Over the next few weeks I’m going to be reviewing the insects that I regularly feed to my leopard geckos, and today is my favourite – the dubia roach.
It’s really important to feed them a varied diet, because each different insect has a different nutritional profile, and can offer differing benefits to your leopard gecko.
For some frequently asked questions I receive around my leopard geckos’ diets, please see my Leopard Gecko Feeder Insects FAQ post.
I’m going to start with what in my opinion is the best insect to feed leopard geckos – the dubia roach.
They’re easy to keep.
I find dubia roaches to be one of the most low-maintenance insects to look after. They come in a tub which contains part of an egg box for them to hide under, and I just add a thin layer of oats to the bottom, and feed them with vegetable peel from potatoes, carrots, apples etc (I don’t use anything too moist as it will just go mouldy).
And that’s it. That’s honestly all I do to look after them. Then prior to feeding I’ll dust them with some calcium powder (which stays really nicely on top of their shells), and I’m done!
They don’t smell/ make noise
Unlike insects like crickets, dubia roaches don’t make any noise and don’t smell, so you can’t even tell that they’re there.
They can’t climb smooth surfaces or jump
This is an important one for me, as I like my leopard geckos’ to eat from a dish. If you get a deep enough dish, the roaches will not be able to climb out, so if you have lazy leopard geckos like I do, then you can always be sure that there won’t be any escapees, which could subsequently die and decompose, or irritate your leopard geckos.
They have a good nutritional profile
Obviously this one is very important. They have a soft shell which is easier for your leopard geckos to digest, they have a high protein/low fat content, they gutload well, they can be dusted with calcium easily, and they already have a good Ca:P ratio (Calcium: Phosperous).
They move around lots
Unless they’re left for too long, I find that dubia roaches run around loads which is really eye catching for my leopard geckos. They go into an absolute feeding frenzy when I put roaches in, but eventually the roaches do huddle together and settle down, so if they have gone un-eaten it’s best to give them a shake or put them back in their tub.
They’re cheap (in the UK at least)
I get about 50 nymph roaches for £6-7 from eBay which I think is a great price considering all of the above attributes.
Which size is best?
Up to the age of about 9 months I fed my leopard geckos small dubia roaches, but since then I moved them onto Medium ones. If in doubt start small, see how your leopard geckos get on, and increase the size. Try to make sure your feeders are no bigger than the width of your leopard geckos’ head.
My favourite feeder insect and a great staple feeder – easy to keep, decent nutrition and they’re relatively cheap and live for ages.
Ease of care: 8/10
Nutritional profile: 7/10
Smell/ Noise: 8/10
Ease of containing: 8/10