American cockroach Periplaneta americana
hissing cockroach Gromphadorhina portentosa
Death's head cockroach Blaberus craniifer
Availability: All species are available now. After you have a
cage and supplies, contact Liz (email@example.com)
to schedule a pickup time (right after class is convenient). We will
provide you with an adult, a transfer container,
and some food.
Housing: On the positive side, all species can be reared
with materials found around the house ... but, on the negative side,
all three species can be reared with materials found around the house!
Consider the possibility of escape - these roaches will survive in your
abode! Cockroaches can be housed in a metal, plastic, or glass
container. A two liter container can comfortably house a few roaches.
Keep in mind that cockroaches can easily chew through paper, cloth or
cardboard. Be sure to ventilate the container with a screen top or by
poking numerous small holes in the top. Most cockroaches are negatively
phototactic (avoid light) and thigmotactic (prefer to be in contact
with a surface), so provide your roach with a surface to hide under.
Cardboard or crumpled heavy paper capable of blocking direct light
works. Keep your cockroach in a warm location, since our species are of
tropical or subtropical origin.
Food & water: Cockroaches are omnivorous and will eat almost
anything, including one another if food is in short supply. Don't let
this happen! Readily available foods used in cockroach rearing include
dry dog food (our colony's food), wheat germ, unsweetened cereal, fruit
slices, or potatoes. Remove food from the cage if it decays or rots.
Cockroaches also need a source of water, such as a fresh fruit slice or
cockroach watering device (ask us).
Notes: Cockroaches develop slowly and live long active lives for
an insect. Your cockroaches will probably outlive your project. Keep in
mind that we will accept roaches at the end of the rearing period for
future use as demonstration specimens.
Madagascar hissing cockroaches often have commensal mites on their
bodies. (A commensal relationship is an interaction between one
organism that benefits from the interaction and another organism that
derives no benefits nor harm from the interaction). These small mites
feed off food scraps and saliva from the roach and cause no harm to
their host. These mites cannot survive off their hosts; in fact, they
serve as an interesting example of commensalism in one of our biology