Blaberus Craniifer Care – Size, Lifespan & More

Thinking of getting the Blaberus giganteus? Or want to know more on Blaberus Craniifer care? You’re in the right place.

There are true deaths head cockroach, and there are hybrids, false death heads cockroach (also known as the discoid roach) or the stunning true deaths head cockroach, this guide will work well for you.h

Note: Like Dubia roaches, These are all super larger species.

Blaberus Craniifer Care Sheet

  • Set-up

A 10 gallon would do well if you have a small/medium sized colony. The death’s head cockroach breed cannot climb glass, but it can still make its way up the glued corners of an aquarium.

So, you need to keep the lid on all of your tanks or you risk roaches escaping and infesting your home.

Now, if you house the roaches in a large Sterilite tote or large Rubbermaid, ensure you pick one that has very slick sides.

These cockroaches can climb some containers – this is how crickets too can climb storage totes if these tanks have the tiniest bit of texture to them.

No substrate is needed as long as you provide many layers of paper egg cartons for them to play and hide in. A cheap way to do this is to purchase egg flats and then cut them up into medium sizes (at times even smaller depending on the colony).

This makes Discoid cockroach collection of different sizes super simple when you want to ascertain sizes. The babies prefer to stay on smaller pieces of egg cartons while the larger nymphs prefer larger cuts.

Gravid females love to hide in paper towel tubes, but they are a pain in the butt to get out when you need to remove them when the paper tower tube gets soiled in excrete.

Be wise when keeping water source and dry food separately. Use a shallow food and water lids/dishes so your roaches don’t drown while trying to feed.

Plus, the dry food itself does not need to be in a bowl, but ensure any water crystal gel is contained to keep it clean. Dirty water gel and moistened roach food is a great fly attractant.

  • Diet

I am yet to see any particular dietary preferences, so I just offer a bit of everything. I recommend feeding leafy green veggies because the scraps will dry out eventually rather than mold.

The scraps too will mimic leaf litter so the nymphs can burrow under as well as help any upturned roach get back on its feet.

Eroaches advise that you keep sources of carbohydrates and protein available at all times, like breakfast cereal, mixed grains, cat food, and then treat them to other sources of veggies/fruits every other day.

My Blaberus Giganteus or death’s head cockroach dislike fish flake food, so they go for other protein types. If you pick cat food, make sure you grind it into a powder or else they will be unable to consume it even if they want to.

  • Care

Discoid cockroach and Deaths head cockroach are the same. The Blaberus Craniifer colonies may seem hard at first to begin. The secret to a successful keeping and breeding is providing a constant source of moisture for them.

Premature adult deaths will happen typically and without warning if you only provide moisture a couple of times a week.

You can easily provide moisture in the form of water crystals, vegetables, and fruits. One thing I have noticed about Blaberus is that they are more fine with eating food when you place it under a hiding spot.

To achieve this, simply place some smaller pieces of egg carton over their primary feeding spot, and then sprinkling any veggies or fruits in between the egg cartons or at the entrances of the paper towel tubes.

The frequency of cleaning depends on your colony size. If you keep about 500 or a little less, you need to thoroughly clean every couple of months so as to maintain a clean water or food area.

To clean the cage area, you should sweep the frass up with a small-brush – the kitchen kind you use to spread sauces.

This species love it warm. I recommend an ambient temperature of about 80 degrees and a warm side of 95-100 degrees F. Cooler temperature will only mean a slower production.

  • Temperature

The Blaberus giganteus like temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees. I recommend using the digital stick-on thermometers to measure and keep watch of the temperature in the tank.

Also, heat mats will typically keep the temperature above 25 degrees, but if it doesn’t, a supplementary ordinary desk lamp will help you.

In summer time, you should switch off the heat mats, and if it goes below 25 degrees, you should turn it back on.

If it is your desire to breed them, it is important to maintain a good temperature. A great temp allows them mature faster.

  • Humidity

The humidity levels too should be set between 60-70%. You should get a humidity gauge.

If you experience difficulty keeping humidity up, then you should cover holes in the lid with tin foil or cling film to reduce air circulation.

Next, spray them daily with a new (not used for anything else) paint spray. Then you can spray the sides of the tank in certain places so they can drink from that too.

Spray again if they have drunk all the water they can reach. If your colony is big, you might need to spray the death’s head cockroaches themselves.

This ensure the death head roaches have consistent supply of water. Some Blaberus Craniifer roaches prefer to use a jam jar lid with cotton wool and water in it (the cotton wool prevents any drowning incident). It is a good thing to use a spray or tap water for this, because it kills off the gut flora that helps them digest their food.

I use cheap Tesco bottled spring water.

  • Accessories for the tank:

You will need

  • two dishes,
  • one for food,
  • one for water and a thermometer and
  • perhaps humidity gauge.
  • a heat mat and possibly a desk lamp.
  • some logs (either bought or microwaved first to kill mites or bacteria etc.) . The log will need to be propped up on one end to make a space for them to hide underneath.

You will need about a 5-10cm depth all over.  TIP:  put a 3cm deep layer of Vaseline around the top of the tank.  This makes them slip down to the bottom of the tank otherwise, they escape.

  • Maintaining the tank

You should empty any uneaten food from the cage. Give them 2 nights to finish it, and if any is left, take them out. A window-cleaner scaper is super helpful too so that you can see what your roaches are doing.

Any Dead cockroaches too must be taken out without wasting time. You should change the substrate when it is mostly cockroach poop, or if it begins to smell or has mites in it.

Mites are pale yellowy – white.

Blaberus Craniifer Care

What do Deaths Head Cockroaches look like?

On first look, you’d agree with me that the true death’s roach is glossy to the touch, with jet black wings covering the abdomen and a skull shaped, black/amber colored marking on the top of it’s head.

At times, the pronotum is beige/white but this is still argued to be a false death’s head roach!

They are generally large roach breed with adults reaching 3 inches or more. Female and male death’s head roaches appear very similar; females are a bit larger with a rounded abdomen.

The younger nymph’s appearance is different altogether until they reach adulthood (this is about 6 months). They are shapped ovally with a dark brown/red colouring all over.

Aside from having a different colour than mature ones, Blaberus nymphs lack wings until they become adults.

Where are Deaths Head Cockroaches from?

You will find the death’s head cockroach on forest floors, hiding in rotting wood and rotting leaf matter all through South Florida and Central America.

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