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The Mantis Menagerie

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Posts posted by The Mantis Menagerie

  1. On 10/23/2019 at 2:54 PM, BeetleShelf said:

    Hi everyone! I have 5 small colonies right now, all with a heat gradient of 70F to 82F. Their tubs fog up pretty bad, and I only have ventilation on the top of the lid.

    I heard that cross ventilation is really important for roaches, is this true? Do I need to redo the ventilation on all my tubs?

    - Spencer

    It depends which species you have. My hissers have had ventilation on only the lid for many months and do fine. 

  2. 2 hours ago, BeetleShelf said:

    Hi everyone! My name is Spencer. I'm living in Utah and studying Entomology at university right now. 

    I am raising 3 Madagascar Hissers right now, but I am really interested in moving into Domino, Question Mark, and Glowspot roaches as well. I am rearing them as pets, but potentially as feeders a few years down the road. I love roaches because of their ease and almost instant return! Beetles (I raise Goliathus goliatus and Dynastes tityus right now) are only gratifying in the long term, but my Hissers can be handled even now, and grow so fast! 

    Any recommendations on which species I should move into next?

    I prefer species that don't have wings for aesthetics and so my wife doesn't worry her brains out thinking that the roaches will fly at her haha.

    Nice to meet you all! 

    - Spencer

    Grubs can be fun to hold, too! It has become my job to bathe the Goliathus grubs at the local insectarium where I volunteer, and they are so much fun to hold. If only their poop was not so much stinkier than that of wood-feeding grubs! 

    For roaches, I would suggest Archimandrita based on what I have read about them. They sound like a version of my B. giganteus that can figure out how to sit peacefully. 

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  3. 13 hours ago, Acro said:

    Anyone feed used tea leaves to their isopods?

    I have non-caffeinated leaves (like mint tea, hibiscus tea, etc.) and caffeinated leaves (like green and black teas) too.  

    Will the used tea leaves be a beneficial food for isopods?  Will is somehow be harmful?

    What are your experience and thoughts?  

    I saw something today from an isopod breeder on Instagram that showed the use of a dried produce medley intended for pet reptiles in an enclosure. Theoretically, many herbal teas would work just as well. 

  4. 21 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

    What about Typhochlaena seladonia? Thought the reason they were basically banned in the US was because Brazil wanted to US government to enforce the Lacey Act for their endemic species? (A bit ironic, considering their government's response to the amazon fires...). 

    CITES and ESA also restrict some species, but none of these are the cause of the APHIS regulations. I guess I did word that way too broadly. 

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  5. 2 hours ago, Arthroverts said:

    That may be true, but millipedes aren't insects, rather being of the subphylum Myriapoda. 

    I meant arthropod, and I changed it to prevent any confusion. 

    2 hours ago, Arthroverts said:

    I would likely have permits too, except I can't get a permit until a later time (I also have many family members living with me, which I'm sure the USDA/APHIS would not be happy about).

    I live in a family of six. It is not an issue. 

  6. On 9/18/2019 at 6:12 PM, Arthroverts said:

    Hey all, with the (relatively) recent deregulation of 3 Goliathus sp. and multiple roach species I am wondering if there is any hope that exotic millipedes will be deregulated in the US? I believe they are banned under the Lacey Act, which protects US agriculture, but millipedes are detrivores that starve without adequate rotting vegetation. To my knowledge, hobby species that have become established within the US (such as Trigoniulus corallinus and Anadenobolus monilicornis in Florida) haven't damaged native ecosystems, agriculture, or harmed local populations of millipedes, not to mention that most species would likely be unable to establish populations outside of Florida. I can't speak to invasive non-hobby species such as the various small julids and Oxidus gracilis, but for the most part it appears that the non-native spirostreptids and spirobolids kept in captivity (possibly other platy-and-polydesmids, sphaerotheriids, and glomerids as well) would be of very little, if any, threat to local ecosystems and agriculture.

    Anyway, back to the original question: is there any hope that exotic millipedes will be deregulated in the US? Do we have any Senators that are sympathetic to our cause (I'm half-joking on this one)? Or will we have to continue to watch Europeans collection's grow our own availability languishes?



    First, as far as I know, the Lacey Act has never been used to regulate pet arthropods. It is the Plant Protection Act. I have the permits for many exotic millipede species, even imported individuals. Naturalized, and of course native species, are not regulated within the Continental US. I have been trying to encourage the USDA to allow commercial biological supply permits for Thyropygus, as it has been replacing Archispirostreptus in museums. 

  7. 1 hour ago, Axolotl said:

    The USDA no longer requires a permit for B. giganteus. Full list of permitted species.

    Thank you for pointing that out, @Axolotl. I have since acquired a colony because of the deregulation. Also, since that post, I have also realized that a flat substrate would not work well long term. These things will breed out of control, and vertical surface area seems to be quite helpful. @Betta132, I know this is quite old, and you may have an enclosure already. If you do not, then would you be open to making the theme of the enclosure the inside of a hollowed-out tree? B. giganteus love cork bark. 

  8. In the second picture, it looks fairly chubby. It may have been trying to eat all it could after its period of neglect and then realized that the food is just going to keep coming. I think scorpions need a finer substrate, such as ground coconut fiber, in order to burrow. My Heterometrus sp. was quite busy rearranging her substrate for a few weeks, and then I found baby scorpions. I pasted the picture below, but I have never tried doing it this way. Hopefully, it works. 

    Image may contain: food

  9. On 8/24/2019 at 1:32 AM, Hisserdude said:

    You'll want to look for Ectobius spp. in shrubbery and such in urbanized areas, they might come to lights too. Sweep netting would probably be a good way to catch some I'd think... 

    The lights were very popular with the Ectobius in Vermont. They only came to the lights that were near the field, so they must not travel much. 

    On 8/23/2019 at 5:48 PM, All About Arthropods said:

    Supella will be a pest inside of houses, Cryptocercus will be inside of rather large, rotten logs, and I believe I.derepeltiformis should inhabit the same niches as Parcoblatta. I'm not exactly sure on the Ectobius though.

    I have found C. wrighti in fairly small logs. I think the more important thing is hardwood logs. 

  10. 1 hour ago, Hisserdude said:

    Even the native US ones? That seems pretty odd IMO, I've always understood that native US insects (besides some beetles) are not illegal to own, I mean shipping across state lines is a little questionable and each state has their own laws on that, but I mean these are US natives we're talking about here... 

    Most US native insects are regulated. Only strict carnivores or detritivores are not regulated. I have even been told that I cannot get the permits for Stenopelmatus without a containment facility. 

  11. 1 hour ago, mantisfan101 said:

    Banana roaches seem appealing, and since they can fly it would be more appealing to certain mantid species. I decided to go for red runners since I've always kept live-bearers and I wsnted to try out a species that laid ooths. As for the compsodes schwarzi, where could you get a colony of these? Are these prolific enough to be used as a feeder? And most importantly, would it be legal to transport them?

    P. nivea does not require permits, and they are the only roach I have ever had that comes close to my lobster roaches in breeding rate! I think the roach Hisserdude mentioned is regulated. As I understand it, all roaches require permits by default. 

  12. 10 hours ago, mantisfan101 said:

    Ah, didn't see that. Also, do you know which of the roaches that were deregulated would be able to provide the smallest nymphs? I'm kind of tired of using fruit flies and I want something small enough to be able to feed my wolf spider slings and baby L1 mantids(Texas Unicorn).

    Probably lobsters, bananas, or porcelains

  13. 41 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

    Maybe with other taxon they are, but the Blattodean section there is barely managed, and had become a cesspool of misidentifications, (which I've been trying to correct), since there are only one or two roach experts that are on semi-regularly... 😅

    I don’t consider myself anywhere near a roach expert, but maybe I should help curate. I have already become top identifier in some random taxa. 

  14. 11 hours ago, mantisfan101 said:

    How are these guys as feeders? I was thinking of feeding them to smaller mantis nymphs and maybe even feed off any hatchlings to some L1 instar mantids. Are these easy to care for? Do they reproduce quickly? Any care tips are appreciated!

    These roaches are still regulated, and lobsters will provide plenty of small nymphs.

  15. 11 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

    I've had to report several roach taxon for being in the wrong place on INat, or for being synonyms, (most of which the admins have fixed now), so I'd be wary of using INat as a definitive source of taxonomy info... Then again, the CSF is getting a little behind on some of the more recent papers, so it's not entirely accurate yet either. 

    I had thought iNaturalist was reliable, at least with the basics. 

  16. 8 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

    Well if that was a bit of a mistake on their part, I hope they don't undo it, because if we ever do get Paratropes lateralis in the hobby, it'd be cool to be able to say we can keep them legally... 😄

    I did notice something weird on iNaturalist’s taxonomy. B. lateralis was mentioned within genus Paratropes

  17. On 8/20/2019 at 11:08 PM, mantisfan101 said:

    After a certain number of roaches were deregulated, I decided to start a feeder roach colony and these caught my attention. I can't keep red runners since they're still not legal and look too much like normal pet roaches(we're from the city and I'm used to seeing massive American roaches scurrying in my garage) and dubias grow too slowly and are too big so I decided to settle on lobster roaches. What's care like for these guys? I'm considering setting up a small tupperware bin and fill it with some egg crates and feed them apples, oranges, fish food, dog food, and lettuce. I have a heat mat I can use to provide extra heat. I've heard that they breed like crazy but I haven't really had any luck with breeding any species, not even hissers. Any tips on care are well appreciated!

    Red runners are legal. The USDA list just has a different synonym for Blatta lateralis. They call it Paratropes lateralis


    For lobsters, I would start with a small Sterilite gasket bin. I have found that Tupperware containers sometimes take a bit of force to open, and that is not something I like in a roach bin. I started with 30 from Josh’s Frogs (they have been legally selling them for at least a year), and I now have a ton. I agree with @All About Arthropods on substrate, and I personally use coconut fiber. Regardless, these things are virtually indestructible. 

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