½-inch Dubia roaches are only about a month old. While they’ve grown substantially since birth, they’re still a long way from maturity. They’re only about 25% of the way to their final adult size, and this has important implications for their role as feeders.
First, they’re still soft-bodied, which means their exoskeletons are easier to digest than larger roaches and many other feeder insects. A “soft body” means a higher ratio of flesh to chitin, which is the indigestible part of insects. Offering animals soft-bodied feeders helps maximize nutrition per insect, which is great for young animals that need all that nutrition to fuel their rapid growth.
It’s also good for older animals at certain times, like breeding and illness recovery, and in times of stress. All things equal, animals eating high chitin insects have to eat more to get the same nutrition.
Second, because they’re fast-growing and self-select for certain nutrients, Dubia roach nymphs eat (or prefer to eat) foods that fuel their rapid growth. This means they prefer foods with high protein, vitamins, and minerals. This makes them great gutloaders. You can fill them up with healthy foods because what goes in a Dubia feeder’s stomach ultimately ends up in theirs.
This makes ½-inch and similarly sized Dubia a little extra healthy for growing insectivores. It also makes gut-loading is easier, more reliable, and more beneficial. What better scenario for gut-loading than a nutritious primary feeder with a big appetite for the nutrients your animals need to grow healthy and strong? It’s a win-win!
As we know, Dubia roaches are among the most nutritious feeder insects…if not THE most nutritious. It’s OK if you’re not interested in things like chitin and gut-loadability. We worry about these things so you don’t have to! Just choose the right size Dubia for your animals and you’re good to go!
A little size fluctuation with this size Dubia roach is normal. Most of them will be about ½ inch, but size can vary due to hydration, feeding schedule, etc.