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Considering Therea as first pet roaches


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Hello!

Been doing a bit of research, which lead me to this forum so hoping to get some input. I have kept some Dubia roaches for 2 years due to my tarantula collection and I am now interested in getting some other roaches more specifically to keep as display/pet roaches.

After some reading it seems my first choices - three different species of Therea roaches (question marks, and both the white and orange domino roaches) may not be the best options because it seems they spend a lot of time under ground. That doesn't completely bother me, but after further reading it looks like the adults, who would be more out and about, only live for a couple of months - is that true? They are still oh so cute to me, so still leaning heavily on wanting to get each of these.

The place I am considering buying from has options for both smaller nymphs and medium nymphs. Would it be better for me to get a mix or is it ok to go with the smaller? (Price is the only determining factor here since the smaller guys are obviously cheaper. I realize the downside is that these guys can take a long time to mature, but keeping tarantulas has taught me plenty of patience in terms of waiting for things to mature...or do anything for that matter). I also wonder if buying smaller would up my chances of more nymphs maturing as female for breeding purposes.

As for care, it looks like they benefit from leaf litter. Wondering what you guys use? I saw some cypress mulch at Petco, and I see that Josh's frogs has some dried oak leaves by the bag.

I was thinking of starting out with these three Therea species and then moving on to other/more expensive species. I also really like the "Sexy Legs Roach" and I would really, really enjoy eventually breeding Simandoa conserfariam.

Thank you in advance for any replies, I deeply appreciate your thoughts/advice.

- Christina

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Welcome to the forum! :)

Therea sp. roaches are definitely a great choice! Even though the nymphs aren't that good for display the adults definitely are! The adults live up to 5-6 months as adults I believe.

It doesn't really matter if you get a mix or just small nymphs. No, buying younger nymphs wouldn't up your chances of getting females, you'd most likely get a female anyway if you got a few nymphs. Yep, these guys need leaflitter( hardwood leaves, oak is best), it is their primary food source, they also will nibble on little bits of dog food, chichlid fish food pellets, or fruits, and vegetables, but they won't eat nearly as much of these food items as they would dead leaves. I use a substrate mix of coconut fiber, cypress mulch, and dead leaves, they only really need coconut fiber and dead leaves though, but things like cypress mulch and sphagnum moss create an extra good substrate.

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hardwood leaves, oak is best

Where does everyone get the idea that oak is always best? There's no evidence for this! Oak isn't even native to where domino roaches are from!

Either way, welcome to the forum, Domino! This species is very slow growing, and very slow breeding. Yes, it is true that the adults don't live very long, but there beautiful colors make up for it. For species that require leaves, I use mostly ash. Ash combined with whatever leaves blow into my yard.

A fair warning though: This hobby is addictive!

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Where does everyone get the idea that oak is always best? There's no evidence for this! Oak isn't even native to where domino roaches are from!

Either way, welcome to the forum, Domino! This species is very slow growing, and very slow breeding. Yes, it is true that the adults don't live very long, but there beautiful colors make up for it. For species that require leaves, I use mostly ash. Ash combined with whatever leaves blow into my yard.

A fair warning though: This hobby is addictive!

I believe Kyle has said before that Oak has "slow-release nutrition", so I think that makes it a little better.

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Where does everyone get the idea that oak is always best? There's no evidence for this! Oak isn't even native to where domino roaches are from!

Either way, welcome to the forum, Domino! This species is very slow growing, and very slow breeding. Yes, it is true that the adults don't live very long, but there beautiful colors make up for it. For species that require leaves, I use mostly ash. Ash combined with whatever leaves blow into my yard.

A fair warning though: This hobby is addictive!

Orin has reared beetle larva on oak and I believe he says it's the best for them, or at least the ones reared on oak devolved better than ones raised on other woods. That may not apply to roaches though...

Anyway, to the OP, Therea make great pet roaches, though the nymphs are secretive, the adults are day active and are really pretty! I would get medium sized nymphs, unless you want to wait two years for them to mature. Decaying leaves make up most of their diet, so make sure they always have a layer of them on top of their substrate.

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I thought I read also that for most people oak is the easiest leaf to identify. At least if it's an oak leaf you don't have to wonder if it's poisonous. Also I do know oak leaves hang around a lot longer. For example dead maple leaves dry up to almost nothing.

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Thank you everyone for the replies!

The adults live up to 5-6 months as adults I believe.

Out of curiosity, does anyone else have any timeframes on how long their adults have lasted? Is there anything that will vary this - food/temp, etc?

Where does everyone get the idea that oak is always best? There's no evidence for this! Oak isn't even native to where domino roaches are from!

For species that require leaves, I use mostly ash. Ash combined with whatever leaves blow into my yard.

A fair warning though: This hobby is addictive!

I can already tell and I haven't even ordered the little buggers yet! For your ash leaves, is there a specific place you get them from? As for collecting dry leaves - are there any that are poisonous? - or is there a way to make them safe? I worry about pesticides, etc.

I would get medium sized nymphs, unless you want to wait two years for them to mature.

Thanks for the input! :)

I thought I read also that for most people oak is the easiest leaf to identify. At least if it's an oak leaf you don't have to wonder if it's poisonous. Also I do know oak leaves hang around a lot longer. For example dead maple leaves dry up to almost nothing.

Interesting. Are there leaves in particular you know to be poisonous?

I wouldn't recommend getting nymphs of mixed ages because that'll decrease your chance of breeding them. Chances are the small nymphs won't be able to mature in time to breed with large nymphs. It'd be best to try getting nymphs of same age since they'll mature around the same time :)

You have a good point there, thank you!

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Thank you everyone for the replies!

Out of curiosity, does anyone else have any timeframes on how long their adults have lasted? Is there anything that will vary this - food/temp, etc?

Oh, I haven't raised any, that's just what I've heard they live as adult.

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Thank you everyone for the replies!

I can already tell and I haven't even ordered the little buggers yet! For your ash leaves, is there a specific place you get them from? As for collecting dry leaves - are there any that are poisonous? - or is there a way to make them safe? I worry about pesticides, etc.

You have a good point there, thank you!

I get them from my yard in the fall. I don't spray pesticides or herbicides, so I've never had a problem with them. As for poisonous leaves, there are too many to mention. However, any of the common hardwoods (oak, maple, ash, alder, birch, willow, etc.) should be OK to use. The two most common poisonous leaf materials you would probably run into in your common neighborhood would be pine needles and eucalyptus. Don't use conifers for anything involving roaches, as their sap gives off toxins. Some, but not all, eucalyptus species are also poisonous.

The best course of action would be to just know what leaves you have, and know what other trees are around the collection site.

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