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Giant cave roach Blaberus giganteus


Where found: Central and South America.


Blaberus giganteus is almost certainly the longest of the roaches that can be found in the worldwide roach hobby. A large female can be up to 90mm (not quite 4 inches) and the wingspan of these critters is usually 5-6 inches! Males and newly emerged females are able to fly but older females get far too heavy. Males can be very aggressive; if only a few males are kept together they will fight and rip each others legs off and even kill one another. A number of males kept together usually prevents too much damage to any one individual.


Death's Head Cockroach Blaberus craniifer

Giant cave roach

Death's Head Cockroach Blaberus craniifer


Where found: S.Florida,U.S., Mexico, and Central America.

Adult length: 40-58.




This roach is the "real" death's head cockroach. The obvious reason for this name is the strange skull/vampire face markings on the pronotum. B.craniifer is the only species of Blaberus (there are a minimum of fourteen species) which has a very different color pattern from the rest of it's genus; even the nymphs are much darker. Adults like to jump/fly off your hands when held but are not too fast to be caught afterwards. Like the other Blaberus, the Death's head roach is ovoviviparous and cannot climb glass.



Nauphoeta cinerea (lobster roach)

Discoid roach Blaberus discoidales


Where found: Mexico, South and Central America.

Adult length: 35-45mm.


For some incredibly strange reason this species has been calledBlaberus craniifer, the Death's head roach for 20 or more years. Somebody must have misidentified this species and it has been traded around as the deaths head ever since. The fact that there is no "death's head" marking on this species should be an obvious hint. It's also been sold as B. giganteus despite looking different and being much, much smaller. This is a prolific species which is easy to get a hold of and is an excellent food animal. Many people raise these to feed reptiles and arachnids. As with other Blaberusspecies, the Discoid roach is ovoviviparous and unable to climb glass.

Discoid Roaches







Lobster roach Nauphoeta cinerea


Where found: Caribbean.


The Lobster cockroach is commonly kept in the U.S. but usually just as a food source for arachnids and lizards due to their ease of rearing and palatability. The body of this roach is soft enough for almost all predators, there is a high meat to shell ratio, they do not seem to be able to hide as well as many other roaches, and finally, they do not have the impressive defensive smell of many roaches. N.cinerea adults are supposed to feed on Green banana roaches in the wild but I have not tested this theory. Although able to climb glass this species is easily contained by using a greasy substance such as petroleum jelly around the top edge of the container. The above method only works with minimal success with some of the other glass climbers.


Nauphoeta cinerea "Lobster Roaches"


Formosan Sand Roach Unidentified polyphagid


Where found: Taiwan

Adult length: 18-24.

African bullet roach (Unidentified! Bantua robustais a live bearing roach from the Blaberidae)


Where found: Africa.

Adult length: 15-20mm


These interesting medium size roaches are a recent arrival to the hobby. When grabbed they exude a nearly invisible, sticky, odorless substance. They reproduce very well. Eggcases are nearly the same size and shape as Periplaneta although African Bullet adults are a bit smaller. Glass climbers

Guyana spotted roach Blaptica dubia


Where found: French Guyana, Brazil, South America.

Adult length: 40-50mm.


This species is becoming commonly kept in the hobby and makes a great addition to any roach collection. The females have very short wingcases and are spotted in red-brown, black, and buff. Females can be quite colorful. The adults and nymphs enjoy the usual roach fare (ie. dogfood, vegetables, fruit) and are very active. Fortunately this species is unable to climb glass in either the adult or nymph stages.

Blaptica Dubia Guyana Spotted Roach




The Formosan Sand roach is a great little species with ligh tan to white, winged males and wingless females. It resembles Arenivaga sp. but is much, much faster growing and nearly double the weight (of species currently kept) and females aren't as long-lived. Males are just as short-lived. Oothecae are buried in the substrate. Does not climb glass. 


American cockroach Periplaneta americana "White-eye" form


Where found: Nowhere in nature.

Adult length: 20-30mm.



This interesting strain of the common American cockroach has white eyes throughout its life; other roaches have black eyes even during molting. This mutation has been in culture more than sixty years. It is hard to say if this strain is blind or not because American roaches use many sensory hairs, antennae, and cerci, so well that eyes are not necessary. This strain is about 25% smaller than the normal form and does not breed quite as well. Of course it is an excellent glass climber and lays many oothecae.


Periplaneta Americana the American cockroach white eye colo


Domino cockroach Therea petiveriana


Where found: India.

Adult length: 22-26mm.


This magnificent looking cockroach mimics a warningly colored tortoise beetle. It is a somewhat slow growing species and the nymphs are substrate dwelling like other Polyphagids. Eggcases are buried and can take up to five months to hatch. Nymphs cannot climb glass but adults, especially males, are capable. The specimen depicted is male, females have less prominent antennae.


Domino Cockroaches


Pale-bordered Field cockroach Pseudomops septentrionalis


Where found: Louisiana, Texas, Mexico.

Adult length: 9-15mm.


This distinctive species makes up for its small size with strongly unique coloration. The antennae are black with a light orange band before the end. The eggcases average two-dozen plus nymphs. P.septentrionalis climb glass well and are quite energetic but usually stay on the decorations.


Pseudomops septentrionalis


Egyptian Desert Roach Polyphaga aegyptiaca


Where found: Egypt

Adult length: 24-33mm


P. aegyptiaca females have elongate rear legs so they never get stuck on their backs and shovel shaped forelegs for digging. Other Polyphaga sp. cultures contain only females (Parthenogenic) but this species is usually available as bisexual stock. The male is leathery black with full wings and a white margin on the pronotum and a white 'u' on the wings.


Egyptian Desert Roach (Polyphaga aegyptiaca)

Cockroaches ..  Introduction 

Cockroaches ..  Keeping in captivity :  Madagascar hissing cockroach

Cockroaches species and care  :  1  ..  2  ..  3   

Cockroaches ..  Introduction 

Cockroaches ..  Keeping in captivity :  Madagascar hissing cockroach

Cockroaches species and care  :  1  ..  2  ..  3   

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