Full Throttle Feeders

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Blue Bottle Fly

Care Sheet

Blue Bottle flies are cultured commercially for the fishing industry, reptile industry, and also for pollinating crops. We sell Spikes (AKA larvae) that will last about 3 weeks with high pupation rates.

What do I do when I get them?

The spikes will arrive in a plastic container. To keep them from all pupating, keep them in the refrigerator, the target temperature is 36 degrees. Higher refrigerator temperature will shorten the life of the Spikes.

Gut loading Blue Bottle Flies

Blue Bottle Flies have 20% protein, and on 6% fat. You can gut load the flies by placing honey and/or powdered sugar in a container. I personally don’t gut load, it is messy, and if you feed them, they leave “spit marks” in the reptiles’ cage. To dust them with supplements, place the adult flies in the refrigerator, they will become sluggish, you can then cover them in supplements and easily put them in the cage without escapees.

How do I get them in the cage?

We have sent you an extra fly cup that has a hole in the side with painters’ tape over it. Put some of the larvae into the cup, snap the lid on, take off the painters’ tape, and put the cup in the animals’ cage.   The flies will pupate and then hatch, exit the hole, and fly to their doom… Doing this same process with many cups, and taking one cup out of the refrigerator every 2-3 days will give you constant supply of flies hatching.

Summary

We buy weekly from the source that sells to all the distributers, so your spikes will have at least 3 weeks of high hatch rates. Blue Bottle flies have rapid movement and will travel every inch of the reptiles’ cage. The rapid movement can break a hunger strike, and is a favorite feeder for Bearded Dragons, Chameleons, Frogs, and Praying Mantis.


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Chinese Praying Mantis

Care Sheet

The most common Ootheca (AKA egg case or ooth) available in the US is the Chinese Mantis, Tenodera sinensis. Originating in China, the Chinese Mantis is the most common mantis in the United States. Ooths are collected in the wild throughout the US by pickers who sell them to wholesalers. The adult females reach 5 inches or so and are quite impressive.

                                      

Hatching the Ooth

To hatch the ooth, position is important. The ooth must be hung with the “zipper” down, which is where the 2 flows from the female laying the ooth merge. Glue the side of the ooth the branch is on to the lid and the zipper will be down. The reason for having the zipper down is the nymphs all emerge from this zipper, and hang onto the ooth and each other to dry off. Under the ooth you want some excelsior or grass for the nymphs to climb onto. Some ooths completely hatch out in minutes, some hatch in bursts over days. It takes about 2 weeks to hatch ooths at 80 degrees; lower temperatures will increase your wait time.


Feeding and Hydration

BEFORE the hatch, you will need Bean Beetle Cultures, Rice Beetle Cultures, and Fruit Fly Cultures. The nymphs will eat these tiny feeders for about 2-3 weeks, and they eat a lot. Once they have molted 2-3 times you can feed them small crickets, or our favorite, Blue Bottle Flies. For hydration, you can lightly spray the nymphs, but most hydration needs are met through the food.

Housing

If you keep food available, you can house the nymphs together for 2 molts without having too much cannibalism. From the 3rd molt on you will need to separate the Nymphs into 32-ounce insect cups. The 32 ounce insect cups give enough height for the mantis to molt; if during a molt they touch the bottom, the molt will not be successful, resulting in deformities, and/or death. They can stay in the 32-ounce cup until they are 2 inches long.

Tricks

Ooths are collected November through February in the US, and then held at wholesalers under refrigeration until the next years’ pick. By August, the hatch rates begin to drop on the refrigerated ooths. The size of the ooth is proportionate to the hatch rate, so getting large ooths is better. Mantids will eat honey off of a popsicle stick in your hand, a great show for kids.


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Cleaner Beetles

Care Sheet

Our Cleaner Beetle Cultures contain Dark Mealworm beetles and Peanut Beetles, but most of the culture will be Buffalo Beetles.

The Buffalo Beetle (Alphitobius diapherinus) is one of the easiest small feeders to raise. Neither the adults or larvae can climb glass or plastic, so containment is easy. The eggs are laid in the substrate, and hatch into tiny larvae that grow to about ¼ inch long. The larvae hatch into a beetle that is about 3/16-inch long.


Housing

We use a ten-gallon aquarium, for our colony, but all 19 Roach bins have the cleaning crews working 24-7.


Food/hydration

Wheat bran, Alfalfa, and Scottish Oats are the main food, and thin slices of apple, are used for hydration.


Temperature

To achieve maximum production, the target temperature is 80 degrees, although at 70 degrees they will produce well.


The cleaner beetles will eat the dead insects, left over dry food and fruits and vegetables. Cleaner beetles are one of the best solutions to control odor, fruit flies and fungus gnats.


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Giant Peppered Roach

Care Sheet

The Giant Peppered Roach (Archimandrita tesselata) is one of the largest roaches kept in captivity. With striking markings, and massive size, it is an impressive roach. This species is the “gentle giant” of Roaches, you can handle them without worrying about them being frantic.

 

Housing

Plastic tote 21” x 15” x 12” high. The substrate is hardwood dried leaves, decomposing hardwood, and moist coco fiber. Bark slabs are horizontal on the substrate, but vertical bark slabs in one end of the container are needed so that the Peppered Roaches will have a place to hang onto to molt.

 

Food

The dried hardwood leaves and decomposing hardwood are the main food source. They also eat Roach Bedding Chow (which is alfalfa powder, non-medicated poultry feed, and Scottish oats-sold under Gut Loads and Supplies).

 

Hydration

Peppered Roaches like a moist environment, so spray the coco fiber/leaf/wood to keep it lightly moist. Carrots and apple slices are added for hydration and health benefits.

Tricks

The adults need to be separated from the nymphs, or the adults will die off soon after molting (information from Kyle Kandilian). 

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Green Banana Roach

Care Sheet

Nymphs

The nymphs are dark brown to black colored, and cannot climb plastic. They inhabit the substrate, and tend to congregate with the adults under bark layered on the substrate.

Adults

The adults are a bright green, and can climb and fly, but only seem to fly when disturbed, or active at night. Don’t open the lid at night…

Habitat

The container we use is a Sterlite Gasket Box sold at Target. Nothing gets through the lid…nothing.The substrate is 3-inch deep coco fiber, with large thick bark pieces covering the entire surface, and layered ¾ up the container. Dry gut load is held in a container. For moisture, we start with all the coco fiber damp, and keep it damp the whole time by adding water to the substrate on the weekends, if needed. They like it moist, but if the substrate dries out they will still survive. For heat, we have a target temperature of 85 degrees under the bark, this gives us maximum production.

Food

Our primary food source is sliced apple; it is the one food they consume completely, and they like bananas also. Dry gut load is also available, and they consume some, but not as much as Dubias or Orange Heads do. We put enough thin apple slices on the bark that they have them completely eaten in 2-3 days, longer will result in fungus gnats and fruit flies.

 

Harvesting

Individual nymphs for feeding are most easily caught by banging the bark with the GBR nymphs hanging on it, in an empty plastic container, since they can’t climb plastic they are easy to get. When harvesting adults, GENTLY PLACE the bark in a large empty plastic container; the adults rarely fly or climb in the daylight hours, unless disturbed; they will go back under the bark as you turn it over. Pin the adults to the bottom and side of the container. IF you bang the bark, the adults will become very…mobile!

Tricks

GBR’s bright green color, and movement seem to trigger feeding better than other roaches. Another advantage is adults are small enough that you can feed them off.

 

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Kenyan Roach

Care Sheet

We culture Blaberidae sp. ‘Kenya’ as a small feeder. The Kenyan Roach is the smallest of the Roaches available to the reptile hobby. The newly hatched nymphs are the size of fruit flies, the adults are barely ½ inch long. The nymphs are a yellow-brown, the adults dark brown.


Housing

We use a vented plastic lid container that is 12 wide x 16 long x 7 high, and I house 300 mixed sizes in that container. You can use dirt for a substrate, but we prefer coco fiber, for the smell control, humidity retention, and non-compaction. The substrate is 2 inches thick to accommodate the females’ requirement to dig a live birth chamber. On the top of the coco fiber we use dry deciduous leaves and tree bark. The target temperature is 85 degrees in the substrate, and we spray the enclosure several times a week.


Food

These guys will eat vegetables and fruits without refusing much. My favorite is thinly sliced apples, oranges, and carrots for food and hydration, and Roach Bedding Chow a dry gut load.


Reproduction

Reproduction is at a fairly high rate, but the new nymphs are VERY small, so you might look through the coco fiber and not see them.


Tricks

Harvesting with a substrate is not easy, so having the bark and dried leaves on the surface help to not be digging in the substrate.  Adult males can climb plastic, but tend to climb a few inches and then climb back down to the safety of the substrate. A lid is recommended to keep the males home.


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Madagascan/Hissing Cockroach

Care Sheet

The Madagascan Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) and the Halloween Hissing Cockroach (Elliptorhina javanica) are both striking in coloration. The Madagascan is known as a pet roach, but is also raised as a feeder roach for larger animals. The nymphs of the Madagascan have a soft exoskeleton, while the adults have a much harder exoskeleton. The Halloween is soft through adult sizes, and is much smaller than the bulky Madagascan.


Housing

Both can be raised in glass or plastic, but ventilation is a must; moisture will form on the insides of the container if air flow is restricted, or there are too many roaches for the space. You can use vertical egg flats or bark for climbing area, and you can use coco fiber for a substrate, or have no substrate. Target temperature is 80 degrees for high production, but both can tolerate temperatures in the mid 70’s.


Food

Grain-based protein is needed as a food source, we feed them Roach Bedding Chow, and also use dried Oak leaves.


Hydration

Carrots and sliced apples are the main hydration sources, we also spray the inside of the container for hydration as needed.


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Orange Head and Dubia Roach

Care Sheet

This care sheet covers 2 roaches; Blaptica Dubia known as “Dubia” and Eublaberus posticus known as “Orange Head”

 

Both are raised under the same conditions:

 

Target temperature: 85 degrees

 

Housing

 

Plastic tote 21” wide x 15” wide x 12” high. Egg flats stood vertically fill ¾ of the tote, the other ¼ is where hydration food and dry gut load are placed. The entire lid is screened for ventilation. None of these roaches climb or fly, so the egg crates are cut down low enough so the adults can’t reach the lid.

 

Food

 

We use our Roach Bedding Chow which is non-medicated chicken feed, alfalfa powder, and fine ground oats.

 

Hydration

 

Thin sliced apples are used for hydration mostly, you can use oranges, or other juicy fruits, but if your bin has condensation switch back to apples. We do not use a water bowl or water cubes as they breed bacteria.

 

Bin Cleaning

 

No smell from these species makes cleaning an option, not a monthly chore. If you have large colonies, you will clean more often. Orange Heads put out more heat, so if you are too crowded condensation will form on the sides of the container.

 

Similarities

 

Both species do not fly, or climb plastic or glass. Both species are high producers, and need high temperatures to breed. Both have soft bodied nymphs.

 

Differences

 

The Orange Head longer and heavier than the Dubia at all stages. The Orange Heads are a shiny nymph, the dubias are dull.

 

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Red Runner Roach

Care Sheet

The Red Runner Roach (AKA Shelfordella lateralis or Turkistan Roach) is about 1-1/2-inches long as an adult, as fast as a cricket in movement, and doesn’t climb smooth surfaces. Soft-bodied at all stages, a natural fast breeder, it is a perfect replacement for crickets, with no smell, no chirping, no high death rate, and no need to have dirt for laying bins like crickets. The nymphs are rust colored, the adults are a red and black color.

 

Housing

Vertical egg flats in a bin is best to give lots of climbing room. Have about 2-inches space from the top of the egg flats to the lid of the container, so no roaches can reach the bottom of the lid. 

 

Food

We use a protein based gut load such as Cricket Crack, Bug Buffet, WOW Chow, or Roach Bedding Chow, and used sliced apple, orange, and carrot slices for hydration.

 

Reproduction

The Red Runner females will lay ¼-inch dark colored ootheca throughout the container. These will hatch into tiny nymphs the size of pinhead crickets. Eventually, your entire container floor will be full of ootheca cases, these guys multiply super-fast. At 75-80 degrees you will have all the feeders you need!

 

Harvesting

When harvesting Red Runners, don’t do it from dusk until dawn as they active at night. Here are the steps to limit escapees:
1.    Pull one vertical egg flat slowly from the main colony, lower it into a tall plastic container, shake the roaches off the egg flat.
2.    Put the transfer cup you are going to use to put the roaches into the chameleon enclosure inside a large plastic bin.
3.    Shake the roaches out of the tall bin into the transfer cup, if some miss the transfer cup, they are contained in the large plastic bin.
4.    Dust the roaches and slowly dump them into the feeder cup in the chameleon enclosure.

 

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Rice Flour Beetles (Confused Flour Beetle)

Care Sheet

We culture Tribolium confusum, also known as the Confused Flour Beetle, or Rice Flour Beetle. The beetles are one of the smaller feeders, with the beetles being under 1/8-inch long, smaller in length and girth of Bean Beetles.

 

Housing

The Confused Flour Beetle can be housed in plastic boxes, jars, or insect cups. We use 32 ounce insect cups with a toilet paper roll for harvesting the adults.

 

Food

No water is required for the Confused Flour Beetle culture. The Confused Flour Beetle will eat various fine ground grain products, our food is flour and yeast based.

 

Hydration

No hydration is needed.

 

Reproduction

Confused Flour Beetle Cultures have a target temperature of 80 degrees for high production.

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Ivory Head Roach

Care Sheet

 

The Ivory Head Roach (Eublaberus sp. ‘Ivory’) has many advantages to the Dubia Roach. The Ivory Roach is heavier and longer than the Dubia Roach, and has faster movement than the Dubia Roach making it a preferred feeder since movement solicits more strikes. Some other advantages are the Ivory Head Roach can be crowded in the breeding container without the wings being nibbled on by the colony, and crowding doesn’t slow down production. The winged adults have transparent wings which contrast the dark markings on the heads. The nymphs are really shiny with light dots on the side.

 

Housing

 

We keep Ivory Heads in two ways; vertical egg flats, with no substrate, and also layered bark on top of 4-inxhes of moist (not wet) coco fiber. The egg flat container is easiest for harvesting, but our experience is the coco fiber/bark layers is best for production. Both will work, but the nymphs are diggers, so the best compromise is to layer the bark high enough you have 5+ pieces you can shake off for harvesting.

 

Food

 

The Ivory Head Roaches are not to particular on grain-based protein sources, we use Roach Bedding Chow which is ground alfalfa, oats, and non-medicated chicken feed ($5/pound under “Gut Loads” ). We also substitute Cricket Crack/Bug Buffet occasionally.

 

Hydration

 

The Ivory Head Roaches get sliced apples, oranges, and carrots for hydration twice a week.

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Harlequin Roach

Care Sheet
 

The Harlequin Roach (Neostylopyga rhombifolia) Has great patterned contrasts, and is an active climber. Adults measure about 1-inch long, the nymphs start out dark red, and as they molt get brighter red. The Harlequin is a beautiful species at all ages.

 

Housing
 

Harlequins are climbers and will scale smooth surfaces. We use bark or egg crates, with moist coco fiber for substrate. Our original colony was in a 20-quart Sterlite Gasket Box, and housed over 200. At 200 we moved them to a 54-quart Sterlite Gasket Box.


Food 
 

We offer dry Oak leaves and Roach Bedding Chow which is Alfalfa, Non-medicated chicken feed, and Scottish oats.

 

Hydration
 

For hydration we use sliced apples, oranges and carrots.

 

Tricks
 

The Harlequin Roach is a fast mover, and climbs smooth surfaces, so when we pick orders, we always handle them inside a larger bin to prevent escapees. As they climb up the sides, put your hand toward them and they will scurry to the bottom. If you need to handle them wear gloves so you don’t get stuck by the leg spikes.

 

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Giant Cave Roach

Care Sheet

The Giant Cave Roach has nice contrasting markings, and its’ massive size makes it a nice variation in a roach collection, and also as a great larger feeder for reptiles.

 

Housing

The Giant Cave Roach needs vertical bark pieces to molt on, and to climb on. A substrate of moist coco fiber, dried oak leaves, and rotting hardwood is ideal.  Due to the large size of this species, a 54-quart Sterlite Gasket Box is used.

 

Food

The Giant Cave Roach will eat the Oak Leaves and rotting hardwood, we also offer Roach Bedding Chow.

 

Hydration

Sliced apples, oranges and carrots are offered for hydration.

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Care Sheet

Surinam Roach

The Surinam Roach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis) is a unique feeder roach in many ways. Originating in Asia and Indonesia, this burrowing roach has been shipped all over the world in tropical plant soils and is legal to culture in Florida where Dubia Roaches are not allowed. One of the few roaches requiring no males, every adult is a female nymph producer. The ootheca is carried internally and live nymphs are born about every 1-3 months, making this one of the fastest breeding roaches. The nymphs are a shiny black/dark brown with light brown stripes, are soft bodied, and plumper than Dubia. The adult females have light brown shiny wings. Adult Females are ¾ to 1-inch long. 

 

Housing

 

The Surinam Roach is a burrowing roach, we use 3-inches of coco fiber which is kept damp, not soaking wet.On top of the coco fiber we use layers of moss, they like to burrow and bed in it. We use Sterlite Gasket Boxes (available at Target) for all of our roaches, and the older nymphs and adults can climb of smooth surfaces; they prefer to hide verses climb though.

 

Food

 

The Surinam Roach will devour any plant-based food, we use dry grain gut loads, carrots, oranges, and apples. When food is placed on the substrate, they drag it underground; don’t overfeed! They also eat their dead, and in greenhouses have been known to eat plants, making them a pest roach in plant raising facilities.

 

Hydration

 

The Surinam Roach produces water as it breaths, so we find that the coco fiber doesn’t need to have water added to it to keep it moist. The carrots, apples, and oranges we feed them provides enough hydration. 

 

Temperature

 

82 degrees is the temperature for high production.

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Care Sheet

Pallid Roach

The Pallid Roach (Phoetalia pallida) is a soft bodied, smaller roach with females reaching 1-inch, and males being slightly smaller. The nymphs are a burgundy color, the adults a light brown. Both adults have wings, and adults and nymphs climb smooth surfaces. Pallid Roaches smaller size make them a great replacement for Dubia Roaches for keepers who want a smaller adult feeder, faster movement to trigger feeding response, and are Florida legal.

Housing

 

The Pallid Roach can be kept in crowded conditions, and will need a tight-fitting lid such as a Sterlite Gasket Box, as both nymphs and adults climb smooth surfaces. We use 2-inches of coco fiber and spray it once a week, and use bark for climbing surfaces and harvesting. Pallid Roaches who escape tend to die quickly without high temperatures and significant humidity.

 

Food

 

The Pallid Roach will eat dry gut load, we use Roach Bedding Chow, and for hydration we mostly use apple and orange slices. Pallids eat a lot for their size, and mature quickly.

 

Reproduction

 

The Pallid Roach is live-bearing, and is one of the most productive roaches with a 2-week birth rate. Although crowded conditions are favorable, some report a spike in births when the colony goes down in size. The nymphs are tiny, and good for feeding small reptiles, amphibians, and Praying Mantis.

 

Harvesting

 

Since Pallid Roaches climb smooth surfaces, when opening the colony, always put your colony container inside another taller container to avoid escapees.

Discoid Roach

Care Sheet

The Discoid Roach (Blaberus dicoidalis) is one of the few roaches allowed in Florida, and has some similarities to the Dubia roach and some distinct differences. The Discoid is similar to the Dubia in that they are about the same size, neither climb smooth surfaces, neither fly (only glide to the ground), are kept at the same temperatures, and have the same housing requirements. The main differences are the Discoid Roaches in both sexes have wings, and the Discoid Roaches move faster than Dubia, which encourages strikes from the lizard.

 

Housing

 

We use vertical egg flats in a 56-quart Sterlite Gasket Box, at one end we have a water source, and a dry gut load. Temperatures range from 82-90 degrees.

 

Food

 

The Discoid Roach has the reputation of being a “decomposition roach” as they will eat any decaying plant matter. It is recommended that they receive a high protein level, so we use Roach Bedding Chow in addition to fruits and vegetables.

 

Hydration

 

Discoids need a good hydration source, so in addition to fruits and vegetables, we offer water in a chick feeder 24-7.

 

The Discoid is a fast moving, easy to raise, and easy to contain roach that could and should be a viable replacement roach for the sluggish Dubia Roach.

Compsodes schwarzi Roach

Care Sheet

The Compsodes schwarzi roach is known as the Micro Hooded roach, and is perhaps the smallest roach in culture, coming in a bit smaller than Kenyans. Nymphs and females do not climb smooth surfaces, and the males only climb smooth surfaces when disturbed. The roach is a light beige color which makes it easy for your animals to see dinner.

 

Housing

 

With the Micro Hooded Roach being so small you can keep them in containers about a gallon in size. Have ventilation with micro-screen, as these guys are tiny. They live in leaf litter, we use dried Oak and Maple leaves. We use bark on the top for an airy hiding place, and to harvest. Target temperature is mid-80’s.

 

Hydration

 

To keep the ooths moist we spray the enclosure weekly.

 

Food

 

A small piece of carrot will last a week, you can also put a few fish flakes in occasionally. The hardwood leaves are their main food, no need to put big pieces of fruit and vegetables in, the Micro Hooded Roach ignores most everything but leaves.

 

Tricks

Keep your leaf litter loose with air pockets so the adults have places to lay their ooths. A colony of Micro Hooded Roaches is an excellent feeder for new hatchlings or small adult lizards, without the troubles of fruit fly cultures.

Mezium affine Beetle

Care Sheet

The Mezium affine beetle is one of the smallest feeders available, with an adult length of about 2 millimeters. The abdomen is round which gives the beetle the name of the “Spider Beetle”. This is one of the best small feeders for new hatchlings. 

 

Housing

 

The do not climb smooth surfaces, so any plastic container will work. Room temperature will work, but they can go down into the 60’s and up into the 80’s. A horizontal egg flat on the substrate will help in harvesting. 

 

Hydration

 

The Spider Beetle does not need hydration sources, similar to Bean Beetles.

 

Food

 

The Spider Beetle will eat dead insects, fruits, vegetable, grain products, dog food, cat food, they are an easy to feed colony. Since they don’t need a hydration source, we keep them on 1-inch of Roach Bedding Chow which is Alfalfa Meal, Scottish Oats, and non-medicated poultry feed.