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Turkistan Roaches

Posted 28-11-2009 at 05:14 AM by Dynamos Dragons
Updated 25-02-2010 at 02:22 PM by Dynamos Dragons
Turkistan Roach
Blatta lateralis
The Red Runner

Size and Colour
The Turkistan Roach is a medium sized roach with adults being around 25-35mm in length and nymphs are usually only a few mm when they hatch. The Turkistan Roach is quite a deep red colour in appearance, they cant climb smooth surfaces or fly(males can glide) and are quite fast moving which attracts the attention of many reptiles. They do not bare live young, they lay egg sacks which means they can reproduce at a fast rate . They mature between 3-5 months old and lay egg cases all over their environment. Each egg case can hold up to 15 nymphs which are quite light in colour when they hatch but turn redder as they get older.

Its very easy to tell the sex of an adult Turkistan Roach. The males have wings that cover most of the body and are a blonder colour, the female does not have wings and are a deeper red colour.

Breeding and habitat
If your going to breed them for food its worth getting a colony up and running before feeding them off heavily. Once your Turkistan Roach colony is established, you can use the extra males as feeders. Leaving a ratio of one male to every 3-5 females so as the colony continues to reproduce until you have enough to feed off daily. To keep and breed them you can use anything like a fish tank, glass or plastic, plastic critter keeper, RUB, crate or even a rubbish bin. The principles and set ups are relatively the same as the requirements of these roaches are simple. Turkistan roaches require food, humidity, and warmth for fast breeding. These roaches can not climb smooth surfaces so ensure what ever you use to keep them in has smooth sides. However the little ones can actually climb up small scratches in plastic and the silicon joins in fish tanks. So you can always put some tape around the inside top edge or over silicon joins to stop this from happening. You could use 2" wide brown packing tape for this for example. Even though the males have wings its very rare for them to actually use them. They are not good flyers at all but may jump and glide once in a while. So a secure lid or cover would be required. If kept correctly you will have little if any escapees. I have had none escape from my colony
Here is a description of my set up, however it can be adapted to suit you and your home depending how your going to heat it and where you will keep it.

I use a 64 litre RUB for the enclosure. I cut a small 4" square hole in the centre of the lid to allow air in. Inside the enclosure at one end, I have put some egg trays which I have cut and stuck together to create there habitat. This has been placed on its side to allow egg cases and waste to fall to the bottom. At the other end is a shallow food dish which I put moist food in 3-5 times a week as required. Remove uneaten wet food often, it should not be left to go mouldy as this may cause problems with your colony. Next to that is the dry food corner. Dry food can be put directly on the container floor or in a dish. Between the egg trays and dry food I use a bug tub lid with wet cotton wool on for them to drink and also to keep the humidity up. I do not use substrate in my colony although you can if you wish, but it makes cleaning or separating the egg cases harder.

As previously stated the males can jump and flutter a bit so to prevent any escapees here is my secret, around the top of the RUB I have put double sided sticky tape. Over the tape I stick a section of net curtain which creates a completely tight seal around the top of the enclosure but also lets in air. The lid is then put over the top with the hole in the centre for ventilation. Without a substrate you can clean your enclosure every 4 months or so by removing all the waste and separating the egg cases which I then put back. You can do this more regularly but it can take time and I prefer to just let them get on with it. For heat my Rub is kept in our airing cupboard which stays around 30degrees.

For the wet/moist food I use anything like leafy vegetables, potato peel, carrots, apples, oranges basically the scraps from preparing our own dinner or even the dragons veg. Start off with a small amount so it all gets eaten as you don't want it going mouldy. And up the amount as the colony grows.
For dry food I use cereals like weetabix ,whole grain cereal, baby cereal or fish flake food and I also recommend high protein dry dog/cat food.
Water is supplied in the form of wet cotton wool so they cant drown in it.

Turkistan Roaches need to be kept warm as they are from hot countries like Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and many more. They thrive when its hot and humid. Keep your feeder roaches at a minimum temperature of 70f or 21 degrees C. Although if you want them to breed, keep them warmer, With temperatures between 85-95f or 29-35 degrees C. To heat the enclosure you can place a heat matt under one end of the RUB, as the RUB has hexagon shape moulded base which helps to hold heat in the air pockets. I would use it with a stat. Humidity levels should be mid range at a minimum. If you find your adult roaches are not producing young, then you are probably keeping the temperature too low. If your roaches die during incomplete moults, then the humidity is too low.

Turkistan Roaches are very thin shelled roaches making them easy to digest, but also have a high meat too shell ratio making them excellent live food. They are also very fast which is great to attract the attention of your reps, and reps also love to chase and hunt them.

I hope this has been useful and if you have questions, just ask and ill do my best to answer it for you.

Dynamos Dragons

Total Comments 9


tarantulamatt's Avatar
this is the best care sheet i has read it has helped me lots thanks
Posted 04-12-2009 at 05:07 PM by tarantulamatt tarantulamatt is offline
Dynamos Dragons's Avatar
Thank you very much
Posted 05-12-2009 at 03:27 PM by Dynamos Dragons Dynamos Dragons is offline
Thankyou for taking the time to prepare this care sheet. It is very helpful for someone wishing to start their own colony.........can you please tell me what is the difference/advantages/disadvantages between Dubia and Turkistan roaches are. Many thanks, Jane
Posted 12-01-2010 at 01:17 PM by jane.hill jane.hill is offline
Dynamos Dragons's Avatar
Hi Jane, To be honest ive never bred Dubias but its my understanding that they bare live young where as turks lay eggs, and so breed and develop quicker. I think also dubias take longer to reach adulthood. Also turks dont get as big as dubias so are suitable for a wider range of reps, i hope this helps

Posted 16-01-2010 at 08:55 PM by Dynamos Dragons Dynamos Dragons is offline
Dynamos Dragons's Avatar
Ps i have added some better pics in my album of the turks
Posted 16-01-2010 at 08:56 PM by Dynamos Dragons Dynamos Dragons is offline
hi mate, i received my turks today. just a couple of questions/queries....
do they need light/ i am keeping mine in the airing cupboard? Also, when it comes to feeding new born and baby dragons is there a trick to only feeding small roaches or do you pick them out by hand or what?

Cheers mate.

Posted 26-03-2010 at 04:53 PM by Bigdanthebeardieman Bigdanthebeardieman is offline
Dynamos Dragons's Avatar
Hey Dan, Mine have been in the airing cupboard for months only getting light when we open the door, they seem to like it dark. Ive got some buckets with different size holes drilled in the bottom, thats how i separate them, but when you come to feed off them you can pick em up one by one if you want but that will take a while when you have lots of dragons lol
Posted 30-03-2010 at 10:58 AM by Dynamos Dragons Dynamos Dragons is offline
i think ill copy your bucket idea. Sod picking them up one by one. Lol
Posted 31-03-2010 at 10:08 PM by Bigdanthebeardieman Bigdanthebeardieman is offline
just wondering how oftern the turks lay the egg cases ?
Posted 29-10-2010 at 09:26 AM by candyazz candyazz is offline
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