Nauphoeta cinerea (Lobster Roach) Caresheet
**Please note that Nauphoeta cinerea are illegal to keep in Florida**
Lobster roaches are a great feeder choice for bearded dragon food.
Lobster Roaches (general/facts): Lobster Roaches (Nauphoeta cinerea) are live-bearing tropical roaches native to the Caribbean. They reach a maximum size of up to 1 1/2” and are very popular as feeders since they have no odor. They are, however, able to climb any surface and care must be taken that they don’t escape.
Caging (cages/enclosures): Lobster Roaches can be kept in any closed, ventilated container. This can include an aquarium or a plastic tub with screen cover. In addition to keeping the container closed, it’s important to put a barrier at the sides of the enclosure towards the top so they don’t squeeze through the cover. This can be done by putting a 2-3′ wide layer of vaseline or spray oil in the inside of the enclosure at the top.
Bedding (substrate/accessories/supplies): Roaches do best without a substrate, which facilitates cleaning and sorting babies from adults. They do need places to hide and surface area to stand on. This is best accomplished by using stacked egg crate flats, cardboard sheets in the shape of commercial egg containers.
Heating (heating): Lobster Roaches can tolerate temperatures as low as 70 degrees F, but require much warmer temperatures to thrive and reproduce. A warm side of at least 90 degrees is recommended and they can tolerate temperatures of over 100 degrees. This can be accomplished by using an under tank heater (UTH) on one side of the enclosure or a ceramic heat emitter. Lobster Roaches require a moderate amount of humidity: provide bowls of water crystal gel or mist the sides of the enclosure periodically.
Lighting (lighting): Lobster Roaches do not require lighting.
Food/Diet: In order for roaches to be nutritious for the reptiles that will eat them, they need to be “gutloaded” with nutritious food. This includes powdered grains and nuts, cereal, fruits and vegetables, ground up dry dog food. Be sure to remove fruits and vegetables before they mold, as this can be fatal to the roaches. Place approximately 1/2” of gutload in shallow dishes at the sides or bottom of the enclosure. Although Lobster Roaches may get adequate hydration from the fruits and vegetables they eat, it’s best to provide a few dishes of water crystal gel as an additional source of moisture and humidity.
Breeding: What follows is a general outline of breeding information. Please seek more information before attempting to breed your Lobster Roaches:
Lobster Roaches are relatively easy to breed. Since they are live-bearers, no particular breeding medium is required. Mature females will produce 20-30 nymphs (baby roaches) at a time as long as the heat and humidity are adequate. The babies may take several months to reach feeding size. For best results, maintain a ratio of 1 male for every 3 females (males have fully developed wings and females have wing stubs). In order to keep track of the colony population, roaches can be sorted by size.