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The Mantis Menagerie

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The Mantis Menagerie last won the day on August 11

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About The Mantis Menagerie

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    Lepidoptera, Mantodea, Coleoptera (particularly Dynastinae and Lucanidae), Blattodea, Orthoptera, Amblypygi, Solifugae, Uropygi, Diplopoda, and Chilopoda

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  1. The Mantis Menagerie

    A Cryptocercus Question for the Experts

    No, but I read one of your posts about that from a few years. I am not too worried about how long it takes, except the care must be nearly perfect or else my colony will take years to recover.
  2. The Mantis Menagerie

    A Cryptocercus Question for the Experts

    The guide said that the unpredictability of rotten wood could be the problem with maintaining these colonies.
  3. The Mantis Menagerie

    A Cryptocercus Question for the Experts

    I just posted photos of some of my newly collected Cryptocercus wrighti roaches. Before collecting them, I read a guide put together by Roach Crossing that said they can be reared on cellulose powder and was planning to use that. I realized, though, that coconut fiber is primarily cellulose. It resists mold, which might be beneficial, unless it makes it harder for the roaches' symbiotic microbes to digest the material. It seems likely that someone has already tried it, but could sterilized coconut fiber be an inexpensive medium for rearing hooded roaches? Another idea I had was using Traeger oak pellets. The guide said that failure may come from microorganisms in wild-collected wood out-competing the roaches, but the pellets should be sterile. It might even be worth trying the fermented flake soil used for beetle larvae. Do any of these ideas sound like good sources of cellulose for the roaches, or should I stick to the powder?
  4. The Mantis Menagerie

    Cryptocercus wrighti

    I found two logs full (out of about six logs I chose to look under) near Asheville, NC. I collected two adults and a number of nymphs. One of the adults was alone. The other adult was with some nymphs, but I think the nymphs were old enough to not need parental care. One of the adults One of the nymphs
  5. The Mantis Menagerie

    Something to eat compostable paper plates?

    I was talking to some entomologists, who used to have an orange-headed roach colony (it is now mine). They once put in a shirt, and the roaches did a good job over a few weeks! Therefore, I think they will have no problem with the plates.
  6. The Mantis Menagerie

    Blaberus giganteus care?

    I did not give them anything to molt from. I had them for a few months, and I was about to transfer them to a better enclosure when I got rid of them. I try to discourage cohabitation of different roach species. B. giganteus would probably be fine with the ivory-headed roaches, but I like keeping different species separate.
  7. I do not know of anything that would chase them off, but what type of plastic enclosure do you have? If it is a typical Sterilite storage bin, then I doubt they will be able to make a dent in the plastic.
  8. The Mantis Menagerie

    Blaberus giganteus care?

    I kept mine with a substrate of plain, moist coconut fiber. My adults gave me dozens of nymphs, so I must have been doing something right.
  9. I caught a Periplaneta americana, and I had read that Periplaneta nymphs were especially good for feeding amblypygi. The one I caught was running wild in my house, and while I obviously know most roaches are not the germ-infested monsters people portray them to be, don't household pests carry some diseases? If this is true, then would starting a colony from the adults I catch in my house be a bad idea? Would the human diseases persist in the colony?
  10. The Mantis Menagerie

    What do you use for substrate?

    Before I was told they were illegal, I had a decently large colony of B. giganteus. I just used plain coconut fiber, and I ended up with hundreds of babies before I got rid of them.
  11. The Mantis Menagerie

    Salutations from the 51st US State: Confusion

    Since I think anyone who really wanted to know could find this information, I live in NC. I am pursuing the permits for exotic phasmids, orthopterans, stag and rhino beetles, mantids, lepidopterans, and millipedes. As a result of the USDA oversight, I have to follow the regulations precisely.
  12. The Mantis Menagerie

    Help picking species to keep

    Blaberus giganteus would fit your criteria (especially that last one). They do not fly upwards and cannot climb smooth surfaces. They do expel a musk, but it is usually only used when you mess with them.
  13. The Mantis Menagerie

    Most Interesting Feeders?

    I had Panchlora nivea for a while, and they are pretty as long as you can contain them. Hissers are not bad for invertebrates, particularly hisser nymphs, because invertebrates break the exoskeleton before digestion. Reptiles and amphibians usually swallow their prey and the exoskeleton remains largely intact. The bigger problem with using hissers as feeders is that they do not breed very fast, so eventually you can exhaust the colony. I have heard of some people using Simandoa conserfarium, and there are some colorful members in the same family as common pest roaches (ability to become a pest means fast breeding).
  14. I have yet to post introduction posts on a couple of forums. I have this bad habit of just jumping right into discussions, so before I go too far in this form, greetings! I chose my title because I thought it was funny; I do not think of myself as confused (most of the time), and one of my favorite childhood movies was Charlotte's Web. I keep a number of roaches right now. I started several years ago with the classic hissers, and I managed to kill my small starter colony. I tried again, and now I have hundreds. After several failed attempts, a few of which were impressive, of breeding crickets, I started culturing feeder roaches. Due to the size of my pets, I did not want the standard Blaptica dubia, so I pursued Panchlora nivea and Nauphoeta cinerea. Well -- Panchlora nivea fly, a lot! Therefore, I never used them much as feeders because I never wanted to have the tank opened for more than a few seconds. They were pretty though, and some roach-haters actually liked my "leaf roaches." I tried the N. cinerea, and they worked well. I also acquired adults of Blaberus giganteus, and I soon had dozens of nymphs. Then, in my quest to understand the regulations on exotic mantids and beetles, I learned about the USDA regulations on roaches, and all my roaches, except G. portentosa, were illegal. Therefore, I gave them to a museum and pursued the proper permits. I acquired more lobster roaches from Josh's Frogs as they have the proper commercial biological supply permits. I submitted permit applications for many species of cockroaches. Permits for some of those species were recently granted! I now have the USDA permits for Therea petiveriana, Blatta lateralis, Rhyparobia maderae, and a number of others. Unfortunately, Blaberus giganteus was not one of the approved species, and I was told that they require a containment facility. I currently have Gromphadorhina portentosa (200+), Nauphoeta cinerea (a lot), and Rhyparobia maderae (2).
  15. I looked at the picture and assumed they were Zoosphaerium! I had to take a closer look to realize they were roaches.
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