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Betta132

Domino roach questions

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I have some domino roaches, and two of them have just fully morphed out into adult forms. A male and female, I think? One is larger and shorter-winged than the other. 

iQqjErf.jpg Male? Body roughly nickel-sized.

uCDQXs3.jpg Female? Has one orange spot. Body roughly quarter-sized, larger than the other.

The smaller one was chasing the larger one around earlier, and, whenever it caught up, it would stand up against the other one and start quickly bouncing up and down, like it was vibrating. Maybe some sort of display? Or it's just really confused about how to mate. Or maybe it gets too excited and has tiny roach seizures.

So, my questions are: 

How much light will these put up with, if given plenty of shelter? I kinda want to try a planted habitat with them, but I'm not sure if they'd put up with what it would take to keep the plants healthy. They were running around in dim, indirect sunlight earlier. 

I dug them all up and got a count, and I have 7 large nymphs and the two adults. Is this enough to start off a colony, or should I get more? 

What does everyone use as substrate for these? I have them in coconut coir right now, but I don't have anywhere near enough to fill the tank I want to put them in. It's an 18" cube. 

Is sandstone a problem for these guys? The terrarium has a background made of siliconed sandstone (and possibly slate?) pieces. It hasn't been a problem for the American roaches and isopods currently (but not for long) infesting the terrarium, not as far as I can tell. 

Out of curiosity, what does everyone feed theirs? Mine get lots of hardwood leaves, mostly pecan leaves, plus the occasional entire pecan. They also get cat food, occasional carrot peels, and every now and then a few dried krill (fish food) in case the shell materials would be good for them. Should I give them eggshells, maybe? I'm going to put bones in the enclosure, does anyone know if they'll chew those? I wouldn't mind, I'm just curious.

I'm going to use petroleum jelly to keep them in. How wide a band do I need for that? A couple inches? I don't want them to get out and die of dehydration. 

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Sand stone should be fine, in my opinion don't use the jelly because only adults can climb and it takes a long time for adults to reach adult hood, plus I find it fun corralling dominos back in to there cage because they are so inquisitive. You could put them in a planted terrarium. I think they would be fine with higher light levels plus with all the leaves it will be darker on the bottom, you should try to isolate the domino morph it would take along time, where did you get them? Orange dominos and regular dominos are different species but in the same genus so I wonder if they are hybrids? I would be willing to trade your orange/white domino for a regular domino female. If I have one avalable she would be mated and start laying egg cases or I could trade for egg cases or nymphs. (The orange\white one is the female, females are larger and have a larger last segment on the underside) I'd also be willing to buy her, it would be fun working with this morph.

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Have sent you a PM about a possible trade. I don't think she's a hybrid, but she's from bugsincyberspace.com, and they do sell oranges as well, so I suppose it's possible? I'd think she would have more orange if that were the case, though. Maybe this is just a minor mutation that adds the color? It's kind of a lightish brown-orange, not dark, deep orange like the orange dominoes. 

I need some sort of barrier along the top because the lid isn't roach-proof. It's an aquarium hood, so it has gaps that a roach could crawl up into and escape from, and I don't want them getting out while I'm not looking. 

Thinking of designing an enclosure with spaces available for plants, but not actually putting any plants in, so I can wait and see what they think of the light. The light would certainly help to keep things nice and warm for them. 

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Regarding the whole hybrid discussion, I really don't think yours is a hybrid, it seems like a common deformity I've seen in the wings of Therea, where the spots don't form properly and have a stained tannish appearance, your female's wings also look a little wrinkled/underdeveloped, but I can't be sure from the photo. I highly doubt she's a hybrid.

Anyway, these guys are diurnal as adults it seems, or are at least certainly active in the daytime, so they can probably handle a bit of light, at least if they have substrate to retreat to if they need to hide. 

You should definitely have enough to start a colony, all you need is one gravid female to produce a TON of nymphs! ;)

Coconut fiber works just fine as a substrate, and sandstone shouldn't bother them.

Dead leaves should always be available for food, as well as dog/cat food or chick feed. Adults especially need dog food or something similar available at all times, otherwise they starve, and may cannibalize. Fruits and veggies are optional, mine don't particularly like them.

I'd say a barrier 2" or 2 ½" would work nicely, (though if I were you I wouldn't risk it and just move them to a bin with an airtight lid). 

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Yeah, her wings are a little wrinkled up near the top. Maybe she was crowded underneath something while she molted? Seems very healthy and much calmer than the male. I've traded her to @Redmont, as I'd certainly be interested in seeing if this is a genetic trait that can be bred for, but I don't have the time for it myself. 

I've gotten coconut fiber as a substrate, and I'll stir in plenty of leaves. They have some magnolia and pecan leaves for now, and they'll get even more pecan leaves very soon when the leaves start to fall. I'm going to get them at least an inch of leaf litter, hopefully more, plus some worked into the substrate. 

They get cat food sometimes, and I'll be sure to keep plenty available now that I have adults morphing out. 

The only times I've ever seen nymphs out and about are on carrots, so I provide those sometimes. No visible interest in greens, berries, green beans, or any veggie other than carrots, maybe they have a preference for root veggies. 

These are the least cockroach-esque cockroaches I've ever seen. They're round, they have long antennae and relatively short legs, and they have distinct, beautiful patterns. Plus, they're active during the daytime, don't seem to mind sunlight very much, and don't object much to being held. I'm in love with the adults, and I'm going to try to set up a display tank so I can watch them. Can't wait to have a large enough colony to have 10+ adults tootling around at all times, they're so active!

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Can't wait to get her :D it'll be a long wait till there would be any results, and I will have lots of other breeding prodjects going on, especially next year. 

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Shorter than if I were to work on it, though, because I'd never get anywhere with it. 

One thing that surprised me about these, aside from their boldness, is their texture. They look like they're velvety, and they are! It's not soft, but their backs feel like extremely short velvet. I'm not certain what the purpose of a rougher shell is- maybe it keeps them from being shiny, helps them look less like a roach? Or maybe it helps the scent of their surroundings cling to them, makes it harder for small predators to find them.

 

EDIT: After setting up the enclosure and experimenting a bit (read: repeatedly placing my adult roach on different wall surfaces to see if he slipped), I've learned that domino roaches can't climb over petroleum jelly. Even if it's smeared on sandstone instead of glass. They also don't seem to like stepping on it- after one or two attempts at putting a foot on it, mine stopped trying. 

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The adults are definitely active during the day, while the nymphs are active at night. At least that's what I observe in my population. If I compare the activity in the enclosure when only nymphs are present vs a mixed population with adults I see this pattern (with logged motion detection): 

therea_adults_nymphs.png

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That is the most scientific approach I have ever seen to figuring out the best time in which to watch bugs. 

And it's a very definitive graph! 

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They are velvety to help soil stick to them so they can blend in better, soil sticks better to nymphs than adults.

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The velvet is surprisingly effective. My adult has a fine dust of coco fiber all over his thorax, and the nymphs must be covered in the stuff. 

Our cats killed a small lizard and left it on the sidewalk until it was dried out, so I put it in the roach tank to see if they would eat it. So far, my adult has inspected it, but showed no interest. I might put it under something to see if the nymphs want any of it. Maybe they'll like the protein? 

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