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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/13/2020 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    Relatively easy species to breed and care for.
  2. 2 points
    Seeing as my username on all the invertebrate forums is "Hisserdude", and it's an issue I'm passionate about, I thought I'd create a reference of what the PURE hobby Gromphadorhini are supposed to look like, since we are facing a mislabeling epidemic that threatens to inadvertently eradicate pure hisser stocks from the hobby over time, making lines less and less unique and different from each other. All coloration norms mentioned here are for adults, unless otherwise specified. Hisser nymphs of even pure stock can vary wildly in coloration, and thus their coloration usually can't be used when determining whether they are hybrids or pure stock. All of these pictures have been pulled from various sources online and are all of pure bred individuals. I've given credit to the photographers under each and every photo, if someone wishes to have their photos removed, please contact me and it shall be done. Basic hisser anatomy that I'll be referencing in this amateur "key", (my own picture of a Gromphadorhina sp. "Hybrid" male): ---------------------------------------------------------------- Aeluropoda insignis: (Flathorn Hisser) Characterized by their noticeably flat appearance, and overall dark brown/black appearance with red highlights. Females and juveniles often have more red coloration than the males do, and the brightness and intensity of the red coloration is often greatly exaggerated in photos due to the camera flash. So far only known to hybridize with pure Gromphadorhina sp. "Tiger"/Princisia vanwaerbeki "Tricolor". Most, if not all stock sold is pure. ©Josef Dvořák ©ArachnoVobicA ---------------------------------------------------------------- Elliptorhina chopardi: (Dwarf Hisser) Characterized by it's small size, black/dark orange pronotum, orange mesonotum and metanotum ending with darker borders, and mostly crisp orange abdominal coloration with very little to no darker striping. Can probably hybridize with other Elliptorhina, maybe small individuals of other Gromphadorhini as well. Most, if not all stock sold is pure. ©Josef Dvořák ©Piotr Sterna ---------------------------------------------------------------- Elliptorhina davidi: (Bumpy Hisser) An extremely rare hisser cultivar easily characterized by the heavily granulated (bumpy) exoskeleton of most individuals, but most noticeably nymphs and females, (males usually have rather smooth abdomens). The pronotums are either black or reddish, with the mesonotum and metanotum being a creamy orange ending with thick dark margins. The abdomen is usually a rather dark orange, no striping. Current stock is very difficult to rear and can be prone to random mass die offs, something not seen in any of it's relatives. Could possibly hybridize with other Elliptorhina or other small Gromphadorhini individuals, but as far as I know, no one's ever made hybrids of this species, on purpose or by accident, as they are so rare in culture already. As such, all stock sold is probably pure. ©Lubomír Klátil ©Cody Will ---------------------------------------------------------------- Elliptorhina javanica: (Halloween Hisser) This species is characterized by it's relatively small size and striking coloration. Adults either have black or red pronotums, the rest of the body is a bright, creamy orange color, with alternating bands of darker orange and black on every segment. Can probably hybridize with other Elliptorhina and possibly small individuals of other Gromphadorhini. Most, if not all stock sold is pure. ©Oscar Mendez ©Roachcrossing ---------------------------------------------------------------- Elliptorhina laevigata: (V-horn Hisser) A somewhat rare species that's characterized by it's large size for an Elliptorhina, and yet slender build compared to other large Gromphadorhini, as well as the namesake "V" shaped horns on the adult males' pronotums. The base coloration of adult males is dark brown/black, with dull orange abdominal striping and thoracic pad spots visible on some individuals. Females have much more orange on their thoracic segments, and their abdomens are usually a dull red-orange with black striping. This species can probably hybridize with other Elliptorhina and Gromphadorhini, however due to it's relative scarcity in the hobby, no such hybrids appear to have been documented. All stock sold seems pure. ©Gabriele La Corte ©Cody Will ---------------------------------------------------------------- Gromphadorhina oblogonota: (Wide Horn Hisser) A commonly cultured hisser species well known for it's large size, dark mahogany color, and the unusual width between the horns on males. Pure stock is easily characterized by consistent coloration of the adults, they should all be a dark maroon color, some individuals may have lighter spots on their thoracic pads and down the middle of their mesonotum and metanotum, this is normal. Larger males often have a large "scoop" on their pronotums. Large nymphs are dark brown/black and often have white spots on their thoracic pads, and white gaps in between the abdominal segments. This species can hybridize with other Gromphadorhina and maybe certain "Princisia" strains. If your colony has black or light brown/orange adults popping up, or very small adults that look more like G.portentosa than oblongonota, it's safe to say your colony has been hybridized. Most stock sold of this species appears to be pure, but hybrids are out there, so be careful! Adults. ©Roachcrossing Nymph. ©Ondřej Machač ---------------------------------------------------------------- Gromphadorhina portentosa: (Common Madagascar Hisser) This is the OG hisser, once the most commonly cultured species, and unfortunately the species who's name is used to label the majority of hybrids in the hobby... There are a few different imports of this species, but pure stock of the oldest import, (the one without locality information, and the only one currently kept in the USA) is characterized by a relatively smooth exoskeleton, black pronotum, mostly orange mesonotum and metanotum with dark borders, little to no dark abdominal striping and crisp, orange to red-orange abdominal segments. This coloration should be consistent with very little to no variation in each generation. Most current pure hissers in the US come from descendants of a culture maintained by the Cleveland Aquarium for many years, they apparently got theirs before the saturation of hybrids in the market and never added more bloodlines or kept other hisser species, which means they are as pure as can be. They also get noticeably larger than most hybrid "portentosa" stocks. There are a number of "portentosa" color morphs out there, mainly black or dark brown morphs, however I don't think any of them came from lineage traced pure stock, most are almost certainly from hybrid lines, as extreme variability in coloration from the normal orange is typically the most obvious signs of hybridization. One verified morph that's been selectively bred for over time from the pure Cleveland Aquarium stock, the "LLE Mahogany" morph, features both normal looking adults and very light colored ones. Unlike hybrid color variation, this coloration had to be selectively bred for over multiple generations before there was any noticeable difference from normal portentosa. There are two more imports of G.portentosa being cultured in Europe, Gromphadorhina portentosa "Masoala, Madagascar", and Gromphadorhina cf. portentosa "Ranomafana, Madagascar". Both have slightly darker coloration and perhaps more black striping on their abdominal segments than is typical of pure individuals of the pure Cleveland stock in the US... However, keep in mind that while wild G.portentosa coloration is probably quite variable, unfortunately in captivity, color variation, especially lots of dark individuals in "portentosa" stocks, is usually an indicator of hybridization with other, darker hissers like Gromphadorhina oblogonata or "Princisia vanwaerbeki". Pure colonies of the old import in the US have probably inadvertently been line bred for lighter than normal coloration over the years, so when we see colonies of the older import that have a lot of darker individuals popping up, be they black or dark brown, this is usually a sign of hybridization. Newer imports like the "Mosoloa" and "Ranomafana" probably throw out darker individuals because they are haven't yet been line bred inadvertently for any specific coloration, however these lines should always be labeled with their localities and hopefully won't be hybridized much in the future. In short, if you see Gromphadorhina portentosa for sale, be sure to check if they're labeled as "Pure", (or if they are from the newer two imports), compare them to pictures of known pure stock, and if necessary, ask around and do some lineage tracing, (for example, if the stock looks completely pure and comes from some random hobbyist, who got theirs from Roachcrossing, who got theirs from the Cleveland Aquarium's colony, you should be good). If things don't add up and the hissers do not match the description above or the pictures below, then it's relatively safe to assume they're hybrids, most currently sold G.portentosa stock is. Pure Cleveland Aquarium Stock. ©Roachcrossing "LLE Mahogany" Stock. ©Roachcrossing "Masoala, Madagascar" Stock. ©Cafarnarium "Ranomafana, Madagascar" Stock. ©Cafarnarium ---------------------------------------------------------------- Gromphadorhina sp. "Madagascar - Unidentified": (Giant Hisser) This is a fairly recent, unidentified import in the hobby, not yet in culture in the US. This species is characterized by it's relatively large size and width, as well as the dark pronotum, rusty red abdominal coloration, (females often have dark striping), and faint dark markings alongside the lighter abdominal margins. Some adults have somewhat bright orange spots on their thoracic pads. This species is closest to oblongonota, but the pronotums of this species, particularly the males are notably different than in oblongonota, being far less rounded and more squared off in shape. Adults can vary quite a bit in length, but the largest can supposedly reach ~85mm, rivaling G.oblongonata in length and apparently surpassing them in width and bulk. This species has proven to be rather slow growing compared to other Gromphadorhina and still remains rare in the hobby. Be sure to compare coloration and pronotum shape to the pictures below when determining if stock is pure. Adult male. ©Loach's Roaches Subadults. ©Loach's Roaches Left to right: Male G.oblongonota, male G.sp. "Madagascar" ©Loach's Roaches ---------------------------------------------------------------- Gromphadorhina sp. "Tiger" (& Princisia vanwaerbeki "Tricolor") (Tiger Hisser) The US stock of this species is characterized by the black thorax, red spots on the sides of the pronotum and on the thoracic pads, and the abdominal segments being a creamy yellowish coloration with black striping, (males typically being lighter than females). Individuals will occasionally have a light patch on the metanotum, or a dark line going down the middle of the abdominal segments. Jet black individuals can very rarely pop up in cultures, and some claim to have isolated a "Black Tiger" morph of this species. However, most, if not all "Black Tigers" on the market today are just black "G.portentosa" hybrids... As for the majority of individuals, there should be little to no variation in the striping pattern, if the pale abdominal coloration has been replaced with a dull brown or orange, the black stripes are incredibly thick and/or very abnormal compared to the below individuals of US stock, or some individuals don't have any stripes at all, these are signs of hybridization. In the US this species has been erroneously labelled as "Gromphadorhina grandidieri", however, real G.grandidieri look nothing like these at all, like AT ALL... In Europe there is a strikingly similar strain of hisser labeled as Princisia vanwaerbeki "Tricolor", which in my opinion is probably the same species, and possibly the exact same stock, just labeled differently and perhaps inadvertently line bred for slightly different coloration, (interestingly, it took a little longer to get established in Europe than in the US). The European ID of "Princisia vanwaerbeki" seems much more on the nose, see the holotype of Princisia vanwaerbeki... However I suppose since Princisia likely isn't a valid genus, and since I'm not 100% sure their "Tricolors" are exactly the same as our "Tigers", we in the US should still call our stock Gromphadorhina... This species can hybridize with Princisia and Gromphadorhina species, which leads to a lot of really dull looking hybrids with base abdominal colorations of brown and some darker brown striping, and some individuals that look nothing like "Tigers" at all... They can also hybridize with Aeluropoda, making flatter, more dully colored individuals. Most stock in the US is pure, pure stock in Europe appears to be nearly nonexistent now though, with pale, stripeless "portentosa" looking individuals popping up in many cultures... US stock. ©Roachcrossing US stock. Color a bit dark due to lighting, note metanotum spot. ©Roachcrossing Supposedly true Gromphadorhina sp. "Black Tiger" morph. ©Roachcrossing Europe's Princisia vanwaerbeki "Tricolor" stock. ©Cafarnarium ---------------------------------------------------------------- Princisia vanwaerbeki "Black & White": (Black and White Hisser) This breed of Princisia used to be characterized by the mostly black pronotum, black mesonotum and metanotum with small, dull red spots on the thoracic pads, and the abdominal segments being a creamy white with thicker black striping than the P.vanwaerbeki "Tricolor". Nowadays though, all stocks of this strain are quite similar to P.vanwaerbeki "Tricolor", only being differentiated by having darker, smaller dots of red coloration on the thoracic pads. There should be little to no variation in coloration, especially no highly dark or stripeless individuals, to be considered pure. This stock can hybridize with other Princisia strains, and almost certainly Gromphadorhina species. Pure colonies of this stock appear to be rather rare in culture, (outnumbered by "Tricolor" and "Tricolor" hybrids), and care should be taken to preserve what few cultures there are left that do appear pure. Be very wary of hybrid stocks when looking to obtain this strain. Old stock ©Jörg Bernhardt Old stock ©Jörg Bernhardt Current stock ©Cafarnarium ---------------------------------------------------------------- Princisia vanwaerbeki "Standard/Big": (Vibrant Hisser) This was once the most commonly cultured Princisia form, unfortunately there are probably almost as many mislabeled hybrids of standard P.vanwaerbeki as there are of G.portentosa... Pure stock of this Princisia strain is characterized by an overall dark brown/black coloration, with red spots on the thoracic pads and yellow borders on the margins of the abdominal segments. Some individuals have less yellow coloration than others, but none should completely lack the margins and none should have actual thick striping. This coloration should be consistent, with no major variations. Pure colonies of this strain are known to be quite finicky compared to other hissers, which may be why they are less common than the more virile hybrid stocks, (pure stock is very rare in the US right now). Note that this strain, while considered by many to be the "standard" Princisia strain, doesn't look much like the holotype at all in terms of coloration... This species can hybridize with other Princisia and Gromphadorhina species, and many "G.portentosa" colonies appear to be hybrids of portentosa and this Princisia strain. Most stocks sold of this species are hybrids, check very carefully for coloration of the stock you buy and receive. If they're a mix of all black, very light, thickly striped, normal and/or "portentosa" or "oblongonota" looking individuals, it's safe to say they're hybrids. ©K.I.D. Kucharscy ©Roachcrossing ---------------------------------------------------------------- Princisia vanwaerbeki "Androhamana, Madagascar": (Vibrant Hisser) This more recent import of Princisia vanwaerbeki from Androhamana Madagascar is very similar to P.vanwaerbeki "Standard/Big" in general color scheme, but males have an abdominal striping pattern more similar to that of the "Tiger/Tricolor" stocks. So the base abdominal coloration is a dark tan color, with black stripes. Females barely have any tan striping on their abdomens at all, and are a little more similar to the P.vanwaerbeki "Standard/Big" females in patterning. Both sexes have black pronotums, mesonotums and metanotums, with reddish-orange spots on and right next to the thoracic pads. They are a close match to the holotype specimen, more so than any other Princisia strain in culture, and being a recent import kept by a select few careful breeders, they have yet to be hybridized! However, their general appearance can actually be quite similar to that of various Princisia hybrids in the hobby, so it is imperative that people always label this strain with the locality "Androhamana", and that keepers take the utmost care in keeping their colonies pure, as telling these apart from hybrid stocks may be tricky, (though one would likely expect a higher amount of variability in coloration and sizes in hybrid colonies) Male, standard coloration. ©Cafarnarium Same male, different lighting, note the striping. ©Cafarnarium Female with full abdomen. ©Cafarnarium Female. ©Cafarnarium ---------------------------------------------------------------- I hope that this amateur "key" to the hobby hissers has proven useful, I'll try to keep this page updated with any new hisser species that enter the hobby. Hopefully we'll get some more new species and strains in the hobby soon, and hopefully we can preserve what pure stocks we already have by labeling hybrids correctly and taking measures to prevent accidental hybridization, (don't add "new blood" to pure colonies without being absolutely sure they're pure too, make sure all hisser colonies are completely escape/contamination proof, etc.). 😁
  3. 2 points
    Chick starter has DL Methionine in it...a man made synthetic chemical meant to replicate naturally occurring "Methionine" which is one of the essential amino acid proteins necessary for most life here on earth. It has been patented by the University of Florida as a "green" pesticide targeting insects with an alkaline gut physiology including termites, mosquitos, caterpillar/larvae, and our beloved cockroach....among others. It has been sprayed on stored grain for years, hence the reason you will find it in everything from Guinea Pig food, to Tortoise food. Its primary addition is to poultry feed which makes meatier and faster growing birds. They created DL Methionine because the naturally occurring "Methionine" is known as a limiting amino acid protein, and our bodies don't create it...it must be introduced via diet. If you imagine a wooden bucket comprised of slats, Methionine is the shortest slat making up the bucket thereby "limiting" the amount of water it can hold. By increasing Methionine the bucket can hold more water...i.e..protein. Problems occur because by increasing Methionine, you also increase other amino acid proteins like Histidine...anyone care to guess what Histidine does ???.....It creates Histamine…..why do we have "anti-histamines" ??? Because too much Histamine creates a rash, blisters, itching, etc....even life threatening anaphylactic shock. Given my experience of breeding approximately 10,000 female Dubia, which were fed cat food pretty much for years. And then I purchased 25,000 female Dubia which were fed nothing but poultry feed their entire lives, I believe the blisters are a side effect of DL Methionine and the resulting increase of Histidine, and protein levels which is not helpful for adult Dubia. Now, I can not recall ever seeing this blistering or "white wing" disease, another defect I encountered in the 25K purchase but never before in my house stock. And I seen a lot of it in the 25K group.....primarily, if not entirely, in freshly molted females...and on wings of males. (can't be sure if they were freshly molted or not) The other really strange thing about the 25K group was at least 90% of all the adult females were small, barely larger than a quarter. They were all dead within 6 months, and issues continued with their offspring for another year. I've since read that one of the great things about these green pesticides is that they can stay in the colony for up to 3 generations...a little bit of pesticide goes a loooong way. I've linked to the patent application by the University of Florida, you have to dig around and read a lot of scientific jargon, but there is quite a bit of corroborative evidence/research which notes DL Methionine primarily effects 1st thru 3rd instars, causes slower growth and smaller adults, and interferes with the reproduction rates of breeding females. As an aside.....Methionine, Cysteine, Homocysteine, and Taurine are the 4 common sulfur containing amino acids. Methionine and cysteine may be considered to be the principal sulfur-containing amino acids with Methionine being the initiating amino acid in the synthesis of virtually all eukaryotic proteins. Does everyone know what Sulphur is/does.....its the oldest pesticide known to man. When you feed poultry feed containing DL Methionine you are feeding your roaches a triple whammy....first a patented pesticide, second increasing levels of histamine, and third you are adding Sulphur to their diet....another known pesticide. There is a better way..... https://patents.google.com/patent/US7181884
  4. 2 points
    Super interesting and helpful. Also, the topic is kind of fascinating. I wonder what we will know about hissers in another 20 years. Our understanding of the various species may be very different.
  5. 2 points
    All I can say is wow. This is amazing information for everyone out there. Thank you for taking the time to post this. Amazing work!
  6. 2 points
    @Hisserdude has before. You can read about some general Eleodes care with a tad of specialized information for E.armata towards the end right here.
  7. 2 points
    Thanks. My plan was for this setup to emulate a tree fall in a tropical forest with rotting wood habitat and some of the plants you would find in that kind of situation. This kind of habitat is always a good place to find insects and other invertebrates as well. I placed a particular emphasis on vining plants because many of these are characteristic of forest openings. There are also a lot of botanically-interesting vines to collect and grow. Here is a quick list with most of the plants in there... Aristolochia macroura Banisteriopsis caapi Cissus antarctica Ficus sagittata Piper sintenense Passiflora aurantica Passiflora sanguinolenta Another thing I had in mind was for the terrarium to be relatively easy care. While these vining plants can grow pretty fast, it is easy to trim them back and every time I do I have cuttings for propagation of new plants. In addition to the B. fusca I also added Porcellio dilatatus, Porcellionides pruinosus and Trichorhina tomentosa. I also recently introduced a group of Hemiblabera tenebricosa. These seem to be compatible and OK with the Blaberus so far. I link some photos to show the basic set up. The soil substrate is just a shale gravel blended with orchid bark and charcoal over an egg crate false bottom. I also have some newer photos to show the planting more grown in and I'll try to upload + link some of those as well.
  8. 1 point
    I caught an adult male A. erratica by a black light a couple days back. I also have an Arenivaga erratica (from the same locale) nymph/female(can’t sex them, I’d like to know how) and I was wondering if I could get them to mate. Then again, I’m not sure about anything, and I’d really like to breed this species, if possible. Educate me please. I also have them in a temporary setup together(8oz delicup filled to the brim with leaves with a then layer of coco fiber at the bottom). I understand that it’s not ideal, but I figured that I only have two roaches of that same species at the time.
  9. 1 point
    Excellent information here. This is going on the Other Resources page on my blog... Thanks for sharing, Arthroverts
  10. 1 point
    As always, thanks for the info @Hisserdude!
  11. 1 point
    That would make sense, since they like dryer conditions. Thanks again!
  12. 1 point
    You know . . . that's something I wouldn't have thought of! Thanks for that Hisserdude! What is their natural habitat anyway? Are they cave dwellers?
  13. 1 point
    An FYI that I'm finding it fairly easy to make a gasket tub out of a normal Sterilite latching tub (like these). All you really need is some foam insulation tape cut into strips that fit around the inner lid. The foam compresses quite a bit so the lid is able to still latch closed. Waiting to see how the foam holds up over time, but so far this trick has worked well for me.
  14. 1 point
    Darn! It is what it is. I got them at a very affordable price, and put them in the composter with the everyone else 😂 If I ever get to the point of selling them, I’ll be sure and let people know they’re hybrids. I almost sent you a PM about them... but then you made this topic 🙌 Might be a little too much anthropomorphism, but I figured the two adults were lonesome from months in solitude and would be happier with more of their kind. Plus hissers are fun to handle 💕
  15. 1 point
    Thanks, glad you liked it! And yes those are definitely "portentosa" hybrids for sure, given that highly variable coloration you see, typical of those hybrids.
  16. 1 point
    Thanks so much @Hisserdude, this is amazing 😍 I got the two gals I “adopted” some friends, and I’m guessing they’re not pure. A couple of them were very very dark.
  17. 1 point
    I wouldn't argue your point, however my experience has been 180 degrees opposite. We vended 28 shows last year and seen a lot of folks selling Hissers.....they were always much more expensive than what we were selling them for....10 for 15.00 dollars. I had one guy tell me how mine were hybrids and his were pure stock based upon the size of his compared to mine. I let it pass.... however what he failed to note is that he wasn't selling any of his Hissers at his price point and that's why his were larger, they were older. It wasn't the first time I heard another vendor claim his were the real deal hence the higher price. I've seen something similar with Death Heads.... one guy in Nashville was claiming his was the larger Riverside morph and hence their 10.00 a piece price tag. When I asked them where he got them from...he couldn't tell me. Folks who know their stock....know exactly where they got them from in my experience.....most are rather anal about it.
  18. 1 point
    I have bred literally thousands of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches for the last 8 years. I purchased close to 5K from a guy in Ohio....the concept of purity or hybridized never entered our negotiation as I didn't care. They have never been added to, I have sold thousands in this time and continue to sell them at shows and our website as "hybrids" because I have no idea if they were pure or not. Given where I got them, and the 3" plus size they achieve as they age, and what I believe to be a very consistent color and pattern, I don't think they are hybrids...but again I don't know. I have seen a very dark morph, almost black, but I believe that dark color is either related to diet, or just a variation of the norm. The overwhelming majority of our customers, either are unaware that these might by hybrids, or couldn't care less......the idea that the vast majority of Mad Hissers that are out there come from just a small group of Hissers that were hybridized, hence all their off spring are hybrids. Or that people are out there right now trying to hybridize for reasons I can't comprehend, makes me think that the only people who care about purity are those trying to charge more for bugs that are becoming more and more common and cheaper. jmho
  19. 1 point
    Are you allowed to mention who you bought them off I recently got almost 400 and they were dying off from the day they arrived I've contacted the seller who I won't name yet and he's trying to say it's my fault from poor/incorrect husbandry which is utter rubbish so I'll wait and see what he does about it first before making it public on here
  20. 1 point
    I have, and I would check out the caresheet I wrote that @All About Arthropods linked to for info on them and breeding this genus in general.
  21. 1 point
  22. 0 points
    I have a small breeding group of Porcellio hoffmannseggi, maybe about 50 in all. They have been doing fine for several months, but now, about once a week I find one or two dead on their backs. I recently found one dying, kept flipping over. The dead (or dying ones) are a little discolored (cream instead of white edges). This happens to large adults and medium sized juveniles, I haven't seen it with smaller ones. They have a screen lid, substrate is Coco Coir, about 25% of the sweater box size container is kept moist. I feed them something moist (beetle jelly, or veggies), fish food, reptile calcium powder. They have dead hardwood leaves and dead sphagnum moss. There is cork bark and a few other wood pieces in there. What do you think needs fixing? My current guess, is maybe drier substrate and/or more food (I often find they have eaten all their food, while my other isopod species have a little left over). I don't want to slowly lose my whole Porcellio hoffmannseggi colony! Please help!