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About CritterChick

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  • Birthday 07/26/1977

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    All sorts of pets, invertebrate or otherwise!

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  1. I wonder if the gender that hatches from the ooths can be swayed by temperature like some reptiles.
  2. I feel like hybridization in captivity is only a problem as it relates to conservation. It's important that pure strains remain or the different species within the genuses start getting muddy. As others on this forum have pointed out, as long as you're indicating to your buyers (even if they're just the local pet shop) that your roaches are hybrids, it shouldn't be an issue. The purists still have plenty of places to get their stock. As far as US stock and Euro stock vs. original wild stock being different, that's all a natural process. Whether through an inadvertent introduction of a hybrid, selectively breeding for a specific trait, or perhaps even a dominant male skewing the gene pool in a given colony, isolated populations of anything will undergo changes from generation to generation. Take a look at the English budgerigar, for example, or the American Bull Terrier. The best thing to do when trying to avoid hybrids (at least, in the case of roaches) is wait until your new additions are adults before introducing them to your existing colony. If you still can't tell which species they are, don't mix them in.
  3. I think you'd have to kill the roach first, since none of the carnivorous plants I know of (at least, not the ones we can keep as houseplants) are strong enough to hold onto a roach unless it's a tiny nymph.
  4. I've always liked the roaches and tarantulas, but the centipedes and whipscorpions were definitely an acquired interest. It wasn't too many years ago that I drew a hard line at centipedes. . . and then I did some reading. This past summer, I actually cried when my flagtail centipede died. Granted, a lot of that was guilt because I'd forgotten to take into consideration just how fast that stupid ceiling fan was going to dry out the bins, but I was very sad. I still can't find a new one, since the Brits (who seem to have plenty) can't ship to the US. So I've got a tiger on order from Peter, and I'm still thinking about getting a subspinipes. I'm just on the fence about having one that's that venomous in the house, since I've got the dogs and a pig who thinks bugs are delicious. So if anyone has a line on flag tailed centipedes, let me know
  5. So maybe your pied were a bit like the glowspot roaches, where they needed a special diet to crop up with their color. Really, I think your mardi gras 'pods are super cool looking, and I'm glad they're breeding true for you!
  6. My name's Steph and I have a pretty ridiculous menagerie in my house. In addition to my interest in roaches, I have about a dozen different tarantulas, a horrid king assassin bug, death feigning beetles, and a giant whipscorpion. Moving to the caged vertebrates, I have a carpet python, a herd of Syrian hamsters (I have a handful of genes I breed for), sugar gliders, short-tailed opossums, and a little winter white hamster. Then there's the bulldog, the pug, and the miniature pig. Like I said, we're ridiculous... but it's my house & my rules. I have to close the doors to two of the bedrooms for my mother to even step foot in here, lest she accidentally glimpse a spider or some other creepy crawly as she walks through. Ages ago, I had madagascar hissers which was my first real interest in roaches, though they doubled as pets and feeders for bearded dragons. Right now I have the oddly combined dubia/turk colony that are feeders for just about everyone: T's, Vlad (the assassin bug that dislikes crickets, but finds dubias acceptable and baby turks a delicacy), the whipscorpion who's still currently nameless & tiny, the 'possums & gliders, and especially the pig. Olive saves me from strays, because if I drop a bug while feeding, I just say "Olive, find it!" and her nose hits the floor. I've been working in the pet industry for 20+ years now and have experience with all kinds of critters. I love working with animals, teaching people about them, and learning more things every day.
  7. Good call on holding off on the "So... I might've misplaced several giant tropical cockroaches somewhere in our house" conversation! If they do, let's hope the roommate isn't the first person to spot them
  8. Do you sell your slings? I've got a P. cambridgei but I'd love an irminia as well.
  9. I think Mardi Gras would be a cool color name, or even just "party" the way they refer to some dog breeds with color patches as "party colored". Also, if you get your colony big enough and reproducing predictably, put me on your waiting list for sales
  10. My guess is that your piebald morph wasn't a heritable trait at all, but either a random mutation or something that happened during a pivotal time during their early development. Maybe a temperature or humidity fluctuation, or a certain material/microbe that was briefly present or ingested. Then it becomes a frustrating guessing game to try and reproduce that condition. The notion of heritable color traits in my pet inverts is super interesting to me. I hadn't ever really thought of breeding for color or pattern in them, I just figured oddball colors were either a fluke or a family line tendency as opposed to a specific inheritance. The mosaic pattern in sugar gliders, for example, isn't technically heritable. It falls within certain bloodlines, but there's no guarantee of the offspring being born mosaic, or what version of it they get (mosaic is simple random places where the pigment doesn't take. Sometimes they have ringtail markings, sometimes they have white patches on their bodies/faces). There's no "mosaic carriers" or "het for mosaic". It's just knowing that mosaic parents are likely to throw mosaic joeys, where a family line of gliders that hasn't ever had a mosaic isn't going to just crop up with one. Getting even nerdier, it can have to do with where (which allele)on what gene the mutation has occurred. In both my syrian hamsters and sugar gliders, for example, there are colors that are mutations of the same gene. That means no matter what other wacky combination of colors I want to create, I can never make a platinum leucistic sugar glider or an extreme dilute, dark eared white syrian hamster because these two color traits are on the same gene; you can't mutate the gene in two different directions at once.
  11. If the mutation causing your new color is recessive, it would require both parents to carry both copies of said gene to pass it to 100% of their offspring. If it's dominant, the offspring only need to receive one copy of the gene to express the color and continue passing it on. There are also color genes that are homozygous lethal, meaning that if the offspring inherit both copies, they're dead before they're born. I wonder if something like that happened with your previous color morph when you segregated them from the rest of the colony. Then again, that situation (at least in rodents) would generally result in smaller litters since a percentage of them are reabsorbed as embryos, but the offspring that inherited only one copy of the fatal gene would still express the color and thrive.
  12. Unless it's a super large enclosure with very deep substrate (>6"), that tarantula would be very stressed surrounded by hordes of roaches, especially if any of them burrow. If you were running a population of non-climbing roaches, you could use a more strictly arboreal tarantula like any of the avics or a pokie. That way the spider could stay clear of the roachy chaos, but still take his pick at dinner time.
  13. My roach bin sits on a reptile heat mat. No tape. It allows me to slide it halfway off if it's getting a little too warm, since the heat mat is about the same size as the bottom of the bin. I have a 3/4" sheet of styrofoam underneath it all to help direct the heat to the bin, since it sits on the cool metal of my clothes dryer. That said, the bin has enough height and enough climbing structure to ensure no one's getting baked on the bottom. The bottom of the bin sits in the mid 80s and the temp tapers off to maybe 75 at the top.
  14. If you're using mason jars meant for canning (pretty cheap at any Walmart), simply replace the steel sealing disc with fine plastic canvas used for needlepoint. This'll keep all but the tiniest critters contained. I've used it for slings as small as 1/8". For smaller critters, I cut a circle of cheesecloth or other breathable fabric and put on top of the plastic mesh until they've grown a bit. For bin enclosures, I cut holes with my hot knife (box cutters are far too dangerous to cut thick plastic with, but a hole saw will work well if you don't have a hot knife) and stick in round tab vents. Even if you don't cut perfectly, there's a decent 1/4" or so lip that helps cover up imperfections in your cut. I'll try to add pics tomorrow if I remember to get batteries for the camera. My cell phone is from the dark ages and takes worthless photos.
  15. I used to keep a colony of dubias and a colony of the turks next to each other. One day, my miniature pig made a jail break through the baby gate and got downstairs, and godzilla'd both colonies. Figuring all was lost, I scooped up the few stragglers that survived the onslaught, tossed them all back into one of the bins with some fresh egg crate, and put them back on the heating pad. I now have a thriving colony of both roaches in the same bin. They survived the pig, and a fair amount of neglect on my part. They get scraps of veggies, the intermittent jar lid of Repashy's Bug Burger, they love rice baby cereal, and bits of dog food. I never use any polymer crystals for water since they make mold in the frass. I use no substrate and clean out the bottom of the bin every few months. I mist the sides of the bin for moisture a couple times a week, and there are zero ventilation holes in it. They don't have any odor whatsoever. I'm a terrible keeper to these particular critters, but they actually reproduced more slowly when I paid closer attention to them. As far as feeder roaches for tarantulas: the dubias like to burrow in coconut bedding and the turks are obnoxiously fast. Despite having this big combined colony, I still have to buy crickets for some of my pickier T's that are too slow to catch the turks and don't find the dubias before they disappear. I have a 9" L. parahybana that is a gigantic baby about wrestling with the big dubia nymphs, so I have to pull the heads off, wait 5 minutes for the thing to realize it should start dying, and then tong feed her, where my P. regalis who's just shy of 8" tags them just fine (from tongs), while hanging upside down on the glass. The slings love the turk pinheads which are infinitely easier to keep and raise than tiny crickets, but anoying to transfer from the bin. My horrid assassin nymph loves them as well. I've considered moving the turks' oothecae into separate containers for easier access to those teeny nymphs, but I figure when I try to complicate things is when I'll start having troubles!