Feeder roaches are a popular choice for bearded dragons, geckos, and other reptiles. And with good reason! Roaches are nutritious insects that allow reptiles and other insect-loving pets to practice hunting down prey in a safe environment.
But there are more decisions to be made! Out of the over 4,000 species of cockroaches, four are commonly used as feeder insects. In most cases, we recommend blaptica dubia, or dubia roaches, as the #1 feeder roach. Let’s explore why!
Four Common Types of Feeder Roaches
While there are other types of feeder roaches available, these four are the most common:
- Dubia Roach. Dubia roaches are an excellent choice for feeding to reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, and any other insect-loving pet. In addition to their optimal nutritional profile, dubias have several other qualities that make them loved by pets and owners alike. We’ll talk more about what makes dubias such a great choice below.
- Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Hissing roaches can be a great option for large reptiles. However, our experience has shown that caution is needed when keeping hissing roaches! Unlike dubias, they can climb slick surfaces to escape their containers. Once out, they can continue breeding until you have an infestation on your hands. If you feed hissing cockroaches, we suggest keeping them in a container with a snap-on or locking lid—and exercising great care when handling to avoid escapes.
- Discoid Roach. Discoids are most often used as a substitute for dubias. Why? Because dubias aren’t legal to own in Florida, but discoids are. Additionally, discoid roaches have a very similar nutritional profile and size range to dubias, making them the perfect substitute. However, they are heavier in chitin than dubias, and bearded dragons don’t seem to care for them as much as they love dubia roaches.
- Red Runner Roach. Red Runners are smaller than other types of feeder roaches, and they’re faster too. Some people compare them to crickets due to their speed and ability to jump. Red Runners may be a good option for smaller reptiles who prefer fast prey. Be careful, though: in our experience, red runner roaches are very capable of causing infestations much like hissing cockroaches.
What Makes Dubias the Best Feeder Roaches?
Now that we’ve covered the four most popular choices for feeder roaches, what makes dubias #1?
- Loved by Reptiles. Dubia roaches are well known to instigate the prey drive of even the pickiest of eaters. Does your pet prefer faster prey? Keep the dubias warm before feeding. What if they like slower prey? Just refrigerate a few minutes and they’ll slow down.
- They are nutritious. High in protein, low in fat and chitin, and with an excellent calcium to phosphorus ratio, dubias can’t be beat when it comes to nutrition. We’ve written an article with more details on the nutrition of dubia roaches which you can read here.
- Easy to Find. Some feeder roaches may be difficult to source. Not dubias! Dubia roaches are readily available online and in some pet stores. While there are seasonal fluctuations in dubia roach supply, dubias remain the easiest of the feeder roaches to source.
- Easy to Keep. Dubias can’t fly, can’t climb slick surfaces, and generally don’t breed outside of their enclosure. This means they rarely – if ever – escape, but if they did, you wouldn’t have to worry about an infestation. Dubias also don’t smell, don’t bite, and don’t make noise. To learn more about keeping dubia roaches, read our article on storing dubias here.
Where to Find Dubia Feeder Roaches
Being by far the most popular of feeder roaches, dubias are relatively easy to find.
We provide nutritious and affordable dubia roaches in a wide selection of sizes to the contiguous 48 states (except Florida). Visit our shop, pick out which size your pet eats, and we’ll ship right them out to you – it’s as simple as that!