Dubia roaches (Blaptica dubia) have become increasingly popular in the recent years. Hobbyists are finding out that dubia roaches are great staple diet for their leopard geckos. Not only are dubia roaches a healthy, low fat feeder. They are also fairly clean, they do not smell, jump, climb smooth surface, or make obnoxious noises. Dubia roaches also breed well in a colony, allowing leopard gecko hobbyists to keep a live stock of all sizes ready to be fed off to their geckos. Unlike crickets and mealworms, their life cycle is very long, allowing you to keep them longer before having to feed them off. Pretty much you get the benefits of healthy feeders like crickets, without the negatives. They are also hardy, and very meaty compared to most feeders when looking at the meat to chitin ratio.
Dubia Roaches vs Crickets for Leopard Geckos
A big reason for their increased popularity has to do with the cricket virus that nearly wiped out the cricket stock. This cricket virus is now affecting more than just domestic house crickets, so reptile hobbyists had to look for a new, reliable feeder source. As more hobbyists get over their roach phobia (something I had to get over as well), more and more hobbyists are keeping a running colony of dubia roaches to feed them off to their leopard geckos & reptiles. Unfortunately with increased popularity, there are also lots of misinformation being spread regarding dubia roaches, particularly with their diet.
Dubia Roaches and High Protein Values
You will find most dubia roach breeders boasting about the high protein value of dubia roaches. Many of them recommend feeding roaches high protein diets, including feeding them dog/cat food. This is unfortunately a mistake. Dubia roaches convert excess protein into uric acid, and they do not excrete uric acid via urates or urine. Excess uric acid can cause gout in leopard geckos. This is seen when dubia roaches are fed a diet consisting of more than 15% protein.
To prevent this from happening, it’s best to feed your dubia roaches fresh veggies and fruits, as well as whole grain cereals. There are some commercial roach chows that are acceptable, but do read the labels and ingredients. Do not feed your dubia roaches cat/dog food. Not only do they contain too much protein, but they contain a lot of chemicals, preservatives, and fillers. Healthy dubia roaches fed a healthy diet will lead to healthier leopard geckos & reptiles.
Dubia Roaches and Mealworms Escape-proof Dish
Be sure to get yourself escape-proof feeding dishes such as OMEM Ceramics Made Worm Dish. Smooth surface and inward curved walls make them perfect dubia roaches & mealworms escape-proof feeding dishes.
Where to Buy Dubia Roaches
Get your dubia roaches from Rainbowmealworms. They have a good variety to choose from, great prices, and fast shipping. We’ve used them as our feeder supplier for many years.
Further Reading on Dubia Roaches as Feeders
There’s a research article written by Allen Repashy that goes into more details. If you are going to keep dubia roaches I highly recommend that you take a look at the article. We also have a leopard gecko feeder nutrition guide, where we compare most of the popular feeder insects and their nutritional values. The article will remind you to always gutload your feeder insects and dust your feeders with a good multivitamin powder such as Repashy Calcium Plus or Zoo Med Reptivite with D3. Your leopard gecko does not get enough vitamin D3 from feeders, so the supplement is necessary.