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mehraban last won the day on June 17 2018

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  1. mehraban

    Unusual things cockroaches eat

    Flowers are very good as food for most roaches! Dandelions, roses, clovers, lilac... Acorns; pumpkin, squash, watermelon, melon seeds; soft ash and maple seeds... Some (protein-loving) roaches readily take unfrozen fruit-flies, mealworms, dead inverts like theraphosid males...
  2. Yes, sometimes they're quite noticeable. My byrsotria definitely prefer protein-rich food, schultesia take only plant-derivatives, etc.. I don't use cat/dog food, but give fish flakes with algae, at least cleaners consume them readily.
  3. mehraban

    Fungus Gnats

    I think they're, in general, inavoidable... Not clouds, but 1 - 2 - 3 I see almost always in my enclosures, though cleaners like isopods, springtails and sometimes even snails seem to utilize every noticeable uneaten food. To diminish their activity substrate must be drier, without any remnants of edible organics. Either in roacheries or in arachnariums it's barely achieveable...
  4. mehraban

    Rhabdoblatta sp.

    AFAIU, no; black from above and dull-orange below, with brown eyes. But I've already 2 males with such a blotch, separated them with one black female, mb, they'll produce smth interesting :) In fact, took them in november, 2017, in southern Lao. Dry sandy riverbed, moist but already without water, and nymphs were quite abundant but very local, found'em on only one patch, mb 2 - 3m in diameter, anywhere else around, in absolutely identic places, found nothing. From february to march successfully molted into imago (only 1 or 2 died for uncertain reasons), and now there is a crowd of newborn roachlings :)
  5. mehraban

    Rhabdoblatta sp.

    Two males (female looks just like male, but is noticeably larger and somehow bulkier). Surprizingly, one with orange blotch is by far not freshly molted.
  6. mehraban

    Rhabdoblatta sp.

    They're quite social.
  7. mehraban

    Goodbye for now...

    Hey Man, it's not an issue - it's just Time I've lost and sold my collections repeatedly, 'cause of wives, children, army services, long-time errands etc., etc.. Then I've returned - and beasts have returned, too - some new, some old, but inevitably. Now I'm 47, my elder children're 23 and 22, my young daughter is 2, and 5 yrs ago I've brought a termites colony from a trip to Vietnam And now I've half of a room tightly packed with enclosures So - it's smth like Midi-chlorians in your blood - if you have it, you can't deal without all this bugmatters
  8. mehraban

    can you ID this Roach?

    I have some, too They're quite common from southern Myanmar through Thai, Lao, Cambodia to Vietnam, mostly forest-dwelling, but also I've met'em in gardens, on the ground, under logs or low on tree trunks. Adults - from september to ?november? [I haven't been there later], nymphs from 10mm - from the end of april or beginning of may... 40 - 50mm, blueish-black thorax|wings, dark reddish-brown abdomen. Pretty impressive roaches, wary, quick, and - unexpectedly - pretty fragile creatures. This whitish substance is really a glue, mb, it's toxic, 'cause after contact with it ants die quite quickly, in several minutes... They're not easy to catch, and even more tricky to handle, 'cause of this glue. They imediately smear with this glue everything around, including themselves, and die :| And I've failed ingloriously with eggsacs - not a single hatchling after half a year, though embryos appeared to be intact but dead. Maybe, they need smth to be stimulated.
  9. mehraban

    Non-roach bugs for domino setup?

    I think you're right, though... I've never kept Arenivaga by myself, but have a long and quite successful experience with different Polyphaga species, from Magrib and Eurasia. Kept them initially almost exclusively on sand - without any problems (later switched to coco and other organic substrates - they're just much more convenient for me). IMO, the main issue is that they really do not spend much time in dry sand, but in moist deep layers, emerging at night for feeding, mating etc. - so, in fact, they meet such a hard conditions only sometimes and for very short periods. Rodent (or tortoise) burrows are always full of life - even without rodents themselves, but they're not always available. And, as far as I've seen, in such dry sandy areas any sheltered and "unsandy" place (leewards of any types, especially with some plant material - dry grasses, fallen leaves, dry twigs or logs...) always attracts life. Heavy clayish areas are covered with cracks and fissures, and they form an excellent network of shelters, too - so if surrounding space itself looks pretty unfriendly, you can find many interesting things while investigating these "hidden space" - sometimes of unexpectedly large size
  10. One of the most hard-to-make-and-maintain types of habitats in captivity, IMO. High-elevation type - cool, windy, with humid air and dry soil - is more tricky, but there're usually no roaches at 3500...5000m... It's definitely not for small enclosures, the only way to keep it small is to put inside a large tank. My colony of Cordidarum is thriving - very slowly increasing in number, from about a dozen mixed adults and nymphs in 2012 (WC brought from Cambodia) to slightly more than 40 adult females now. Usually they sit on the underside of pieces of bark, large dead leaves etc.,, but in my conditions they do not burrow.
  11. mehraban

    Non-roach bugs for domino setup?

    I have - for years already #1: Pycnoscelus sp. (initially it was smth like indica, then nigra came with additional substrate, now they're happily coexisting) + Gyna lurida + some small greenish-grey striped millipede from Malaysia + some unidentified grey woodlice from Lao + Trichorrhina tomentosa + some small darkling beetles from southern Zagros + some small xylobiotic Myrmicinae ant from Thailand (nests under dry bark on twigs, migrating to new place when twig is being diminished by companions). Enclosure about 20l, moderately moist, with coco-soil, oak leaves, dead oak/willow twigs with lichens. Food - vegetables, fruits, aquarium fish flakes etc.. #2: Therea regularis + Schultesia lampridiformis + Adesmia + Scaurus + some unidentified small slender woodlice from Kerala. Enclosure about 10l, semi-dry, with coco-soil, oak leaves, dead oak/willow twigs with lichens. Food - vegetables, fruits, aquarium fish flakes etc.. #3: Oxyhaloa deusta + some unidentified roach from Makran mtns + Scaurus + some small xylobiotic darklings from Vietnam + some unidentified small slender woodlice from Kerala. Enclosure about 10l, semi-dry, with coco-soil, oak leaves, dead oak/willow twigs with lichens. Food - vegetables, fruits, aquarium fish flakes etc.. And more... These are initially and purposefully organised as communal vivariums, but, in fact, I have now several species of woodlice nearly in every enclosure, somewhere with darkling beetles. Population sometimes changes - new species arive, but, IMO, it's nothing unusual in coexistance. You're exaggerating - sand in their habitat can be much more abrasive, especially in case with nearby lava fields: lava sand is terribly abrasive, for feet, shoes, bottoms of tents etc., so I don't see any problem here. Problems may appear if sand is chemically not clean, containing smth like heavy metals etc, but, IMO, if you take sand purposed for aquarium, there're no problems - by the way, it can be also rounded, for small loaches, cory etc..
  12. mehraban

    Non-roach bugs for domino setup?

    For Scaurus - just a piece of wood - soft enough for larva to gnaw a cavity and damp enough for pupating and beetle emerging. They do not eat it, only use for pupating. Adesmia and Blaps larvae usually pupate just in damp soil - under stones, e.g., but may use wood, too. I tried to use plastic tubes etc, they definitely do not like anything but wood... Adesmias look unusual, but, IMO, Scaurus are the most impressive, with their thick legs with hooks and all this, they've somehow prehistoric appearance Don't know whether it's possible to obtain exactly these beetles in the USA, but, IMO, you can find suitable beasts in your own similar biotope - the main issue will be with possibility of predatory larvae or adults, not all darkling beetles are completely herbivorous. I myself live far from your country (and dream about some of your native bugs, yea! ), but similar biotope means similar ecological groups - anyway you can find smth interesting just nearby. Try - it's always interesting to try smth new. I don't see any possible issues, the only trick is, IMO, possible with seasonal activity. I've tried desert woodlice, they're large, spiny and overall gorgeous, they live in real families and seem safe for any type of companions. But they're also strictly seasonal, without wet-cool/dry-hot shifting they do not breed. I've never seen there pines or any other coniferous plants, but - yes, acacias, mimosas, euphorbias and all these spiny shrubs with small, thick and hard leaves.
  13. mehraban

    Agar blocks with banana aroma as water source

    I use agar jelly for ants as a staple food, based on Bhaktar mixture. For others - as long-lasting water source, especially when leaving for weeks. Agar needs boiling water to be dissolved, so after it dissolves, it needs to be cooled down - to 50...60C, and then I add smth like carrots or banana juice. Store in freezer, at -18C, no longer than 3 months (usually 1 - 2). The nuance: agar itself is undigestable, so it goes out with feces and becomes part of the soil in vivarium. It's neutral, and decomposing very slowly, so - has something to do with overall humidity.
  14. mehraban

    Gyna caffrorum set up ideas?

    IMO, they tend to use all the space you provide - at night they'll climb branches, daytime stay on/under bark pieces on the bottom.