Woodies Nauphoeta cinerea a.k.a. Lobster, Madeira, Cinereous, Tampa, Speckled

Breeding Instructions Click images to enlarge

Difficulty level - Way Too Easy

Time Table - 3 months from egg to adult roach depending on temperature

Food - Almost anything but consider nutritional value and mold control

Water - Provide apple, potato, or "orange cube"

Temperature - 80 - 90F works best. Lower temperatures slow down the cycle.

Lifespan - 12-24 months depending on temperature and availability of food


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Gutload recipe


Vaseline Water Source Egg Crates Colony Container

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Colony Supplies Click on a title in the supply list for enlarged pictures and more info

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Breeding Colony Assembly

Cut out a section of the lid and glue or duct tape a piece of screen over it. This allows air in and keeps moisture down to prevent mold.

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Install Escape Trap

Roaches can squeeze through very tiny openings. For this reason we will install an "escape trap". Spread a 2 inch high and 1/8 inch deep layer of Vaseline all the way around the inside of the colony container at the top. This will help prevent escapees.  Another alternative is a teflon-like paint called Bug-Stop. It is about $15USD for 2 ounces which will last a long time. Here's a link http://www.proexotics.com/store/product.php?productid=16230



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 Furnish Your Colony


Add egg crate to 5" from the top of colony, your moisture source, and your food dish (jar lid). Stock the colony with at least 50 adult woodies.      

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Moisture Source

I like the Fluker's Orange Cubes. They are gel cubes that contain nutritious kelp, spiruluna, brewer's yeast, and more which helps gutload feeder insects and they are less susceptible to mold. Cricket Quencher is purely moisture with no nutritional value, but has the advantage of being in gel form to reduce accidental drowning and is less susceptible to mold than fruits and vegetables. If you use potato or apple, make sure to change it regularly.


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Feeding the woodies out to your pets

Refrigerate the roaches for 15 minutes to slow them down. An easy way to get the roaches out and transferred to your pet's enclosure is to use a combination of an empty toilet tissue roll or paper towel roll and a 2 liter soda bottle with the lid still on and cut the bottom 3/4 off of it. Leave the cardboard roll in the colony for a few minutes and the roaches will crawl in it. Shake them into the soda bottle then dump them in the enclosure with your pet. You may also dust them if you choose to while they are in the soda bottle.  There are many methods to offer the roaches to your pet. You can free roam them which is just letting them go in the enclosure with your pet. This method allows hunters to hunt their food and gives them some exercise. You can bowl feed them, which is putting the insects in a bowl for your pet to eat from like you do a dog or cat. This helps control escapees and allows close monitoring of what your animal eats, but it does remove the natural hunting from the environment. You can also feed them by hand using your fingers or tweezers. The method you use depends on your preference and needs. See Feeding for more info




Maintenance of the breeding colony consists of filling the food and replenishing the moisture source.  Every 2 months or so the entire colony and fixtures should be moved to the second container. The roach waste, roach shedding, and dead roaches can then be dumped out of the first container and it can be washed. Roach droppings will accumulate on the egg cartons and the cartons will need replacing.


Facts and Info

Nutritional Content
No nutritional values could be found. If you know of any please e-mail the webmaster

For more see  Nutritional Values




This is a false ovoviviparous species in which the oothecae (a cellular egg case) contain 26 – 40 eggs. The nymphs hatch as the female extrudes the oothecae from the brood sac; they shed their embryonic membrane as they hatch and eat both it and the oothecae. Newly hatched nymphs crawl beneath the female, even under her wings, and remain there for about an hour after hatching. Female nymphs take longer to mature than males.

Woodies can be purchased online.

They are extremely easy to breed.

Males will have longer wings which will extend past the end of the abdomen; females wings will stop at or just short of the end of the abdomen.

The reason these insects are not more popular is their resemblance to the feared, Periplaneta americana American cockroach and Blattella germanica German cockroach. Unlike those cockroaches woodies carry no diseases and prefer to live outside under dead wood or tree bark Their capacity as a feeder insect has suffered significantly as a result of this physical resemblance. See Comparison Photo

Woodies do not make any noise, jump, bite, or fly.

Some females are capable of switching from a sexual mode of reproduction to an asexual mode when isolated from males.

Females average six broods of 26-40 eggs per brood, with broods taking about 36 days to incubate.

Breeding your own allows you to select the best size for your pet.

They can be "gut loaded" to enhance their nutritional value. Click here for a gutload recipe


Cannibalism and mold are common problems for cricket colonies.


Average size of the adult woody is about 1 inch long.


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