|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
The Dubia roach (Blaptica dubia), also known as the orange-spotted cockroach, Guyana spotted cockroach, or Argentinian wood cockroach, is a medium-sized species of cockroach which grows to around 4.0–4.5 cm (1.6–1.8 in). They are sexually dimorphic; adult males have full wings covering their body, while females have only tiny wing stubs, their tegmina (forewings) being around a fourth of their body length.
Adults are dark brown to black with somewhat lighter orange spot/stripe patterning sometimes visible only in bright light. Coloration does differ slightly with environment and diet from one colony to another.
While rarely known to fly, adult males have fully developed wings, and pigmented musculature typical of cockroaches able to meet the rapid energy requirements of sustained flight. In laboratory test launches from a ramp 2.5 m high, adult male B. dubia were able to right their dorso-ventral position and rapidly deploy their wings to control and direct their descent; however, active powered flight did not maintain or increase their altitude. Adult females have only rudimentary forewings and lack the muscles required for flight, and showed no flight control in test launches.
Because they lack developed arolium between their claws, neither adults nor juveniles can climb smooth, vertical surfaces, though juveniles have been known to climb the soft silicone seals in terrariums and the plastic sides of Rubbermaid containers.
Ideal temperature range is the higher end of a 75–95 °F (24–35 °C) range. They will not breed below 68 °F (20 °C). They will not molt successfully if the humidity is too low. Dubia roaches can tolerate lower humidity than many other roach species. This species of roach will also sequester more water in its body when well fed upon fruits and water will be released at times of stress.
In captivity, enclosure humidity is less important than a supply of high moisture foods, negating the need to mist the enclosure at all when compared to some other tropical pet insect species. Captive habitats should be kept clean and dry in order to have fecal droppings dry and not provide a medium for bacterial or fungal growth. Vertically stacked egg crates greatly help in this, as does good airflow.
The Dubia cockroach is a frugivore that prefers fruits and grains, shunning such high protein sources as meat or waste droppings from other animals. They particularly like semisweet vegetable matter. Appropriate feed for raising Dubia roaches includes: carrots, all manner of tropical fruits (mangos and papayas), apples, avocados, banana, cherries, pears, oranges, strawberries, fresh corn, tomatoes (some individuals show no interest in tomatoes while others eat readily), and lettuce (not iceberg or romaine)—many other leafy greens will be accepted. All grain-based dry cat/dog food, fish food, crested gecko meal and bearded dragon food can also be used to supplement their diet. They will also eat wheat bran and germ-based food products like assorted breads, non-sweetened breakfast cereals (such as Cheerios or Special K), and even softened pasta, although such diets must be augmented with edible vegetation and fruit of some sort to provide sufficient water.
High starch tubers like potatoes and yams are eaten with disdain and seemingly only for their water content.
- Mating occurs when the male deposits a sperm packet in the female. This sperm packet inhibits the female from further mating.
- Females then lay an egg sack, they then pull this sack back into themselves to incubate ovovivoparitally.
- Gestation is about one month (28 days).
- Nymphs hatch inside the female. Between 20 and 40 live young, each about 2 mm long, are produced in each clutch.
- Nymphs mature in about 4–6 months depending on temperature and food supply.
- Nymphs undergo 7 instars, its pronotum grows about 25% between molts, before reaching adulthood.
- Adults live 1–2 years.
Use as feeder insect
B. dubia has become a popular feeder insect, particularly among tarantula, amphibian and reptile enthusiasts. Keeping or breeding the insect is made easier by their inability to jump or climb smooth surfaces, relatively slow movement, and rarity of flying. They are also quiet, unlike crickets, and tropical environmental requirements reduce the likelihood of establishment of escapees in colder, dryer climates. B. dubia can cause allergic reactions in humans, although they produce relatively little odor compared to many cockroaches.
A study found other cockroaches (Turkestan ("red runner") cockroaches, Madagascar hissing cockroaches,) provided a high-protein, low fat nutrition composition similar to crickets, more so than mealworms or superworm larvae provide. The gut contents of the cockroach, depending on its diet, may provide essential nutrients unavailable from a cockroach with an empty gut. Vitamin and mineral content in studied cockroaches was well represented except for low calcium:phosphorus ratios typical in cockroaches, and relatively low vitamin A and E in captive cockroaches. Supplementation of these nutrients in feeder cockroaches may be advisable. A study of panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) found vitamin A deficiency shortened life spans and reduced reproduction rates.
Some US states do not allow importation by the general public of B. dubia, considered by some as an invasive species. A Florida man was arrested on felony charges in 2011 related to ordering 500 B. dubia over the internet using a doctored permit, typically issued to researchers.
B. dubia is an ovoviviparous species, generally giving birth to live young, and pregnancy in one study lasted 48–64 days, in a 26 °C environment with alternating 12-hour light and dark photoperiods. It carries the ootheca (egg capsule), which holds about 20-35 eggs, until they are ready to hatch, or may drop it earlier under stress conditions. Adults live for up to 2 years, females slightly longer than males. Growth and reproduction rates are sensitive to environmental conditions, optimally 25–30 °C and above 60% relative humidity.
- "Synonyms of Argentinian Wood Cockroach (Blaptica dubia)". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- Schultz, Stanley A.; Schultz, Marguerite J. (1 January 2009). The Tarantula Keeper's Guide: Comprehensive Information on Care, Housing, and Feeding. Barron's Educational Series. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-7641-3885-0.
- Veselý, Petr; Fuchs, Fuchs (2006). "Evolution of warning colouration in palatable prey – An experimental approach" (PDF). Diplomky – Center of Cognitive Ethology. p. 12.
- "Common Names for Argentinian Wood Cockroach (Blaptica dubia)". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
- "Taxonomy browser (Blaptica dubia)". Taxonomy browser. National Center for Biotechnology Information. 24 December 2013.
- Hebard, Morgan (1921). South American blattidae from the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 73 (Part 2). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences. pp. 288–290.
- Wu, Hao; Appel, Arthur G.; Hu, Xing Ping (2013). "Instar Determination of Blaptica dubia (Blattodea: Blaberidae) Using Gaussian Mixture Models". Annals of the Entomological Society of America 106 (3): 323–328. doi:10.1603/AN12131. ISSN 0013-8746.
- Kesel, Antonia B; Martin, Andrew; Hoffmann, Florian (15 December 2009). "Quantifying the landing reaction of cockroaches: final report" (PDF). European Space Agency – Advanced Concepts Team.
- Wu, Hao (3 August 2013). "Biology of Blaptica dubia (Blattodea: Blaberidae) (thesis)" (PDF).
- Almeida, Carlos Eduardo; Duarte, Rosemere; Nascimento, Raquel Guerra do; Pacheco, Raquel S; Costa, Jane (2002). "Triatoma rubrovaria (Blanchard, 1843) (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Triatominae) II: trophic resources and ecological observations of five populations collected in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil". Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 97 (8): 1127–1131. doi:10.1590/S0074-02762002000800011. ISSN 0074-0276.
- Alamer, Ahmad Hussein (2013). Endocrine control of fat body composition and effects of the insect growth regulators methoprene and pyriproxyfen on the development and reproduction of the Argentinian cockroach, Blaptica dubia Serville (Blattaria: Blaberidae) (PDF) (Thesis). Retrieved 25 December 2013.
- Rubio, Manny (2008). Scorpions: Everything about Purchase, Care, Feeding, and Housing. Barron's Educational Series. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-7641-3981-9.
- Friederich, Ursula; Volland, Werner (September 2004). Breeding food animals: live food for vivarium animals. Krieger Pub. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-57524-045-9.
- Oonincx, D.G.A.B.; Dierenfeld, E.S. (2012). "An Investigation Into the Chemical Composition of Alternative Invertebrate Prey" (PDF). Zoo Biology 31 (1): 40–54. doi:10.1002/zoo.20382. ISSN 0733-3188.
- Ferguson, Gary W.; Jones, J. R.; Gehrmann, W. H.; Hammack, S. H.; Talent, L. G.; Hudson, R. D.; Dierenfeld, E. S.; Fitzpatrick, M. P.; Frye, F. L.; Holick, M. F.; Chen, T. C.; Lu, Z.; Gross, T. S.; Vogel, J. J. (1996). "Indoor husbandry of the panther chameleonChamaeleo [Furcifer] pardalis: Effects of dietary vitamins A and D and ultraviolet irradiation on pathology and life-history traits". Zoo Biology 15 (3): 279–299. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1996)15:3<279::AID-ZOO7>3.0.CO;2-8. ISSN 0733-3188.
- Pacheco, Walter (28 January 2011). "Man arrested on charges of purchasing 500 illegal exotic roaches online". The Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company).
- Hintze-Podufal, C.; Vetter, R. (1996). "Hormonal control of courtship behavior and reproductive cycle in the cockroach species Blaptica dubia (Blattoidea: Blaberoidea: Blaberidae)". Entomologia generalis (Schweizerbart) 20 (3): 169–175. ISSN 0171-8177.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Blaptica dubia.|