Meet the Heavyweights: Giant Burrowing Roaches (Macropanesthia rhinoceros)

These roaches are big – up to 80mm long and weighing up to 30g. They hang out in the dry eucalypt scrubland of northern Queensland, digging deep burrows with their strong, spiky legs. At night, they come out to find food and mates. Their go-to meal? Dry leaves, especially from eucalypt trees.

Parenting Quirks: Something Different

Unlike most roaches, these guys are unique parents:

  • Parental Teamwork: Breeding pairs take care of their live-born young in a special way – the little ones chill at the bottom of their burrows for months.
  • Leafy Treats: Parents bring them dry leaves to munch on, tearing them into small pieces for easy nibbling.
  • Out with the Old, In with the New: When it’s time to grow, they shed their outer layer, starting off white and then getting their usual color.

Taking Care of Your Giant Burrowing Cockroaches

Want to keep them happy? Follow these simple steps:

  • Food Fundamentals: Feed them dry gum leaves and add some chopped apple once in a while.
  • Stay Hydrated: Set up a small dish with water and a sponge or cotton wool.
  • Home Sweet Home: Get a medium-sized terrarium with coco-peat for burrowing.
  • Warm and Cozy: Keep their digs between 18-24°C.
  • Long Life: They can hang around for up to 10 years, so get ready for a long-term relationship.

Handle with Care: Interacting and Breeding

Don’t worry, they won’t bite. Here’s how to hang out with them:

  • Gentle Handling: You can pick them up gently – just be careful they don’t fall from too high.
  • Family Matters: Pairs stay together and have live babies, up to 20 of them. The kids stick around for about a year before going their own way.

Common Stuff to Watch Out For

Keep an eye on these things to make sure your roaches are doing well:

  • Leafy Love: Always have dry gum leaves on hand. Mix it up if you can.
  • Easy Does It: Don’t bug them too much – they might get stressed out. Check their weight weekly to stay in the know.

So there you have it – the scoop on Giant Burrowing Cockroaches. They’re cool pets that come with a bit of responsibility, but if you’re up for the challenge, you’ll have some awesome critter companions for years to come.

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