Dubia roaches and mealworms are bred for their nutritional value and protein content and serve as bait or feed for domestic reptiles, fish, birds, and even dogs.
Both mealworms and Dubia roaches are omnivores that feed on rotting fruit, vegetables, leaves, and other matter they may find on the forest floor. They are symbiotic when raised in the same area, and the dubia roaches don’t eat the mealworms. The worms clean the tank for the roaches instead.
Mealworms and superworms are quite similar and require almost the same conditions to thrive. As such, you can keep either of them with dubia roaches without fear of cannibalization from either species.
What are dubia roaches?
Dubia roaches are a roach species by the scientific name Blaptica dubia. It’s a tropical cockroach species originally native to South and Central America.
In the wild, they mostly eat leaves and fruit that fall to the forest floor.
Dubia roaches need heat and humidity to thrive but can tolerate a low-humidity environment.
In the wild, dubia roaches inhabit the lush tropical forests of South and Central America. They are ground dwellers who only come out at night.
What do dubia roaches eat?
Like all cockroaches, dubia roaches are omnivores. They primarily eat rotting fruits, leaves, and plant matter.
Captive dubia roaches eat just about anything. Most experts recommend that at least part of their diet comes from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Other options for feeding your colony of dubia roaches include dry and wet pet food like kibble or canned food.
The most important thing is to remember that they need some source of moisture, whether it comes from their food or a water dish.
Dubia roach habitat
A dubia colony needs a suitable environment to thrive and breed.
The ideal location should have an adequate light/dark cycle, enough air circulation, the correct ambient temperature and humidity, and no loud noises or frequent disturbances.
The best location should have an ambient temperature between 59-77°F (15-25°C), while the ambient humidity should be around 40 to 60%.
There needs to be good air circulation to ensure enough ventilation in the breeding bins where the roaches are kept.
A light cycle of 12/12 (12 hours light and 12 hours darkness) is acceptable. However, the dark hours are more important than the night hours because the dubia roaches prefer breeding in darkness.
In the breeding bin, the temperature should be kept between 82-89°F (28-32°C) while the humidity should be held at a range of 40 to 60%.
What are mealworms?
Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle Tenebrio Molitor.
The mealworm is a non-invasive species and can be found everywhere on the planet. It starts as an egg that hatches into tiny larvae after 7 to 14 days.
The larvae grow for 10 to 14 weeks, going through a series of molts and skin shedding as they prepare to go into the pupal stage.
They prefer the dark and live in relatively high-density populations in closed spaces with temperatures ranging from 78-84°F (26-29°C) and a humidity of 70%.
What do mealworms eat?
In the wild, mealworms eat vegetables, decaying matter, animal waste, grain, and fruit.
They like burrowing into the soil, decaying leaves, grain rotting in the field, vegetable gardens, and all places with vegetation.
Captive mealworms eat whatever they are fed. They can survive on oatmeal, bran, fruits, vegetables, algae, and even kibble or canned dog or cat food.
They, however, prefer to eat fruits and vegetables like potatoes, apples, and cabbage.
In nature, the darkling beetle and its larvae, the mealworm, are found in undisturbed humid environments. They prefer dark areas and often hide under rocks or logs.
In captivity, the mealworms require a humid environment in the range of 65-80%, while the temperature needs to be maintained at a range of 78-84°F (26-29°C).
Will dubia roaches eat mealworms or vice versa?
Dubia roaches and mealworms can be kept together in the same environment because the environmental conditions required are all within the same range.
That is a temperature range from 78-89°F (26-32°C) and a humidity index range between 40-70%.
All these conditions, however, need to be kept at a medium of these ranges so as not to be extreme for either species.
Both mealworms and Dubia roaches are omnivores that feed on rotting fruit, vegetables, leaves, and other matter they may find on the forest floor.
When placed together in captivity, it is easy to assume that the roaches will eat the mealworms due to their difference in size. This could not be further from the truth.
Evidence shared by enthusiasts in discussion forums who have attempted to keep these two species of insect together suggests that they have a symbiotic relationship.
This is because, though they have a diet that consists mainly of the same foods, they do not compete aggressively for available resources.
Mealworms are naturally roach friendly and do not harass them; instead, they act as cleaner crews for the cockroaches.
This means they prevent food particle buildup in the rearing bin and remove undigested organic matter from frass which helps to keep the roach colony relatively clean and healthy.
Both dubia roaches and mealworms have a high nutrient content that can benefit your fish, birds, or reptiles.
Both species can cohabit without the worry of either of them eating the other as they tend to develop a symbiotic relationship.
They are relatively low maintenance and share in the range of environmental conditions they thrive in, meaning they can be kept together in one ‘container’ and will both be okay.