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Everything posted by Shon2

  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

    Art requests!

    Hey everyone i haven’t had time to draw just for me recently, so I was wondering if anyone here would be interested in some art requests. I would love to get more practice drawing bugs, so if you have a favorite species or a beloved pet, please share photos of them here. Hopefully during this upcoming spring break, I will have just enough time to sketch them all out. Examples of my work here: https://www.deviantart.com/shon2
  3. Today I went to Petco with my gf to pick up some supplies for our new adopted rats, and I happened to go through the reptile section / see the feeders, and I “saved” (stole) the only living hisser in the whole aisle. I just wanted to ask if there’s any health issues I should expect coming from Petco’s stock, and communicable diseases, or other concerns I should have before I introduce her to my colony. I use dubias as feeders for my leopard gecko, and I don’t want them to catch anything from this new roach, as I’ll eventually be housing them together as long as I can see that she’s not being aggressive. According to the packaging, my new roach has been without food or water since February 13th, and today is April 4th. She was extremely thirsty, and her “buddy” appeared to have been dead for a long time. I’ve done my fair share of taxidermy before, he looked like he had been dead for over a month. I’m worried I’m in over my head, and that she’s gonna be beyond saving. I’ve scoured this forum for information, but I would still greatly appreciate any tips you can offer! (I will try and post some pics soon)
  4. Thank you for the help! She is extremely dehydrated and looks quite a bit different than my other hisser, so you’re absolutely right, I think she’s a hybrid of some sort. We’ll see how this goes
  5. I don’t know of this will help, it my girlfriend vapes in the same room I keep my roaches, much to my surprise, and although it was unsettling at first, there have been no negative results as far as we can tell so far. It’s been about 6 months since I first found out she was vaping in their room. My roaches are still eating, breeding, and acting all around as they should. I would prefer she doesn’t do it around them, but sometimes she forgets and it happens. I’m sure an air freshener is chemically very different from a vape, but it acts in a similar fashion, spreading scented liquids around via the air. Just don’t overdo it if you do attempt anything, and keep up with the research. I would really like to know this for myself too. Tl/dr; Because air fresheners are usually antibacterial, I would assume it’s not safe, however nicotine / all the other crap that’s in a vape probably aren’t great choices either, and our roaches are seemingly fine with that. It’s your call.
  6. Shon2

    Rhino roach cannibalism ?

    I agree with the above user. It’s not uncommon for smaller or weaker nymphs to get eaten, but I have never heard of an adult being eaten by a litter/ other adult. Hopefully he is just hiding and will return to the surface soon. Many other people have individuals in their colony that like to scare them too, haha.
  7. Shon2

    Thank you for accepting me into the forum.

    Can't wait to see what you post! Your work sounds very interesting and I'm happy to see another person who cares deeply about the environment. Although, that's not really hard to find here!
  8. 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.
  9. Shon2

    Cockroach live drawings

    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.
  10. Shon2

    Cockroach live drawings

    I love these! Your work is great, it looks very accurate to the cuties in the photos
  11. Shon2

    Cockroach live drawings

    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
  12. 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.
  13. Adorable profile picture! :D

    Do you remember who the artist is? 

  14. 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 >:[
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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:
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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: