Maya Cockroach

Epilampra maya


Mixed nymphs: $10/each
Starter colony (12 mixed nymphs): $100

Detailed Species Stats -Click-

  • Adult Size: Male: 27 mm. Female: 30 mm.
  • Climbing Abilities: Adults of both sexes can climb.
  • Flying Abilities: Adults of both sexes can fly.
  • Mode of Birth: Ovoviviparous.
  • Care Level: Intermediate.
  • Temperature Requirements: 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Air Humidity: Not picky.
  • Substrate Humidity: Moist with good aeration.
  • Favorite Foods: Not picky.
  • Locality: Florida, United States.

Read the Collection Story Here! -Click-

The day started off alright; after all, we didn’t have any big plans. Despite the rest of our trip being fairly rigidly scheduled, today was a free day to use to get between places and find some bugs on the way. The night before, after coming inside from the pouring rain with a gigantic Cuban tree frog, I recalled that we were in Florida. It had yet crossed my mind that one of my dream roaches lived here; eventually, it hit me, and I inquired to Chuck if I could use his laptop (who, despite being amidst multiple “want-list” arachnid location triangulations, kindly obliged). I looked up a dusty old paper from the 80s (the dark ages of biological science?) about an amusing roach that had become established in nearby Arcadia. Despite sounding hard to find and possibly extirpated (they do not handle cold winters well, and Florida has had several recently), we decided to visit the town the next day. Fast-forward to our car parked along some suburban street near a drainage creek while three of us rummaged around a very Amazon-tributary-esque stream and add the police, and you have the makings of (what I would think) could be a great novel. We had been angrily searching the nearby areas with no luck; even pristine forest on the edge of a cemetery yielded nothing. As Alan, Satchell, and I returned to our get away vehicle, Chuck and Kati informed us that our activity was suspicious enough to summon the local law enforcement, and both of them had been background checked on the spot. Interestingly, the officer was extremely empathetic and knowledgeable of the area and forwarded us to a park where we could explore more thoroughly. We packed up and headed that way, only to be greeted by a tiny parking lot and a busload of convicts in it. Apparently that day was litter clean-up day, and the lady who lived in the extremely tiny private lot on the other side of the parking lot was not enthusiastic about either vehicle being anywhere near her little slice of Arcadian paradise. Despite this, we parked and headed down to the river. Alan and I took off into the woods while Chuck, Kati, and Satchell checked around the exposed bank area. Several log flips and leaf litter searches provided nothing, though Alan and I pressed onwards. The heat and humidity was “suffocating” (I wouldn’t know; I love it), but we persisted further in. Soon, Satchell called us out of the woods, apparently ready to “show us something”. In his container was a decently sized, shiny, ornately-marked roach nymph; our very first Epilampra maya. He had uncovered it while flipping rocks near the water, and by now all of us (save for Kati and Chuck; they’re “level-headed” as one may describe it) had been whipped into a frenzy. Rock after rock we turned, only rarely exposing a roach which would immediately flip, skip, or dip right into the water. I wasn’t very good at catching them but eventually earned my keep; I collected five or six of the little buggers (while Alan and Satchell’s sum was somewhere around fifteen). By the time we were done collecting, I could barely crawl up the side of the hill that led to the water; in my excitement, I had forgotten to drink anything and was blissfully under the euphoric effects of severe dehydration. Luckily, there was water waiting in the car, and we drank our fill happily as we prepared to begin the next chapter of our adventure.

Introducing the Maya roach, the first captive species that can be kept semi-aquatically! In the wild, nymphs and adults are found under rocks along rivers. Adults may fly at nighttime to find new places to colonize and have been reported from abandoned homes and forests, however the nymphs are intolerant of dry conditions and thus it is highly unlikely that they reproduce away from water. When exposed, they will scuttle into the water and not emerge for several minutes. In captivity, a slow-moving pool area with rock piles leading to a humid, soil-covered area will encourage breeding and swimming. For those who do not have the space or patience for such a set-up, the species can be bred without water by keeping them in a very moist set-up with good, coarse substrate and very high humidity. Adults are extremely hyper, and a good lid is required regardless of the set-up.