Death Head roaches get their name from the marking on the pronotum, the shield that covers the insect’s head. The pronotum is very light-colored and the dark marking is said to resemble the shape of a skull.
The scientific name of the death head roach is Blaberus craniifer. It is a very dark colored cockroach. The wings and body are almost black. Adults reach almost 20.5″ in length.
The death head roach is native to Central and South America. It is also found in Florida and parts of the Caribbean. There are several other species of roaches that are related to the death head roach. One species, Blaberus fusca, known as the dwarf cave roach, is sometimes used to breed hybrid cockroaches with the death head roach. The discoid roach, B. discoidalis, is sometimes also called the death head roach.
Some states allow pet stores to sell tropical species of cockroaches and many people raise them as pets. Some people raise them to feed lizards or tarantulas. The death head roach is popular with roach breeders because it does not fly.
Unlike many other types of roaches, the death head roach cannot climb smooth vertical surfaces, so it can be raised in open glass containers at home. These roaches only require some dry pet food and fruit for food. They do require water and they prefer to have a place to hide.