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George

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Everything posted by George

  1. I got 7 hissers at the beginning of January. If I'm counting/observing correctly, they've since had 4 broods of nymphs. I sold 20 to a kid from craigslist yesterday, but at this rate I'm still going to have a serious population issue in a few months if I'm not proactive. I'm removing the under-tank heater to slow them down a little bit. My plan was to get a carnivorous insect or two, or perhaps a bearded dragon, to help manage the population. According to this thread, they're too tough for most critters to eat. I don't particularly want a lizard big enough to get into fights with my cat. Are nymphs/juveniles too tough? I feel like the right hungry mouths could take care of most of them before they reach adulthood. Stray adults seem like they might be easier to pass to someone else than toilet paper tubes full of scuttling legs, like I sold yesterday. That may be more of a niche market. What options do I have for population control if they don't make good feeders for anything besides tegus or monitors?
  2. George

    Baby hissers

    Smear a thick layer of petroleum jelly around the top couple inches of the enclosure. It's not pretty, but it seems to be an effective barrier.
  3. I started with 7 adult hissers a few months ago. Since then, each of my 3 females has had a brood. The colony is thriving. I made an interesting observation about their eating habits. I've always given them carrots, along with a mix of oats and crushed cat food. The initial couple tablespoons of crushed cat food lasted a couple months when I only had adults. They'd eat the oats around it. This lined up with what I'd heard about their protein demands (that they don't really need much). The nymphs have opposite tastes. They're crazy about the cat food. They eat around the oats. I have to fill the dish every few days when it dwindles to stray oats and frass. It seems to be just the stuff they need, because they're bigger every time I look. Bolder, too, so I see more of them. The audible scuttling of all those tiny legs grows louder by the day.
  4. George

    Hey

    Hi everybody. My name is George and I'm a freelance writer and author living in the Midwest USA. I kept bugs more than a decade ago -- a couple tarantulas, some scorpions, and a fish tank full of hissers. I was working on a bug-related project recently and fell down the rabbit hole while doing research online. After perusing bug sites for untold hours, writing about a guy who keeps a bunch of them in his bedroom, I had to get some of my own. I chose Gramphadorhina portentosa as an entry point because of my familiarity with the species, their easy availability, and the fact that I can feed them things that are already on my grocery list. There aren't any local shops that sell feeder insects, so I didn't want a carnivore. Plus, my girlfriend was slightly more amenable to roaches than a giant spider. Just slightly. She's still squicked out. I'm surprised by the lack of information online about these bugs. Google searches and the Kindle books I've checked out seem to have the same short set of facts, and didn't come close to answering all the questions that have come up almost immediately. This forum, which I found through a link on Bugs in Cyberspace, has already been the most helpful resource I've discovered. I look forward to learning more and hopefully sharing some of my own observations about these awesome critters.
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