Dubia roaches (latin name Blaptica dubia) are widely considered the most popular feeder roaches for companion reptiles. High in protein, they make a perfect feeder insect for medium- to large-size lizards.
Jungle Bob is a reptile enthusiast and educator who opened Jungle Bob’s Reptile World in 2008. Jungle Bob calls the Dubia roaches “a complementary pet food for reptiles,” and offers them in a 1.23-ounce can that provides a convenient form of storage as well as making the roaches easy to dispense.
We decided to test Jungle Bob’s canned Dubia roaches on Mikki, our resident bearded dragon, to see how enticing these medium-size insects are to a reptile.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous, with their ideal diet consisting of fruit, vegetables and live prey. Adult bearded dragons like Mikki should get most of their calories from leafy green vegetables, with fruit and insects being secondary menu items. Fruit should make up about 15% of the dragons diet (too much could cause loose stools) while feedings of insects — roaches, crickets, hornworms, silkworms, superworms or butterworms — are recommended about twice a week.
When we opened the can of Dubia roaches, a mild pungent aroma was noticeable yet not overpowering. The roaches, each of which is approximately one inch in length, were nicely packed, and they were whole roaches — none were broken or in pieces. Although the roaches were wet as if they had been marinated, they were easy to handle.
Since beardies normally hunt live prey, and Mikki is used to dining on live crickets in its terrarium, we were curious to see how it would react to a dead roach. While Mikki was relaxing on a log cave, we introduced a couple to the beardie — getting it close enough to its nose that it couldn’t help but notice it, then placing each roach on the log. It only took a minute before Mikki was chomping on the first roach. And the second roach was immediately consumed right after the first. The Dubia roaches were an instant hit.
Mikki’s owner placed the sealed can in the refrigerator. They remained fresh for over a week, during which time the roaches were included in Mikki’s meals every few days, along with some greens. Mikki’s owner reported that the beardie would go straight to the roaches and gobbled them up first, saving the greens for dessert. Jungle Bob’s canned Dubia roaches have become sort of an addiction for Mikki.
Mikki’s owner is elated to have found an option to live roaches that the beardie not only accepts but craves. If you have an insect-eating or omnivorous herp, you should give these Dubia roaches a try. In addition to providing the same amount of nutrition as live roaches, the convenience of having them in a resealable container makes them extremely appealing to reptile owners.