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Posts posted by Shon2

  1. 16 hours ago, varnon said:

    Shon, These are excellent. I could actually see something like this being used for scientific illustration (I have commissioned such illustrations before). One of my friends had to do similar sketches for a graduate entomology class and really enjoyed it, those were less holistic and more close ups of parts though. Keep it up.

    Hisserdude, yours are actually pretty good too. They mostly just lack shading. And I totally get the point about not being able to get the legs to look natural. I can get it if I copy an image closely, but free hand, I think I just don't 100% understand the legs and joints. They are so alien its hard to make sense of it sometimes.

    Thank you so so much for this! I really appreciate it 😆 I would love to do some actual scientific illustrations, whenever I can get the time to sit down and draw for something outside of class, I'd love to do studies based off your work/ with similar intentions. Can you share your work here? I'd love to see it, but no big deal if you can't upload em. :D

  2. On 9/16/2019 at 2:16 PM, Hisserdude said:

    Beautiful, very nice sketches! :D I've tried drawing some roaches in the past, I always mess up on the legs though... 😅

    What is it about the legs that gives you trouble? :0 And what medium do you work in? I'm sure your art still looks pretty roachy, even if you see details that aren't completely accurate. The legs on my sketches aren't perfect either! :'D

    • Like 1

  3. 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. 

  4. 3 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    Yeeeeaaahh I've never had any roach species that was actually friendly, what you are describing are hungry roaches that are very used to human interactions, and have learned said humans are what feeds them. 😂 I've had some species like Deropeltis sp. "Jinka" eat food while being handled, and several have tried taking nibbles out of me, especially when my hands smell like food, those are just calm, bold species and/or individuals that are accustomed to handling... Bantua sp. "Namibia" probably isn't going to be one of those species, while they aren't extremely skittish, their first instincts are definitely to bolt when touched or disturbed. 😅 I did have one female give me a nibble while I was holding her for a bit though.

    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. :)

    • Like 1

  5. 9 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    Thanks, me too, definitely one of the more unique species to enter the hobby in a while. :) I don't know exactly what you mean by "friendly" lol, if you mean to ask if they are calm, then not especially, they usually scurry away pretty quickly when disturbed. Thanks, hoping for babies here pretty soon! 😄

    Haha, I meant exactly what I said! :D

    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. :D

    • Like 1

  6. On 5/30/2016 at 1:18 PM, DonaldJ said:

    When my B. Orientalis finally die of old age I'd like to preserve them for further study, mostly via photography.

    What are the best practices for such a process?

    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! :D


    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. 

  7. 3 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    Welcome to the forum, I hope you enjoy it here! :) Sorry to hear about you being forced out of your career choice, our current president has no regard for the importance of science, nor our environment... -_- I hope you are able to pursue entomology as a profession again in the future! Love the art by the way, very nice! :D

    Thank you so much! :D 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 

    • Like 1

  8. 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! :D

    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: 










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