Thursday, January 20, 2022

Back From the Brink: Rhabdoblatta rustica!

Well, just a short while ago it seemed like all hope was lost for Rhabdoblatta rustica (formerly misidentified as R.formosana) in the hobby, they're only really in culture here in the US, and everyone I knew of who had this species (as well as everyone they knew), had horrible culture crashes due to a myriad of reasons. Kyle from Roachcrossing was the last person with a potentially viable population; three hopefully mated females, but alas two of those females died without producing a brood, and things were looking bleak, with all hope resting on that one female.

As Kyle was lamenting about this bad news on one of his recent livestreams, I decided to put out some posts on some Facebook groups asking if anyone still had a culture of this species. And lo and behold, I got a tip that one vendor, Paul's Pills, still had a colony of this species and was selling them! I immediately messaged Paul, who was quick to write back and confirm that he did indeed have a healthy culture of Rhabdoblatta rustica! And more importantly, was selling them for a great price! 😁 I quickly spread the word on the Livestream and to my friends who'd be interested in them, and I'm sure Paul probably had some of the best Rhabdoblatta sales ever as a result of being the LAST hobbyist with a healthy culture left... 😂

So now, I'm sure you know where this is going... I bought myself a group of 20 nymphs, and I am once again keeping Rhabdoblatta rustica! (if only to help keep them in culture! 😅). These did well for me in the past, and despite multiple crashes, I was always able to get them back up and running. So hopefully I'll have similar luck this go around, and maybe spread them around a bit more in the hobby as well. 😄

I've got them set up in a moderately ventilated gallon container with some slightly used Ancaudellia substrate at the bottom (which is mostly just aged sawdust), with paper towel rolls and leaf litter hides on top. I am keeping them humid and warm (75-80F°). For food I'll offer dog food and fruits. I've put in some Pogonognathellus dubius springtails as cleaners, as a sort of test run to see how that species fares in roach enclosures. Out of the 20 nymphs, only two were subadults, the rest were small and medium nymphs. But that subadult pair ended up being a male and female, and they've just matured, so breeding can commence! 😃

Here are some pictures of the sexed pair that just matured:

Adult male

Adult female

Adult pair

Been a while since I've seen this species, but dang are they pretty! 😍 Hopefully I'll be able to breed them with little issue! 😄 Props to Paul's Pills for keeping this species going this whole time! Glad to be able to get a group of this species again, some of you may not know this, but the roach in the picture that serves as the backdrop for this blog is in fact a freshly molted adult Rhabdoblatta rustica. ☺️

Anyways, that's gonna do it for today, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉


  1. These roaches are stunning! I am so happy that you were collectively been able to keep these alive in the US! Congratulations!! Now we need to see babies :D
    Good luck with them and keep us posted ! Cheers

    1. Yeah, they're quite beautiful! Hopefully they'll breed nicely for me, time will tell! 😅