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Everything posted by Axolotl

  1. Axolotl

    American cockroaches as predators?

    That is pretty mind blowing, at least for me. I have a whole new world to explore. I wonder if they need to be at a certain hunger level to catch live prey or if they're opportunistic and will grab any extra they can even when they have a steady food supply. I'm going to do a few experiments with my B giganteus. That's my only real meat eating species at the moment, but man do they go nuts for fresh cooked hamburger and canned cat food. Thanks for sharing the videos.
  2. Axolotl

    American cockroaches as predators?

    This is fascinating. I've seen my B. giganteus eat live (but dying) dubia, but I assumed they were just incredibly hungry and/or excited for the meat. I don't think they're hunters, but it's an intriguing idea. With the breadth of species, I wouldn't doubt that some have evolved to take advantage of hunting to survive. I'd love to hear more about this. Any chance you could catch the hunting on video?
  3. Axolotl

    Thanks to the community :)

    I love that I'm not the only one naming my roaches. After awhile it's not feasible to name 1000s, but I still have my favorites — mostly aggressive male hissers I've had to pull from colonies, like Red the male A. insignis who just emerged and was about to receive the full wrath of Goldie, the reigning male. There's also Wickwicki the last surviving member of my P. vanwaerebecki hybrids and Fuzz, the last of my G. oblongonota hybrids who is currently battling a fungal infection. They all have such unique personalities... it's hard to not get attached.
  4. Axolotl

    Bronx Zoo Valentine's Day Roaches

    I got the enamel pin this year, and it's really nice quality. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm looking for the plush roach if anyone has one to sell.
  5. https://www.cnet.com/news/ai-helps-grow-6b-roaches-at-chinas-largest-breeding-facility/
  6. Axolotl

    Hemiblabera tenebricosa care tips

    That's a good question. They get the usual assortment of fruits, veggies, fresh and dead leaves and chow. I'll throw in a few pieces of dog food, and see what happens. They aren't meat eaters like B. giganteus are they?
  7. Axolotl

    At what point should you get Lateralis?

    As an admitted lateralis addict, maybe I can shed some light. At what point did you decide you needed them? The moment I saw them. Are they really that worth it as feeders, specifically for tarantulas? Yes. They can't climb glass or plastic well, they reproduce at a rate that makes the colony a viable primary food source, and they add (in my opinion) a necessary variety to the diet of insectivores. BUT it depends on the tarantula. Right now I'm feeding slings the smallest P. pallida nymphs and Blaberidae "Kenya" nymphs, while my LPs are far too big and see the lats as more of an annoyance than food. What do you do with overpopulation, or do you have enough insectivores to keep it in check? I've been selling my extras on eBay. You're not going to get rich, but they are always in demand as feeder roaches. Alternately, you can freeze some ootheca so they don't hatch or feed off the females to prevent more ooths. How do you even catch these dang things if they're so fast?? Well... you get really creative and really good at anticipating their movements. For example, I had some small nymphs escape and set up shop under the plastic container that houses my well pump, but I was patient and lured them out with syrup. How often do you have escapes, and can they breed at room temperatures (68-75F)? I ask because of the pestiness controversy. Regularly and yes. I'm incredibly vigilant with them, but they are sneaky little buggers. This is my emergency plan: http://a.co/hYifpy6. I have it in all the dark and moist cozy spots in the house and it DOES work. I'm also lucky that I live in Michigan, so any to escape my house would not make it through the winter. The likelihood of them establishing in a home or becoming invasive increases the farther south you go. And I know I've asked this before, but seriously. Are there any other non-burrowing, practical feeder alternatives...? Would keeping a few smaller colonies of other species be practical, or is it not worth it? Again, yes and yes. I'm a firm believer in nutritional variety for insectivores. While you can control some of this with your feeders' diet, I think different species also contribute to a well-rounded and more natural diet. In addition to the Little Kenyans and P. pallida, I would recommend a hisser species (I like E. javanica for their ease of care and coloration). The nymphs vary widely in size, so you can feed a range of insectivores, and the adults make pretty fun companions. Also, they look less "roachy" and are easier to contain, which would help put your partner's and roommate's minds at ease. And finally, my recommendation: Don't get them. Despite the benefits, don't get lats if you're at all nervous about them getting out. They WILL. It doesn't matter what you keep them in, a few will find their way into your house. I once had an entire batch of freshly hatched nymphs squeeze through a tiny (<1 mm) cross ventilation hole that they accessed when a stick fell next to it. I've also had males fly out of the enclosure and run for their lives. I've even had a few females escape and found nymphs roaming the roach room some time later. It's not worth the stress and hypervigilance unless you really love the species. That being said... if you DO decide to get some, I highly recommend a natural enclosure for them (the bottom few photos: https://imgur.com/a/87KwB). They get really stinky using the eggcrate and plastic tote method. Plus, they can be incredibly entertaining. I've seen so many unexpected behaviors that I don't think I would have discovered using the typical feeder setup — females digging holes to bury ooths, covering the holes with moss, then other females stealing that moss for their own ooths; males scratching or smoothing their wings on branches above them; females carying bits of food 1/2 their size back to the burrows for the young. I could write novel on them, but hopefully this helps in your decision.
  8. Axolotl

    Hemiblabera tenebricosa care tips

    I also have a relatively new HT colony of about 15 nymphs. I got them in August 2017. They were between 1/4" and 1/2" at the time, and they haven't grown much at all. I keep my roach room at a steady 80-85F. The substrate is a mix of coco, organic compost, maple and oak leaves, sphagnum and coco mulch/bark chunks. It's moist with a gradient, and I keep the soil well turned so it's definitely not anaerobic. I assumed they were slow growers, but now I'm curious... I'm eager to see some adults, but they're still only 1" at most. Thoughts?
  9. Axolotl

    Hissers in film & tv?

    Damnation Alley and Godzilla (2014) ... you know, because of radiation. Because all roaches exposed to fallout become Madagascar hissing roaches, right?
  10. Axolotl


    I regularly mark my male hissers for the same reason. I have used acrylic craft paint in the past, but it seems to wear off quickly. So far, my best solution has been a metallic paint marker. I use a series of dots (on the horns, between the horns and lower on the pronotum) to distinguish between males. It does wear off, but it takes a really long time so I can mark again as needed. So far, I haven't seen any ill effects from using the markers. I love this idea! Going to go find myself one of those right now. That's insane... But strangely that sounds very relaxing. I usually use mine to scope out biofluorescent millipedes in the yard ... or adult B. giganteus escapees.
  11. Axolotl

    Bronx Zoo Valentine's Day Roaches

    Thank you for sharing this! I have a new addition to my roach pin collection.
  12. Axolotl

    Easy lids

    I've had success with inexpensive weed control fabric. Not the plasticy stuff, but the fibrous gauzy black fabric. It keeps tiny nymphs in too. I just use a glue gun on the edges, smooshing the fabric into the glue as I go.
  13. Axolotl

    Anyone used Abound / Other food questions

    I'm not sure what the exact requirements are for T's, but some reptiles can develop gout if fed a steady diet of roaches raised on cat /dog foods. The chick starter is a nice fill in between fresh food or mixed into a chow. Maybe skip the bunny pellets. Even when I ground them up to powder, all of my roaches stopped eating it after a few servings. Hope this helps.
  14. Axolotl

    The ultimate roach display has begun

    I'll do a test of a variety of techniques and report back. Just have to wait for the gnats to bloom again.
  15. Axolotl

    Watch out for that larval stage!

    Why do I get the feeling this is just wonky AI? November 21st, 2021: Terminix becomes self-aware. ... They just need someone with google skillz to correct the stock phrases in their chat program (?).
  16. Axolotl

    The ultimate roach display has begun

    That's a clever idea. I haven't had much luck keeping carnivorous plants alive, but let me know if you try that! I swear by the officially "fungus gnat traps," which are just yellow sticky boards. You can find them on Amazon. I hung one in the roach room and it was almost covered by day's end. I did look into the beneficial nematodes that keep the gnats under control, but they will also affect roaches - they only list the big three in the literature (German, American, Oriental), but I imagine they'd adversely affect all species.
  17. Axolotl

    Which Breed should I get?

    I can't speak to the Blaberus, but the Gyna reproduce extremely fast. Each birth can have up to 200 nymphs. I started with 6 tiny G. centurio nymphs 9 months ago and now have several thousand. They don't need a ton of space due to being so small, and I bet they would be great feeders for dart frogs or other small herps, but they spend a lot of time buried in the substrate so you might not see them out during the day. If you're looking for a nice display species, I would recommend hissers (especially G. grandidieri) or Blaberus giganteus. Both are huge, active and stay out in the open most of the time. Plus, the B. giganteus wings fluoresce under blacklight. If you wanted to keep populations in check, you could go with males only. I'd love to see your 55g setup when it's done. I'm working on designing a large multi-species terrarium myself, so I'm always looking for new ideas.
  18. Axolotl

    The ultimate roach display has begun

    I'll give the mosquito dunks a try. Do you add them to the water being used in the enclosures? Or do they leave a bowl of treated water out to catch them? I had good luck with the yellow sticky boards, potato slices (larvae swarm to it then you just throw them out) and just generally drying things out a bit (tricky with the beetle grubs, but I just added a dry top layer). Initially I just let them be, as I figured they were something of a clean up crew, but they gradually got out of hand. Good to know you haven't had trouble with them and roaches, as I suppose I'll always have a few around.
  19. Axolotl

    Found a cool video on M. rhinoceros!

    Love this video. Look at those legs! Thanks for sharing this.
  20. Axolotl

    The ultimate roach display has begun

    Just weighing in on the peat. I use it in the substrate for beetle grubs, and it usually comes with fungus, which then draws fungus gnats, which are horrible to get rid of as they will move on to moist substrate roach enclosures. I've spent all winter battling them. I would vote to skip it even if you sterilize it first. Peat is rotting organic matter, so you may end up with fungus gnats eventually anyway. Unless you're using it bone dry. That I've had no problems with.
  21. Axolotl


    No cause to worry. It's a male breeding/territory thing. I'm not entirely sure what they are doing ... Maybe sending out pheromones/chemical cues that they are ready to breed? I've seen males doing this both in colonies and when kept solo. It's hilarious to watch. They do look like they're doing push ups! Just part of their charm.
  22. I haven't noticed any changes in breeding as colonies get larger, but the adult males will kill each other if they don't have enough space to each have a small territory to themselves. For my G. oblongonotas, this space was about a 12" diameter area, but with my A. insignis, they seem happy with about a 5" diameter area. As they're breeding, I'm seeing more and more newly adult males losing legs and antenna as the reigning males hold their territory. The same happened with my G. oblongonota and the king male ended up killing all of the other adult males in the bin. He was particularly feisty, though. I ended up separating him from the colony. That being said, I haven't noticed the same with Elliptorhina, only Gromphadorhina.
  23. Axolotl

    RIP Daniel

    Sadly, one of our own, Daniel Schwietzer (dcfarms) passed away on Monday from heart problems. I'm not sure how many of you had the pleasure of knowing him as he was a bit new to the forum, but he will be greatly missed. He was pretty young and his roach business D&C Farms was really taking off. I'm not sure if his wife will continue the business, though I hope she does. I'm heartbroken as over the past few years we did many trades together and conversed regularly. He had a true passion for roaches and other invertebrates. I'm not sure what the rules are for this, but I would just like to leave a permanent record of how very much he will be missed and ask everyone to take a moment in his honor. RIP Daniel.
  24. Axolotl

    Simandoa cave roach care

    I've been rearing mine in a mix of coco fiber and decaying hardwood leaves. I added a bit of sphagnum moss to help retain some moisture. I let their enclosure go pretty dry, then spray with water until the soil is damp through all the layers. So far, so good. They do seem to enjoy small, tight hiding spots. Mine love to pack themselves together in a 1" wide birch bark coil. It's absolutely crammed in there. I feed them the same as hissers. They're not really picky. I keep them at 78-85F in a well ventilated plastic storage container. Oh and I should mention that they are hella fast. You'll definitely need bug barrier! They are incredibly gorgeous, so well worth the work. Hope this helps!