When purchasing dubia roaches it’s important to understand what the dubia roach life cycle looks like. How long will a dubia roach stay small? How fast do they age? How long before dubias can start breeding?

Knowing the different stages in the dubia roach life cycle allows you to make more informed decisions. Most dubias are bred to be used as feeders, and feeders need to be within a safe size range for our pets. 

Maybe you’re looking to buy in bulk, but want to make sure you have enough time to use every dubia. Or perhaps you’re looking to start your own colony and want to know what to expect as a timeline. Establishing a colony doesn’t happen overnight!

A Quick Overview of the Dubia Life Cycle

Below is a simplified version of the dubia roach life cycle. But don’t worry! We’ll be going into more detail. This is more of a quick reference guide.

  • Mating occurs between a male and female dubia.
  • The female incubates the eggs for 28 days.
  • The eggs hatch as nymphs (young or baby dubias) and the female gives birth.
  • 4-6 months later the nymphs mature into adults.
    • The maturation process takes 7 instars.
  • The adult roaches will then live for 1.5-2 years.

The Dubia Roach Breeding Cycle 

Dubia roaches have an interesting breeding cycle. The females are ovoviviparous, which means they lay eggs, but incubate them internally. The eggs will hatch inside of the female after about 28 days. She will then give birth to live young. 

Another 28 days later and the female will be ready to breed again. Depending on when a female dubia matures and how long she lives you can expect around 10-14 months of breeding. She will be ready to breed within 5 days after maturing. Male dubias are ready to breed as soon as they mature.

Keeping the warm end of your dubia container in the range of 80-90F will help encourage breeding behavior. And faster growth for nymphs and sub-adults, too!

On average a female dubia will give birth to 15-40 nymphs at a time. That’s a lot of baby dubias! Depending on how many mature dubias you start with it won’t take too long to get a colony growing. The dubia roach life cycle is quite an efficient one. 

A ratio of 3:1 females to males is common in the industry. The ratio can go all the way up to 7:1, it just depends on preference and how territorial the males get. If you want to learn more about breeding dubias and building a colony check out our blog on starting your own dubia colony!

From Nymphs To Maturity To The End

Dubia roaches can live for 1.5-2 years, with females living longer than males on average. The first 4 or so months are spent in the nymph to sub-adult phase. A newborn nymph will be around ⅛”. They’ll also be white! Any time a dubia roach molts they’re very soft and vulnerable and it takes a few hours for their coloring to settle.

A nymph will take 7 instars to mature into an adult in the dubia roach life cycle. An instar is the stage between molts; each molt will increase the roaches’ size by 125%. Below is a guide for when to expect each instar and around what size the roach should be. 

  1. 3 weeks – ¼”
  2. 5 weeks – ⅜”
  3. 7 weeks – ½”
  4. 10 weeks – ⅝”
  5. 13 weeks – ¾”
  6. 15 weeks – 1”
  7. 20 weeks – 1 ½”

Not all dubias will be the same, so expect some variance in your roaches. The temperature in the enclosure and the types of food they eat can affect the speed of their growth. 

Generally, to slow them down, cool them down. Warm them up to speed them up! We go into more detail in our past blog, “Breeding Dubia Roaches: How to Achieve the Perfect Size for Your Pet.”

You’ll be able to tell your dubias are reaching the end of the dubia roach life cycle when the rate of breeding slows down. This is a good sign to start introducing new mature adults into the colony.

Start Your Own Dubia Colony Today

Here at The Bug Shed we understand the value of keeping your own roach colony. If you need mature breeders to start a new colony or to add young adults to an existing colony, you can find them available in our shop

And if you would prefer to not maintain a colony? That’s okay! We have a variety of dubias for sale to meet all needs.