Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dubia Roaches? featured image
Bearded Dragon Insects

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dubia Roaches?

About 6 min reading time

Can bearded dragons eat Dubia Cockroaches? Are Dubia Roaches for bearded dragons OK? Bearded dragons can definitely eat Dubia roaches regularly. They’re one of the best staple diet bearded dragon insects going. Baby’s can have Dubia roaches but do take care with the size.

What Are Dubia Roaches?

Dubia roaches are a medium sized species of cockroach which grows to somewhere around 45 – 55mm.

They’re also known as the Guyana Spotted Cockroach, the Argentinian Wood roach or the Orange-Spotted Roach, though their Latin name is Blaptica Dubia.

In bearded dragon circles they’re almost exclusively known as Dubia roaches – though often auto-correct on mobiles will end up with them being called Dubai roaches. They’re nothing to do with Dubai however.

Male and female Dubia roaches look quite different, with the males having large wings and the females only stubs. The female will give birth to live young during reproduction, after the eggs actually hatch inside her.

Dubia roaches are found natively in Central and South America.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dubia Roaches?

Dubia roaches are an excellent staple insect for bearded dragons. They’re nutritious for the bearded dragon and easy to keep for the bearded dragon keeper.

Dubia roaches have a diet and gut biology that lends themselves well to being gutloaded to improve the nutritional values. They enjoy semi-sweet vegetables such as carrots, along with various type of leafy green vegetables. They can even eat formulated bearded dragon food.

Since they can’t climb or jump and they’re a quiet insect, many people prefer them to crickets and in general they’re higher in calcium than crickets and provide similar nutrition in other areas. They’re quite mobile but not too fast and so they provide some stimulation to your bearded dragon while they’re eating.

They’re generally suitable for baby bearded dragons, and again provide an excellent source of nutrition. You will need to size them appropriately for baby bearded dragons though. The general rule of thumb applies here. If the width of the Dubia roach is less than the width between the baby bearded dragons eyes then you’re good to go. Or at least, they are.

Advantages of Dubia Roaches For Bearded Dragons

  • Good nutritional values
  • Easy to feed
  • Good for babies and adults (depending on size of Dubia)
  • Quiet
  • More active and harder to catch than mealworms (more fun!)
  • Very easy and hardy to keep
  • They don’t smell bad
  • They don’t attack or bite your bearded dragon like most other insects can

Disadvantages of Dubia Roaches For Bearded Dragons

  • Cannot get them in Florida or Hawaii

How Should I Feed Dubia Roaches To A Bearded Dragon

Dubia roaches are quite easy to feed to a bearded dragon because they can’t fly, they can’t climb shiny surfaces and they certainly cannot jump. So they’re great to feed in a small ceramic or shiny plastic bowl or dish.

Dubia roaches can be gutloaded for days prior to being fed to your bearded dragon so this makes them a really excellent bearded dragon insect feeder. Not only can they be gutloaded for nutrients but since Dubia roaches will eat well hydrated sweetish vegetables they can also help keep your bearded dragon hydrated.

Dubia roaches are therefore a really versatile insect. If they do happen to escape they’re not going to grow or breed in your house unless your house is kept really really warm, so you can feed them inside or outside the tank. This means you can put some on the floor and let your bearded dragon catch them if you like.

Dubia roaches also don’t have a tendency to nip or bite like locusts, crickets or even morio or meal worms. This means they’re actually relatively safe to leave in the vivarium if you need to. We don’t necessarily recommend leaving any insect feeder in the vivarium, but if you must, then Dubias are the ones to do it with.

Dubia roaches can be added to a salad bowl to provide some stimulation and encouragement for your bearded dragon to eat some salad. Both the Dubia and the salad can and should be dusted with calcium powder to increase the calcium intake for your bearded dragon.

How Many Dubia Roaches Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?

Adult bearded dragons can be fed Dubia Roaches once or twice a week. We recommend mixing up the diet a bit with other bugs just to provide some variety, but Dubia roaches can be considered a staple food item. If you can’t get anything else then Dubias will suffice nicely, providing an all round good nutritional spectrum.

Baby bearded dragons can also eat Dubia roaches and this would be our recommended food for babies. They do need to be sized appropriately though – make sure the width of the Dubia roach is no wider than the space between the baby bearded dragon’s eyes and you should be good. Dubias have less Chitin in their exoskeleton than many other insects which makes them a really good choice for baby bearded dragons.

To gauge how many to feed, give your bearded dragon as many Dubia roaches as they’ll eat in about a ten minute sitting. They can be put in a bowl and just picked off one (or two) at a time.

Can I Feed Dried Dubia Roaches To My Bearded Dragon?

Dried Dubia roaches are available from various online shops and pet stores. But…

We don’t recommend dried Dubia roaches for a bearded dragon. Part of the fun of having a bearded dragon is to watch it catch its bugs and you’ll miss out on that if you use dried bugs. Also, the dried bugs will do absolutely nothing to help keep your bearded dragon hydrated and finally the dried form of the bugs have less nutritional value than live, simply because you cannot gutload dried Dubias and you have to rely on them being pre-gutloaded before they were dried.

If you can’t bear to handle the cockroaches you can buy tongs or tweezers from any kitchen retailer and can handle them that way.

Nutritional Data For Dubia Roaches For Bearded Dragons

Nutritional ItemContent
Moisture (%)67.0
Fat (%)6.90
Protein (%)22.0
Ash (%)1.2
Calcium (mg/kg)750 (0.75%)
Phosphorus (mg/kg)2600 (0.26%)
Potassium (mg/kg)Unknown at present
Nutritional Data For Dubia Roaches For Bearded Dragons [1]

Summary

It’s fair to say that asking the question “Can bearded dragons eat Dubia Roaches” or “Are Dubia Roaches for Bearded Dragons a good idea” then the answer is definitely a strong and resounding yes. As insects for bearded dragons go these are without a doubt the best.

Dubias are easy to keep, clean, quiet and nutritious. They’re long lived too so they won’t die off quickly if your bearded dragon goes into brumation when you’ve got loads of them in a container. (Yes, Billie, we’re looking at you – your locusts are all adults now and waiting for you to wake up!)

Frequency: Babies – staple, regularly (twice daily). Adults – staple, regularly (once or twice a week).

References / Credits

1: Dubia Roach Nutrition Facts, 2020 – https://dubiaroaches.com/blogs/feeder-insects/dubia-roach-nutrition-facts

Featured Image Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

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