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Keeping - Breeding Orange Spotted Roaches

How To Keep And Breed Orange Spotted Roaches (Blaptica dubia)

Taxonomy
(Blaptica dubia)

  • Kingdom:
  • Animalia
  • Phylum:
  • Arthropoda
  • Class:
  • Insecta
  • Order:
  • Blattodea
  • Family:
  • Blaberidae
  • Genus:
  • Blaptica
  • Species:
  • dubia

Orange Spotted Roach
(Blaptica dubia)

Orange Spotted Roach (Blaptica dubia)

Baptica dubia

Blaptica dubia, also known as the Orange Spotted Roach, or Guyana Orange Spotted Roach are a smaller roach species that has become a well established feeder insect for tarantulas and reptiles.

The guide below should help you establish a colony of Blaptica Dubia for feeding to your pets, or to keep as pets themselves.

Introduction

Blaptica dubia are a non-climbing, non-flying species of roach. This means that although the males have wings, they are unable to fly. They are also unable to climb smooth surfaces such as glass or smooth plastic. They are a great feeder insect for reptiles because they are soft-bodied and have more meat on them than crickets. They are also easier to breed and raise than crickets, making them ideal feeder insects.

In addition to being easier to keep and breed than crickets, Blaptica dubia are clean insects and almost odorless.

Note: The wings found on a male Orange Spotted Roach are an evolutionary hold-over from when their ancestors were capable of flying.

Housing

Housing Blaptica dubia is very simple. Any glass tank or smooth sided plastic container would work since this is a non-climbing species.

Those that are still concerned about escapees can use covers on their enclosures. To ensure the enclosure has good ventilation, a custom screen cover may be required for plastic totes and storage bins. Instructions for building custom screen covers can be found here: Enclosure Screen Tops

Once the screen itself has been built, it can be secured to the existing cover like the image depicts below. Bolts with washers will hold it in place as will a hot glue gun.

Orange Spotted Roach (Blaptica dubia) Secured Enclosure Screen Top

Substrate

The simplest and most ideal substrate to use with Blaptica Dubia is no substrate at all. Substrates with this species serve little purpose. They are nothing more than a place for flour beetles, mites, and baby roaches to hide.

As your roaches mature, the amount of waste they create will also. Cleaning an enclosure where substrate is present is far more difficult than an enclosure without any substrate.

Substrate Options

While it is suggested that no substrate be used, there will be some who will wish to provide one. Below we have a list of suitable substrates for use with roaches.

Newspaper
Coconut Fiber
Sphagnum Moss
Peat Moss
Aspen Shavings
Rabbit Pellets
Bran Bedding

Keep in mind that certain substrates will promote mold when wet and will offer hiding places and breeding grounds for bacteria, mites and beetles.

Lighting

Blaptica dubia relish the dark and shy from the light. For this reason, no lighting is required for this species.

Enclosure Furniture

The term "enclosure furniture" relates to any item in the enclosure that the roaches can hide under or in. You will want to provide enclosure furniture for your roaches.

The simplest form of enclosure furniture that you can provide would be egg crates. When stacked vertically side by side, the roaches will use them as a place to hide and breed. The vertical standing will promote the frass (their waste) to fall to the enclosure floor instead of accumulating on the egg crate.

You can also build a roach motel for your colony. Instructions for building a roach motel can be found here: Roach Motel

Feeding

A diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables supplemented with dry dog food, grain cereal, baby cereal, and fish flakes will provide a suitable diet. These items can be rotated through, or mixed together.

There are also roach diets that can be purchased online. These are prefabricated mixtures that just need to be served to the roaches.

Water

The vast amount of moisture that your Blaptica dubia will intake will come from the fruits and vegetables. This should not be the only means in which you provide water however. Polymer crystals, also called polyacrylamide gel, water crystals, water bites, etc. should be used as well. The crystals can be bought online, have a long shelf life, and do not cost much. They also eliminate the chance of young roaches drowning.

The water crystals are best offered in a shallow dish.

Orange Spotted Roach (Blaptica dubia) Laying Egg

Temperature - Heating

Blaptica dubia roaches are tropical. They need a temperature that falls between 75°-95° Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures will prevent your dubia from breeding. Ideally you want to maintain the enclosure temperature around 80-85°.

You can heat an enclosure a number of ways. Below we have the various way an enclosure can be heated.

Pre-heated Reptile Room
Nocturnal Light Bulb with Reflector
Heat Tape
Human Heating Pad
Reptile Under Tank Heaters
Ceramic Heat Emitter

The method you choose for heating the enclosure will be indicative of the size of the enclosure and the rooms ambient temperature.

Humidity

This species does not require as much humidity as other species. They do however need an above average humidity level. (Compared to the average humidity level of a typical room in your home.) Adequate humidity helps to ensure successful molting.

Adequate humidity would be above 60%. You may need to mist the enclosure occasionally to maintain these levels.

Handling

Blaptica dubia, although fast, are delightfully easy to handle during feeding time. They do not smell, and are easy to pick up. Although, I have found that once in the reptile enclosure, they are extremely fast. One remedy for slow moving reptiles is to flip the roaches onto their backs. They kick their legs frantically, bringing attention to themselves.

Attribution

Author: Jen Wise & Richard Brooks
Blaptica Laying - © Amanda Toussaint

This care sheet is courtesy of Herp Center (Richard Brooks) & is used with written permission.