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The Mantis Menagerie

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Everything posted by The Mantis Menagerie

  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

    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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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).
  13. I looked at the picture and assumed they were Zoosphaerium! I had to take a closer look to realize they were roaches.
  14. The Mantis Menagerie

    Does anyone keep blattella germanica "auburn black"?

    I need to remember to get regular B. germanica, which is easy because they are a pest in my house. I would caution you on special breeds of pest species in your house because, unless you obtained them in-state, they are regulated by the USDA. It could cause a problem if they escaped and proliferated.
  15. The Mantis Menagerie

    Hisser death, turned white almost like mold?

    I used my G. portentosa as feeders last summer to the point that I had no juveniles left. My mantids loved them! I occasionally had issues with procrastinating on changing moldy food in my roach tank, so my mantids were eating mold-filled roaches. I did not notice any maladies affecting my mantids because of the roaches.
  16. The Mantis Menagerie

    I Need Help/Advice, Dying Halloween Hissers

    I have had a similar issue with my Gromphadorhina portentosa recently. I have figured out the cause of the decline, though: mites. There has been a massive mite explosion in my breeding tank, and my adults are covered in them. I have read that too many mites can clog spiracles and kill roaches. I think the mite explosion was caused by high humidity. I recently moved my adults into a new tank separate from the juveniles in order to enlarge my colony, and the new substrate was much wetter than the substrate they had been living in in the original tank. I have been trying to dry out the tank as I acquired 44 new adults, and I do not want them to succumb to mites. It is looking like there is not enough ventilation to dry it out in time. I have some drier substrate, so I will probably have to take the wet substrate out of the tank, freeze it, and replace it with the dry substrate. This should fix the humidity issue. Does it look like your roaches have excessive numbers of mites on them?
  17. The Mantis Menagerie

    Roaches vs Biocontrols

    I am not sure if I qualify as a mycophile, but I would personally be wary of any insect-killing fungi. Entomophagous fungi can decimate insect colonies. I know some types of fungi are host-specific while others are polyphagous and opportunistic. If nothing else is working, and the fungi is host-specific, then it might be worth the risk. I did a quick search for the Beauveria fungus you mentioned, and I was it was used to kill termites. Since termites are close relatives of cockroaches, the fungus probably kills cockroaches as well.
  18. The Mantis Menagerie

    Need advice, contemplating Blaberus giganteus enclosure

    I have kept B. giganteus before, and the timing of this post is interesting. I submitted a PPQ-526 commercial biological supply permit application for this species, and it was just denied. To answer your questions, I never had them in a decorative cage as I got rid of my colony before it was ready to be displayed. When I kept them, I just had them in a bin with a couple inches of coconut coir substrate. I wonder, though, if you could make a background out of spray foam and then imbed sand or pebbles in it, so the roaches could not eat the foam.
  19. The Mantis Menagerie

    Suggest me a species!

    B. lateralis is is also tolerant of low humidity, which is the bigger problem.
  20. The Mantis Menagerie

    Suggest me a species!

    Mine bred with only about a square foot of space. Their colonies take a while to become massive, so you could build a colony in preparation for the ideal setup.
  21. The Mantis Menagerie

    Suggest me a species!

    I see that you have B. cranifer, but I would suggest looking into B. giganteus. They are one of my personal favorites. Just be careful as some strains seem to not live up to their species name: giganteus.