Which Roach to Get?

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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Nov 3, 2002
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I am interested in raising a colony of roaches to be part of a well balanced tarantula diet. I am interest in feeding tarantulas ranging from 1/2 inch to 10 inches.

Here is what I am looking for in a roach:

1. Soft enough for the tarantulas to fang without a problem.

2. It would prefer that they are not glass climbers. I tried raising hissers before, and even though I valelined the top of the container, alot of babies escaped.

3. Prefer that they don't fly. If they do, I don't wan't fast flyers.

4. Is there such thing as an aggressive roach? I doubt it, but I don't want anything that could be a potential risk to my tarantulas.

5. A fast colonizing species. I don't want to have to wait 6 months before I start harvesting the colony.


Does this sound like a Deathshead? I think they are slow to colonize.

Thanks

Big Dragonfly
 

Botar

Arachnoprince
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Aug 27, 2002
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My experience is limited to lobsters (glass climbers) and giant cave roaches. I haven't had the giant caves long enough to speak on their reproductive abilities, but I don't think they'd meet your criteria.

Botar
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
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Jul 22, 2002
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I'm no roach expert, but probably the best bet is B. discoidales (False Deathsheads) they're a bit smaller than the B. crannifer you're thinking of, reputed to be prolific breeders, no tough exoskeleton, no defensive smell, non-glass/plastic climbers, not prone to wing biting, etc.

If you really want prolific, all signs are that you'd be best off with N. cinerea (Lobster Roaches), but they're glass climbers (which is why I doubt I'll ever get them - if I can't keep crickets from escaping I know I'd have these things running around and a butcher knife in my back from the wife).

I'm raising B. dubia, another non-glass climber and very attractive for a roach (which is why I chose them over B. discoidales, figured if I was going to be rearing roaches in the utility closet they might as well be pretty roaches).

E. prosticus is another common feeder roach that is supposed to be *very* prolific, but they appear to be "aggressive" from what I've read.

If I ever decide to go with a second variety, I'll go for the discoidales myself.
 

Marc_C

Arachnobaron
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Nov 4, 2002
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Like Code Monkey said, your best bet is to go with Eublaberus prosticus, Blaberus discoidales or Blaptica dubia. I've heard of E.prosticus taking a bite out of a tarantula or two, but never witnessed this firsthand.

Whether or not you can start feeding them right away is directly releted to how many you get and whether you get adults or nymphs. You might have to wait a bit to switch over from crickets completly,but trust me when I say that it is well worth the wait. Crickets suck.

I would go with either the discoids or the dubias.

Marcus-sparkus
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Aug 16, 2002
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E. prosticus may, indeed, be a possible threat to a tarantula. I lost an usambara female earlier this year, and E. prosticus nymphs are the lead suspects. The other suspect is a male usambara who was in the cage at the same time. It appeared she went into a molt and sombody decided to chow down. The "crime scene" doesn't look like a tarantula was the culprit. Although I had always heard that roaches (in general) were safer than crickets in this respect,I have seen these orangeheads tear into pinkie mice. The other problem is that the nymphs dissapear into the substrate, and may go undetected until it's too late. Since this experience, I never feed E. prosticus to my tarantulas unless they're pre-killed. Fortunately, I have plenty of reptiles who are more than willing to chow on the orangeheads.

Wade
 

galeogirl

Arachnoprince
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Aug 15, 2002
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I've had great luck with N. cinerea - no escapes to date! The nymphs are the perfect size for my medium-sized slings.
 
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