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pannaking22

Experimenting with Fruits and Vegetables

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I've been experimenting with various fruits and vegetables in my roach colonies and the colonies at my university's insectary and these are at least a few of the results. Of course changes over time occur since I get new roaches every now and then or don't feed certain species because I run out of food or they don't eat very much because I only have a couple tiny individuals. I'm planning on keeping this as a sort of running journal as I try out new foods. Should mostly stay fruits and veggies, but there may be other foods mixed in too from time to time depending on what I feel like testing.

Besides the produce, I also give the roaches dry cat food and/or dry oats when feeding.

To keep this somewhat standard across the board, I have the foods separated into categories of "Yes", "No", and "OK".

Yes = more than half of the food was eaten (some leeway with smaller species/groups, though I tried to scale the food amount down appropriately)

No = food was untouched or only nibbled on

OK = Some food was eaten, less than half

Foods were left in anywhere from 2-5 days depending on food type and quickly it would mold.

Species denoted with an * are in the insectary. The insectary is slightly warmer than room temp and extremely dry. My invert room is room temp and while I'm not sure of ambient humidity, it is certainly much much higher than the insectary's.

As a final note, these are just my experiences. I'm sure some foods that I try will be (un)accepted by various species other keepers do(n't) have success with.

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Food #1: Blueberries

Yes

Oxyhaloa duesta

L. verrucosa

B. cabrerai

N. rhombifolia

B. dubia

P. pallida

O. orientalis

A. tonkawa

No

S. conserfariam

D. punctata

C. pygmaea

Little Kenyans

OK

G. lurida

T. petiveriana

T. olegrandjeani

T. regularis

P. septentrionalis

R. formosana

P. nigra

Evaluation: Not a great food considering that blueberries are somewhat expensive (I got mine on sale and these were just the leftovers, so the roaches didn't get very many, which may have influenced the overall results). They also tend to mold quickly, so not recommended for high humidity enclosures. Might be good for a nice sugary snack from time to time, but that's it.

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Food #2: Banana

Yes

*Rhyparobia cf. capelloi

*L. verrucosa

*B. cabrerai

*G. portentosa

*B. craniifer

*S. longipalpa

L.verrucosa

B. cabrerai

B. craniifer

G. lurida

G. caffrorum

T. petiveriana

T. regularis

P. nigra

O. orientalis

P. pallida

B. dubia

No

D. punctata

C. pygmeae

E. pilosa

Little Kenyans

OK

P. septentrionalis

A. tonkawa

R. formosana (when hungry, it took a couple days for them to start eating, but they ate ~50%)

S. conserfariam

T. olegrandjeani

P. sausserei

O. duesta

Evaulation: Cheap and readily available, bananas can make a good addition to the roach diet if used as an occasional snack. Cons are definitely that it molds somewhat quickly and uneaten bits get mushy which makes cleaning up a little more difficult. Grain mites also go crazy over it, as do any in tank clean up crews you might have. There was a layer of springtails on the banana in one of my humid enclosures at one point once the roaches ate their fill.

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Very nice! This post is going to be very valuable, can't wait to see more! :D

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I agree this post will be very helpful, especially for me since I am getting my first colony very soon.

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Glad you like it so far! Hoping to post a couple more tonight once I get my notes together. Couple really short ones coming since a few food items I only fed to the roaches in the insectary.

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Lol fussy little kenyans

I know, right?? I'm hoping they're just so small and I have so few that I can't really see them eating anything. They have plenty of rotting leaves and wood too though, so that might be what they're mainly eating, besides the fish flakes. I just put them in a larger enclosure and I got another group from a different bloodline, so I'm hoping that the increase in population plus more variety in food will encourage reproduction. That and it's finally getting warm again :)

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May I request you evaluate apples? I've had mixed results with those.

Yeah, and say which kind of apple you use, different apples may get different results. :)

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Yeah, and say which kind of apple you use, different apples may get different results. :)

Mostly pink ladies and imperials. I like apples that are either really sweet or really tart. Nothing in between. That's why I hate the taste of red delicious apples, but love the taste of the granny smith.

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Mostly pink ladies and imperials. I like apples that are either really sweet or really tart. Nothing in between. That's why I hate the taste of red delicious apples, but love the taste of the granny smith.

I mostly use Fuji, Pink lady and Jonagold. I like crisp, sweet apples, but I hate red delicious apples and any sour apples.

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May I request you evaluate apples? I've had mixed results with those.

Absolutely! I already actually tested out apples but just need to get everything put up here :) I can't remember what type it was off the top of my head, but I'm guessing pink lady or Fuji since I'm always eating pink lady and there was a sale on Fuji at the store so I bought lots for the roaches (and then ate most of them myself lol).

Yeah, and say which kind of apple you use, different apples may get different results. :)

I agree, different apples might influence which species eats them/how much they eat. I'm kind of an apple snob though lol, so they won't get anything gross like red delicious.

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I'm kind of an apple snob though lol, so they won't get anything gross like red delicious.

I would use that as my signature if I didn't already have one! That's the story of my apple eating life. :D

Red delicious is the largest oxymoron this world has ever seen, as they are not at all delicious, and... well... I guess they don't look red to a colorblind person!

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Hey, I'm ever so slightly color deficient, and they look red to me! :lol: But yeah, red delicious apples suck!

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The apple request is good. I'd like to see cucumber results. Most people seem to say roaches don't like them but mine leave nothing behind. Curious if it is a species thing.

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I would use that as my signature if I didn't already have one! That's the story of my apple eating life. :D

Red delicious is the largest oxymoron this world has ever seen, as they are not at all delicious, and... well... I guess they don't look red to a colorblind person!

Well if you're ever looking for a new signature you're more than welcome to use it lol! The story behind red delicious is interesting, but it really just comes down to extreme breeding for color and shape and not much else.

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I seem to be missing a lot of my apple notes for whatever reason, but here is what I have for a Fuji apple in the insectary. It will be expanded either when I find the rest of my notes or I feed everyone apple again before I eat all of them

Food #3: Fuji Apple (just insectary species)

Yes

*G. portentosa

*S. longipalpa

*R. cf capelloi

B. dubia (not in the insectary, but I toss them most apple cores when I'm done with the apple. The only one I have seen them barely eat is Golden delicious and between my girlfriend and I we've given them a wide diversity of apples)

*L. verrucosa

*B. cabrerai

No

OK

*E. floridana (probably would have been "Yes", but the apple molded quickly)

*B. craniifer

Evaluation: A good food choice for most roaches, especially those that need a larger amount of fruit in their diet. Fuji are relatively cheap and are available at most grocery stores. Provides lots of nutrients and moisture, so it's ideal for drier enclosures. It's accepted by species that need more humidity, but it tends to mold fairly quickly. Despite the mold, cleanup crews will go nuts over it (I toss tiny pieces of other apples to my springtail and isopod enclosures and they go nuts).

We'll see what happens when I test out other apple varieties.

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Food #4: Cantaloupe

I will note here that when the entomology department does outreach events, we typically ask for donations of either just a few dollars or people are welcome to donate produce to help feed the insect zoo. Most of what we get is produce, so I have a lot of very short food reports for just species in the insectary that I tested these out on.

Yes

*P. americana

*S. longipalpa

*R. cf. capelloi

*L. verrucosa

*B. cabrerai

No

OK

*E. floridana

Evaulation: A decent enough fruit if you have leftovers. Gets moldy very quickly and will soak just about anything you put it on. Dry species really enjoy the moisture and I'm sure the sweetness doesn't hurt. Not the cheapest fruit so it wouldn't make a good staple.

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Food #5: Broccoli (only ate the crown)

Yes

B. cabrerai

No

G. portentosa

R. cf. capelloi

E. floridana

OK

E. posticus

L. verrucosa

Evaluation: Not all that popular with the roaches. Ones that did eat the broccoli only ate the crown and left the rest. I suspect part of the reason B. cabrerai actually ate most is because their colony is huge. Not recommended as a food source or even a snack.

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Your findings with broccoli are interesting. I never expected roaches to dislike something THAT much, I mean come on... They're roaches!

I've never tried cantaloupe with roaches before, but my darkling beetles and muttlids love it! Maybe too juicy for the roaches?

This should be a sticky thread so others can see it in the future :)

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Food #6: Romaine Lettuce (the staple food for the eastern lubber grasshopper, Romalea gutatta, colony, so there's always some extra)

Yes

*L. verrucosa

*R. cf capelloi

*B. craniifer

*E. posticus

No

*G. portentosa

OK

Evaluation: A good snack it seems for a variety of species. Likely quite nutritious too. Not a lot of moisture unless freshly washed before being dropped in the enclosure and it can be rather pricey, but it's a nice variation in diet from time to time I'm sure.

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Your findings with broccoli are interesting. I never expected roaches to dislike something THAT much, I mean come on... They're roaches!

I've never tried cantaloupe with roaches before, but my darkling beetles and muttlids love it! Maybe too juicy for the roaches?

This should be a sticky thread so others can see it in the future :)

I thought the same thing with the broccoli. Or I at least thought they'd try it first!

And I agree with the cantaloupe. The darklings went crazy over it! The lubbers really seemed to like it too when I tossed the leftovers in their enclosures.

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Your findings with broccoli are interesting. I never expected roaches to dislike something THAT much, I mean come on... They're roaches!

This should be a sticky thread so others can see it in the future :)

Well come on, it's broccoli! :D And I agree, this should be a sticky thread.

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Same result with broccoli with mine. I wonder since broccoli is high in vitamin k if that could be the reason? might be worth researching.

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