Depending on which kind of deathís head cockroach you want whether it be a false death headís cockroach (also known as the discoid roach) or the stunning true deathís head cockroach, they are a very large species.
On appearance the true death's head cockroach is glossy to the touch, with jet black wings covering the abdomen and a skull shaped, amber/black coloured marking on the pronotum (top of it's head). Sometimes the pronotum is white/beige but this is still argued to be a false death's head cockroach! They are particularly large cockroaches with adults reaching 3 inches or more. Male and female death's head roaches look very similar, females are slightly larger with a rounded abdomen.
The younger nymph's have a very different appearance altogether until they reach adulthood (about 6 months). They are oval shaped with a dark red/brown colouring all over. As well as being a different colour, nymphs lack wings until reaching adulthood.
It is found on forest floors, hiding in leaf matter and rotting wood throughout Central America and South Florida.
These cockroaches are one of the easiest species of roaches to care for and much like the Madagascan hissing cockroaches, they are very hardy.These cockroaches are a non-climbing species, they cant climb their glass/plastic tanks to escape. Although adults have wings, they cannot fly but tend to glide from surfaces. Often when handling, they jump and glide to where they want to be.
Provide some kind of forest bed substrate (or pesticide free peat) of about 3 inches deep because the nymphs tend to burrow. Adults stay on the surface but hide beneath logs, they find it difficult to bury themselves with wings. The tank should include hides like rotting logs and cork bark.
The true death's head cockroaches are slow breeders, but will thrive better and breed faster in a heated environment of about 85-95F, keep humidity about 65-85%. The false death's head roaches tend to breed faster hence why they are easier to stock in pet shops for pets and/or for feeding reptiles.
They are easy to feed, foods like fresh fruit and vegetables (especially plums and carrots), wet dog food and moist cereal. A shallow dish for food will help to keep the tank clean, also provide a small dish for water. In the water dish place a cotton pad to absorb the water, this will prevent any cockroaches drowning.