Blaberus discoidalis, commonly known as the discoid roach or tropical cockroach, is a cockroach native to Central America of the “giant cockroach” family, Blaberidae.

They are easy to raise in captivity and therefore are great feeders for insectivorous pets such as tarantulas, bearded dragon and other lizards.

Discoid cockroaches also produce less odor than the common feeder cricket. They have been common feeders in the reptile industry for several years. They are naturally found in the northern parts of South America. Adult discoid roaches have wings but can not fly. They also can’t climb glass or smooth plastic. This makes them ideal as a feeder insect. They are easy to keep in their breeding enclosures and do not easily escape reptile enclosures when used as feeders.

Rubbermaid bins, glass aquariums, and plastic critter keepers are best for enclosures. Place cardboard egg flats in the bin or tank for housing. Stacking the egg flats vertically allows all the debris to fall to the bottom of the enclosure.

Unlike crickets, roach enclosures do not smell and can be kept clean fairly easily. To keep the enclosure tidy, clean out the bottom of the bin every couple months and replace with fresh roach chow. Feed roaches fresh fruit or vegetables at least once or twice a week. Remove any fruit or vegetables that are not eaten within a day or two to prevent mold. Mold can be a serious threat to your roach colony. Make sure any dry food such as roach chow or cat food stays dry.

Keep the minimum temperature at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Discoid Roaches are Tropical Roaches and need to be kept warm if you want them to breed. Temperatures between 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended. Unless you live in a very dry area, there will be enough humidity at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow your roach colony to become fully established before feeding heavily out of it. Once colonies are well established, you will have roaches of all different sizes to offer lizards the exact size they need.