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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default Red runners roaches- the basics


    So far I have never had any issues with these, only advantages.

    This is the basics only. These roaches have several advantages:

    Red runners (Scheffordella tartara, now also found as a similar species in the pet trade whose name I can't remember) are very fast and middle-sized roaches, dark brown or even black with reddish/orange markings. 50 to 100 half-grown individuals are needed to start a breeding colony.

    -They don't climb on glass panes and can be kept in PVC large boxes or old aquariums with a tightly fitted lid.
    -they are less chitinous than other roaches, thus more digestible.
    -They are readily accepted by many insectivorous animals. My Uroplatus prefer them by far to crickets.

    -CAUTION: NEVER let ONE of them escape. They will breed at room temps anywhere, preferrably in kitchen, warm and a bit wet places with food supplies.

    -Males are easily recognizable when adults: they are winged but they don't fly and their body length with wings can be twice as long as females.

    -Their reproductive cycle is shorter than many roaches. With a starting colony, you may expect babies within 2-3 months. They lay oothecas in the substrate. A layer of dry potting soil can be used for incubation inside the parent's enclosure.

    -Adult red runners are about an inch long. I use forceps to feed them to my animals.

    -It is far less complicated to keep and breed them than crickets. Once your colony has started breeding, you will have roaches of all sizes if you are to feed small species or babies. I make substantial savings since I work with them as feeders.

    -All they need is food and a bit of moisture. I use a layer of cat pellets (1'' thick) and several kinds of veg- peeled carrots are readily eaten and are a good source of vitamin A, which is essential to your critter's eyes. I also use bananas as sources of proteins and oranges as sources of vitamin C and calcium. I spray the roaches tank twice weekly. Toasts, bread loafs are also appreciated. DONT feed them potatoes or potato-based foods, neither tomatoes fruits or leaves. Cooked rice also works well.

    -They like the dark. Provide them kitchen paper rolls or egg crates and change those regularly as the roaches will defecate a lot on those.

    -My colony is in a 20''x15''x15'' high PVC tank with a secure lid and 2 large holes in the lid to provide air flow, covered with medical gauze. They are heated day and night by a 25W heating wire. The hotter they get, the faster they breed and grow. 82-85F is their favorite temp range, with a cooler side just like for reptiles, around 72-75F.

    -When you want to clean their tank, be aware that many eggs may not be visible. Do it for example in a bath tub and rinse off with as much pressure as possible to avoid invasions.

    -Never let such roaches wander inside a reptile tank. They are not harmful to reptiles but will use the narrowest way out to invade your house or flat. F.e. Exo Terras are not secure enough unless you only feed the roaches through forceps and make sure they are swallowed.

    -I have tried other roaches (dubia) but red runners are far easier to breed than the latter, also less resistant. They tend to be a little canibalistic if they don't have enough food. They readily accept powdered calcium. They also need more moisture (but NOT stagnant humidity in their tanks) than other roaches.

    I would recommend them for middle-size to large geckos, agamids, large anole species, lacertidae.

    If they are too fast for your animals, simply crush them a little. F.e. anorexic Uroplatus will be VERY excited by the smells of red runner juices and that will trigger feeding in many cases.

    I hope that helps. I enclose a photo of my breeding tank and of the roaches.

    "Thorr Geckos" private breeder in Normandy.

    Specialized in Ptenopus, Pachydactylus, Chondrodactylus, Hemidactylus, Ptyodactylus, Uroplatus genera, AFTs, picta, Gehyra marginata, South Americans, Ptychs...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Thanks for the post Herve. B. lateralis are a great food source. I've been breeding/feeding them for 5 or 6 years now with zero infestation issues. And I live in southern Virginia (USA) where it is warm and humid much of the year. Although I like using dubia roaches as well, these guys have a lot of benefits that the dubias don't.
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