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Betta132

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  1. For an animal to form a social bond with something other than its species, it has to be an animal that's capable of social bonds in the first place, and has to recognize something of itself (body language, etc) in that other species. Roaches may be capable of the first, but wouldn't be able to understand that a human is a living thing, as opposed to a force of nature. However, many animals, from insects to reptiles, can learn to recognize and respond neutrally/positively to a specific human. They can learn not to see you as a threat, and even to associate you with food, new toys (for reptiles), and other positive stimuli. That's a bond, of a sort, and is pretty impressive to get out of an animal so much smaller than you. You've made a creature that you could crush in an instant see you as a safe and interesting thing instead of a threat. On some level, they can learn to like you, because you have food, but they don't like you because of you like social animals would. They're not going to like you like, say, a rat would.
  2. I caught these two in the process of making more roaches. Pretty neat to see, since the females only mate the once. Also found this little lady. At least, I'm guessing it's a lady based on the antennae. She's awful small, should really be at least a quarter inch longer and wider, and clearly her wings aren't right. I'm guessing they didn't expand properly. One wing is about the right shape and size, and then there's that other one, that I hope doesn't give her any trouble. She seems healthy enough otherwise, she's moving normally. Hopefully she's fertile. What causes this? Is she likely to just be a particularly small roach, or did something go wrong? They've had plenty of leaves and some occasional cat food and apple, and the others (a dozen or so) that I've had mature have all been fine.
  3. I've since rearranged my living space and no longer have room for an enclosure that size, unfortunately, but that sounds like a great idea. I'll keep it in mind, because I definitely want to do a big setup like that someday! Just not any time particularly soon.
  4. Betta132

    Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

    I moved a box in my closet and found another one. I also transferred them into a new enclosure. I found 5 total while transferring them, but I wasn't checking, just moving the substrate over in big heaping handfuls, so I imagine the rest of 'em are in there somewhere. There's a couple that are a good inch long at this point, and I didn't note any smell while transferring them, which I'm glad for. I also noticed that they seem more likely to run down into the substrate now when disturbed, instead of up and around like they did before, so I'm guessing it's because they're used to their environment and think it's safe. I gave them a cow vertebra to explore, found in the same place as them. I'm tempted to give them the skull they were found in, but I'd never get 'em out of there again! Too many cavities.
  5. Oh, yeah, I've heard they'll eat everything. The couple I have certainly seem fine eating the houseplant leaves I put in the container with them. How many do you need to really get an actual food scrap disposal going? Is there anything (aside from toxic fruit seeds and onions, I know those) that they shouldn't be fed?
  6. We have these paper plates that we use sometimes, and they say "COMPOSTABLE" in big letters on the package. Elsewhere, they say something about how they're only compostable in a commercial facility, which "may not exist in your area". It makes me wonder, what with how voracious some roaches are, could any of them be kept to eat these plates? Not just plates, of course, they'd get other food, but I'm wondering about a specific thing. The plates absorb moisture, so I wonder if they could be sprayed with some sort of broth for flavoring and nutrition, then fed to the roaches, along with supplemental things. Is there anything that's particularly happy to eat cardboard, and would love to be fed flavored cardboard, food scraps, and some occasional cat food? I know orange head roaches are greedy. The goal here would just be to turn the plates (and food scraps) into compost, not to raise particularly nutritious feeder roaches or anything, though I'm sure extras from the colony could be removed, gutloaded, and fed to something.
  7. Betta132

    Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

    The skulls are legal, yes. They're feral hogs, which aren't protected at all. Our suitcases got inspected twice on the way back! First by US agriculture, checking for plant materials (the vast majority are illegal to move between Hawaii and the mainland), and once by the airline checking for bombs, and neither of them did anything about the skulls. We didn't hide them or anything, just put them in paper bags and stuck 'em in. Meat might be harder to import, but the only concern with skulls is if it's something endangered. It would definitely have been illegal to bring these guys in, just like that. I might have been able to get a permit with some calling around, though, since these aren't a crop or human danger. But it's not illegal to accidentally bring something over, nor is it illegal to own, say, an accidentally imported spider. I definitely should have checked better to see what was in the skulls (Hawaii has centipedes! yikes), but I was overheated at the time and not really thinking anything other than "sweet, skulls". The real worry with things from Hawaii is accidentally bringing a true farm pest over that doesn't live in the continental US yet, which you find in plants, farms, and related areas, and this was an area without any farming. Well- farm pests and rat lungworm, but the lungworm is on snails, not hogs. They seem to be doing fairly well so far. A smoky brown roach got in there somehow, and I'm leaving it in there as kind of a canary/comparison. It's not bothering them or anything, I find them in the same hiding spots when I check. Also, I don't know if it's the Madeiras or the smoky brown, but something has been dragging the food bits under a leaf to eat. I see them out at night sometimes. I don't think I have to worry about them escaping- they don't seem to like the petroleum jelly. They'll go up to it and inspect it, but most of the time don't even touch it with a foot. Maybe they don't like the smell very much. One is out now, I can see by my reading light, and it's just kind of wandering across the glass.
  8. Now, this is for zebra isopods (Armadillidium maculatum), but it would also work for small, non-climbing roaches. Or for climbing species if you had a snug lid and covered the holes with mesh. It has a lid (just a cut-out piece of stiff packaging plastic), but I took that off for the pic. 1-gallon plastic bowl, holes poked with a soldering iron. There are lots of good uses for goldfish bowls! But none of them are for housing any kind of fish, albeit maybe for an hour or two as temporary holding/display. That's how the myth about goldfish being kept in bowls came about- the people who 'invented' them, bred them into goldfish, would keep them in ponds. When they had guests, they would put a couple of goldfish in a bowl on a table for display, and the fish would stay in there just for a little while, as display. Visitors from elsewhere thought that goldfish were permanently housed in those bowls, and then at some point pop culture picked it up, and the image of a goldfish in a bowl became commonplace. Unfortunately for goldfish.
  9. Betta132

    Feeding question

    Hissers should really have fruit, as they're a tropical species that naturally eats fallen fruit reasonably often. Dubias will pretty much breed on anything. The other two, I'm genuinely not sure.
  10. Betta132

    Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

    Yeah, I really hope I have at least 1 pair in here. I figure all I really need is a male and female that mature at the same time and breed, and then their offspring can breed with any not involved in the pair. I mean, people get six roaches as a small starter colony, and that's what we're doing here! It's too bad I can't sex them at this point. I wish I could put a little urinal in there and count how many of em use it. That's a reliable way to sex roaches, right? Miniature urinals? How big are the adults in this species? I figure when the nymphs get to near adult size, they should hopefully be sexable. Though I don't know if I want to handle them to sex, stink defense and whatnot.
  11. Betta132

    Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

    Ah, good news! I found a live one! Bad photo because he was lively, but definitely the same kind, and not one I had already. He went downstairs from where my suitcase is, the cats hassled him, and then he ran into the bathroom, so hopefully soap scum or whatnot doesn't get the better of him. This brings my total to 6 in the dedicated enclosure, and 1 in my tesselata enclosure if I can find that one. If I can just get an adult m/f pair to mature at the same time and breed, I should be set! Definitely gonna set up some traps around the house. I'm also gonna remember to check skulls that I collect really, really well for things, I forgot to do that this time. These guys, I don't mind, but I could end up bringing a centipede or something into my house if I'm not careful.
  12. Betta132

    Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

    Good news: I found another baby in the house. Bad news: it was dead behind the laundry bin (across the hall from the suitcases), probably killed by exposure to soap scum. It must have left the suitcase or skull at some point and gone in there. I'm inclined to try and set up some kind of trap, just on the slim chance that there are live ones loose somewhere. It is, however, entirely possible that roach has been there for awhile. I'm thinking of just a crumpled, lightly moistened paper towel and some sort of food, set under a slightly elevated plate, to see what turns up. That would probably lure in a roach, right? The ones I have, as far as I can tell, seem to be doing well. I'm trying not to bother them any. They're still occasionally hiding under a very thin layer of dirt, but definitely like harder hides.
  13. Betta132

    Arboreal Roaches?

    I don't think the burrowing nymphs would uproot your plants. Not a decently rooted plant, at least. They'd just go between the roots. Alternately, you could enclose the roots in a fabric mesh to keep the nymphs out of the main root ball, so they could only bother the roots that grew through the mesh. From what I remember seeing of hisser nymphs, yes, they'd squeeze out through that gap. They're very flat and good at escaping.
  14. Betta132

    Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

    What do they live on in the wild? The vertical hiding spots makes me think they'd probably like to hide under loose bark on trees. Or, I guess, in the sinus cavities of animal skulls. The apple has dried out, and they've had a go at it. At this point, I seriously think they just didn't know what to do with the juicy stuff. They're from a very dry island- a mountain range on the adjacent island blocks storms, so the climate on the island they came from is scrubby. It almost looks like savannah from overhead. There definitely wasn't any fruit growing anywhere near where I found them. They might not have had fruit in generations, depending on how far they tend to roam. One is hiding right under the top layer of the dirt. At least, I assume. I sprayed in a little water and a roach-sized patch of dirt moved around slightly like something was under it. Are the adults reasonably bold? I'm hoping I'll be able to find that one I put in my tesselata enclosure, once it hits adulthood. It being 17% of my stock and all. Does anyone know if these have a relatively even male/female ratio? I'm hoping they're not like Therea.
  15. Betta132

    Arboreal Roaches?

    Part of the issue is the gaps along the sides of the doors. Especially small roaches will definitely slip through those. Your kenyans might, for example. I don't think I'd use Therea. They only have about 1 female for every 8 males, so it's easy for all the females to get eaten. If you bred a ton of them elsewhere, that could work, but I don't think it's what you're looking for. Besides- you'd need a lot of nymphs underground at all times to have a population of visible adults, and I don't know that there's quite enough dirt to keep that many nymphs happy. How about banana roaches? You'd have to figure out a way to keep them contained, but they're definitely climbers, they're brightly colored, and they're prolific.
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