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Shon2 last won the day on September 13

Shon2 had the most liked content!

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About Shon2

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  • Birthday 12/02/1998

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    The Taco Bell on cherry ave
  • Interests
    Art - drawing, crocheting, folding origami, pixel art, some digital sculpting and modeling

    Animal interests - invertebrates, fish, reptiles, I used to volunteer regularly at the Aquarium of the Pacific, but now I just visit when I have time

    Reading - I used to read a lot of books, but now I mostly stick to current events/ articles, and comics

    Other hobbies - furry, anime/ manga, character design, Godzilla
  1. Got the opportunity to draw some of my roaches for a school assignment These are just sketches, but I would love to do some nicely rendered art of them soon. I would love to see more art of bugs while I'm here! If any of y'all wanna share your art here, please do
  2. Shon2

    cheap wood/cork?

    Looking for leftovers from fish stores might work! The driftwood sold there is comparable to cork, and typically doesn't mold as easily. It's not cheap, but it lasts longer and may be worth your time. I'd rather spend $10 on something that'll last a year than $5 on something that'll only last a month.
  3. Adorable profile picture! :D

    Do you remember who the artist is? 

  4. Shon2

    AAA's Roachy Horde

    Absolutely beautiful collection you've got! How was your one poor roach shipped by usps? :'D I would hope they respect the "live animal" labels plastered across crates and such, but I know how some facilities can be >:[
  5. Shon2

    Bantua sp. "Namibia"

    I guess my phrasing did push out a bit more anthropomorphism that I meant it to! 😂 At any rate, your collection is amazing. Also, sorry if I'm asking a lot of beginner questions (here or elsewhere), you just seem so knowledgeable and I'd rather ask than wonder.
  6. Shon2

    Bantua sp. "Namibia"

    Haha, I meant exactly what I said! Some of the roaches I've helped care for at the Aquarium / the ones I keep myself seem to have little personalities... They come up for food and greet your hands when you lower them into the enclosure. Some will even groom your or eat from your hand instead of just grabbing the food and running. That being said... I don't have much experience with roaches as a whole and I wasn't sure if there were other species that acted like this, or if ours were just oddballs that are too used to people's interactions! 😂 Whatever the case, your new species is lovely and maybe they'll learn to calm down for you / any other visitors that might come take a peek.
  7. Just curious / wanted to ask Not sure if the poll feature is working for me, I will edit this post or delete the thread if it's not working / taking up space for you guys.
  8. Shon2

    Bantua sp. "Namibia"

    Very, VERY beautiful, I love that unique, waxy look they have. Are they friendly? I can't wait to see how they grow and develop over time.
  9. Shon2

    Preserving dead specimens?

    I realize that this is a really old topic, but I'd like to offer some help if you're still interested! Larger bugs like hissers have to be approached a little differently, and there isn't an end all be all perfect way to make them soft for good, but you can occasionally resoften an animal that has stiffened up over time. When I pin invertebrates, I tend to use a mix of vaseline and 90% pure rubbing alcohol to soften the animal. Soak some paper towels in the rubbing alcohol, squeeze out most of the liquid, and wrap it around the roach for a few days to let the alcohol seep into its body. I store my "soaking" bugs in a styrofoam container, just to keep as much of the alcohol smell from stinking up my room. To gut the roach, smear some vaseline underneath the legs on the upper part of the abdomen to weaken the area. You only have to wait around 10 minutes before you can start. You can then use a syringe to pierce between the platelets and inject a small amount of rubbing alcohol or vinegar into the abdomen (personally I recommend vinegar, but I've seen either being used). Wait a few minutes to let the innards break down, and using the syringe, begin to suck them out of the body. Repeat this step a few times until you're sure there's nothing inside. This takes some practice, and isnt always recommended, as it can be hard to get it right the first time. If you don't want to use a syringe to "suck" the guts out, you can use a scalpel (for dentistry or taxidermy, they're pretty similar) to cut out the section of the abdomen that has vaseline smeared on it. Make sure to cut only the sides and bottom portion of the area, leaving the top connected, like a door or hatch. Using tweezers or forceps, peel back the "flap" you just made and use the scalpel to outline the abdomen from the inside. This will disconnect any tissue that may still be connected to the exoskeleton you are trying to preserve. Then, use the tweezers to carefully pull the insides out. Be careful though, if anything is still connected, it might pull a hole in the exoskeleton. Once the body is cleaned out, you can fill it up with jeweler's glue or jewelry resin. This is not the same as taxidermy or molding resin, which is much more difficult to use. You can also use this to glue the "flap" shut once you're finished. You can always leave the body empty if you're just interested in using it as a display piece, but I think that'd be too fragile if you're going to be using it as a prop or reference for studies. Another option would be to coat the inside of the body with the resin and using tweezers, stuff it with cotton. This might make it easier to soften and pose the body once you're done. If you used the syringe method, inject the body with some rubbing alcohol and then with just enough resin to coat the inside of the body. This can be time consuming, but it's probably your best bet, because stuffing it with cotton is out of the question. Whichever method you try, let the resin cure in a dry area for at least 8 days. For plastics and metal the resin dries a lot faster, but in my experience, it takes a lot longer on things that were once living. 😅 Avoid direct sunlight and avoid wetting the body again. I like to put my "drying" specimens back in their styrofoam cup while I wait. Once they're dry, you can soften the body again just like you did to start off! Use only high content rubbing alcohol (70% pure or more), and wrap the roach in dampened paper towels for a few days. Then you can use pins to pose, or move the body by hand for your photography. There is a limited number of times you can resoften a taxidermied bug, usually it starts to get weak and may even fall apart after being messed with too much. Just be careful when handling and make sure to thoroughly dry it out before you handle it again. Store your roach in an airtight container, or a shadowbox with salt/ silica gel crystals sprinkled inside. DO NOT store it in the fridge or freezer! This can permanently damage your specimens and make them fall apart as soon as they warm back up to room temperature. I've only done this a few times, and there are limited resources online, but I really hope this helps! With bigger bugs, when you're in doubt, look up taxidermy for fish and sea creatures and do your best based off that. I've found it works a lot better than the general taxidermy advice for smaller invertebrates that are not so juicy! 😂 Again, sorry if I've revived a dead thread... But I really hope you can learn from this and I can't wait to see the results of your work! EDIT: Just found out the jewelry resin I use is no longer being made, but the Judikins brand Diamond Glaze is pretty much the same! I'm sure it would work fine, same as E6500 or other fast acting jewelry glaze/ resin.
  10. Shon2

    New user, long time bug fan

    Thank you so much! It's nice to be welcomed by someone so prevalent in the community. I've been looking around here and there for a few days and you seem to help out just about everywhere! I can't wait to get to know everyone a little better. And thank you for the warm wishes! I try to avoid getting political when I don't know how people will react, but yeah, this president sucks. The last thing we need right now is someone with such little recognition for the benefits of science and the protection of our environment! :'D Maybe one day they'll listen to us, haha
  11. Shon2

    New user, long time bug fan

    Thank you! Both photos were of dubias, the younger of the two had some coco fiber stuck to her head/ legs from digging around earlier, nothing is wrong haha :'D
  12. Shon2

    New user, long time bug fan

    Sorry if y'all are overwhelmed with all the photos, but I wanted to post some art too! I tried to avoid anything NSFW, but these are some of the more popular pieces from social media/ some of my personal favorites: Originals: Animal studies: School work: Fanart:
  13. Hello everyone! My name is Shon and I'm relatively new to the roach world. I never intended on keeping roaches as pets, but my feeder colony has grown rather friendly, and the little friends they live with have become some of my favorite animals to keep. I have a few pets: Moby (my rescued leopard gecko whom I started growing roaches for), Bambi (terrier mix dog), and my 20g fish tank, which has had a number of rescued fish in it and currently has my last 3 African dwarf frogs -Pumpkin, Jr, and Quasimodo, as well as a ghost shrimp. My roach colony has 2 species, Madagascar hissers (2, both male), and dubias (2 males, 5 females, and about 30 offspring right now). I have no intention of growing thousands and thousands of roaches anytime soon, I'm currently homeless and have been keeping my pets at a friend's house while things get figured out, but I love the little guys very much and would do anything to keep them all happy and healthy. I am a full time student at the Otis College of Art and Design, and as of last year, I am officially a part of their toy making department. Before this, I was an entomology student, and was essentially forced out of a career when Trump defunded the EPA. I no longer had access to the opportunities I was presented with, and I had no way of paying for the classes I was set up to take, so here we are! I am happy with where I'm at now, but given the chance, I would drop all of it to go back to my truer passion, entomology. I used to volunteer at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and have nearly 1,000 hours of service under my belt. I've worked with sharks, rays, horseshoe crabs, octopuses, sea stars, and many other animals you probably dont see every day. It was an incredible experience to take part in, and I try to visit whenever I have free time. They also have several kinds of invertebrates used as program animals - roaches, tarantulas, centipedes, millipedes, and many others have been used as examples of how to go about maintaining a healthy ecosystem and responsible pet ownership to the crowds. I think you guys would appreciate all the love and support roaches get from that area specifically! We've changed quite a few people's minds about the kind of respect these animals truly deserve. I also have my art posted publicly if anyone is interested, I'll probably be replying with some photos once I get things resized correctly, as well as some photos of my pets if anyone is interested. I post art on DeviantArt (Shon2) and Twitter (SharkyShon2) if you wanna see! Some of it is intended for mature audiences, so if you're not keen on that, stick to Deviantart and keep the mature filters on. Anything else... I'm 20 years old, trans, a furry, weeaboo, vegan, and I love Taco Bell That's about it! I can't wait to meet everyone here and start interacting more with the community --------------------------------------------- EDIT: Found some photos to share! Current pets: Animals I used to keep: How my tank used to look (my last fish killed a lot of pants, he used to rip them out of the ground lol) Animals from the Aquarium: