. If you start with say 3 dozen, I wouldn't feed any of them for about 6 weeks.

Even though some like the hissers as pets, I find it quite exciting to feed one of my big females a grown one.... :D
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
1,064
Check out these sites for some some good info:

This one has a nice overview of the commonly kept roaches which are also the commonly kept feeders

This site has a really nice in depth reference on tropical roaches in general with some specific info on hissers. It contains info on roach biology which is interesting and helpful.



The glass climbing is what turned me off of the lobsters. I like the idea of having something a little larger like the orange heads, discoids, and true deathheads as well. Right now most of my collection consists of tarantulas that will grow to be 7 or more inches and have reputations as being big eaters so I'd rather be able to feed 1 or 2 roaches over say 6 crickets. Roaches also seem to be more meaty than crickets. Crickets, especially adult crickets, seam like mostly chitin and liquid. With the roach nymphs you also get a nice variety of sizes from about 1/4" and up. I want to get dubias and craniifers in the future for variety.
 
Last edited:

Lycanthrope

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Messages
624
thanks for the info and links guys, and thanks for that link you sent me mendi, i think ill be placing an order next paycheck:D .
 

arcane

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 25, 2003
Messages
71
Here's a question, can any of these species infest a house if they escaped? My father works in a bio department and someone had some roaches (hissers? giants?) escape, and rumour has it they now inhabit the woman's rest-room... Although I've seen local roaches about 3" almost 4" so perhaps its just them.
 

Lycanthrope

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Messages
624
i think ive chosen Blaberus cranifer. its everything i wanted in a feeder roach plus it has a skull on it. who could ask for more.;)
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
1,064
Anything is possible but the species listed in this thread aren't known to infest homes or buildings. Its possible...anything is possible but these need higher temps to breed than the pest species and have longer lifecycles. The feeder roaches we are talking about would be more suseptible to pesticides and would be easily controlled. Sounds like the story about your dad's work is a mini-urban legend.
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
1,064
Originally posted by Lycanthrope
i think ive chosen Blaberus cranifer. its everything i wanted in a feeder roach plus it has a skull on it. who could ask for more.;)
Good choice. Be careful who you order from...alot of "dealers" who offer Blaberus craniifer are actually selling discoids. Go with a reputable dealer. If the price you find seems too cheap its a good chance they are selling discoids. The roachman who advertises in the classifieds here is a name I've seen come up as a reputable roach dealer and I think he's doing a buy a dozen get a dozen free. The prices are a little higher but from what I've read abut him you get what you order.
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,261
Many bio research facilities keep the American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) which is a pest species. There is ZERO chance of hissers or Blaberus infesting a bathroom (unless the bathroom contains a small rainforest complete with various fruiting trees, plants etc. inside it).
Usually if you try to get B.craniifer you'll end up with Blaberus discoidalis or Blaberus fusca (B.discoidalis is much larger than most roaches but is tiny compared to B.craniifer and not very pretty and has no pronotum markings on the black. B.fusca is a little longer than B.craniifer and looks neat but it isn't black, has minimal pronotum markings, but is a much faster breeder) . Good luck!
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
3,786
Originally posted by MantidAssassins
Many bio research facilities keep the American Cockroach (Periplaneta americana) which is a pest species.
They're not so much a pest species as 'ugly nuisance'. They can't survive without some sort of constant water source and a moist environment - if you've got Americans you either live in Florida with those brilliant slatted windows that let them come and go as they please combined with 100% RH, or you've got a water leak of some sort - fix the leak and the roaches go away. There's really only one true pest roach: the German cockroach.

Regardless, Americans stink and make lousy feeders so I'm not sure why you posted what you did other than to give me an opportunity for some late night rambling :)
 
Top