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Thread: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

  1. #1
    NialR35
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    Default What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Hello,

    I live in FL and apparently, B.Dubias are illegal(FML). So what is a good alternative for a roach colony in order to save some money? I really was planning to breed Dubias to feed my frogs but can't do it in FL. Anything similar to Dubias as far as nutritive value and breeding efficiency?

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Sorry, didn't notice your thread. I answered your question in Mathew's topic but will re-post my reply here along with some additional tidbits of information:

    The following species are legal in Florida:

    Blaberus discoidalis
    Blaberus craniifer
    Eurycotis floridana
    Panchlora nivea
    MALE Gromphadorhina portentosa
    Pynoscelus surinamensis

    Roaches tend to have roughly the same nutritional value across the board; though the actual meat:shell ratio and composition of micronutrients will vary. All of these make for possible staple feeders.

    I would recommend Blaberus discoidalis (discoid roaches, false death heads) for Blaptica dubia replacement. Similar size, similar reproductive rate, and do not fly or climb. The only major difference is they are not sexually dimorphic like B. dubia.


    B. dubia
    might be the most popular roach out there but that does not mean they are the best. If we're being completely honest, I think there are several species that are superior to dubia that are often overlooked in the hobby... it depends on what you want in a feeder. There are trade-offs between high reproductive rate, high activity, palatability, meat:shell ratio, live-birth vs. oothecae, ability to climb smooth surfaces, ability to fly, etc.
    -Jeff Howell
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  5. #3
    NialR35
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Thanks Jeff!

    I was researching Blaberus discoidalis but can't find any website that sells them.....Do you guys recommend a site for roaches(except Dubias)?

    It kinda sucks that they are not sexually dimorphic because I guess when feeding time comes you can't tell between male or female and you don't want to end up feeding all your females lol...

    My LPS only has something called "Florida broad keys head roach" or something like that....is that among one of the species you suggested? I mainly wanted something as close to Dubias because they cant fly nor climb and reproduce fast enough.

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by NialR35 View Post
    Thanks Jeff!

    I was researching Blaberus discoidalis but can't find any website that sells them.....Do you guys recommend a site for roaches(except Dubias)?

    It kinda sucks that they are not sexually dimorphic because I guess when feeding time comes you can't tell between male or female and you don't want to end up feeding all your females lol...
    I think a lot of B. disoidalis in hobby are actually hybrids of discoids and other Blaberus species. Regardless, they are still great feeders and their overall morphology and reproduction is about the same (if not faster) than pure cultures.

    I've not done any business with FL supplies personally, but happened across this ad on our forum:
    http://www.frogforum.net/sale-trade/...etfeeders.html

    You would need to order from someone who lives in Florida unless a permit for shipping is obtained to my knowledge.

    Also - sexing becomes quite easy with practice = ) I can retrieve some photos when I have more time and teach you to differentiate the sexes. You won't be able to do it easily at a glance, but upon brief inspection of the abdomen you'll be able to sort the sexes with relative ease at feeding time. Also, unless you are feeding large frogs, the adults are impressive in size and you will likely find yourself feeding off nymphs much of the time anyway.
    -Jeff Howell
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    The roach you speak of I believe is Hemiblabera tenbricosa, also called the Horseshoe Crab Roach. They are a Florida native and are therefore acceptable to culture.

    I've not kept them, but I believe they are more often cultured by cockroach hobbyists for display. I'm not sure how prolific they are, but I'm sure they are fine to feed at least.

    If you want more info about them I can contact someone who would definitely know all of the details.
    -Jeff Howell
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Contrary to a lot of the hype, dubia roaches are not an ideal feeder... The problem with dubia and a number of other roach species is that they store urates as a protien source. The highest levels of the urates are found in the males and the growing nymphs. In any case, these urates can impact a number of systems for the frogs..including causing fluid retention, kidney and joint damage... They are acceptable to use as an occasional item, but I strongly suggest not using them as a staple in any herp diet.
    .

    -ED (DENDROBOARD)

  9. #7
    SCF
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ PELCHER View Post
    Contrary to a lot of the hype, dubia roaches are not an ideal feeder... The problem with dubia and a number of other roach species is that they store urates as a protien source. The highest levels of the urates are found in the males and the growing nymphs. In any case, these urates can impact a number of systems for the frogs..including causing fluid retention, kidney and joint damage... They are acceptable to use as an occasional item, but I strongly suggest not using them as a staple in any herp diet.
    .
    Interesting, where was this information found?

  10. #8
    SCF
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    and what is an ideal feeder?

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ PELCHER View Post
    Contrary to a lot of the hype, dubia roaches are not an ideal feeder... The problem with dubia and a number of other roach species is that they store urates as a protien source. The highest levels of the urates are found in the males and the growing nymphs. In any case, these urates can impact a number of systems for the frogs..including causing fluid retention, kidney and joint damage... They are acceptable to use as an occasional item, but I strongly suggest not using them as a staple in any herp diet.
    .
    I personally believe this is an issue with excessive protein in the diet. At some point in time, someone thought (for whatever reason) that cockroaches require a high protein diet. This information perpetuated in the interwebs and I recall many years ago Roach gutloads and various products boasting higher protein content. It seemed that higher protein leads to larger sized adults; but what is not accounted for is the fact that cockroaches are decomposers of detritus in most parts of the world...Carbon-heavy food product.

    Excess protein in a cockroach diet leads to ketone production and uric acid buildup because they simply cannot process an abundance of protein. I've read that diets with <4% protein are ideal for Blatella germanica fitness. If cockroaches are fed a proper diet that is low in protein, the herps and the roaches benefit.
    -Jeff Howell
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreH View Post
    I personally believe this is an issue with excessive protein in the diet. At some point in time, someone thought (for whatever reason) that cockroaches require a high protein diet. This information perpetuated in the interwebs and I recall many years ago Roach gutloads and various products boasting higher protein content. It seemed that higher protein leads to larger sized adults; but what is not accounted for is the fact that cockroaches are decomposers of detritus in most parts of the world...Carbon-heavy food product.

    Excess protein in a cockroach diet leads to ketone production and uric acid buildup because they simply cannot process an abundance of protein. I've read that diets with <4% protein are ideal for Blatella germanica fitness. If cockroaches are fed a proper diet that is low in protein, the herps and the roaches benefit.
    So you are personally debunking this theory on B. Dubia not being an "ideal feeder" ?

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by SCF View Post
    and what is an ideal feeder?
    There is no such thing.

    VARIETY is key to any diet. Feeding a single prey item to any species that is not in itself a specialist will have negative effects with time. Staple feeders like Silkworms, crickets, solider fly larvae, and cockroaches are considered staples because they can be fed safely every single day. With that being said, it is still important to supplement the diet with additional food items to create as much nutritional diversity as possible.

    In the tropics, where many of of herps come from, there is an obscene diversity of insect fauna. Most species are opportunistic and prey upon a wide variety of arthopods and we should try to simulate this as best as possible.
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?


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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    I concur with Jeff 100%!! DO NOT STICK TO ONE FEEDER!! You need to mix it up to give proper amounts of all nutrients. Otherwise i would stick to giving gutloaded crickets with calcium (WITH D3) and vitamin supplements.

  16. #14
    SCF
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Don't get me wrong Corey, i'm not disagreeing with you, i'm looking to enlighten myself further. Dendroboard is not a community of scientists preforming data analysis on a huge variety of feeder insects on a large amount of test species btw.

    I just said this I believe two days ago:

    Re: New baby adspersus. You know you love THEM!

    I'll pm you a complete nutritional composition of feeder vertebrates. Night crawlers/crickets/dubias are three out of the hundred of thousands of acceptable staple insects to feed your captive bred frog. They are just more readily available.

    Edit: you are not wrong in choosing your staples by any means, but there are just vast amounts of insects that are acceptable to feed out cb pets." - end quote.

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/urb...ocs/8Kells.pdf

    Abstract:
    Nutritional status of German cockroaches from the field (HUD apartments) was estimated using uric acid content to measure
    amount of protein consumed, and respiratory quotient (RQ) to measure fat and carbohydrate metabolized. Initial trials demonstrated
    the stability of these two indicators as nymphal cockroaches grow and with timing of meals. Nutrient consumption (and presumed
    availability) was estimated by comparing uric acid content and RQ of nymphal cockroaches collected from kitchens of HUD
    apartments with those reared in the laboratory and provided a series of meridic diets. Uric acid content was linearly related to
    percentage of dietary protein (y=6.2x232.07, r
    2
    =0.96) and RQ was linearly related to log10(% fat:% carbohydrate)
    (y=20.148Log(x)+0.790, r
    2
    =0.68). Field-collected German cockroaches contained 10.97.7 to 22.95.1 g/mg uric acid and RQ of
    0.7700.024 to 0.8030.260. Comparatively, cockroaches provided rodent chow had greater uric acid content (125.19.6 g/mg)
    and RQ (0.8780.022). Employing linear calibration and these regressions, diet consumed by German cockroaches in the field was
    estimated at 73% to 93% protein and equivalent amounts of carbohydrates and fat as an energy source. German cockroaches in
    the field consume less protein and carbohydrates, and more fat compared to those provided a standard laboratory diet such as rodent
    chow. Diet available in the field is considered suboptimal, resulting in physiological stress; the biological implications of this stress
    are discussed."

    Summary: Field-collected cockroachs contained an average of 15g/mg uric acid while those fed a dietary rodent chow had an average of 125g/mg uric acid. Its all in the diet that the roaches are provided.


    Good points to bring to public attention, Corey. It is important that people know to avoid excess protein in the diets of their feeder roaches for the safety of their pets. Sadly, this information is not very widespread past this forum.
    -Jeff Howell
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  19. #16
    NialR35
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    So in other words, all those care sheets/members saying roaches need to eat high protein cat/dog/fish food are wrong?

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Nail...you can have high protein diets for your roaches yes... not a problem...the problem is making roaches a STAPLE DIET and overloading your herp on high protein based foods. It has detrimental effects just like feeding TOO much calcium and vitamins. People will discover this sooner rather than later. Dubias are a great source of nutrition ...but too much of a good thing DOES and WILL carry bad effects.

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by SCF View Post
    Don't get me wrong Corey, i'm not disagreeing with you, i'm looking to enlighten myself further. Dendroboard is not a community of scientists preforming data analysis on a huge variety of feeder insects on a large amount of test species btw.

    I just said this I believe two days ago:

    Re: New baby adspersus. You know you love THEM!

    I'll pm you a complete nutritional composition of feeder vertebrates. Night crawlers/crickets/dubias are three out of the hundred of thousands of acceptable staple insects to feed your captive bred frog. They are just more readily available.

    Edit: you are not wrong in choosing your staples by any means, but there are just vast amounts of insects that are acceptable to feed out cb pets." - end quote.

    (I'm not sure who said this...but "A staple diet is not a very good diet") Just saying, I believe this and will stand by this phrase.
    In a natural environment our beloved herps are not solely basing prey insects based on what species of food they are and what they look like or their nutritional value. They have variety. Some species prefer different items. They are not a koala bears, that solely base their nutrition on one species of plant for survival. For instance, tree frogs will prefer a moth or fly verses a cricket or worm. But they will still eat the cricket /roach because its put in front of them.

    Perfect husbandry does not exist other than the wild. Give your herp a good variety, the results will be rewarding.

  22. #19
    nirotorin
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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Well they say you learn something new every day, and it's true. I had no idea about the whole uric acid, protein, roach thing. I'll be feeding my roaches way less dog food and fish food from now on. Good thing I've always fed my animals a variety of insects.

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    Default Re: What is the BEST roach alternative for B.Dubia roaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ PELCHER View Post
    Nail...you can have high protein diets for your roaches yes... not a problem...the problem is making roaches a STAPLE DIET and overloading your herp on high protein based foods. It has detrimental effects just like feeding TOO much calcium and vitamins. People will discover this sooner rather than later. Dubias are a great source of nutrition ...but too much of a good thing DOES and WILL carry bad effects.
    I agree with you on all but your first statement. I see no problem with feeding high-protein diets to your pet insectivore; its the nature of their diet be relatively high in protein, because insects are naturally protein-rich.

    The concern for feeder cockroaches is entirely in their diet; the gutload. The publication I linked to above found Blatella germanica that had been fed a high-protein rodent lab chow contained nearly 10x the concentration of uric acid than individuals who were field collected. I would even speculate that this species probably feeds on even more proteinaceous food sources than most common feeder species that come from the tropics due to B. germanica's relationship with humans.

    As long as roaches are fed primarily plant and grain based food the concentration of uric acid is minuscule. But regardless, a well-varied diet is the solution to any concern and is what is best for the animal.
    -Jeff Howell
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