Species Selection-Cockroaches


A number of different species of cockroach are bred around the world for private and commercial production. Due to the wide range of species bred in captivity, we have provided a brief description of the common species, with links to websites for further information.

Once or twice a year you will want to add additional stock to your collection, to prevent inbreeding.  Ideally you will choose a species which can be easily accessed by local pet stores or commercial breeders.  Below is a summary of the characteristics of some of the most common species:

Dubia Cockroach (Blaptica dubia)

  • An easy and reliable species to breed, and are consequently very popular1.
  • A relatively small cockroach that is suitable to feeding smaller animals1.
  • Slow moving species, which are less shy than other species1
  • Live bearing species1
  • Are poor climbers, and are not good at scaling smooth surfaces1
  • Species is sexually dimorphic, with males having larger wings than the females1
  • Males have shorter lifespans than females1.
  • Require mid humidity levels, however are more tolerable to low humidity most species. They do much better when good moisture is provided1.

Websites with further information:

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphradorhina portentosa)

  • Are a large species that are well suited as feeders for all the larger species of lizards1.
  • Are live bearers, with a gestation period of about 60 days. The nymphs are born about 6mm (1/4 inch) in size with approximately 30 born at one time1.
  • Adults are not aggressive to young. With higher temperatures, the nymphs can reach adult size in about 3 months. With less heat it may take five months or longer1.
  • This species can live and breed 2 to 3 years or longer. Approximately two or three batches of young can be produced each year1.
  • They are good climbers and a barrier cream (Vaseline, Fluon) is required to prevent escapees.
  • Require low to medium humidity.

Websites with further information:

Discoid Cockroaches (Blaberus discoidales)

  • Popular mid-sized cockroach1.
  • Non-climbing, non-flying species that produce live young1.
  • Tropical species, native to northern parts of South America.
  • Shy species1.
  • Substrate is not required, however they enjoy burrowing if substrate if provided1.
  • This species require a good supply of moisture at all times1.
  • Require low to medium humidity.
  • Slow to breed, but productive when there is sufficient breeding adults1

Websites with further information:

Orange Headed Cockroaches (Eublaberus prosticus)

  • Have a bright orange head when they reach adult hood1.
  • Good productive breeders1.
  • Non climbing, non-flying species1
  • Live bearing1
  • Nymphs are a deep red color1.
  • Produce a defensive odor when disturbed.
  • Tropical species, requiring high temperatures1.

Websites with further information:

–         http://www.nyworms.com/dubiacare.htm (information provided above1)

Speckled or Lobster Cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea)

  • Life span approximately 12 months2.
  • Worldwide distribution, original home believed to be East Africa2.
  • Have approximately 26-40 eggs at a time2.
  • Are exceptionally good climbers, being able to scale most surfaces, and often escape without proper barrier creams such as Vaseline or Fluon2.
  • I have found that escapees of this species can establish in houses and sheds. Photo of this species is shown in photo 2.3 below.

Websites with further information:

complete cockroach breeding manual

© Zega Enterprises 2018 , ©  Photographs, diagrams and tables by Glenn Kvassay or as credited 2018