Animal Information

Discoid Roach (Blaberus discoidalis), We Take The Ug Out Of This Bug!

Discoid roaches are very popular feeder roaches. They are one of the only Florida legal roach species because they do not climb or fly and will not survive our winters.

Discoid roaches (Blaberus discoidalis) are native to Mexico, Central, and South America. Wild populations of this insect are found in Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico (Vieques Island), Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, and Florida.

Discoids are known as false death’s head roaches because of their superficial resemblance to the death’s head cockroach. Blaberus craniifer is considered the true death head cockroach. This species has a distinct marking, similar to a skull, on its thorax. However, the wings of the true death head cockroach are jet black. 

Lifespan: 10-12 months for males

Females live longer, usually reaching 20-22 months.

Discoid Roaches are easily digestible as feeder roaches, high in meat to shell ratio for a high protein and nutritious meal. The various life cycles of the discoid roach offer a wide and varied sizes of roaches to use as feeders for your reptiles & amphibians.  

Discoid Roaches are easily maintained, cannot climb smooth surfaces or fly. They eat almost anything, are silent, and smell free compared to other insects like crickets.

Housing Discoids

Discoid Roach colonies can be housed in a ventilated plastic tub or aquarium tank with a large surface area.

This species also cannot climb smooth vertical surfaces, such as glass, which makes them easy to house in an open aquarium or similar.

The surface area is increased with the addition of egg flats for Discoids to hide in and nestle.

Discoid Roaches do not climb well on smooth surfaces, so as long as the sides of the enclosure are smooth there is little chance of escape.

No substrate is needed as this makes removal, separation, and maintenance easier.

A Discoid Roach prefers living in dark conditions so using a dark tub or storing it in a dark place is preferable. Because Discoid roaches like nestling and living in close quarters, they require places to hide.


As adults, these insects can battle and injure each other.

Discoid Roaches Eat Just About Anything

After all they are roaches.

This makes for easy feeding. Make sure that they have access to high protein grains at all times like oats, wheat, wheat bran. They also need other forms of protein. Some keepers feed dog, cat, or fish food.

Alternatively, a lot of people will use a commercial diet that is formulated to have a balanced ratio of proteins.

You Are What You Eat!

Any food that you give your roaches will be passed along to your reptiles and amphibians.

For this reason, it is best to keep the Discoid Gut-Loaded with optimum nutrition to be passed along as you feed the discoids off. Feed Fresh fruits like apples, bananas.

Look how cute these guys are!

Use these fruits as a staple food. They are best as they are sweet and nutritious and are readily consumed. Feed the amount that the discoid will consume within 24 hours.  Remove, the remains to eliminate the growth of mold.  Mold wipes out entire discoid colonies. 

Remove, the remains to eliminate the growth of mold.  Mold wipes out entire discoid colonies.  Use Fresh produce like carrots, leafy greens and other root vegetables provide a well-rounded diet for not only the roaches but the pets that you feed them to.

Nutritional Chart
ProteinFibreFatWater
Silkworms63.8%10.6%76%
Discoid roaches 35.6%6.75%61.18%
Waxworms15.5%7.7%22.2%62%
Crickets21.3%3.2%6.0%70%
Locusts41%5.25%62.3%

Discoid roaches may not be the highest live food in protein however their low chitin levels, high protein and low fat make them the idea feeder insects for your pet.

In comparison to crickets, they are 7x meatier (large to large) and a lot healthier, without the risk of parasite infection.

Breeding Discoid Roaches

You Do Not Breed Roaches, They Breed Themselves!

Discoids are optimally kept in temperatures around (82- 88°F ). They can survive at lower temperatures, but will not breed as quickly.  Higher temps 88-95°F will greatly increase breeding cycles and produce more Discoid roaches as Feeders as well as increase the life cycle of your colony.  Make sure humidity levels are at least 40%

Males are generally smaller than females with his wings going past the tip of the abdomen while females wings are shorter than the abdomen. Females are much wider and thicker. The easiest and most effective way to sex them is by looking at their underside. Males have more of a white striped belly while females have a blacker underbelly.

Males have white stripes on the abdomen.

Females have no stripes and are a bit rounder.

The roaches mature at 3 to 4 months of age depending on temperature. This is the stage where they can start reproducing. Place your mature roaches in a container and wait. Soon you will see the females getting larger.

You might even witness a female extracting their egg case called an ootheca. Do not disturb them when they are doing this! If disturbed you may lose the babies.

Once the egg case is extracted the female then retracts it back inside a special cavity. This is where the babies develop and the female gives birth to 20 to 40 live babies after about a month gestation. The best part about discoids is they give live birth so no incubation is needed.

Say What?

You can not make this stuff up!

The movement of B. discoidalis is relatively slow and inefficient compared to the common cockroach Periplaneta americana, which sprints on its hind legs more than twice as fast at 50 body lengths per second.

In laboratory tests, specimens were adept at obstacle climbing, and maintaining stability with miniature “cannons” strapped to their bodies to knock them off balance.

The species served as the basis for the kinematic design of several cockroach-inspired robots.

B. discoidalis was used in an experiment to create a miniature fuel cell, producing electricity from naturally occurring sugar in the insect and oxygen in the air. The power density of the species is considered a good design target for small robots.

Discoid Cockroaches are also used in insect-eating competitions since they are often raised in captivity and are easier to gather in large numbers during a contest.

In 2012, Edward Archibold died as a result of ‘asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents,’ according to his autopsy report, while participating in a cockroach eating contest in South Florida.

If you are going to eat roaches, we recommend the Dubia species.

They taste like chicken!
  1. A cockroach can live for a week without its head. Due to their open circulatory system, and the fact that they breathe through little holes in each of their body segments, they are not dependent on the mouth or head to breathe. The roach only dies because, without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst.
  2. A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged under water for half an hour. They hold their breath often to help regulate their loss of water.
  3. Cockroaches can run up to three miles in an hour, which means they can spread germs and bacteria throughout a home very quickly.
  4. A one-day-old baby cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, can run almost as fast as its parents.
  5. The world’s largest roach (which lives in South America) is six inches long with a one-foot wingspan. Average cockroaches can vary in size from ½”- 2″ long.
  6. Cockroaches are believed to have originated more than 280 million years ago, in the Carboniferous era.
  7. There are more than 4,000 species of cockroaches worldwide.
  8. Because they are cold-blooded insects, cockroaches can live without food for one month, but will only survive one week without water.

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