Roach rating showdown

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by Longhorn1234, May 11, 2018.

  1. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    I've never had surinams, what's the catch with them? Never see anybody, but @Andee mention them lol.
  2. JoeDigiorgio

    JoeDigiorgio Avid Member

    There is legitimately no catch. They’re just burrowers that get no recognition in the feeder world. Technically they climb but they hate leaving the substrate. You could probably keep them without a lid and still never have them leave the bin although I wouldn’t because they like it humid and....can climb.

    I keep mine with my banana roaches. That bin is effortless and thrives on neglect.
    NorCalAnthony, Andee and jamest0o0 like this.
  3. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    I wonder if I could keep those or bananas with my porcelains. Porcelains are the same way, can fly and climb, but always prefer the soil. Only thing with them is they reproduce so slow.

    What size do surinams get? I've also read they are plant pests?
  4. nick barta

    nick barta Chameleon Enthusiast
    Site Sponsor

    For a cricket replacement, Red Runners are my #1.
    For a variety Roach, Green Banana Roaches. Green adults wake up bored chameleons.
    For a Dubia replacement. Orange Heads or Ivory Heads.

    My care sheets are at


  5. Andee

    Andee Chameleon Enthusiast

    Surinams get to be like 1/2 inch-1 inch as an adult female, they are parthenogenetic species, and are pretty much garbage disposals. I don't suggest placing them with slow breeders. And equal breeder like green banana roaches is good. They "breed" (more like clone) like rabbits and can easily out compete the porcelains. They are only considered plant pests because they live in green houses and that's the only way they can survive.
    NorCalAnthony and jamest0o0 like this.
  6. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Yeah that's what I was thinking, sounds like they are a lot like ivory roaches. Those are even used for blapticomposting or whatever it's called. Mine have turned the substrate into a black mix of whatever destroying anything I throw in. Almost reminds me of less disgusting BSFL.

    So surinams are pretty small eh?
  7. Andee

    Andee Chameleon Enthusiast

    Yeah Surinams are super small, I feed adult females to my geckos and an adult to sub adult chameleon can take them down with ease. Perfect baby feeders I keep them.mostly for geckos and arachnids. My scorpions and jumping spiders love them they have the softest bodies next to green banana roaches.
  8. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Well I'd probably buy some off you once I'm getting close to hatching panther eggs. I'll be needing baby food. I feel they would probably hide too easy if I fed them in my parson's or panther enclosures.
  9. Scottsquatch

    Scottsquatch Chameleon Enthusiast

    I just got Surinames myself. I'm Excited to see how they do.
  10. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    I need a cricket replacement roach that won't infest my house :(
    CamrynTheCham22 likes this.
  11. Longhorn1234

    Longhorn1234 Established Member

    Don't we all wish red runners or lobsters didn't have the potential to infest? Perfect size, reproduce like crazy, and eat like champs
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  12. CamrynTheCham22

    CamrynTheCham22 Avid Member

    That is my worst fear about owning insects. I don't think they would survive an infestation because the weather where I live is very harsh all year-round, but the thought still scares me. I watched a show where this man had a reptile room and some of the crickets got out (I think he lives in Florida) and now he can hear them chirping at night in his walls!! That is too scary for me
  13. NickTide

    NickTide Avid Member

    1) orange heads. As easy as dubias. Not as productive but chams don't get bored. If I had enough I guess the odor might bother me but the colony is taking forever to grow.
    2) dubia. Faster to get a colony going. As much grief as they get for being boring, I've seen pet shop chams refuse crickets and super worms and devour dubias. When my Panthers get bored I give them a week or two without dubias and they go right back to them.
    3) lobsters. This used o be my only roach. I lost my colon lyrics in a house fire and never replaced them because dubias were the new "it" feeder. Then I read about possible infestations so decided not to risk it. They can live off of maple leaves too.
    4) green banana. Harder to raise and less productive than the ones above. Couldn't imagine them as a staple. However, no chameleon can resist them. If they could be kept like dubias, they would be perfect.
    5) hissers. They're cool.
  14. bigdog100

    bigdog100 New Member

    My Chameleon will not eat my Dubais. Where can i buy orangeheads near AZ? Thanks
  15. JoeDigiorgio

    JoeDigiorgio Avid Member

    Surinam roaches are small but they’re at least 3 times the size of an adult banana roach and I say about the same size as lobsters. Just as a reference for anyone who isn’t familiar.

    I don’t know if I could keep up with my feeder demand without the reliability of my lobsters/pallids though. Pallids are another very small roach but they reproduce like crazy and are a good cricket replacement.
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  16. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    I would love to get the giant banana roaches. Wouldn't bother getting the regular one's idt. Would surinam's be worth keeping for a parson's chameleon? Do chams tend to like them as much as lobsters? My Panthers dont eat that much, a couple of large roaches, or worms, or bottleflies a week, so I'm not too worried about them.
  17. JoeDigiorgio

    JoeDigiorgio Avid Member

    The size difference between giant gbr and regulars is not very significant. Giants are still very small relative to other feeders. Surinam are much larger. I think Surinam roaches are worth having for Parsons. They reproduce fast and most experts agree that providing many small insects is superior to fewer large ones.

    Once I got my melleri into smaller roaches and I was much happier with the results. They’re eating more than twice as many insects in a feeding than before when they preferred larger adult discoids etc. Surinam, lobster and pallid roaches make up the majority of their meals now.
  18. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast


    The giant's are close to 2x the size, but still on the relative small side, but I would keep them as variety/treats, not as a staple feeder.

    Not to argue, but curious what the logic is to feeding many small feeders>few large? I guess the chitin would be smaller, but it would seem like there's much more of it. I'm definitely open to giving surinam's a try though. Do they run around or try to burrow at the bottom of the enclosure somewhere?
  19. Harry The Cham

    Harry The Cham Established Member

    I like to use redrunners they have a soft body for a cockroach at least. They reproduce fast which is both an advantage and disadvantage if they get lose in your house, but good if you have them contained so you get more roaches
    Longhorn1234 likes this.
  20. Longhorn1234

    Longhorn1234 Established Member

    Surinam roaches do burrow and the adults can climb. But they prefer burrowing than climbing. They also eat a lot!

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