Feeder History: Where Did Dubias Come From?

Connorology

Established Member
When did dubia roaches first become commercially available? And when did they become as widespread as they are now?

I started out keeping reptiles when I was a kid in the late 90's and early to mid 00's. Back then, the insect feeders commercially available were crickets and mealworms, with the occasional superworm. I actually bred hissing cockroaches briefly and fed the nymphs to my lizards, but unlike dubias they proved to be escape artists so I ended up getting rid of the colony. I I sold or re-homed most of my reptile collection when I was in high school, and the only one I kept was my ball python (side note: he turned 23 this year).

When I re-entered the hobby after college (2013) after what felt like a short hiatus, everything was different. The cricket species I used as feeders as a kid had apparently been rendered commercially extinct by a virus and replaced by another similar but slightly different species of cricket (second side note: I wonder how much that screws up nutrition data collected before the switch?). Also, all the stores were selling dubia roaches as alternatives to crickets. I was initially repulsed given my experience with the hissers, but I came to like them substantially more than smelly death prone crickets.

I recently bought the "thoughts for food" book available on this site, and despite a copyright date of 2009 it doesn't even mention dubias, only hissers and death's head roaches. So where did dubias come from? And when did they get so popular?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
When did dubia roaches first become commercially available? And when did they become as widespread as they are now?

I started out keeping reptiles when I was a kid in the late 90's and early to mid 00's. Back then, the insect feeders commercially available were crickets and mealworms, with the occasional superworm. I actually bred hissing cockroaches briefly and fed the nymphs to my lizards, but unlike dubias they proved to be escape artists so I ended up getting rid of the colony. I I sold or re-homed most of my reptile collection when I was in high school, and the only one I kept was my ball python (side note: he turned 23 this year).

When I re-entered the hobby after college (2013) after what felt like a short hiatus, everything was different. The cricket species I used as feeders as a kid had apparently been rendered commercially extinct by a virus and replaced by another similar but slightly different species of cricket (second side note: I wonder how much that screws up nutrition data collected before the switch?). Also, all the stores were selling dubia roaches as alternatives to crickets. I was initially repulsed given my experience with the hissers, but I came to like them substantially more than smelly death prone crickets.

I recently bought the "thoughts for food" book available on this site, and despite a copyright date of 2009 it doesn't even mention dubias, only hissers and death's head roaches. So where did dubias come from? And when did they get so popular?
South America. No idea when they came though.
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
I recently bought the "thoughts for food" book available on this site, and despite a copyright date of 2009 it doesn't even mention dubias, only hissers and death's head roaches. So where did dubias come from? And when did they get so popular?
Thoughts for Food is a great resource but it is missing a couple feeders that have become more popular recently. I believe most of it was written in the late 90's by the CiN generation.
I have a couple versions and the oldest has a copyright of 2000.
 
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