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Cockroaches as pets!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've got some Giant Cave Cockroaches as pets. They are probably second in popularity to the Hisser Roaches.

Adults are usually longer than hissers, but hissers weigh more.

The adults sometimes fly too (more often males), but males are very aggressive in this species and if there are too few males they will rip each others legs/wings off, sometimes leading to death. More males = less individual males to target, but too many is also bad, there should always be more females. The females are docile.

From baby roach to adult takes 1 year to mature, pretty long for a roach! They also breed slower than hissers. They can live at least 1 year after becoming an adult, but 2-3 years is not unheard of.

Mine live in a 20 gallon tank with lots of wood to climb on, adults like to climb, babies like to burrow under the substrate.

Here is a picture of one of my females.


And here's how to sex them.

http://www.phasmidsincyberspace.com/...ckroaches.html

AND, a video I made a while ago of some live roaches performing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSZj-bWvPxU

Lots to talk about!
post #2 of 22
oh my! nice idea if you like that sort of thing! i can't even look around zoo's, that have a bugs section! i hate them, & i can't believe i used to share a house with a tarantula, i hate bugs sooo much!

sorry, am easily creeped out by all bugs!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
LOL thats ok alot of people are creeped out by bugs. I'm just not one of them.
post #4 of 22
that's cool! if everyone was the same, then the world would be a very boring place
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
If you've got any questions about this type of cockroach as a pet ask away!
post #6 of 22
OMG If I saw that thing I would

At least they are in a tank though

It is kinda cool looking...
post #7 of 22
There she is I just love her coloring!

Why do you have this animal as a pet? Do their colors change over a lifetime? How do you keep the balance to minimize male aggression? Trial and error? What do you feed them?

Edit: love the video their own little house!
post #8 of 22
I think I'm going to cry

But that's really neat all the same Exactly how big are they? The pic makes her look like she is huge!! Can you actually handle them and uh, pet them?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Why do you have this animal as a pet?


Easy to care for, one of the biggest roach species in the world, fun to watch them grow.


Do their colors change over a lifetime?

Once they are adults, no, but as babies they look like this. Like little trilobites as babies. Young ones are the ones with no wings.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/topquark22/386190785/

How do you keep the balance to minimize male aggression?
I think have 10 females for every 2 males. So 30 females would have 6 males with them. Once they get pregnant each female can have at least
30 babies. You do the math, it wont take long till you have alot of cockroaches!

Offcourse if you want them as pets you dont have to have male and female, I only purchased females, so no breeding.

What do you feed them?

Just a few things, dry dog/cat kibble, romaine lettuce,apples,bananas, cooked hamburger meat,potatoes,carrots,cheerios,etc...

They can grow up to 90mm long, thats almost 4 inches long!

They can be handled, they dont bite, but have spines on the legs, so dont grab them hard. Males MAY fly off your hand in warm weather, but only for a few seconds.

If they escape in your house they will die, and the cold will kill them.
post #10 of 22
Eek eek eek!!. I'm not one for bugs of any sort, but she's a lovely colour though
post #11 of 22
Thats one cool looking cockroach! Never seen that type of coloring before
You'll have to post some more photos of them someday
post #12 of 22
Yay! Someone else who shares my love of "creepy crawlies".I have always wanted hissers,but we cannot get them here.I would have to have them shipped.I am thinking about it,but waiting till it is warmer out.

Very nice looking roaches.Where did you get yours???
What kind of enclosure do they need? Do they need an UTH or anything like that?
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
I ordered mine online, which can be risky if they send the wrong species or send you sick roaches. Both happen as breeders have literally hundreds of roaches in a tank, alot die off. As babies this species looks similar to 3 smaller species! Only when they are adults are they easy to tell apart due to there large size.

They cost about $3-5 U.S. dollars each! But in bulk the prices go down.

You can order them in the winter but must purchase a heat pack with the order. It keeps them warm for at least 2-3 days it takes for shipping. It doesnt cost much extra mabye $2-3 dollars.

I got mine from here, he's a good breeder and you can see there are over 40 different breeds of pet roaches!
http://www.blaberus.com/FORMgallery2.htm

Scroll down and look for the species Blaberus giganteus (a.k.a. giant cave roach).


I keep mine in a 20 gallon tank with lots of wooden climbing places, and the fake logs for the nymphs to hide under. Adults MUST be able to climb to shed properly, or they can die. Height is more important than width of the climbing area. You can use peat moss or fir wood chips (purchased in pet store) for the substrate (lining of the cage bottom) But peat moss molds easily so I use the wood chips.

I mist their cage gently with water each night before I feed them. Humidity also helps with better shedding.

I have no light for them, besides cockroaches hate the light they hide from it. Just keep them in a warm room and they are fine.
post #14 of 22
Cool! Thank you for the info!
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
If you have any more questions feel free to ask!
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
If anybody was watching last night (Tuesday, Feb 5) the Jay Leno show had lots of cool spiders and insects, and one of the cockroaches they had was the type I have!

Jay was getting nervous because it was "scurrying" fast across the table.

They also had a massive burrowing cockroach from Australia on too!
post #17 of 22
Darn! I usually watch Leno but fell asleep early. Will have to catch the rerun.
post #18 of 22
I missed it! I don't watch that show,but that sounds like an episode I would love to see!
post #19 of 22
Neat, I didn't know that cockroaches could come different varieties like this. The colouring is quite pretty.

Here's some questions for you! How often do they shed, and what is the point of them shedding? Is it like a snake when there's a leftover skin when they're done? Do you have to clean out their tank a lot because of this?
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
How often do they shed, and what is the point of them shedding? Is it like a snake when there's a leftover skin when they're done?

Mine shed depending on how warm it was, in warmer weather it could be as often as once every 2 months, in winter sometimes it took 3 months.

Shedding is how they grow. The old skin comes off whole (so it looks like a dead cockroach!), and underneath there body is larger in size. They expand a little once they shed, so there bigger than before they shed.

Do you have to clean out their tank a lot because of this?

Usually no, because alot of times roaches eat there shed skin for added nutrients. You hardly ever find a whole skin in a roach colony.

Here is what a roach looks like after it sheds, the old skin is on top. The roach is pure white and soft, but darkens and hardens after a day. People mistake newly shed roaches for albinos, but they are not albino.

post #21 of 22
I saw the show the other night, I was actually chatting with my mom on the phone and she was watching it -and getting very grossed out.

I don't believe I would ever keep them as "pets". It would be conflict of interests - I plan to eventually breed some, maybe blaptica dubia, as feeders. But who knows? maybe I'll get hooked on them and want one of the larger more exotic species.

Do the ones you keep have a strong defensive odor?
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
If you pick them up they release a foul smelling odor, but only for a few seconds.

Dubia are much easier to raise then these and breed alot quicker.
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