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Old 01-06-2007, 11:45 AM   #1
Anyone else use blatta lateralis?

I just received 200 blatta lateralis. I plan to get a colony going capable of serving as a staple for a pair of panther chams. Right now I have the roaches in a 20 gallon long. Is that big enough to sustain a colony for two chams? Keep in mind that by staple I mean they would provide about 30% of the diet. I like to provide a lot of variety including silkworms, hornworms, mantids, butterworms, waxworms, crickets, and zophobas. I basically want the roaches to replace crickets as the primary foodsource.
Old 01-07-2007, 01:24 AM   #2
From what I've read B. latteralis needs high humidity. You may not be able to provide a high enough humidity in a 20 gal long. I would give the colony a few months to build up in numbers before you start feeding them off.

I have a small colony of B. latteralis in a rubbermaid. I don't keep cham's though, so I can't help you with your other question.
Old 01-08-2007, 07:53 PM   #3
Digby Rigby
Warning! Plastic bins

Glass enclosures are not really practical for roaches. A 20 gallon has a lot of empty room for only 200 blatta lateralis. They like it very dark. Like absence of light kind of dark. Plastic bins also have rounded corners and come in solid colors. They are also easier to keep clean. nymphs and other non climbers can also sometimes climb up the silicon used to seal the glass. The roaches like to be in close knit groups. So a smaller container is better than one with a lot of empty space. Blatta lateralis can be an excellent cricket size replacement roach. They grow fast and breed fast. Egg cases can be laid every 2 weeks and can hatch in 2 weeks. The higher humidity is needed for the egg cases so they dont dry out. Unlike other popular feeder species the lateralis are ootheca layers not live bearers. A lot of animals do like them, however some are put off by the defensive fluids they can eject while being eaten.

In closing switch to a plastic bin, solid colored and smaller than what you are using now. If you want something that gets larger as adults there are several other species available.

For availablity and further info you can send me a pm here or email me at:

Digby Rigby

My feeders are cooler than your pets!
Old 01-08-2007, 09:13 PM   #4
Thanks for the replies. ? about oothecas.

I'll switch to a solid colored plastic bin. Should I remove the oothecas to a separate container or can I just leave them in with the colony? How long will it take for my colony to produce enough to start feeding them off to my two panthers? Do you happen to know where I can find a nutritional analysis of blatta lateralis? I'm curious about calcium/phosforous ratio. Speaking of oothecas, I'm waiting for my chinese mantis oothecas to hatch.
Old 01-09-2007, 03:30 PM   #5
Digby Rigby
Arrow The ooth the whole ooth and nothing but the ooth

If the oothecae are not hatching in the bins then you need to adjust humidity. Otherwise they should hatch okay in the bins. Some people remove the ooths to a seperate container if they need to have tiny nymphs without having to try and get them out of the bins. Also there is no one magic feeder the trick is to have several complimentary feeders that together supply all nutrients in a desired fashion. We use no vitamin or mineral powders to coat our feeders. Just feed the feeders good things and good things will come of it. However that is a topic for another thread

Digby Rigby

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