CritterChick

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About CritterChick

  • Rank
    Eggcase
  • Birthday 07/26/1977

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Minnesota
  • Interests
    All sorts of pets, invertebrate or otherwise!

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  1. Eh, usually a name is just a name. It doesn't have to mean that something takes after it's namesake. I really like the name Freya. Perhaps some of your hissers should be related. Thor, Sif, Odin, Frigg, Tyr, Baldr, Hel and the awesome wolf Fenrir are some of the most recognizable.
  2. My tarantulas all have names that translate into "Legs" or "knees" in various languages. Thank you, Google translate. My assassin bug is named Vlad. My giant vinegaroon is named Mittens. I haven't yet named the whipscorpion, but I'm leaning toward Hyde McFeely. The roaches are mostly just "minions". My carpet python is called Thabu, which means "snake" in one of the coastal aboriginal languages (again, according to the interwebz). My short-tailed opossum male is called Gator because he shows me his teeth whenever I startle him. In general, I'm a fan of names from various mythologies, especially greek, norse, and hindu. I haven't yet named any individual roaches, but I did have a trio of scorpions ages ago that were named Zeus, Nemesis, and Persephone. The gods and goddesses of greek mythology are wonderfully varied and intertwined, and you can almost certainly find one with the attributes to fit just about any pet. Slightly less diverse are the norse and hindu gods, but with arguably cooler names
  3. It does look like he's "exhaling" like a hisser with a little body flex when he's making the noise. I also don't see any ruffling or vibrating of the wings like you'd expect with stridulation. That's really interesting!
  4. I use those terrariums, too, because I love the front doors. I've learned that for just about any invert, those backgrounds turn out to be problematic as they are. I'm too lazy to plug all the holes with aquarium sealant, plus I don't want to make them even harder to take out when someone inevitably makes their way back there.. so I just toss them now. For really neat backdrops for all your critter tanks, check this out.
  5. I've rinsed them off under the tap with lukewarm water. The roaches aren't real thrilled about the idea, but come out of it none the worse for wear. Of course, I've only ever had to do this with new arrivals, so a handful at a time. If I had a fully established colony, it probably wouldn't be worth the effort.
  6. I find it interesting that the P. saussurei almost seem crepuscular. The majority of their activity is within 2 hours of sunrise and sunset, but nothing in the middle of the night. I'd also be curious to see if activity in the P. obscura would change if the temperature didn't rise in sync with the light source. While this is obviously how it would occur in nature, my curiosity is whether it's the heat or the light that gets them hiding.
  7. They're actually commensal mites, meaning the mites get a benefit but are neither beneficial nor detrimental to their host. I personally dislike them and get rid of them, but I've never had allergic issues to my hissers. Some people have issues with the fungi that hissers apparently host and that's what these mites reduce. From what I've been able to ascertain, aside from a reduction in these fungi, there's no noticeable difference in life expectancy or health of a hissing roach colony with or without their mites. Granted, the knowledge I've picked up regarding these mites has been through internet searches and only 2 different colonies of hissers that I've had personal experience with, neither of which was princisia. Maybe the more experienced keepers here will have different insight more specific to your roaches.
  8. Which kind of reptiles do you keep? Bigger reptiles like tegus or monitors can definitely handle the tough exoskeleton of the hissers and would probably even enjoy the challenge, but the roaches that are commonly kept by the awesome group of folks on this forum are extremely varied. There are probably many species that would be as fun to keep as the hissers and more palatable or exciting to your reptiles. Chameleons, for example, get super excited about the green banana roaches. Watching bearded dragons chase the turks around is hilarious. Leopard geckos are ambush predators that aren't the best at catching the faster moving roaches, nor do they have the jaw strength of a beardie. Pac Man frogs can handle just about anything, though they'll swallow their prey whole so prekilling is recommended. The occasional insect treat for a crested gecko should be a climber so the crestie doesn't have to go to the bottom for the snack, but it should also be pretty soft bodied. Basically, there's a roach for everyone. Careful, though. . . soon you'll be a collector.
  9. Calcium carbonate as ingredient #4 might be worrisome. It's meant as a gutload diet, which means it should be fed for a few days prior to feeding them to a reptile to increase the calcium content in their gut. I wouldn't imagine that much calcium would be healthy long term for a non-crustacean invertebrate. For use as part of a varied diet it would probably be fine.
  10. I just go to Home Depot and get these styrofoam boards. They cut easily with a box cutter if you want accurate dimensions, but they can also just be scored and snapped. I put them under some heating pads to keep the surface the bin is sitting on from soaking all the heat away, and it also tends to even out the heat distribution. It also allows me to leave the heat pad in place on the insulation and easily move the bins for cleaning/inspection without dragging a cord around. I don't know if I'd consider it safe against a glass tank, and placing the heat source at the bottom of a bin with substrate & burrowing species can be a recipe for disaster. My feeder bin is bare bottomed and all their shelter is in vertical egg crates, meaning the temperature gradient is vertical. In all of my non-feeder bins and habitats, I keep a horizontal temperature gradient. I don't want the critters having to decide whether to feel safe & hidden or properly warm; they should always be able to find shelter at whatever temperature they're wanting. The feeders, unfortunately, have to be set up a little more utilitarian for ease of cleaning (as infrequently as I do so) and collecting individuals to be fed out. The bins I use are these, since the dark plastic seems to hold the heat better and the roaches don't really like the light anyway. I wouldn't recommend a dark bin for flying species, or you'll have a hilarious surprise every time you open it. These bins don't have gaskets for perfect sealing, so I'd recommend a grease barrier for climbers.
  11. Yep! In leopard geckos, for example, if the eggs are incubated below about 83 degrees, almost all of the hatchlings will be female. Between 84-86ish, there'll be a mix of genders, and above 86, almost all of the hatchlings will be male. Often if the "wrong" gender is hatched at a given temperature, they'll display adult behavior of the opposite gender and be either infertile, or at least uninterested in the opposite gender. I've hatched "hot" females before, and it's pretty interesting watching them grow up to posture like males.
  12. He is really cool. I love watching him look for food. That pair of legs that doubles as antennae are really amazing in their ability to seek out where the prey went to, and he can sure scoot there fast!
  13. Oh, heck no. Trying to identify and capitalize on individual traits (aside from appearance) in a colony bred animal would be next to impossible, which is why nobody's bothering to do it. Maybe that's why so many of us keep a bunch of different species
  14. Since we're on the subject, a valid question to ask is why hybridize? If you're breeding feeder roaches, you can be selective for size, palatability, meat to shell ratio, litter size, etc. If you're breeding pets, you might also look for size, as well as color, reduced skittishness, or hiss proclivity & volume. Either hobbyist might breed for husbandry traits, like hissers that don't care to climb, dubias that don't care to burrow, or bananas that aren't so fast to fly. Aside from maybe color, I think realistically no one is actually doing this. Unless you're regularly splitting your colony and culling/selling off the roaches that least fit the direction you're trying to go, the hybridization is only laziness. If we really care about the species we keep, we won't let convenience be the driving force behind the direction we take our collection.
  15. I wonder if the gender that hatches from the ooths can be swayed by temperature like some reptiles.