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  1. Today
  2. First off, welcome to the forum! Nice, Byrsotria are cool, bulky roaches, they definitely are a good pet choice! Haha we've all had our shipping mishaps when it comes to receiving new inverts, @All About Insects recently had a couple roach orders get stuck for almost a couple weeks in the mail! (And they still survived!). Handling is one of the most fun aspects of this hobby IMO, unfortunately it's not something that can easily be done with every species, (and I wouldn't recommend it with a lot of the smaller, more fragile species), but with the larger ones it's very easy! Big, somewhat slow Blaberids like Byrsotria in particular are great for handling. I've been keeping isopods for a while, but have recently become much more interested in them, what with all these new species and color morphs entering culture, Isopodculture is like the new Blatticulture! Nice choices, hope both continue to do well for you! If you want to upload bigger, full sized images on the forum, you'll need to download them to some other website and copy the url from there and put it into your posts. Seems like your new pets are in excellent hands, keep us updated on their progress!
  3. I have three Hisser species with cork bark in their enclosure (G. oblongonota, G. portentosa and E. javanica) and all seem to be doing fine. I've had the oblongonota nearly a year, the javanica 8 months and the portentosa 4 months with no ill effects, though I do sterilise the bark (pour on boiling water to soak for a few minutes then microwave for at least 2 minutes) before I put it in their cages. They are definitely eating it (very slowly!) as I see them doing so occasionally and the holes and crevices all get bigger over time as they chew it away, though a small piece will still last several years at the rate mine are going! The javanica and oblongonota have both had several broods of young (which also eat the cork bark) and most of those have got to adulthood (the ones that didn't were probably not healthy individuals anyway) or are growing well, so I am pretty sure cork bark is completely safe for roaches. I can't speak for other insect orders / groups though.
  4. I have my Archimandrita tesselata roaches on cork bark since 2014 with no ill effect.
  5. I don't tend to post much on forums due to anxiety, but I had to introduce myself at the very least. c: So here is my little story. While I'm not new to researching invertebrates, I am relatively new to actively keeping them and started late last year with my small group of Byrsotria rothi from Roach Crossing. Little loves of my life, my beautiful dig sons, they've been with me through a really terrible patch in my life and I'm glad we're still trucking together. Strange how I always saw myself starting out with a reptile first, or maybe some really handsome pet roach like a hisser or Therea, but instead these little chubby diggers stole my heart and kept it. I remember how anxious I was, practically in tears when there was a mistake with shipping and my five little babies were sent directly to my (all women's) college instead of being held at the post office. I remember going down to student services and having to explain what was going on, and how nonchalantly they brushed it aside and just gave me the package early, no issues at all. (Mind you, later on the housing director HIMSELF even found out about them, and his first comment was "Oh, I just thought that was a box of dirt!" and his only complaint was they were in a plastic tub and not a glass tank!) I nervously took my little box upstairs to my dorm, left alone since my roommate moved out in the winter, giving me the opportunity to get inverts of my own. Seeing them for the first time, I admit my hands were shaky and it was a bit of an adventure as I gently talked to them and made their little modified 15 qt suitable for them, feeling more than a little nervous now that they were actually in front of me. In the end though, everyone ended up in their new home just fine and went about their little roach business. It was a little embarrassing how I still wasn't quite ready to even touch them on my own time went on I quickly warmed up to my gentle, strong sons. I managed to let them crawl over my hands and I loved watching them "bulldoze" their substrate, like the strong lads they are. And the first time I managed to pick one up properly was just indescribable. Pardon my terrible voice in this video (and the fact that its on tumblr...), I was trying to be quiet for the roach and was still a little nervous and the phone recording didn't help: I am much more comfortable with my roaches now, even though they have scared the shit out of me before if they get startled and bolt under the leaf litter fast enough, but I can't imagine life without them. It's much easier to be around them and to pick them up, and they've grown so much from the little round babies I started with. Their tiny, gentle tickles and digs have become Strong Grasps and Tough Tickles and their digging like the burrows of Champions. I love my strong, burrowing sons so much, I really do. I'll attach some pictures of them as well, but keep in mind most besides the picture of the shiny new adult are outdated. Their enclosure has changed, and is generally a lot messier since they're bigger now and I added a ton more leaf litter. I noticed they REALLY like the size of live oak leaf litter and became much more active when i added a nice, deep layer of it for them. Well worth the mess, if it means they're more confident and active in moving around their enclosure. I also recently within the past few months finally got into isopod keeping! I got my first isopods from Alan at Captive Isopoda and I can't recommend him enough. I ordered 20+ mixed Porcellio scaber "lottery ticket". Best decision I ever made, and I seriously encourage picking these up. They are essentially "extras" from a variety of P. scaber crosses, and while they look like normals, oranges, dalmations, or calicos depending on what you choose, they also have a grab bag of different recessives, so their offspring can be really surprising. I thought this was an awesome idea, and I couldn't be happier. Alan himself was also awesome to work with, and when I told him I was new to the hobby but obsessed with isos and super excited about breeding them, he even surprised me with a "free gift" of a starter culture of 12+ P. pruinosis "orange"! Since getting my isopods, they've absolutely flourished and I'm happy to say they're reproducing so well and now a lot of their babies have grown large enough to identify their morphs. My p. scaber culture is currently a beautiful mix of normals, oranges, one calico, a few orange dalmations, a few normal dalmations, one very distinct brown dalmation [to which Alan explained brown and even purple dalmations are occasionally found in cultures, yes], and in their offspring i have 2-3 of what I am almost certain are orange pieds! While I haven't gotten a picture yet, I've seen them on multiple occasions and recognize them instantly. They were not there from the beginning, and are very pretty with an orange background and a small number of growing white patches. It'll be a lot of fun to see what else they produce as time goes on. And well, I think I've rambled enough. This should be a good enough intro. The only other things I can say are I've besides invertebrates of varying kinds (focus on isopods, roaches and tarantulas), I've also researched reptiles, amphibians, and domestic birds (chickens and pigeons) extensively and I'm incredibly passionate about animal welfare and enrichment, no matter the creature or its purpose. Even roaches deserve proper care and respect, you know? Even feeders. Yes, they will be fed off, but at least their life goes to sustain another, and they deserve a level of respect for their purpose and a healthy, comfortable life as well. Maybe not a plush pillow and food on a silver platter, but a certain level of quality of living is important for everything. But heck, maybe that's just me, heh heh. Only other thing I can think of saying is I probably won't post too much, but feel free to talk to me, just be warned, I can be a chatterbox. I shouldn't EVER talk as much as I did in this post, and I do try very hard to be concise, so don't let that scare anyone off too bad, please. c: [Also I did try uploading pictures, but I guess my phone made them all too high of a resolution. I'll need to adjust those so I can actually post them, if anyone wants to see the dig sons or their enclosure, which I am rather fond of for my first try. Or my isopods, I do have a couple neat pictures of them, and they are rather handsome when all the different colors interact and skitter around together.]
  6. A beautiful hobby classic - G. grandidieri "Tiger Hisser" Excuse the photo-bombing mite that met its doom shortly after this photo...
  7. Yesterday
  8. Thank you for your suggestions, stanislas The pet store has corkbark in different sizes as well, but I read somewhere that corkbark can have harmful/lethal effects on insects, so I did stay clear of it till now. But if it's non-harming I think I will try that as well
  9. Hazel sticks are certainly ok. I suppose the mangrove wood and fingerwood are those decorative hardwood root systems. If so, they should be fine as well, as these are very hard and I don't think many roaches can shew on them. In any case, I have a large piece of such mangrove wood in my Archimandrita tesselata enclosure. It's rather smooth and the roaches have a hard tine climbing it. I prefer cork barks pieces for the roach bins.
  10. Good to know lol, the more the merrier! That's crazy, no wonder some keepers have started using them as occasional feeders! Luckily my pair seem to spend almost all of their time underground, whereas my other Gyna are always trying to fly away. This may change once my culture gets bigger though...
  11. For those who were following this thread, Alex wanted me to tell you all that the injured Cotinis died on it's own, and he is now preparing it as a dried specimen, as it looks like it's in perfect condition, now that the genitalia have ripped off cleanly.
  12. Once that first batch of nymphs are successfully born, they erupt like crazy. I started with about 5 or 6 surviving nymphs that matured, birthed several litters, and now I have maybe almost 100 mixed sizes of nymphs. I currently have about 4 adult females and 1 male reproducing from the last group that matured. Every time I feed and water, it seems like there are new nymphs. I love this species....oh and they are great fliers. Had some escaped females; drove my cats insane till I snagged them.
  13. Last week
  14. Well I don't know about insects, but they did studies on crabs recently, and determined that they do feel pain. If crabs can feel pain, it seems likely that insects can too.
  15. Sinella curviseta is the species that I would recommend for Archimandrita, however I'm not sure they sell them in Europe... Any large, prolific species will do, maybe ask some of the roach breeders in Germany and ask if they have any good springtail strains available. I would definitely recommend increasing the size of the moist area, however some species are rather hardy, and as long as there is always moisture available in one area, they will spread around and live in the dry parts as well, (like Sinella curviseta).
  16. I though most insects can't feel pain? I think there is some papers on it, I've freezed extra male roaches before and I know it is a standard for other keepers the freeze extra males or injured arthropods
  17. Very neat, I've always wanted to get in to these guys, I have a large cage that is 4 feet long 2 feet high and 14 inches deep, but I can't decide on Lubbers or these guys
  18. If the mites are just around food then there's a good chance they are grain mites just feed less and throw out old food after a day or 2. As for lesser mealworms I will never get them they can stress out smaller species and I've heard they may go after smaller roaches, and they can get in to other roach bins with out you introducing them as for springtales they generally like it moist so I would probable increase the size of your moist corner, unless there are some dry tolerant species @Hisserdude ?
  19. Thanks for your reply, Hisserdude Oh dear, I don't wanna stress out my poor babies...Springtails it is then! I'll see if I can get them somewhere. Do you have a specific kind of springtail in mind (and maybe the scientific name)? As for how the mites look. Well, they are tiny but can be seen without any gear. There are tinier ones that are white and bigger ones that lean towards an off-white, sometimes nude-ish color.
  20. Wow, pretty!
  21. Neat whip spider from TX. I only had one for a while, but I managed to collect 10 on a trip this week!
  22. The lesser mealworms would do well in your Archimandrita tank, but I worry about them stressing the roaches out. Springtails would be better for the roaches, and in combination with reduced feeding, can get rid of all the mites. What do the mites look like BTW? Can you describe them?
  23. Oh jeez, that sucks. Perhaps smashing it very quickly may be better then freezing, if freezing is indeed painful? It sounds horrible, I know, but it is quick. Like place it down and drop a large rock or cinderblock on it?
  24. Good evening I am in the process of setting up a new box for my Archimandritas and... I am quite embarrassed to say... noticed that I apparently got mites in their current box. The mites are mostly in their food bowl, sitting in the dry food. This angers me, as I tried a lot of tricks to keep the mites away (Only little meals for both wet food and dry food, clean the food out quickly, keep the food away from the corner I spray, etc.). It sucks :/ I read the lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus) is a good help against mites. Does anybody know how they like their substrate? I spray a single corner of my Archimandritas' box every so often but if the lesser mealworm needs super wet or really dry substrate, it wouldn't really work out. Also, what to do with the beetles I don't need (I have no animal I can feed them to)? Another question regarding mites. I read in an archived German forum that one can carefully 'wash' their roaches before setting them over, as to not bring the mites with them into the new box. Is this a useful procedure? I imagine it would stress the poor darlings quite a bit. Thanks in advance (and sorry for the stupid questions)
  25. Just to be clear, the beetle is "clean" now (nothing is protruding from its abdomen anymore) and the damaged parts were completely detached from the body.
  26. Although the injured beetle defecated properly and acted healthy with the injury, recently it tore its entire genital apparatus out of its body (and apparently some of its guts too) like a stinging honeybee. Its healthy behavior ended after the second injury, because right now it has no appetite and is lethargic. It has spent quite some time in this even stranger state, however, and might continue on for a while before death. Euthanasia ideas besides freezing (shown to be painful)?
  27. Good, glad she hasn't reproduced! No problem, happy to help!
  28. Update: There haven't been any nymphs. My apartment stays below 70F, so I am guessing this is the reason, being that several of my females have to be adults. I'm very happy none of my girls have given birth, I do not plan to breed them. Thanks for the temperature tip, Hisserdude.
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