Topics Forums Dubia Roaches vs. Discoid Roaches – What’s the Difference?

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    Dubia Roaches vs. Discoid Roaches – What’s the Difference?

    Dubia Roaches vs Discoid Roaches: Nutritional Value, Breeding, Legality and More!

    Comment Below and Let us know Which Roach you Prefer!

    difference between dubia and discoid roaches

    Dubia roaches and discoid roaches are two of the most popular feeder insects for reptiles and arachnids. However, most people don’t fully understand the differences between these two roaches. The differences between them are subtle, but they may influence your decisions on what insects to feed your favorite insectivore. 

    Below, we’ll review the following categories, and decide which species offers the better value for your beloved bearded dragon:

    • Nutritional value
      • Moisture Content
      • Fat Content
      • Chitin Content
      • Crude Protein
      • Calcium-to-Phosphorus Ratio
      • Total Energy
    • Breeding Differences between both species
    • Legality in Specific States (lookin’ at you, Dubias!)

    Nutritional Value

    One of the most important aspects of feeder insects is that they support the nutritional needs of your pet. Nutritionally, dubia roaches and discoid roaches are very similar. However, there are some important differences in specific nutrients you should be aware of.

    Moisture Content – Advantage Discoid Roaches

    Moisture is an important aspect of the composition of feeder insects that relates to your animal’s ability to digest them. Between dubia and discoid roaches, discoid roaches have slightly more moisture in their bodies. While the difference is minimal, if you have a reptile prone to gut impaction, you will want to feed insects with higher moisture content, like discoid roaches. 

    Fat Content – Advantage: depends on your outlook – Dubias have more fat

    dubia roaches for sale

    Eating an extremely high-fat diet is bad for both reptiles and humans. However, roaches are typically a well-balanced meal for most insectivores. However, dubia roaches have a slightly higher fat content per body weight. So, if you have a skinny reptile who needs to gain weight, dubia roaches are best. If you have an overweight animal, you may want to consider discoid roaches.

    Chitin Content – Advantage Dubia Roaches

    Chitin is the main molecule involved in the formation of an insect’s exoskeleton. Feeders with a high chitin content compared to their mass have thick, tough exoskeletons. Between dubia roaches and discoid roaches, dubia roaches have slightly less chitin. This means dubia roaches have a slightly thinner exoskeleton. For picky eaters or those prone to gut impaction, dubia roaches make a better choice. 

    Crude Protein Content – Advantage Discoid Roaches

    Protein content is important for the growth of your pets. But, your animals need both a good quantity of protein, as well as high-quality protein. While dubia roaches and discoid roaches have relatively the same amount of protein per mass, they do differ in protein quality. Discoid roaches have a higher essential amino acid index. In simple terms, this means they have a greater diversity of protein building blocks, known as amino acids. This makes discoid roaches a better choice for animals which may have a protein deficiency in their diet. 

    Calcium-to-Phosphorus Ratio – Advantage Discoid Roaches

    Calcium is a very important nutrient for insectivores. Phosphorus, on the other hand, typically lowers the amount of calcium your pets can actually absorb from their food. Thus, the ratio between calcium and phosphorus in insects is very important. In this category, discoid roaches are much better. They have a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of about 1:3. Dubia roaches, on the other hand, have a ratio of about 1:22. This means that dubia roaches will require significantly more calcium supplementation if they are used as feeders.

    Total Energy – Practically a Tie

    As adults, dubia roaches and discoid roaches have almost the same amount of energy per body weight. However, dubia nymphs contain more energy per mass compared to discoid roaches. But, discoid roaches get slightly larger than dubia roaches. For juvenile lizards and insectivores, dubia roaches will make them satisfied with fewer feeder insects. However, very large pets can be switched over to discoid roaches to fully satisfy their hunger.

    If you want, you can check out the entire study done on the nutritional value of discoid roaches and dubia roaches.

    Breeding Roaches

    The phrase “breeding like roaches” is a real thing. Both of these species are very easy to breed in captivity. Neither species can jump, bite, or fly, which makes them very easy to contain and lessens the chance they will escape and infest your home. While both species have wings, neither species can use those wings for anything but gliding in a controlled manner as they fall. Both species are much quieter than crickets, and neither species has a strong odor.

    One aspect you may want to consider is allergies. Dubia roaches have a notorious reputation for causing allergic reactions in people who handle them and clean their containers. Discoid roaches do not carry this reputation, but that could be because they are not as popular as dubia roaches. Keeping your roach colony clean with very high humidity is the best way to mitigate possible allergies. You can also use a respirator, gloves, and a Tyvec suit to completely avoid an allergic reaction if you are susceptible.

    Legality in Certain States

    Dubia roaches have been banned in several states, likely due to their popularity as a feeder insect. Discoid roaches do not seem to have been banned from any states. However, the laws in each state vary drastically when it comes to which types of animals and insects you are allowed to own. Florida, for instance, bans dubia roaches but is open to discoid roaches. Before you make a decision on what type of roach to buy for your pet, make sure that it is legal in your state!

    And the winner is….

    While dubia roaches are a common choice among reptile enthusiasts and arachnid keepers, comparing them to discoid roaches is hard. Discoid roaches are better in several areas, including the calcium-to-phosphorous ratio, moisture content, and protein quality. While dubia roaches do have a slightly thinner shell, their extremely high calcium-to-phosphorus ratio makes it much more likely to cause calcium deficiencies in insectivorous reptiles. Further, discoid roaches do not have the reputation of causing allergies or being illegal in various states. 

    This makes discoid roaches slightly better, though dubia roaches are still a great choice. You can try out both types of roaches to give your animal diversity in its diet, and see which type of roach they enjoy the most!

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