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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/22/2017 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    A little less-showy than their relatives, Lucihormetica, these are a new addition to the hobby. What they lack in glowspots they make up for in size, robustness, the presence of prominent horns in males, and behavior. They are also quite prolific. Hands down one of the most rewarding species to keep.
  2. 6 points
    It's time to welcome another new species into the hobby - Lanxoblatta rudis! This beautiful bark roach is native to South America. They are flat, and I do mean *flat*, because they spend most of their time on tree bark, feeding on moss and fungi. Adults are dark maroon in color and bullet-shaped (photo is of a female, males look the same just flatter). But the nymphs... oh, the nymphs! They bring me much joy. They have body extensions that give them a disk shape. This is an adaptation against ants - nymphs will hunker down and merge with the bark when provoked. I will post more photos below. This species requires some experience in husbandry, but once you get them going they are very rewarding to watch. They are active despite their cryptic appearance. I would rate their breeding difficulty as intermediate. They require a smooth bark substrate (cork is not a very good alternative, it is too rough), high humidity, and minimal ventilation. Not very picky eaters. Not good fliers, but excellent climbers. Females give birth to 20 nymphs or so.
  3. 6 points
    A photo to give some sense of scale. As you can see they are pretty massive. I'm a guy in his mid-30's, so my hand isn't exactly small. You can see a female in the back.
  4. 5 points
    Hey guys, it's been a long time since I've posted anything (or have been involved in the invert hobby for that matter). Long story short I'm back into it as of a few months ago but that info will be for another post. After posting the above photo of my bug tubs on Facebook the other day, I had some people want to see how I made them. Because I had more to make, I figured I'd photograph the whole process and post it here. Of course, there's a million ways to make practical and effective colony enclosures. This is simply what I do for mine. They work fantastic for just about all species (including pests). For all of you DIY out there, hopefully this inspires you. It's a very simple job but does require some tools you'll need to pick up or borrow. What you'll need... The tubs can be purchased at Target - this particular size runs for about $7. There's a few other matching larger sizes available. They have a blue gasket around the sides which keeps roaches from sneaking out. Besides the tubs you'll also need a drill, hole saw (same size as vents, the one above is 3"), clear silicone sealant, various razor blades, cutting surface, no-see-um netting or mesh of similar type, and the vents. The vents come from THIS website. The ones I use are the "open screen tab style" (in mill) - they come in all different sizes. I primarily use the 2", 3", and 4" sizes. The vents come with these tabs. You certainly could use them like this, but the tubs I'm making I wanted to be able to keep fungus gnats from freely entering/exiting the tub, and to also keep the tiniest of roach nymphs in. Because the vents aren't fine enough for that, they need to be reinforced with no-see-um netting. In order to break off the tabs, just bend them back and forth several times until they pop off cleanly. Mark your center on the tub lid where you'll be using the hole saw, and then pre drill a hole using a bit that is just a tad smaller than the hole-saw attachment's bit. If you're going dead center in the lid, there's already a mark there actually. Use a high speed setting on the drill so it drills/melts without much pressure. Next, drill the 3" hole using a 3" hole saw. Best way to do this is with the lid on the actual tub and the sides latched to keep it in place, and then hold the tub itself in place while drilling. I recommend a slower setting on the drill for this. Try to drill directly downward and start slow, then increase speed gradually as you feel it smoothly cut. You want to apply even, slight pressure. Push too hard and the lid will crack. I've done about 80 of these containers and have only broken ONE. It was one of the first ones though, and that's when I learned what the lids can/cannot take. As you can see, this is obviously pretty messy and is best done in a garage. After cutting the hole, pull off all of the excess plastic strips by hand. Then, using a razor blade (ideally the type pictured) very carefully smooth out any rough edges and excess plastic that could get in the way of the vent rim. You should end up with a nice clean hole like this that is ready for the vent. Next, you'll want to cut a piece of no-see-um netting to reinforce the vents with. I got the netting off of Amazon for about $10. This was for a pretty big sheet that lasted for a good 50 or so vents of various sizes 4" and under. It's fine enough to keep those pesky fungus gnats from flying in and out (the gaskets on the tubs also prevent this) and therefore creates a pretty much "gnat-resistant" container. Additionally, you can keep Blattella species this way and not have to worry about nymphs escaping while the lid is on. As for cutting, place the netting on a cut-safe surface and using the vent as a reference, liberally cut a piece of netting that's about an inch larger than the vent on all ends using a razor blade. You'll see why to be liberal with the excess mesh in a second... Next, add a very thin line of silicone around the rim of the hole. I chose to use silicone but don't see why you couldn't use a hot glue gun for this project. Afterwards, gently lay the sheet of no-see-um netting over the top of it. Next, add a layer of silicone around the inner rim of the vent. I wouldn't use more than pictured here as it will gush out the sides when you put it on and silicone is a pain to wipe away. Obviously too little doesn't do the job either, so try to match the amount pictured here. With the mesh relatively tight (pull a couple ends) go ahead and insert the vent right into the hole. It should fit perfectly. You can swivel it side to side a bit to even the spread of the glue underneath. Using a very sharp razor blade, now you can cut off the excess mesh. If there's not much excess it's difficult to do this and that is why I recommend cutting the screens liberally. If you have enough to grip with your fingers around the sides, you can cut it nice and cleanly. As you can sort of see in the photo, you'll want to pull the screen so there's slight tension for cutting, and then cut it while simultaneously putting pressure directly down onto the vent (with both your other fingers and the blade itself). This will keep it in place while cutting. Once you've cut off the excess mesh you'll want to double check the vent is sitting level. Because silicone takes quite a while to dry, you'll want to let it sit overnight at least. The hole saw itself makes a good weight that you can leave on the vent to help it dry correctly. And that's it! Now you've got a good-looking, gnat resistant, escapee resistant invert tub. Of course this was just a how to for installing the vents. You can always get crazy and do more for those species that require more ventilation. I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. By the way, leave the stickers on the tubs and save your receipts until you're done. That ONE tub I broke (below) I was actually somehow able to take it back to Target and exchange for another one
  5. 5 points
    Received 6 of these in a trade with Alan Grosse, (who's got an awesome new website), man are they beautiful! Hopefully they'll do well for me, I know they aren't the easiest of the Spanish isopods for sure!
  6. 5 points
    Got a sexed pair of nymphs and a pair of adults from @wizentrop, this may be one of the most unique roach species in my collection, hopefully they will breed for me! Nymph: Adult male: So happy to have this species in my collection, they are just so cool looking!!!
  7. 5 points
    Neat whip spider from TX. I only had one for a while, but I managed to collect 10 on a trip this week!
  8. 5 points
    A group of small nymphs
  9. 5 points
  10. 5 points
    Another point of view on a male:
  11. 5 points
    After sending some of these out, I wanted to post an article regarding their care since they are a tricky species and are recommended for advanced keepers. Firstly, as you read this, know that quite a bit of it is completely my own experience and observations, speculations, etc and don’t assume it to be pure science by any means. I am posting this simply because, like so many others, we want to figure out how to successfully keep as many cockroach species as possible in captivity. Others had failed with this species including myself, but now I’m happy to announce that I think we’ve cracked the code. I wanted to share that information here and I'll be posting additional updates as I work with these guys more and more. Also, before you get too excited about this species, keep in mind that they are TINY, they can climb anything, and are very sensitive to too much moisture. My container for them was my standard small target tub like in THIS post. Probably bigger than necessary, but it works. The vents are reinforced with no-see-um netting to prevent escapes, and the gasket takes care of this as well. Here are a couple photos of their specific setup. Bedding is a coco, cypress chips, and sand mixture, covered in a layer of dry moss and dry oak leaves. The cork bark seems to be useless as I rarely see them on it. They prefer to hang out in the corners under the leaf litter. One corner has water crystals as you can see. A little background: Luridiblatta trivittata, the Three-lined Cockroach is a tiny species of Ectobiid cockroach that has within the past decade or so been introduced into northern California. They originally are from European mediterranean countries including Italy, Israel, etc. and somehow found their way to the west coast of the USA sometime around 2006. They’ve spread throughout the greater bay area and seem to continue their spread throughout the region with reliable reports from Healdsburg south into Palo Alto (I’m sure they are well outside of this range by now too). Though they occasionally wander into homes, they do not appear to be a “pest species” and spend the vast majority of their time beneath leaf litter outdoors. Many people assume them to be german roach nymphs due to their similarities in coloration/pattern to Blattella germanica. My specimens were originally collected as adults from a park in Larkspur, CA. For care, this species needs things BONE DRY. They begin to die off if kept too moist in stuffy air. My bug room is about 30% humidity and this is probably due to all of the other moist roach containers and a couple house plants, since the rest of the house is in the low 20s or even lower (I live in Phoenix, AZ). They also prefer it warm (80+F). I had some do just fine in a container in 100 degree weather outside. I don’t recommend keeping them at room temperature long term though they may be ok in it especially as nymphs. My original specimens were collected in thin leaf litter on hard, dry dirt that was in the direct sun most of the day in Larkspur, CA. Of course, they do need water one way or another and are susceptible to desiccation like anything else. In my opinion, the best way to provide water for them is to use water crystals in one corner of the container. You’ll have to recharge them frequently. Maybe once a week I do a split second, light mist on the container walls and can see them sipping the tiny water droplets. I would imagine that 99% of their moisture in the wild comes from their food, and they do tend to huddle together in small depressions in the ground beneath the leaf litter which is a fairly common roach behavior to help reduce moisture loss. As long as they are kept this way, they grow very fast and soon you’ll have adults running around. My first adult male matured in 70 days, and an adult female popped out just a few days later. As far as food goes, common roach fare is just fine. Mine seemed to enjoy carrot, cucumber, apple, dog food kibble, etc. The photo at the beginning of this post is of two adult males. Here are some freshly hatched nymphs: The trick isn’t just getting the nymphs to adulthood though, I had an excellent success rate of rearing nymphs to adults in the above setup. The next tricky part is getting the oothecae to hatch. Thank God for Kyle Kandilian and his suggested reading to me that discussed how another Ectobiid roach oothecae (Ectobius sp) required sudden moisture to stimulate hatching. Shoot me a message if you'd like to see the paper. Turns out L. trivittata oothecae are the same, and are comparable to plant seeds. They seem to need to be kept very dry, and then cool/dry, and then sudden moisture and warmth in spring stimulates them to absorb water and hatch shortly after. Sounds complicated, but it’s really not. It basically follows the patterns of a Mediterranean climate. My biggest batch of oothecae hatched after just leaving them on the windowsill all winter with a slight misting once a month. Then in early spring they were brought into the warm bug room and I increased the mistings, allowing things to dry out in between. You know when they're about to hatch because they suddenly bloat up and lighten in color (again, kind of like a seed!) Eventually with the dry/wet cycle, you’ll come home to a container full of tiny black Luridiblatta babies like in the photos above. Below is a photo of the oothecae. The left 3 are basically normal oothecae not ready to hatch, and the three on the right swelled up after a recent misting then hatched several days later. The ones on the left eventually did as well with the warm and moist/dry cycles. I am currently culturing this species and plan to run some experiments to nail down their care even more accurately. This time around, I’m also trying to see if I can trick the oothecae into hatching much earlier in the year, hopefully to the point where there can be overlapping generations and that way they are not just a “seasonal” roach. Though I have my own group of F1s that are finally dropping ooths, I'm hoping to collect more this September for anyone interested in this species. Late summer is when adults (mostly females with ooths) can be found in the wild. I'll end for now with a couple more photos...
  12. 4 points
    Collected by @Cariblatta lutea from Lake Placid, FL!
  13. 4 points
    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.
  14. 4 points
    The next generation is doing quite well. This is only a small fraction of the new babies.
  15. 4 points
    I made a trade with @CodeWilster for a group of these beauties, I received several nymphs and a few adults too, hopefully they'll breed well for me! Here are some pictures of an adult:
  16. 4 points
    A cute nymph, just to show you how flat they are.
  17. 4 points
    A closer look on a Lanxoblatta rudis nymph
  18. 4 points
    Just a few leafy-looking roaches. Epilampra maya Rhabdoblatta formosana
  19. 4 points
    Here's a species I've been dreaming of acquiring! I was able to collect more than a dozen while I was staying in El Paso, TX
  20. 4 points
    I got super lucky with these guys. My male was presub when I caught it and the female was 3 molts behind from catching up with the male so I kept my male cool to slow down his metabolism. When I though my female had caught up with the male my male molted into sub and my female molted into an adult. lol Luckily the male caught up fairly quickly and 3 days after it molted to adult it paired up with my female! Now I have around 30 little nymphs running in the enclosure (even though I sent out around 20 to my friends) and my female is still kicking so I expect to get more nymphs soon.
  21. 4 points
    They are very neat little roaches, it's great that more of the native US species have been entering the hobby lately, hopefully this is a trend that will continue! That female that I thought was an adult turned out to be a subadult, she matured the other day, and underwent a significant color change!
  22. 4 points
    A beautiful hobby classic - G. grandidieri "Tiger Hisser" Excuse the photo-bombing mite that met its doom shortly after this photo...
  23. 4 points
    I'm wrapping up an article on these for I-M. Anyone have any interesting info on them I might not know? For those who aren't familiar, this is one of the big Spanish species that is becoming common in the hobby. Of course the coloration is the primary attraction.
  24. 4 points
    Alright and lastly the White Eye mutation of P. americana:
  25. 4 points
    Got nymphs this species from Kyle a few months ago, and they have started maturing now! Nymph: Adult female:
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