Turkistan Roach Care and Breeding

Turkistan Roach Care and Breeding

Blatta lateralis

The Turkistan Roach is a cricket sized non climbing roach taking the feeder roach market by storm. The Turkistan Roach is vividly colored, does not burrow, is fast moving and just runs around drawing lots of attention to itself.

Turkistan Roaches mature at about 3-5 months old. This species drops egg cases instead of giving live birth so they reproduce very, very quickly. The egg cases are left all over the place on both the tank floor and inside the depressions in the egg flats. The newly hatched blond nymphs are very small, about 1/8 of an inch or smaller but grow quickly. Nymphs soon start changing color from blond to red and get redder as they get older.

Like the Blaptica dubia Roach, the Turkistan Roach is sexually dimorphic, the adults looking so different from each other that they are easy to tell apart at a glance. The adult males are blond with full wings while the adult females are dark reddish brown with no wings. Once the Turkistan Roach colony has established, you can use the extra males as feeders, leaving a ratio of one male to every three females.

For an enclosure, use a glass aquarium, plastic critter keeper, Rubbermaid type plastic bin or garbage can. Turkistan Roaches can not climb but the some of the lighter adult males can occasionally jump. For that reason a screened top to the enclosure is recommended. Place cardboard egg flats in the bin or tank for hiding places. Stacking vertically works best as it allows all the debris to fall to the bottom of the enclosure. Turkistan Roaches really do not burrow, so especially need no substrate. Substrate only makes cleaning more difficult.

Unlike crickets, roach enclosures do not smell and can be kept clean with a little attention to housekeeping. Sweep or scoop the bottom of the enclosure as required, usually only every few months.

Provide a high protein food such as dry cat food or roach diet at all times. Also try whole grain cereal, baby cereal or fish flake food or pellets. Dry dog food, lower in protein than dry cat food, also works well for Turkistan Roaches. Food can be placed in the corners directly on the container floor or in a shallow dish. An interesting feeding behavior of the Turkistan roaches is that they often carry pieces of the dry food from the open areas to their hiding spots to eat. The other feeder roaches leave their food where it is and come out to eat it, although they all do roll the food around a bit.

Water should be supplied by water gel as it does not get stinky the way sponges will. Using water gel insures against immature roaches accidentally drowning. A dish of water gel also raises the humidity inside the enclosure so that misting the sides of the tanks is not necessary. Turkistan Roaches do require more humidity and moisture than some of the other feeder roaches. Always keep a dish or two of well hydrated water crystals in their enclosure and all will be well.

Offer your roaches fresh fruit or vegetables at least once a week. Carrot, apples, oranges, fresh leafy vegetables and fruit are all eagerly accepted. Remove any fruit or vegetables that are not eaten in a day or two to prevent mold. Mold is a threat to your roach colony, so best to feed only what they consume in a short while. Make sure any dry food such as roach diet or cat chow stays dry, easily accomplished if you are not using substrate or misting.

Keep your feeder roaches at a minimum temperature of 70 degrees. Turkistan Roaches are Tropical Roaches and need to be kept warm. If you want them to breed, keep them warm. Day temperatures between 85 to 95 degrees are preferable. Humidity levels should be mid range. Unless you live in a very dry area of the country, there will be enough humidity at 90 degrees.

Turkistan Roaches are very easy and reliable breeders. This is the fastest breeding roach of all the feeder roach species. If your adult Turkistan Roaches are not producing young, then you are keeping the temperature too low. If your roaches die during incomplete molts, then the humidity is too low.

It is best to allow your roach colony to become fully established before feeding heavily out of it. Once colonies are well established, you will have a constant supply of roaches for your feeding needs.

We sell Turkistan Roaches. 

Need some tips on how to heat your roach tanks? See Heating Roach Enclosures.

Is there any advantage to using substrates? See Substrates for Roach Enclosures for common substrates and whether to use them.


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