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American cockroaches as predators?


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A few days ago, I found my Americans devouring a cricket. I wondered if they had caught it but I have never seen Marcus nor Layla attacking another insect before. The next day I caught Marcus in the act of killing a much larger cricket. Layla joined in and then tugged it away from him. Marcus left her alone to eat her prey. Really, is this normal? Have I provided enough meat in their diets? 

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This species has been known to attack and feed on other roaches/soft bodied insects from time to time, and they are very well known for cannibalising oothecae. They are just really protein hungry. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is fascinating. I've seen my B. giganteus eat live (but dying) dubia, but I assumed they were just incredibly hungry and/or excited for the meat. I don't think they're hunters, but it's an intriguing idea. With the breadth of species, I wouldn't doubt that some have evolved to take advantage of hunting to survive. I'd love to hear more about this. Any chance you could catch the hunting on video?

 

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That is pretty mind blowing, at least for me. I have a whole new world to explore. 

I wonder if they need to be at a certain hunger level to catch live prey or if they're opportunistic and will grab any extra they can even when they have a steady food supply. 

I'm going to do a few experiments with my B giganteus. That's my only real meat eating species at the moment, but man do they go nuts for fresh cooked hamburger and canned cat food. 

Thanks for sharing the videos. 

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I fed banana roaches to my orange heads once. It was very interesting. The attack does seem to be very predatory in nature. They do actually pounce and chase a little. Any banana roaches escape the initial attack seem to be "safe." I think after a point they smell like other orange head roaches. 

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