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Mulberry, grape, fig, hibiscus leaves?


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I already add oak leaves to pretty much all of my natural enclosures. Was wondering if anyone keeps species that enjoy these types of leaves. I'm pretty sure they're all safe and nutritious. In the winter a lot of their leaves drop, was thinking of using them as leaf litter/food. I offer them fresh and green too as food/gutload, but my roaches don't really seem interested in eating them. I keep chameleons primarily, but have roaches as feeders/pets. I try to make sure whatever they're eating is also nutritious for the chams. So just interested in hearing your thoughts on using these leaves(or any others).

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Every fall, just when the leaves have dropped, I visit the nearby forest to collect fallen oak leaves. 
I sterilize them in a microwave oven, dry them and put the in vacuum bags. That way I have fresh, ready to use leaves. 

I do add then to the enclosure of most of my species, but most only nibble at them (Therea bernhardti, Lucihormetica verrucosa, several Polyphaga species). However, some actually eat a lot of these leaves: Archimandrita tesselata and Hemiblabera tenebricosa, for example. 

Most of my species prefer the leaves to be a bit more decayed. Which will happen anyway if the leaves stay moist. But for those, I often go back to the forest after a while, when the leaves on the ground have started to rot and decay. 

So yes, roaches do fine on oak leaves. In my experience, some prefer them freshly dropped leaves, other prefer more decayed leaves. 


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Thanks guys. I was wondering about the fig, mulberry, and grape leaves. In the fall they die and I have a bunch for leaf litter. And during the spring/summer was thinking of using them as a fresh food source(if any of my colonies will eat them). I know the fig and mulberry have latex sap, but I'm not sure if that bothers the roaches at all. I know for people to eat them they need dried out(or risk stomach upset/rash).

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  • 1 year later...

I've never tried any of those leaves, . . . but I know that . . .

Mulberry leaves (fresh and dried) are often used as food for aquarium shrimp.  Also they are the sole food for silkworms. 

Hibiscus petals and hips are used by humans to make tea and they are used as food for hermit crabs.

Grape leaves are eaten by humans . . . fig leaves are used by humans to cover their privates.  😋


I imagine they would all be safe for roaches, but in doubt, test it out on 1 or two roaches.   Be sure to let us know the results!  🙂



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