The Discoid cockroach is also commonly called the false death's head cockroach. This species of roach lives in tropical South America. They can grow up to 7.6 cm (3.0 in) long and although they have wings as adults, they do not fly. They also can not climb smooth surfaces such as glass. These two characteristics make them easy to raise in an aquarium and they do not even require a lid. Most high protein food sources are sufficient to maintain them, such as dry dog food.

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A group of Discoid cockroaches.

Discoids are False Death's Head because of their superficial resemblance to the Death's head cockroach  They can eat and should be given a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable scraps. Keep their food in a dish (or two) dry food and wet/fresh separate. On the opposite side of the tank keep and auto water dish or just a shallow water dish and replace when empty or dirty. Keep the roaches on mulch or peat and give them egg crates to spread out on. Also even though they can not climb glass they can climb silicone and will climb the corners of the aquarium. If they get out they will desiccate if not given a water source, thus reducing the risk of infestation.

As Pet foodEdit

They are very easy to raise in captivity and therefore make good food for pets such as tarantulasbearded dragon and other lizards. They breed somewhat faster than the true Death's Head Cockroach. They are also less expensive (in 2006 $50 for 50), compared to about $100 for the true death's heads. True Deaths Head Cockroaches have jet black wings and more elaborate markings on the head.

Discoid cockroaches also produce considerably less odor than crickets, another common feeder animal. They can survive on manysubstrates and to some extent they will clean their own cage, only requiring cleaning on a monthly basis or less. Coconut fiber makes a good substrate as the nymphs readily burrow in it, and it holds humidity well.

These animals breed readily in captivity. They reach breeding age in about 6 months if kept warm, with 85°F-90°F being recommend for more productive breeding. Females will carry their eggs inside a brooding pouch within their abdomen until they hatch.