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wizentrop

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Posts posted by wizentrop


  1. EDIT, Nov 2019: In light of new information, this species is NOT Hormetica apolinari, but Hormetica strumosa.

    A little less-showy than their relatives, Lucihormetica, these are a new addition to the hobby. What they lack in glowspots they make up for in size, robustness, the presence of prominent horns in males, and behavior. They are also quite prolific. Hands down one of the most rewarding species to keep.

    Hormetica-apolinari.jpg

    • Like 9

  2. The topic is about beetles, and it is a very important discussion. Most cultured beetles species do not require flight display as a prerequisite for mating (there are insects out there that have a courtship flight display, butterflies are a good example, but also flies, dragonflies, and even some beetles like fireflies). More specifically, Cetoniinae are excellent fliers, but they will do just fine even in a closed space. And they breed willingly. However, if your intention is to build an educational display to showcase the beetles' flight abilities (an idea I played with a lot), then yes you would definitely need a small netted room for them to perform their maneuvers. Butterfly farms, by the way, do not avoid the problem of adults beating themselves up against the mesh walls. I take it you haven't been to a lot of butterfly houses then. There is always a subset of adults (those that are not busy courting/mating/feeding) that fly to the corners of the netted cage and exhaust themselves by trying to get out, sometimes to death. It is a calculated risk for the butterfly farm, and they produce so many adults that no one pays attention to a few beaten ones. 

    By the way, many roaches are flighty in the wild, not just Megaloblatta. You might be surprised to hear, but male Polyphaga aegyptiaca for example are frequent fliers in their natural habitat, entering homes and surprising people while taking a shower.

    • Like 1

  3. That is not what being a collector means. If I stumble upon something interesting it is always research first, and then if there are extras due to breeding they can go to academic institutions or into the hobby if anyone is interested.
    I see the term "collector" more as someone who collects everything, like stamp-collecting. That is not what I do (unless I am hired by a natural history museum to survey an area, in which case everything collected is killed and preserved for the museum). Most of the time I am VERY selective.


  4. @Hisserdude pretty much covered some of the main methods for collection.

    I hate to disappoint here, but even though in recent years I became interested in cockroaches diversity, I never go on trips expecting to collect them. In other words, I do not set traps specifically for them. The idea is more to look at the big picture and examine the entire arthropod diversity in a certain location. Yeah, I do see some interesting roaches while doing so, some of them come to light trap (not only males, @Hisserdude) others hidden under bark/stones, and some just roaming about on the vegetation. Unless you are looking for a certain species only, there is no reason to limit the search to one type of habitat.

    But let's go back to the topic of bait traps. I'll tell you a nice story about a friend of mine from university. He needed to collect some blattids for a behavioral research project, so he built a trap from a plastic bottle by inverting the top part inwards. He used biscuits with some peanut butter as bait (PB is known to be very attractive for roaches) and waited. He waited 3 nights and nothing happened. No one came. Then he realized a key component was missing from his trap. A roach. He looked hard and managed to collect a single cockroach, then he put it inside the trap. The following morning the trap was swarming with cockroaches. The aggregation pheromone did its job here. The roaches sensed the presence of a conspecific + food, and responded by flooding the trap with members.

    • Like 2

  5. A lot of people have been asking me about the species of Panchlora in culture, and why I price the white roaches differently than the others. More specifically, people wanted to know about their size difference. I took a photo to show you the sizes of Panchlora "white" and P. "speckled", compared to P. nivea. Please note that my P. nivea come from a wild population, so they might not be P. nivea at all, but their size is identical to P. nivea that is in culture.
    These are all unmated females. P. "speckled" is slightly bigger than P. nivea, and Panchlora "white" is even bigger.
    You can also see the color difference between the species, but I'll note that the light conditions for photographing them were not ideal. Panchlora are known to be very reflective. Besides the body color, you can also see differences in the color of their antennae.

     

    Pachlora-spp-comparison.jpg

    • Like 6

  6. I have to say that figuring out the females' color is a little tricky with this species. The left female in Hisserdude's last photo represents the color faithfully. However, there is a bit of an optical illusion here because of the light in the photo, and the female looks too pale. To see what I mean, tilt your head to the right (like you would do when reading the title of book sitting on your shelf). The female will look slightly more metallic green. That's the right color.

    • Like 2

  7. The white color is cleaner on the upper side, and the underside is more ivory-yellowish. It is difficult to get their true color to come out nicely in the photo as in real life. I did not want to use a flash because then the pale color would be blown out by the flash (not to mention these roaches are glossy).

    They are white in real life, but as they age the white turns into ivory-yellowish, especially at the base of the wings.


  8. They are slightly bigger than P. nivea. Females are 2.5cm long, 3cm with the wings.

    Hisserdude - it is illegal. Luckily, they are in a facility that meets the quarantine requirements. There is a slight advantage with these being a potential new species - they are not listed as pests (or anything else, for that matter) in any risk assessment...

    While I do not wish to turn this thread into a discussion about control of exotic species, some regulations are justified. It is true that Canada is severly cold in the winter, but for this reason potential pests will tend to stick around inhabited areas where there is heating and food. That said, I do agree that some species have absolutely no way to establish in Canada. I never understood why some tropical insects are forbidden, especially stick insects.

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