hypothetical roach breeding question

javsto

New Member
I was wondering how much time I would need to breed some dubia roach feeders BEFORE I were to purchase a chameleon? Whats a good quantitiy of feeders to have for a 3-6 month old cham, (either a carpet, vieled, jacksons or panther)? Is 5-10 breeding females to every male a good amount or too small/too high?
 

jdog1027

Established Member
It takes a little time to get a colony going good. I would say get them 4-5 months before you get a chameleon. In that amount of time, you should have a few different sizes mixed together. If I were you, I would go for more like 50 females/10 males. They aren't super prolific breeders like a cricket- A female will have anywhere from 20-40 every 5-6 weeks or so. It takes them about 6-8 months to fully mature, so 3 months after some hatch, they might be about anywhere from 3/4" to 1" long. Also keep in mind, I've got some chameleons that won't touch them. I've got one K. multituberculata that will attack them, and one that looks at me like I'm crazy when I put one in his cage- same species, completely different personalities.
 

javsto

New Member
It takes a little time to get a colony going good. I would say get them 4-5 months before you get a chameleon. In that amount of time, you should have a few different sizes mixed together. If I were you, I would go for more like 50 females/10 males. They aren't super prolific breeders like a cricket- A female will have anywhere from 20-40 every 5-6 weeks or so. It takes them about 6-8 months to fully mature, so 3 months after some hatch, they might be about anywhere from 3/4" to 1" long. Also keep in mind, I've got some chameleons that won't touch them. I've got one K. multituberculata that will attack them, and one that looks at me like I'm crazy when I put one in his cage- same species, completely different personalities.
Thats an important part of my question, which chams are more partial to roaches as opposed to other types of feeders. what is the more common name of "K. multituberculata"?
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have panthers that like them, panthers that dont. Indeed I have brother males, one of which likes them and one of which appears to be afraid of them. Every chameleon is different.
 

jdog1027

Established Member
Thats an important part of my question, which chams are more partial to roaches as opposed to other types of feeders. what is the more common name of "K. multituberculata"?
West Usambara 2-horned chameleon- also called Fischers chameleon
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
I give mine several months to get going after sorting out enough adults into a new colony.

I don't like feeding out of a new colony until I am sure I have babies from starting adults turning into adults themselves. I guess I just see that as insurance that I'm not going to end up feeding off all the young before I get the new generation of adults.

I start new colonies with hundreds, maybe thousands of adults.

I have found them easier to care for when you have more, rather than less. Roaches control their ambient humidity by gathering together and breathing- more roaches make that easier for them to do.

Thats an important part of my question, which chams are more partial to roaches as opposed to other types of feeders. what is the more common name of "K. multituberculata"?
I've kept lots of different cham species over the years, as well as dozens of other insect eating lizards. All of them eat whatever I offer.
 

javsto

New Member
Dubias:

That's a post by Maurer3D... it should answer your questions
so aside from this link, maurer just uses egg cartons for the roaches to live/breed in but once the eggs are laid, do they need to be moved to some sort of substrate at anytime either before or after hatching, some sort of potting soil or aspen bedding or just leave them in the egg crates for thier entire life time?
 

Maurer3D

New Member
Dubias:

That's a post by Maurer3D... it should answer your questions
Thankyou for remembering my post :)

I do about 30 female and 6 male roaches per chameleon. This allows you to have extras to eventually (3 to 4 months) become breeders.

When I started my first colony it was:
  • 30 = Adult Females
  • 6 = Adult Males
  • 100 = 1" Roaches
  • 200 = 0.75" Roaches
  • 300 = 0.5" Roaches
  • 1000 = 0.12" Roaches

The advantage to getting 1000 mixed is you can feed from the colony right away. It cost about $200 to set it up like that.

My colony now (estimates): This is after about 6 months while feeding from the colony
  • 100 = Adult Females
  • 25 = Adult Males
  • 500 = 1" Roaches
  • 1000 = 0.75" Roaches
  • 1000 = 0.5" Roaches
  • 1500 = 0.12" Roaches

This is feeding 4 chameleons, 40 Tarantulas, 10 Empire Scorpions, and a Tree Monitor.
 

javsto

New Member
I happened to come across this accidentaly and wanted to share with everyone. I especially like methods #7 and 8. what do you think?
http://www.nyworms.com/roachtanks.htm

now as far as housing material, from plastic tubs to glass aquarium tanks, what about 1/2 inch thich cardboard? What I mean is that where I work we ship out heavy metallic housing units for various components and these "mounting bases" are usually shipped to us in these 1/2" thick boxes that measure 24"Hx36"Lx18"D and can hold up to 180lbs so there very good and strong. Can these roaches eat thier way throught them if they eat cardboard or will that make a suitable alternative habitat for a feeding colony?
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
Well, I suppose I use method 1- room temperature gets hot.

But that's mostly only in the fall and sometimes in the spring the past few years. This year I changed hibernation for most of my lizards so it won't be a hot spring at all in the building- temps will remain cooler in my lizard building until I bring everything outside for the summer.

Here are my approximate temps for dubia, hissers, and lobsters-

Summertime- upper 60s to low 70s nights upper 70s low 80s daytime, sometimes a little warmer or cooler depending on the weather.

Spring and fall in past years temps are about the same nights, with day temps soaring into the mid 80s to mid 90s depending again on the weather outdoors comibined with a lot of artificial lizard lighting in the building. A month or two in the fall and spring are like this.

Winter- 3 or 4 months or so- night temps near 50, day temps upper 60s low 70s. Most lizards are asleep or slow down, lights off or reduced, less heat in the building.

My roaches do fine. They produce much less during this time- I've a suspicion that they still give birth but new breeding might not take place. Except for the lobsters. Works out OK because the lizards slow down and eat less or not at all as well.

I've over a dozen 50 gallon storage containers with colonies of feeder roaches and I've had these 3 species going continuously for many years now. I give several months to a new colony before I start feeding out of it, and start it with hundreds or even thousands of adults.

My philosophy is to just be patient, keep them warm when I can, and keep a lot around so I've got more than enough to feed when productivity of the colonies slows down and so they can recover and make up for it when temps go up.

As for your questions- 50 gallon storage tubs are less than $20. You can get 20 gallon storage tubs for $4-$6 depending on time of year in my area. They can be easily hosed out and cleaned after being fed out. Roaches will eat cardboard after a while (my cardboard tubes and egg crate that I use for the roaches to climb on disappear slowly over a year or two) and cardboard is impossible to clean and absorbent so mold grows more easily on it. Also dubia cannot climb plastic storage tubs but can easily climb cardboard.

Methods 7 and 8 sound kind of like random thoughts.

Method 9- mount a 4" hose to the back of your computer tower and run the hose into your roach tub. Warm air from your case fan will warm the roaches.
Method 10 place the tub on top of an old TV that an old person keeps on all the time.
Method 11 move the tub up into the attic. Install an attic fan with a thermostat to maintain an attic temperature of less than 100 degrees during the day, and a heat mat beneath the container with a thermostat that kicks in when temps drop below 80 at night in the attic. (hey I kind of like this one, I've got a storage space up there in my lizard building that is really roomy..)
method 12 raise them in an incubator
method 13 use an aquarium heater to in a large tub of water to keep the water temperature at 85 degrees, float a smaller tub with the roaches in the water, providing warm air and humidity for the roaches.

My favorite method ever-
Bert langerwerf bred tropical roaches by the millions. He learned that his roach (6 spotted) lived in caves in the wild and fed on bat poop. So he went out into his yard in Alabama and dug his own cave and filled it with billions of roaches. At one point when digging the cave he became irritated when he came across a boulder and the local hadware store wouldn't sell him dynomite to destroy it. Bert was from the netherlands and in many parts of the world you can buy explosives for farm use. Bert's solution was eventually to dig a pit next to the boulder and shove it into it, providing a rock floor for his cave. This is a true story and photos can be seen in his book "lizardman, life and adventures of bert langerwerf". It is also something to think about when raising tropical roaches which live in caves and beneath leaves etc on the forest floor vs temperatures in the 90s.
 
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