Dubia family story

FaunaBgirl

New Member
Weeks ago, I'd tried to feed Fractal some Dubias. Out of 10 I kept 4 as pets. I really like them. They sleep together in one of the egg carton cubicles religiously. This morning I found that an escapee had made his/her way to the plastic container I keep the four in, crawled underneath exactly where they sleep, and had died, probably of starvation. :{ Broke my heart and showed me how socially tied these little creatures really are. Poor thing......
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's an interesting story. I bet if the one had lived you'd have left it with the others, eh??

Did you know that the hissisng cockroaches will stop hissing when you pick them up once they know who you are?
 

lele

New Member
Fauna - that's neat, albeit sad. Roaches are really cool insects and most species are extremely social. It is too bad they get such a bad rap. I have Cave Roaches as pets (must admit, have fed off a nymph or two and may be selling some off as I have quite a colony going). It got very warm here yesterday and I heard a major racket coming from their tank (they are quite spoiled and live in a 30 gal glass tank with caves, substrate, branches, etc.), which sits under Darwin's tank. Anyway, I am guessing the warm temps got them going because their was one male that was "flying" all over the place (he would climb to a high spot then flap his wings - then crash land! lol!), climbing the walls (they can't climb but he was trying!) Some large nymphs were feeding and they kept running away anytime he came near. Funny, though, all the adults - male and female - were totally ignoring him. Maybe he was a newly shed adult and just feelin' his oats. Always a good idea to have a lid on even if non-climbers. He definitely would have gotten out.

What I like about them, too is that they will sometimes be active during the day so I can watch them feed. They grow pretty fast and reproduce quite readily!

I like the dubia's too. They are pretty and strike me as being more delicate than the discoids and OH's
 

FaunaBgirl

New Member
Absolutely LOVED the buggie stories!. I was like a child reading a favourite book. lol Buggie feeling oats. Hissers up close and personal. You guys make me want more buggies. lol Any day now, I'll have baby mantids everywhere!
But you know, I really do like the Dubias. If anyone wants to send me a few other buggies as pets, I would be exstatic!
Lele, what is the life expectancy of my Dubias? I've had them for almost a couple of months now. How do I sex them?
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I think I read that dubias will reach adult hood at 12 months, then will live another 7-12 months after that. But I'm not sure where I read that and if it is correct. By the way, has anyone fed adult mantids to their cham? I wonder if it is safe?
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Speaking of Dubias...

It's been quite difficult to get them in South Africa, as there aren't very many people breeding them. Luckily my vet is a reptile enthusiast himself, and was able to source a small group of them for me. There were about 10 adults and 10 juveniles in the batch I got (so I know it's going to be a long while before I've got a decent feeder colony going), but as luck would have it, one of the females gave birth during the first week I had them, so there are about 30 babies in there now too.

Anyway, it's winter here now and temps have dropped quite a bit, so I put a heat pad on one side of their container to get a decent gradient going. It's low 70's on the cool side, and high 80's on the other side now.

My question is this: how much are these guys supposed to be eating? Because my roaches are not eating very much. In comparison to the crickets I keep, they hardly eat at all. I've given them pretty much the same diet as the crickets (dry gutload mix, fresh carrots, squash, oranges, green leaves like pak-choi, even bananas), but nothing seems to get them worked up.

When I put food like that in for the crickets, they're all over it. I know the roaches are more shy - they probably only come out to the food under the cover of darkness - but even so, I don't see the leaves or fruits devoured in the same way that they are after crickets have been at them.

In over 5 weeks now, none of the older ones have died, and the babies seem to be growing ok, but I just can't seem to find much evidence of them eating.
Do I need to push the temps up more?
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Oh, and btw, the Dubias are cute little buggers. :)
I can see that it's going to be hard for me to feed them off one day...
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I've found that dubia will usually eat more when the temps are up. They become more active. Also the cover of darkness helps too.
 

FaunaBgirl

New Member
Oh, and btw, the Dubias are cute little buggers. :)
I can see that it's going to be hard for me to feed them off one day...
HA! That's another one of us that love our buggies, yeah? In what medium were they comfortable laying eggs? I have four and none have made me a grandma yet. :{
Lele Send me a female!!! I think I have all guys!
 

FaunaBgirl

New Member
Oh stop this... I already let all my carefully nutured mantids go....
Ha! You're not fooling me... you let the mantids go to clean the aphids off your roses! lol AND so that they will become big and hang egg cases all over the place for next year! <G>
Now come on... get some dubia buggies and fall in love like the rest of us. :D
 

Gizmo

New Member
Ha! You're not fooling me... you let the mantids go to clean the aphids off your roses! lol AND so that they will become big and hang egg cases all over the place for next year! <G>
Now come on... get some dubia buggies and fall in love like the rest of us. :D
Welll...not exactly. At the risk of publicly humiliating myself, here's a note I sent to another rose-growing cham keeper:
I've heard over and over again how much chams -- especially little ones -- love praying mantis: "Like candy -- chams devour them!", delighted a knowledgeable poster on the boards. So I ordered some oothecas on ebay, and when one of them finally started to hatch I happily distributed the 200+ emerging nymphs among my three cages. Only, turns out none of my chams is interested in eating praying mantis. Also turns out that most of the mantids have had no trouble escaping my cages, either through the screen mesh or right out the door when I go in to clean -- although some are so unthreatened they're staying voluntarily, catching the odd gnat. I now have several dozen free ranging mantids in my office, along with a foraging column of ants that extends from the window casing to the schefflera plants. Wouldn't it be nice if the mantids that I got for the chams that don't want them at least ate the ants? But no, seems mantids aren't interested in ants. Okay, no problem: When the remaining ooths started hatching I ordered pinhead crickets to feed the mantids. But the crickets were shipped late, so in the meantime, I let this year's bumper crop of aphids have their way with my roses (this is the part only YOU would understand) so that I can pinch off promising buds-covered-in-aphids to feed the mantids that it turns out the chameleons aren't interested in. But the baby mantids aren't sure about the aphids, either. Happily, the pinheads arrive at about the halfway point in mantid cannabilization, but hubby mistakes them for ants and I come home to discover that he's dumped half the mantid containers outside because "they were ant-infested". Back inside, several hundred freshly laid silkworm eggs suddenly turn grey and hatch before I can get 'em dated and in the fridge. I know -- I'll feed the surplus to my remaining mantids! But... baby mantids don't seem to like silkworms, either -- they like their little "ant"-crickets, most have which have been liberated.
So tomorrow I will give the remaining ooths to the neighbor girls for a science project, learn whether cardinals like silkworms, and make war on aphids, LOL. "I never thought I'd come to this". Baby cham's nickname: Alfie.

As for the Dubias, I did, and I did-- they were wonderful. Only....well, my husband is a Virgo, and I was not as successful as you were in finding secure hiding. They are now living with another hobbyist.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
HA! That's another one of us that love our buggies, yeah? In what medium were they comfortable laying eggs? I have four and none have made me a grandma yet. :{
Lele Send me a female!!! I think I have all guys!
I don't use any substrate. At first I used oatmeal, but it turned out to be a real mess to clean up. Now there is nothing on the floor and I just glued 4 egg cartons together. I lay the egg cartons on their side and put a info red heat lamp on top of the box. Dubia give live births and don't lay any eggs. Sometimes I will see a little family sleeping in one of the grooves of the egg carton. The males have wings and the females just look like larg/shiny nymphs. I started out with a colony of 40 three months ago and now I have around 100.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
In what medium were they comfortable laying eggs?
Marc has already said it - Dubias don't lay eggs. One day you'll notice a plump female adult, and the next day you'll have little roaches (a little smaller than M&M's) running around... (I can't verify this, but it seemed to me that they spent their first few days following their mother around).

Interestingly though, after giving birth is when a substrate can come in handy. I was told the babies feel more comfortable scurrying around amongst wood chips, rather than out in the open. So I have crates set up on one side where the adults spend most of their time, and I have wood chips scattered on the other side, where the food "dishes" are situated.

I agree that any other type of substrate would create unnecessary maintenance.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I think tyger is right about the babies following the mother around. Today I cleaned my tank and found a couple of mothers sharing a crater in a egg carton with the little ones. It was like the mother was guarding them.
 

FaunaBgirl

New Member
Leslie... You got the major buggie run around. lol What a story!!! I loved it. I got 3 mantis sacs, put one outside in the roses, one in Fractal's cage and I believe that I accidently threw the other away doing fast cleaning the other day. :{ The one in Fractal's cage keeps getting wet. hm? The weather keeps changing outside. But I think I'm not going to have such good luck either. I was going to get some wingless fruit flies to feed the mantids, but..... I just ordered silk worms from Pam's chams. lol
Thanks guys on the Dubia lowdown.I'll set up better. Maybe I have all females? All I know is nothing is happening and it's been two months. My guys aren't much bigger than plain m&ms anyway.
Anymore buggie stories?
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
It's kinda hard to tell if you have male or female until they are full grown. When they go through their last shed, some will have wings and some won't. The males have wings. Also adults will have shiny bodies.
 

FaunaBgirl

New Member
Dubia family story twist

Suddenly, this morning out of nowhere, there is a new buggie in the critter keeper where I have the four (must be) female Dubias. It's a male, I believe. I have a picture to send to anyone interested in checking this for me. I like how these escapee bugs climb into my keepers.
 
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