Blaptica dubia is also known as the Guyana orange spotted roach, or Dubia roach. Easy to care for, non-climbing, and sexually dimorphic, this is one of the most popular roach feeders used in both the reptile and arachnid hobbies. Smallest nymphs measure approximately 4mm by 6mm, and adults are about 4 to 4.5 cm long with gravid females being slightly larger. Adult males have wings and are capable of flying short distances.Although generally not associated with bad odor, Blaptica dubia do emit a subtle defensive smell.
They are skittish when the cage is disturbed but not to the point of immediately hiding when the lights turn on or someone walks by the cage.
This species likes it warm. I suggest an ambient temperature of around 80 degrees and a warm side of 95-100 degrees F. Cooler temperatures will simply mean slower production, or, no production at all.
For a small to medium-sized colony, a ten gallon aquarium will suffice. No substrate is necessary as long as you provide several layers of paper egg cartons and paper towel tubes for them to hide in. Make sure to keep the dry food and the moist food separate. You can accomplish this by using shallow food dishes, but I simply keep the food and water crystals in opposite corners of the cage to make both easily accessible for the smaller nymphs.
Provide a source of moisture every 1-2 days. Blaptica dubia can tolerate a lack of moisture better than other species (evident by the fewer deaths and less severe wing-biting); however, these roaches devour more moisture than my other species and consequently breed better. Moisture can be supplied in the form of water crystals, fruits, and vegetables. Another alternative is to supply a small bowl of water. This species is less inclined to suffer drownings than others, but make sure to provide a thick flat stick at least 1″ wide leading from the egg cartons to the bottom of the water dish. It’s also wise to make sure the bowl is low enough to allow adults and larger nymphs to access when they stand up. This will help prevent a surge of roaches trying to get to the water all at once. Frequency of cleaning depends on the size of your colony. If you keep a colony of about 500 roaches, one thorough cleaning every few months is enough assuming you maintain a clean food/water area. I clean the cage by sweeping the frass up with a small brush–the kitchen kind used for spreading sauces. Nymphs will burrow in the mess you want to throw out, but they’re very good about scurrying over to the clean side. Just make sure to give them enough time. They have a tendency to play dead, so you won’t know if there’s anything alive in the pile of frass.
What to feed dubia roaches
Although they will eat the conventional high protein roach gutload, Blaptica dubia show a consistent preference for sweet food, including breakfast cereal, fruits, and bread. I’ve noticed they thoroughly consume a wider variety of foods than my other species and will leave the least leftovers. I suggest feeding leafy green vegetables because the scraps will dry out instead of moulding. The scraps also mimic leaf litter for the nymphs to burrow under as well as assist in helping the upturned roach get back on its feet. I recommend keeping sources of protein and carbohydrates available at all times, and then treating them to fruits/vegetables every other day. This will help the colony flourish. They show no interest in fish flake food, so opt for other types of protein. If you choose to use cat food, make sure to grind it into a powder or else they will not be able to eat it (even though they want to). Any of the T-Rex Sandfire Super Food MRP Diets work especially well for this species as a source of protein, more so than with the other roaches I work with. I’ve gotten superb results by simply serving it to them dry.
Dubia roach breeding
There are no special requirements to get dubias to breed, other than to follow all of the husbandry points that are mentioned in this article. Assuming the temperature, diet, and water requirements are taken care of, your dubias will become prolific breeders.
This species reproduces by ovoviviparity. Your colony may not seem to grow until you have at least several females. It takes awhile to get a colony rolling for this species, but once you do, they will be among your best breeders because of their easy requirements. Males are relatively short-lived, so don’t fret if you find the occasional carcass. I usually feed males as feeder food, and try and spare my females.
Nymphs make a great food source for geckos, tarantulas, monitors, and bearded dragons. However, the adults are not as meaty as adults of other roach species. For insectivores that require larger feeders, I recommend using larger roaches such as those belonging to the Blaberus genus. However, it’s likely that you’re reading this because you’re into tarantulas, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Their frass (excrement) sticks to everything in the cage. On the plus side, it’s not dusty. But you will have to replace egg cartons and paper towel tubes more often than with other species, as well as scrub the cage walls during cleaning.