You may have enjoyed watching your beardie or other reptile scarf down feeder dubias. But did you know that dubia roaches are fascinating creatures in themselves? In this blog, we’ll explore five weird and fascinating dubia roach facts that are sure to amaze your friends and leave them with a newfound appreciation for these remarkable creatures.

So sit back, grab a snack, and get ready to be amazed by the incredible world of Dubia roaches. Weird dubia roach facts? We got ’em!

Which of These 5 Dubia Roach Facts Will Surprise You?

Dubia Fact #1: Dubia Roaches are Sexually Dimorphic.

While this may sound kind of kinky, it’s really not. It just means that female and male dubia roaches look very different from one another. There are a few differences, but the most obvious is that male dubias have wings, while females don’t. This of course makes them very easy to tell apart—a real advantage if you ever want to try breeding dubia roaches!

Adult male dubia roach
One of our adult male dubia roaches. Compare to the adult females in the header photo.

Dubia Fact #2: Dubia Roaches Give Live Birth

Most insects have a four stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. This process of insect growth is called complete metamorphosis.

However, dubia roaches are hemimetabolous, which means they have incomplete metamorphosis. Instead of four life stages, hemimetabolous insects have only three: egg, nymph, and adult. Dubia roach nymphs go through a series of molts before they become sexually mature and are ready to start the cycle over again.

But wait! What about the live birth?

Dubias, like many cockroach species, are ovoviviparous. This means that instead of laying their eggs outside the body, their eggs develop within an egg sac or pouch (called an ootheca) within the mother’s body. A female dubia will typically give birth to between 20 to 40 babies at a time (sometimes more), with a gestation period of about six weeks.

Here are some additional dubia roach facts we’ve observed regarding live birth:

You can tell when a mother dubia is about to give birth because the ootheca will start to protrude from her abdomen. Some online sources claim that newborn dubia roach nymphs will cling to the mother for a couple of days before fending for themselves. We haven’t observed this to be the case in our colonies.

Typically, we’ll see the tiny dubia nymphs crawling around on their own, and have never noticed any “motherly” behavior from the females once she is done giving birth.

female dubia with egg case
Female dubia with ootheca (egg case) exposed.

Dubia Fact #3: Dubia Roaches Can Survive Without Thier Heads

This is one of our favorite weird dubia roach facts.

Dubia roaches have a decentralized nervous system, which means that their nerve cells are spread throughout their body, rather than being concentrated in their head like most other animals. As a result, some bodily functions like breathing and movement can continue even after the head has been removed.

When a Dubia roach’s head is removed, it can still move its legs and even walk for a short time. This is because the leg movements are controlled by ganglia (clusters of nerve cells) located in each segment of the roach’s body. The roach’s heart, which is also controlled by ganglia, can continue to beat for several days after the head is removed.

The fact that Dubia roaches (like nearly all roaches) can survive for a period of time without a head is well-documented in the scientific literature. Here are a few reputable sources:

  1. A study published in The American Naturalist found that Dubia roaches can survive for several weeks without a head. The study observed the behavior of headless Dubia roaches and found that they were still able to walk, fly short distances, and respond to stimuli like touch and light.
  2. An article in The Journal of Experimental Zoology reported that Dubia roaches can survive for up to 10 days without a head. The article described the physiological changes that occur in headless roaches and noted that they are still able to move, feed, and even groom themselves, although their behavior is altered.
  3. Another study published in The Journal of Insect Physiology found that headless Dubia roaches are able to regulate their water balance and maintain their hemolymph (blood-like fluid) composition. The study concluded that Dubia roaches are able to survive for up to a week without a head due to their ability to maintain homeostasis.

These studies provide strong evidence that Dubia roaches are able to survive for a period of time without a head, thanks to their unique adaptations and ability to maintain physiological balance.

However, a Dubia roach without a head cannot eat or drink, and will eventually die from dehydration or starvation. So while they may be able to survive for a short period without their head, it is not a sustainable way of life!

Dubia Fact #4: Dubias Are A Great Source of Protein

Doubtless you already know that Dubia roaches are one of the best food sources for bearded dragons and many other animals because they are so high in protein. In fact, they contain more protein than many other commonly used feeder insects like crickets.

And if you keep chickens, take note: dubias can be used as a substitute for soybean meal in poultry feed. Chickens love them!

But with all the attention insect protein is getting worldwide, you might be wondering: “are dubia roaches humanly edible?”

To which we will be quick to reply: Don’t ask us! (Although we have been told by more adventurous souls that they are good fried in peanut oil.)

Seriously, we personally have no interest in trying them. If you do, that’s up to you – but let it be known that we sell dubias as animal feed only! (However, if you insist, you may wish to heed the advice of this article – containing some very interesting dubia roach facts regarding food hygiene – and thoroughly cook your roaches before tasting them.) 😆

dubia flatware

Dubia Fact #5: Dubia Roaches Are Not Considered Pests

Unlike many other species of roaches, Dubia roaches are not considered a pest. Dubias are actually quite clean and don’t carry disease like some other roaches. Check out our previous article, Dubia Roaches vs. Cockroaches, for 5 good reasons dubias don’t normally cause infestations or pest control problems. (Thank goodness, eh?)

The Incredible, Edible Dubia (at least for your beardie…) 😛

While they may not be the most glamorous of creatures, Dubia roaches are known for their unique adaptations and impressive abilities. Dubia roaches are a fascinating and often misunderstood species of roach that have become increasingly popular in recent years as a food source for reptiles and other animals.

From their ability to give live birth to their impressive protein content, we hope these five dubia roach facts have given you a new perspective on these often-overlooked insects.

Enjoy These Dubia Roach Facts? Be Sure to Tell a Friend.

If you are weird enough to enjoy reading all these bizarre dubia roach facts, you’re our kind of person. And we bet your friends are too. Especially if they keep reptiles or other exotic pets.

And if they do, why not send ’em on over and test their knowledge of dubia roach facts as well?

While you’re at it, let them know that they can save 10% on their first order of dubia roaches simply by signing up for our free e-newsletter.

Tell ’em if they order more than one unit of dubias they’ll qualify for an automatic multi-unit discount of up to 10% on top of it.

And, they can continue to save more with every order through our customer loyalty program.

We can hear them thanking you already!