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Thread: Crickets vs. Roaches

  1. #1
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    Default Crickets vs. Roaches

    Make a long story short, I'm thinking about getting rid of my dubia colony and going back to crickets (as much as I hate them). Here's why:

    - My younger and juvie chewies are always eager to eat anything...roaches, crickets, wax worms, wax worm moths, horn worms, etc. Many of them have only had roaches in my care so they don't know what a cricket really looks like.

    - With that said, I have noticed a point around 40g or so where they eat fewer roaches and their growth seems to slow down considerably.

    - My adults have never been big on roaches, although breeding females will gladly snap them up before and after laying eggs. The males have had almost no interest in roaches at all.

    - I bought a chewie (Nala) from Shoebox earlier this year and Derek feeds crickets instead of roaches. I could not get her to take to roaches AT ALL so I finally broke down and started buying crickets. Once I was going to get her crickets, I figured, "What the heck...?" and bought about 70 of them. I spent 2-3 days gutloading them and then fed them off.

    - I have NEVER seen my geckos eat so many bugs. They are eating 2-3x the quantity of crickets that they ever ate of roaches and I have been feeding crickets for the last month or so now because the response is so much better.

    My hunch is that the geckos simply enjoy hunting crickets more because they are more active and more "fun" to catch. The roaches stop moving, run under the cork or into the plans, or hide in the folds of the paper towel. Watching these guys hunt crickets is a whole different ballgame compared to roaches and even though my juvies ate well on roaches, they're eating considerably more crickets.

    Has anyone else noticed similar behavior?

    P.S. - I breed waxworms and last week had the idea to throw some of the excess adult moths into the tanks. If you want humor, give that a shot! The geckos seem to love them as well!
    Charming Chewies: Specializing in Grand Terre and Pine Isle locales of chahoua.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MPLexus301 View Post
    P.S. - I breed waxworms and last week had the idea to throw some of the excess adult moths into the tanks. If you want humor, give that a shot! The geckos seem to love them as well!
    i purposly buy waxworms just to leave them a while for moths, great watching the geckos jump around after them

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    I'm assuming your referring to dubia here. They are very overhyped in my opinion for they do get a mixed feeding response and hide well. I constantly find large ones in terrariums, much larger than when offered, who haves managed to elude the geckos. Also, although they don't stink like crickets, they do have a slight odor.

    Lastly although they aren't known for picking at reptiles like crickets are, they aren't to
    be trifled with for all species. In fact I stopped feeding them to young uroplatus, and I'm not talking about hatchlings ( there too big anyway). In two instances, hate myself for not figuring this out, i have had young phantasticus loose tails and my hypothesis is the dubia are to blame. If you have fed a decent variety of small geckos you may have invariably observed dubia climbing on a gecko extremity and holding on while the geckos panic to get them off. I've seen this happen multiple times with nephrurus sp. I'm not claiming this is anything nefarious on the roaches part, but it can be very stressful for a delicate species.
    -Charles Mullen
    I'm looking for really nice chahoua.

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    I definitely agree that most geckos will have a stronger feeding response to crickets because they are more active...

    But once you get a large collection of geckos, there's just no way to beat roaches. They are so much hardier than crickets who die off if they aren't fed out right away.

    And I hate that they make so much damn racket at night when I want to sleep! And if you order them in, it's way more costly than keeping a colony of dubia.

    Once in a while, we'll buy crickets to mix things up. If you want to sell your roaches, then do it! Honestly it doesn't bother me that we find roaches the geckos didn't eat, because I know they are eating their CGD which is more important anyway. Crickets that don't get eaten just die. What a waste..

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    IF crickets lived as long as, and reproduced as easily as roaches, I'd switch to crickets in a minute. The feeding response is noticeably stronger. I have a large colony of dubias, and they work best if you've got your geckos trained to feed from a dish or from tongs. If you just throw them in the tank, the majority of them will go uneaten. I also have a large colony of lateralis and they're a bit better, as they are much more active, but even with them, if they survive the initial moments of feeding, they'll often learn to avoid predation. When I feed crickets, the percentage that are eaten is very high.

    The main advantage of the roach colonies beyond the obvious (long life, easy to keep, nutritious, low odor) is that I always have a wide range of sizes. When I have tiny hatchlings of smaller species, it sure is nice to have some tiny lateralis roach nymphs to feed.

    I tend to feed crickets in the spring when I'm trying to prime the geckos for breeding, and in the fall when I'm getting ready to cool geckos for the winter and I want them to have good reserves to carry them through. I'm a firm believer in variety and try to alternate between 2 species of roaches, crickets, superworms, and mealworms (the worms are only used for some of my terrestrial species).

    Gary

    edit... I probably should point out that I'm talking primarily about my species of geckos that are strictly insectivorous. My crested geckos and sarasinorum feed almost exclusively on CGD (the chahouas I try to supplement more regularly with insects).
    Last edited by sciteacher; 07-05-2011 at 11:17 PM.
    Gary Hamann
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    www.ridgeandvalleyreptiles.com

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    LOL, Mike, I find the exact same issue with my big PI male, Sherwood. He won't even look at roaches, but BOY does he love those smelly loud obnoxious crickets!
    Turnpike thankfully eats anything, but she's a girly. I'm gonna try silkworms with Sherwood next. I'm hoping he will like those!
    Thankfully, I have many other species that will eat the dubia, but I wanted to make a note to thank sushigex for his observation on how they might affect smaller or more delicate sensitive species!
    Help! Crested Geckos! 0.1.Leachie, 2.1.1 Gargs, 1.0 Chahoua, 2.1. Blue Tongue Skinks, 1.1. White Lined Geckos, 1.3. African Fat Tails, 2.2.0 Tokay Geckos, 1.0. Giant Day Gecko, 2 tarantulas

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    I'm actually looking to get some lateralis this weekend at W.Plains. I've had some in the past but was a bit put off by how fast they were. What it really comes down to is that if you keep a variety of geckos, your invariably going to be better off keeping a mix of roaches and crickets as well as what I consider alternate feeders (worms etc).

    Jason, what is your procedure for getting waxworks to moths? I have done silkworms in the past and would like to again in the future produce moths for geckos.
    -Charles Mullen
    I'm looking for really nice chahoua.

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    I had issues with my first feeding dubias to Stout, they were too slow/sedentary. I fed him in a box so it's not like they were hiding, they just weren't catching his attention. I threw in 2 crickets and when he went after the crickets he managed to get a dubia in his mouth. Talent right? I buy crickets once a week anyway for the frogs. I despise crickets, they stink. I don't have a phobia of crickets though so both have their pros and cons. Dubias don't carry the same diseases as crickets though do they?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciteacher View Post
    The feeding response is noticeably stronger. I have a large colony of dubias, and they work best if you've got your geckos trained to feed from a dish or from tongs.
    I think that THIS is VERY, very true. I will say right away that I do NOT have a chahoua, however my single crested gecko learned really quick what his bowl meant and now if I take him out while preparing the dubias he will attack whatever moves. Even his own shadow -- just the sight of that bowl gets him VERY excited. As a matter of fact he kept attacking the side of the EMPTY bowl and biting the carpet and viciously attacking that carpet. I no longer take him out while preparing those dubias and that bowl because I am afraid of him eating carpet or biting himself (or me again, lol!)

    But yeah. I really think that geckos can easily learn what a dish means. It's NUTS, my gecko's response and how quickly he learned.

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    My chahoua had problems with the glass dish. He couldn't figure out that the dubias were inside, he just stared intently from the outside. If I tried to put him in it he just freaked out. Mine may not be the sharpest tool in the shed...
    The zoo
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