top of page
Headlight Cockroaches (Lucihormetica verrucosa) - Nymphs / Adults

Headlight Cockroaches (Lucihormetica verrucosa) - Nymphs / Adults

Headlight cockroaches (Lucihormetica verrucosa), otherwise known as Glowspot cockroaches, are a species of burrowing cockroach from Colombia, south America. This species got their name from the two orange-yellow dots on the males pronotum, which look like two little headlights or glowing dots. Females lack these dots and tend to be longer and wider than the males. Scientific research has found that these glowspots on wild specimens are bioluminescent thanks to a type of bacteria that emits light after the adults consume it. More research is needed to understand this special relationship, and maybe then we encourage captive bred roaches to glow too!


Adults have vestigial pairs of wings which are not used for flying, but they can climb extremely well so make sure they are housed in a well-sealed enclosure. Nymphs are extremely small when first hatched and are a shiny jet-black colour. Their exoskeleton changes after each molt and gains attractive orange patterns around the head and pronotum, but molting success and developmental changes are largely influenced by diet and environment, so we suggest feeding a well-balanced diet and keeping the substrate relatively moist. Nymphs undergo 6-7 molts before reaching maturity, which can take between 6 to 10 months, with higher temperatures speeding up the process. This species does prefer to burrow and stay underground during the nymph stage, so we suggest providing a layer of substrate that’s at least 10cm deep.


Once mature, females will release pheromones once they are receptive, which attracts males and triggers competition in the form of fights between males. We often see males fighting and chasing each other around their enclosure knocking over branches and causing a disturbance to other tank mates. These scraps only last up to 30 seconds at most before the winner strolls off to seek a receptive female. The male will place himself in front of the female, lifting his vestigial wings and releasing pheromones that draw the female closer. She will then walk onto the males back and the male will move his abdomen backwards until both reproductive organs are in contact, before rotating so that the male and female are connected but turned away from each other. Once mating has happened, the female will internally incubate the eggs in an egg case called an ootheca for 50-60 days before giving birth to live nymphs, which again is dependent on temperature and diet. Adults will readily breed at temperatures as low as 24 ˚C and it seems hardwood leaf litter like oak and beech, and rotting hardwood promote breeding behaviour.


Lifespan: males up to 1 year, females 2-4 years

Size: 4-5cm

Status: captive bred

Place of Origin: Columbia

Temperature: 20-28˚C

Humidity: 60-80%

Diet: hardwood leaf litter, various fruits( melon, banana, pear, apple), protein (oats, fish pellets, bee pollen, fish flakes), jelly pots

  • We keep a colony of adults and many nymphs in the same 40X30X30cm acrylic enclosure at 22˚C and 80% humidity. You can use a heat mat on the side of the tank if your house is on the cooler side. A smaller colony of 5-10 roaches will be just fine in a 20x20x20cm tank. 


  • We like to use plenty of large cork bark, fake and live plants, and hardwood branches to provide both climbing and hiding opportunities. We often see our adults running around the tank in the day so it's important to have an enriching, natural environment for them. We suggest keeping the substrate damp (not soaking!) by misting 1-2 times a week or when the top few inches of substrate are dry.  


  • We have had success using both our Rainforest and Millipede Edible substrates for these, but a substrate that is rich in organic material and can hold moisture well is also suitable. A substrate depth of around 20cm is sufficient, but deeper allows the adults and nymphs to bury themselves more comfortably. Leaf litter, moss and botanicals can be added on top of the substrate for a more natural feel and will also be munched on by roaches.  


  • We feed our colony twice a week with fresh fruits and veggies, along with a good sprinkling of protein like fish flakes and oats around the whole enclosure. Start with a small amount of food and monitor how long it takes your colony to finish it before increasing portions. Not only does this help you reduce food waste it also prevents outbreaks of mites and fruit flies.  


  • We recommend staying on top of spot cleaning and remove any uneaten food and waste from the enclosure 1-2 times a week. Roaches are prone to fungal infections and a dirty environment is a quick way to harm your colony.


  • Substrate can be changed once every 1-2 months and we advise adding a clean-up crew like springtails and dwarf white isopods to help keep the substrate maintained and your tank clean and healthy!  
PriceFrom £6.99

Related Products