Feeder Roach Review - Banana, Red Runner, Lobster, and Dubia

OldWorldChams

Member
Site Sponsor
Over the past few years I have experimented with colonies of Green Banana Roaches, Red Runner Roaches, Lobster Roaches, and Dubia Roaches to feed my chameleons. I am curious if anyone else's experience with these has been similar or different. Let me know, and thanks for looking!
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Morpheo's Mom

Established Member
While I have absolutely no experience in breeding roach colonies I found reading your blog very interesting. It is great you are actively looking for various nutritional bugs to feed your chams. Whether you keep a colony or not, I am certain it is beneficial to their diet. Your blog reinforces dubia are the go-to roach!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a similar experience with green bananas, except they're easy to catch with the cork flats I put on top of the soil in their bin (gasket sealed and the holes in the lid are doubled screened). They don't climb to escape in my case, they prefer to burrow into the soil. They do take a while to grow, but mine have bred pretty well. I don't use heat to aid in growth and prolifency, just a deep moist bioactive substrate with sphagnum moss, leaf litter, and cork flats on top. I still keep them because resale is good, and my chams have always loved them as special treats! Plus my frog can take the babies, too.

I seem to have the exact opposite experience of you with red runners, I absolutely LOVE them! They're extremely prolific, and all of my chams (past and present, except for one) have these as one of their top favorites! The red seems to motivate them more, not less, like in your case. They're a great "staple", a great cricket alternative, and/or a great thing to try for more variety! I keep them gasket sealed because I live in Houston, where they breed without added heat or substrate (though I've kept them bioactively for a while now). I've never had any males flutter. I'm always careful when taking them out and always wear old tennis shoes when doing so (not that I'm barefoot when handling bugs anyway). If one escapes, I almost never pick it up in time, so the old tennis shoes are on to crush/kill it before it can escape. If legal in their area, people should definitely try these guys if comfortable with them!

I don't even mess with lobster roaches. I've had a few hitchhikers in orders, and they're so fast when climbing and/or running, it's not even funny!

While most people and their chams love dubias, my chams have never liked them, except for the one that didn't like red runners, and he only took adult male dubias. They're extremely slow, almost looking dead when in a feeder, and extremely clumsy. They breed without substrate and without heat for me, plus they don't stink, so they're great for people to at least try if legal in their area.

Edit: none of my other roach colonies stink either, it's just a point on dubias for some reason. The only feeders that have ever stunk for me are crickets when the bins have gone to long without cleaning
 
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OldWorldChams

Member
Site Sponsor
I have a similar experience with green bananas, except they're easy to catch with the cork flats I put on top of the soil in their bin (gasket sealed and the holes in the lid are doubled screened). They don't climb to escape in my case, they prefer to burrow into the soil. They do take a while to grow, but mine have bred pretty well. I don't use heat to aid in growth and prolifency, just a deep moist bioactive substrate with sphagnum moss, leaf litter, and cork flats on top. I still keep them because resale is good, and my chams have always loved them as special treats! Plus my frog can take the babies, too.

I seem to have the exact opposite experience of you with red runners, I absolutely LOVE them! They're extremely prolific, and all of my chams (past and present, except for one) have these as one of their top favorites! The red seems to motivate them more, not less, like in your case. They're a great "staple", a great cricket alternative, and/or a great thing to try for more variety! I keep them gasket sealed because I live in Houston, where they breed without added heat or substrate (though I've kept them bioactively for a while now). I've never had any males flutter. I'm always careful when taking them out and always wear old tennis shoes when doing so (not that I'm barefoot when handling bugs anyway). If one escapes, I almost never pick it up in time, so the old tennis shoes are on to crush/kill it before it can escape. If legal in their area, people should definitely try these guys if comfortable with them!

I don't even mess with lobster roaches. I've had a few hitchhikers in orders, and they're so fast when climbing and/or running, it's not even funny!

While most people and their chams love dubias, my chams have never liked them, except for the one that didn't like red runners, and he only took adult male dubias. They're extremely slow, almost looking dead when in a feeder, and extremely clumsy. They breed without substrate and without heat for me, plus they don't stink, so they're great for people to at least try if legal in their area.

Edit: none of my other roach colonies stink either, it's just a point on dubias for some reason. The only feeders that have ever stunk for me are crickets when the bins have gone to long without cleaning
Wow, that's interesting! I wish I had the same experience with Red Runners. Perhaps I didn't give my chameleons enough of a chance to acclimate to the change from Dubias. The screen cages I use (exo Terra or Reptibreeze) are not a perfect seal and while the adult Red Runners cannot escape, if the females were to lay a cocoon, the baby red runners would no problem bypassing the security. That's why I was always cautious with them.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Gian green bananers....

No one at the green ones! However, the growing chams/frillies/beardies LOVED the nymphs. Them things were a direct cricket replacement. Them things never stopped moving, unlike a dubia. I raised a frilly for several months off of just green(well they are blackish) nymphs. Also managed to sell enough giant greens to buy a blendtech to make veggy cubes :p
 

OldWorldChams

Member
Site Sponsor
Gian green bananers....

No one at the green ones! However, the growing chams/frillies/beardies LOVED the nymphs. Them things were a direct cricket replacement. Them things never stopped moving, unlike a dubia. I raised a frilly for several months off of just green(well they are blackish) nymphs. Also managed to sell enough giant greens to buy a blendtech to make veggy cubes :p
Hey, that’s awesome!
Can you post a pic of your green banana roach setup or describe how you were successful breeding them?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow, that's interesting! I wish I had the same experience with Red Runners. Perhaps I didn't give my chameleons enough of a chance to acclimate to the change from Dubias. The screen cages I use (exo Terra or Reptibreeze) are not a perfect seal and while the adult Red Runners cannot escape, if the females were to lay a cocoon, the baby red runners would no problem bypassing the security. That's why I was always cautious with them.
I either hand feed (rarely with these guys) or use The Shooting Gallery. There haven't been any escapees doing these. One of my previous chams came to me with tongue issues and used the dispoable no escape feeder dishes with the separate clear rim to hunt down his own food. Sometimes the roaches would use him to climb out of there, but they never left the cage. Plus none of the roaches, no matter the lifestage, could escape out of my drainage system, which was the only way out of the cage anyway.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a similar experience with green bananas, except they're easy to catch with the cork flats I put on top of the soil in their bin (gasket sealed and the holes in the lid are doubled screened). They don't climb to escape in my case, they prefer to burrow into the soil. They do take a while to grow, but mine have bred pretty well. I don't use heat to aid in growth and prolifency, just a deep moist bioactive substrate with sphagnum moss, leaf litter, and cork flats on top. I still keep them because resale is good, and my chams have always loved them as special treats! Plus my frog can take the babies, too.

I seem to have the exact opposite experience of you with red runners, I absolutely LOVE them! They're extremely prolific, and all of my chams (past and present, except for one) have these as one of their top favorites! The red seems to motivate them more, not less, like in your case. They're a great "staple", a great cricket alternative, and/or a great thing to try for more variety! I keep them gasket sealed because I live in Houston, where they breed without added heat or substrate (though I've kept them bioactively for a while now). I've never had any males flutter. I'm always careful when taking them out and always wear old tennis shoes when doing so (not that I'm barefoot when handling bugs anyway). If one escapes, I almost never pick it up in time, so the old tennis shoes are on to crush/kill it before it can escape. If legal in their area, people should definitely try these guys if comfortable with them!

I don't even mess with lobster roaches. I've had a few hitchhikers in orders, and they're so fast when climbing and/or running, it's not even funny!

While most people and their chams love dubias, my chams have never liked them, except for the one that didn't like red runners, and he only took adult male dubias. They're extremely slow, almost looking dead when in a feeder, and extremely clumsy. They breed without substrate and without heat for me, plus they don't stink, so they're great for people to at least try if legal in their area.

Edit: none of my other roach colonies stink either, it's just a point on dubias for some reason. The only feeders that have ever stunk for me are crickets when the bins have gone to long without cleaning
Pretty much how I feel about all of these. Lobsters are very nice soft feeders and will not cross a vaseline barrier so you can make a feeder cup with Vaseline on the edge if you wanted to use them. I will admit, they’re a little scary with their ability to rapidly reproduce and tiny nymphs that can climb.

I’ve bred 50+ species of roaches and many other invertebrates as a small side business/hobby/feeders when I had a spot for it.

Of everything I’ve tried some of my favorites as feeders are pantanal roaches(or any eublaberus), ember roaches(very active soft feeders, nymphs don’t climb), Halloween/dwarf hissers, and the blaberus species. Dubia are nice if your animal will eat them, but are probably one of the least enticing of all the roaches. Giant banana roaches make nice feeders, but are tough to keep contained at times lol. Regular bananas are a little easier, but tiny.
 

OldWorldChams

Member
Site Sponsor
Pretty much how I feel about all of these. Lobsters are very nice soft feeders and will not cross a vaseline barrier so you can make a feeder cup with Vaseline on the edge if you wanted to use them. I will admit, they’re a little scary with their ability to rapidly reproduce and tiny nymphs that can climb.

I’ve bred 50+ species of roaches and many other invertebrates as a small side business/hobby/feeders when I had a spot for it.

Of everything I’ve tried some of my favorites as feeders are pantanal roaches(or any eublaberus), ember roaches(very active soft feeders, nymphs don’t climb), Halloween/dwarf hissers, and the blaberus species. Dubia are nice if your animal will eat them, but are probably one of the least enticing of all the roaches. Giant banana roaches make nice feeders, but are tough to keep contained at times lol. Regular bananas are a little easier, but tiny.
I just ordered some pantanal roaches to try! Thanks for your comment.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
*casually tosses small lobster roach colony* if I would’ve known the chance of infestation with them I woulda never got them plus my chameleons don’t take interest I’ll stick with Kenyan and dubia with discoid and bananas as a treat
Wow I always knew chams to love lobster roaches. If you want to keep them, put a Vaseline barrier, they won’t cross it. Infestation risk is pretty low still, but yeah be careful lol. Probably wouldn’t cause a full blown infestation, but could last for a while.

Oh and I like red runners a lot too. They can’t climb and are almost like crickets with how they move and act.
 
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