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mehraban

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Posts posted by mehraban


  1. 16 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    people simply forget about them, due to the lack of frequent care they need, and sometimes they let it get too far and forget to water them when the substrate starts drying out, maybe the room gets too warm for their liking, substrate runs out and is converted entirely into frass, etc...

    What do you mean by "frequent care"? I do not like to disturb animals unnecessarily... And, IMO, it's not my situation, anyway...

    Fresh wood, leaf mulch etc. - and never let them to be dry, though always try to keep some difference in humidity btw two sides of an enclosure.

     

    16 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    I know people who've had good long term success with Panesthia colonies

    For how long? In years?

    They're pretty slow to grow and breed, so, IMO, 2 - 3 years is only enough for one full cycle, and period, which seems to be long in years, appears to be not so long in generations.

    When they appeared in the hobby? In mid nineties, or earlier? Are there colonies, still thriving since that time?

    Last summer was by far not too hot, I hadn't T above 25C for more than a week.

     

    In fact, if they're completely dependent on their infauna for all their digestion, it's more likely for me that smth has happened to it, than to roaches themselves...


  2. Hi All!

    Last week decided to clean and replace my colony of P.angustipennis cognata - and found that there was no more colony.

    One young-looking male, pretty sad, one definitely old female, plus several nymphs of different stages. And that's all.

    Communicated with roach-comrades, heard just the same: colonies declined. Panestias, Salganeas, some other species.

    I even discovered that mine appeared to be one of the most long-thriving, usually they declined after 3 - 5 years, one full generation.

     

    Mine thrived successfully since, AFAIR, 2011 or 2012,  when I found them in a rotting log in southern 
    Lao and brought home.

    They multiplied, I used them for exchange more than once - there were no signs of anything like decline, until, I think, last autumn.

    Food - rotten hardwood, mostly oak, birch, maple, usually several times per year supplied wood from habitat.

    T - normally 20...26C, in summer sometimes higher, but they survived successfully periods of 30C.

     

    So: why? Any ideas?


  3. On 11/26/2019 at 12:17 AM, Hisserdude said:

     just some random molting incident or genetic fluke to blame, whether it negatively impacts the nymphs remains to be seen, the only thing I worry about are the subsequent molts, they might get stuck in their old skins... 

    It seems surprisingly rare though, taking into account usually inbred population type.

    Many keepers start their colonies from just several roaches, or even a single pair... And these colonies successfully thrive and grow for years, with very few aberrants.

    • Like 1

  4. On 9/15/2019 at 6:44 PM, Marco Sonnenscheisse said:

    is not much fun because some of the others get airborne

    I usually cool'em down a little - e.g., having usually +26...+28C,  I bring the box to +18...+20 for a night or so, after it they're less active and do not even try to fly. 

    It's also the way of, e.g., changing substrate or taking a group.


  5. The 2nd pic looks as if it's too damp in your setup - isn't it?

    Centurions are by far not the driest roaches to keep, but neither they prefer to live in a swamp...

    On 8/20/2019 at 6:01 AM, thelifemotif said:

    understand more about their behaviour and their optimal habitat,

    They're not especially choosy.

    Mine are prospering in a 10l plastic box, almost all the time being hidden in substrate, eating voraciously everything edible. Only males sometimes are active above, fighting and even try flying.

    If you want to make things better, just try to keep'em in long (not large, but long) container, making one side moist and another - dry, and


  6. The easiest way to get rid of these mites is to use predatory mites, usually it is Hypoaspis miles (now it's Stratiolaelaps scimitus, but the previous name is in use also). It's widely accessible as one of the "tools" for biological pest-control.

    It successfully eliminates all such creatures, and to some extent can even control larger pests, such as phorids (AFAIU, by eating their eggs and newborn larvae).

    Alas, in small setups it also destroys soil in-fauna, such as springtails etc., but does no harm to roaches, even with small and tender hatchlings.

     


  7. Yea, good problem.

    Phorids are disgusting, for me the one and the only way of eliminating them appeared to keep all the colonies in tightly closed boxes, with ventilation windows covered with steel mesh... In open setups they appeared anyway, with or without cleaning.

    But for removing excess dead protein "cleaners" are really useful...

    In less dry conditions woodlice work well, sometimes extremely well, especially Trichorhina with Cubaris murina. They eat dead roaches, roach food, prevent mold and somehow clean the substrate from mold etc. 

    In dry enclosures I have several darkling beetles, one of them is, AFAIU, Alphitobius diaperinus, very common lesser brown mealworm, others - unknown, mainly arrived occasionally from Asia with plant material. 

    They're quite useful, too, eating dead roaches and food leftovers.

    And they don't touch eggsacs, but are quite capable of attacking molting roaches, especially when it's really dry in the setup.


  8. 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...


  9. 9 hours ago, Chimera said:

    How gorgeous! So do they normally not have orange blotches?

    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 :)


  10. 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 :)

     

    • Like 2

  11. 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.

    Melanozosteria.jpg

    • Like 1

  12. On 08.12.2017 at 8:15 AM, Hisserdude said:

    They get pretty skinny and die, as a result of the sand scratching their cuticle, which causes them to loose water and they usually slowly die off, even if a moist area is provided. Many desert dwelling Corydiids actually spend a lot of time resting in rodent burrows, which are usually lined with decaying organic material, not sand, which is why they do so well on coconut fiber and such in captivity. 

    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 :)


  13. On 09.12.2017 at 0:56 AM, Hisserdude said:

    enclosures with high humidity and high ventilation as well, they won't reproduce in a cage with stuffy, stagnant air.

    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. 

     

    • Like 1

  14. 15 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    I have a hard time seeing any mixed species container doing well long term, that's just my opinion though.

    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.

    15 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    Most sand that is sold for use in animal enclosures are too abrasive for roaches

    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..


  15. 18 hours ago, Betta132 said:

    Do they need a rotting piece of wood, or just a piece that's kept damp?

    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.

    18 hours ago, Betta132 said:

    What about desert millipedes?

    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.

    15 hours ago, bigjej said:

    Spiny bushes as in pine/evergreen type or acacia, shrubs ?

    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.


  16. 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.

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