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TheSwarmThing

tree leaves as food

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Hi Everyone, recently I put some big (dead) maple leaves to some of my cockroach enclosures just as decoration and climbing surface, but some species seem to be eating them (e.g: Hemiblabera brunneri, Elliptorhina javanica). 

Do you give dead leaves as food for your roaches? If yes, which tree species would you recommend? 

Thanks a lot and happy new year! :)

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In my experience, they are great. Some species seem to even require them. Hardwood species are recommended. Oak seems to last the best without decaying too quickly. Plus oak are easiest to identify. I spend the fall and winter collecting oak leaves to keep for the late spring and summer. 

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I've read in few places that suggest oak, beech, birch, maple, sycamore, magnolia, apple and cherry leaves with no problems. But, like Matttoadman said Oak is one of the easiest and sometimes seems that it is the most tastiest to them as well. 

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I recently discovered my dubias and hissers will sometimes eat dried ash, willow, and pear leaves before eating some of the fresher foods.  That tells me there is something in them that they need.  

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I feed my roaches and isopods almost exclusively dead leaves of various species and rotten wood... rare occasion I'll offer fruits and veggies. 

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On 1/12/2018 at 7:02 PM, Marlon said:

I recently discovered my dubias and hissers will sometimes eat dried ash, willow, and pear leaves before eating some of the fresher foods.  That tells me there is something in them that they need.  

Dead leaves are part of their natural diet. According to Cockroaches: Ecology, Behavior, and Natural History, which researchgate gives out free online, they lack many chemical defenses found in green leaves and contain nutritious decomposing microorganisms.

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Hissers love fresh maple leaves. All my hisser species live on fresh sugar maple in the summer, and it makes the tanks very pretty and naturalistic before the feeding frenzy. They even enjoy the occasional clump of green "helicopters." My Gromphadorhina species will even eat through stems and thin branches. Makes for a cheap summer!

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On 1/2/2018 at 6:08 AM, TheSwarmThing said:

Do you give dead leaves as food for your roaches? If yes, which tree species would you recommend? 

I use to feed my roaches leaves and flowers of Hibiscus spp. They love it. 🙂 

Nauphoeta_cinerea_0003_Xenoblatta

 

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On 8/22/2018 at 11:45 AM, Xenoblatta said:

I use to feed my roaches leaves and flowers of Hibiscus spp. They love it.

I've been offering fresh hibiscus flowers to all of my roaches this fall. Some love it, some don't seem to care, but the one's who love it can't get enough of it. I think my hissers would strip the bush bare if I let them. I've also had good success with dandelion flowers and clover flowers... just make sure you get the dandelions at first bloom. If you get an older flower and they don't eat all of it, it will go to seed and cover the bin with white fuzzies. 

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