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Thread: Dubia growth rates?

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    Default Dubia growth rates?

    I picked up a starter group of dubia at the last reptile show I was at. I got a container with one male and one female of breeding age and a few decently sized ones. My adult female died after I got them settled and I was just wondering how long it would take for the others to get to breeding age? Does this depend on temperature?

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    They do things faster at warmer temperatures, they shouldn't get under 80ish or they may die (Ive found abut 75F to be the critical temp). I give mine a 99ishF hotspot and let them thermoregulate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderbird View Post
    They do things faster at warmer temperatures, they shouldn't get under 80ish or they may die (Ive found abut 75F to be the critical temp). I give mine a 99ishF hotspot and let them thermoregulate.
    Really? I've had juveniles for several weeks between 68 degrees and 73 degrees (room temperature in my house) and they've been fine. Haven't lost a single one. Although if I want my colony to breed, I need to heat them.
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    My colony is only used for breeding. Remove the heat and they'll slow down. I'm surprised you haven't experienced die off below 70. Then again, my colony is only in my laundry room which is in the basement, its always cooler and I don't record the temps. Low humidity will kill them faster than anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstar View Post
    Really? I've had juveniles for several weeks between 68 degrees and 73 degrees (room temperature in my house) and they've been fine. Haven't lost a single one. Although if I want my colony to breed, I need to heat them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vienna View Post
    I picked up a starter group of dubia at the last reptile show I was at. I got a container with one male and one female of breeding age and a few decently sized ones. My adult female died after I got them settled and I was just wondering how long it would take for the others to get to breeding age? Does this depend on temperature?
    To an extent, yes it depends on temperature. Heating, as Sam mentions, speeds everything up. It is also required for breeding. If I remember right, life expectancy is roughly 2 years for a Dubia. Depending on their sizes, I would expect others to mature over the coming month or two. They will grow, and they will live at lower temperatures easily, but they will not breed below ~90F.

    How many roaches total do you have? A single adult pair with a few juvies seems very small. Especially since some of those juvies will almost certainly go male. I would look to some of the larger online breeders and see if they have an adult pack. Some occasionally will sell small groups entirely of adults.

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    For the adult stages, they live for 10 to 13 months, 11 being the average I've found in my colony. I've never tracked how long it takes to get from nymph to adult though.

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    It had about 50 nymphs and 10 sub adults and 2 adult adults. I kind of got the last dregs of the available ones as I was manning a table :P I expect I'll see him at the show again, so I can specifically ask for additional adults. I wanted more nymphs to see if my geckos really did like them.

    All in all, the supreme hunters eat them well, and see past their playing dead :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderbird View Post
    My colony is only used for breeding. Remove the heat and they'll slow down. I'm surprised you haven't experienced die off below 70. Then again, my colony is only in my laundry room which is in the basement, its always cooler and I don't record the temps. Low humidity will kill them faster than anything.
    I'm reopening this discussion, having recently received a colony of about 200 dubias including 10 breeder females and 4 adult males. I read the excellent synopsis of dubia roach care at JB's Cresties, and multiple dubia threads at GeckosUnlimited and other sites:


    Quoting from this site:

    You will want to provide your roaches with good things to keep them growing. Some people use "cricket water" or "cricket gel" type products for liquid. Personally, I find that gets a bit expensive. My bugs do very well if I toss in orange slices for moisture. They will also get moisture from my geckos' leftover Crested Gecko Diet, and I will often blend up apples or bananas and feed it to the bugs in a peanut-butter-jar-lid "dish." I recommend not leaving moist food in your roach bin for longer than a few hours at a time, because even with the screen, small phorid flies and fruit gnats may make an appearance. You also do not want mold introduced to your colony. I will offer many kinds of cereals and grains dry for the roaches, or I will blend up dry dog food or cat food for them. They will take dry pasta broken up occasionally. Chicken feed is another dry-style food that roaches can do well on. You can try adding different foods to see what your bugs like. I just recommend steering away from meat products.

    This is my first post on PangeaReptile and I have much to learn about keeping crested geckos and dubia roaches. Our dubia colony is in a 66 quart Sterilite container that's inside another identical container (double-hulled ship) with bricks between the two containers to prevent tip-overs, a 25 watt Ultratherm UTH that fills most of the bottom of the Sterilite box, and an old towel wrapped around the UTH to prevent scorching / melting the Sterilite plastic. The whole contraption is surrounded by layers of insulation. I cut a 4 x 11 inch screened hole in the Sterilite lid which I partly block with waterproof insulation to regulate temperature and humidity; also the UTH is plugged into a homemade rheostat and a Kill-A-Watt meter. I keep two small dishes of water granules that are rehydrated twice daily, along with daily banana peels and fruit/vegetable/baked potato remnants for gradual release of moisture. I scatter dog kibble on the bottom. I might switch to kitty kibble and/or chicken feed plus fruit/veggie remnants soon. The colony stays in the basement which is about 60 degrees F and 40% humidity. Colony temp is around 85 degrees with the UTH running at 20 watts, and humidity is around 50-55%. So far our dubias seem to be doing OK but I'm not sure if they're reproducing yet, so I may crank up the temp gradually toward low-90's.

    I wonder if Cinderbird's statement, "Low humidity will kill them faster than anything" is correct? Everything else I read says the opposite — that high humidity puts dubias at risk for mold related colony demise. Can anybody clarify this point: what's the optimal humidity for a dubia colony? I am afraid of pushing humidity much higher than 50-55% based on what I read.

    Also, what's the easiest & most sanitary way to pick up roaches? I have supermarket type egg cartons with lids layered horizontally on the bottom of my Sterilite container, and cardboard paper towel tubes on top of the egg cartons. I have been picking up paper towel tubes and thumping the roaches out into a plastic bag. Often, one or more roaches emerges from the tubes and crawls on my hand before I can thump the tube. It's incredibly creepy! I hate to waste expensive D3-calcium powder in the bag on roaches that are too big to feed to my cresties. Does anybody have a better way of getting roaches from the colony into the bag, and sorting them for size before they go into the powder-coating bag? I get nightmares thinking about roaches crawling on my hands. It's a very, very creepy sensation! This roach box is perfect for Hallowe'en mischief.

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    Hi WildMidwest, thanks for quoting my site Let me clarify a bit:

    Quote Originally Posted by WildMidwest View Post
    I might switch to kitty kibble and/or chicken feed plus fruit/veggie remnants soon. The colony stays in the basement which is about 60 degrees F and 40% humidity. Colony temp is around 85 degrees with the UTH running at 20 watts, and humidity is around 50-55%. So far our dubias seem to be doing OK but I'm not sure if they're reproducing yet, so I may crank up the temp gradually toward low-90's.
    I wonder if Cinderbird's statement, "Low humidity will kill them faster than anything" is correct? Everything else I read says the opposite — that high humidity puts dubias at risk for mold related colony demise. Can anybody clarify this point: what's the optimal humidity for a dubia colony? I am afraid of pushing humidity much higher than 50-55% based on what I read.
    When I mentioned on that page the inclusion of wet foods for moisture, I meant as far as food goes... I rely on moist fruits and vegetables for the majority of my roaches' wet food intake. However, my gecko room, where my roaches are kept as well, is the most humid room of my own home due to the ambient humidity from the gecko cages as well. A few times a week, currently in winter when the heat is running here and drying out the air a bit more, I will also mist a bit of water into the roach enclosure - but not much. It keeps my roaches going strong. I mostly mist a little around the sides of the enclosure on the walls so the cardboard isn't left soaking too much, which does get gross quickly.

    I would also be wary of using foods that are exceptionally high in protein like most premium cat foods. Cats are obligate carnivores and their foods are (or at least, if you're buying the right food, should be) a lot higher in protein than dog foods, and I have found that my roaches tend to die off more quickly if I am using very high-protein foods. There is a thread or two here, and one or two on the Repashy forums as well, about roaches kicking off a bit too soon on certain foods, possibly due to the protein content.

    Also, what's the easiest & most sanitary way to pick up roaches? I have supermarket type egg cartons with lids layered horizontally on the bottom of my Sterilite container, and cardboard paper towel tubes on top of the egg cartons. I have been picking up paper towel tubes and thumping the roaches out into a plastic bag. Often, one or more roaches emerges from the tubes and crawls on my hand before I can thump the tube. It's incredibly creepy! I hate to waste expensive D3-calcium powder in the bag on roaches that are too big to feed to my cresties. Does anybody have a better way of getting roaches from the colony into the bag, and sorting them for size before they go into the powder-coating bag? I get nightmares thinking about roaches crawling on my hands. It's a very, very creepy sensation! This roach box is perfect for Hallowe'en mischief.
    I honestly just shake the egg crate I use into a larger roach-use-only tupperware so the bugs fall out, and tip the now-roach-filled Tupperware to one side over a table where I have my little roach cups all ready to go. I can just sort them by sweeping them into their respective cups with my fingertip, though if you are squeamish I am sure you could use a plastic spoon or something instead, but it made things so much easier to force myself to get over the initial squeamishness. I still don't really enjoy when a heavy-bodied female crawls on me but it is what it is. I just put the calcium powder into the cups, making sure not to use an absolute ton of it. A little goes a long way.

    I've read about people also making their own roach sorters out of the bottom halves of a bunch of 2-liter soda bottles. I tried this once. I stress once. It didn't work for me because the fattest roaches kept getting jammed in the holes, and the 2-liter halves stuck together so hard that when I went to pull them apart to get to the gooey nougaty center that is 'baby nymphs' some of them went flying. >__> It also filled with bug poop quite fast. But it might work better for you!


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    That's a clever use of Coke bottles, but I see what you mean about big guys getting jammed in the holes. The thought of roaches flying everywhere is enough to make me choose a different strategy straightaway. Even once is too many times for roaches scattering. Maybe my solution is a tall, slippery clear plastic bag into which I can drop cardboard rollers before thumping them. That implies less risk of bugs crawling on me or getting flung in random directions when proto-primate instincts kick in.

    Honestly, I'm a physician and a former zoology major. I should be able to control the "Eww" factor. My hands have been in worse places many times... munching a sandwich while cutting cadavers; probing big abscesses, etc. But something about roaches triggers deep ancestral memories. It's stomach-turning every time I hear the scuttle of big roaches on plastic or feel the sensation of one grabbing my fingers. I have to find a solution that will allow other people to care for our pets when we go away on vacation. Heavy-duty translucent plastic bags like what our Ultratherm heaters shipped in may be just the answer. Once the sweet darlings are in the bottom of the bag, I can safely retrieve cardboard tubes using a hemostat, then pour the big ones back into our colony keeping smaller fellas in the bag. A shake of the catch bag should allow me to pour nymphs into our powder bags directly or via a Tupperware dish. I'm all ears if anybody comes up with a better catch-transfer strategy.

    I'm glad to hear I don't need to obsess about humidity rising above 55%. While it's not a problem now, we have a lot of humidity in the summer. Keeping colony humidity below 70% may be a big challenge in August.

    Many thanks for your tips and feedback. This Forum is a wonderful resource.

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