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Everything posted by Pharma

  1. Pharma

    European Members

    Maybe you should look up some hemp fora/forums (whatever the plural of forum might be) . I can't remember any users from the Netherlands; a user-locator (world map where everyone can mark his location) as another new tool besides the reptile category would be helpful...
  2. Pharma

    Teeny, tiny, termites

    No, it won't... Well, at least not for your furniture. Your house... uuuhhh... if it's moist and dirty it will but otherwise not. The thing with your mother is something different but she seems to tolerate your other pets and therefore it's quite likely that she wouldn't be more stressed than she already is ! And another thing: There are about a hundred species within the psocoptera family and only very few are 'kind of pest-like', meaning that they might occur mainly in new houses where there is a lot of dust left over from construction and if the walls aren't dried out enough but non to my knowledge are real pest insects. Many species would never live in a house and prefer free nature.
  3. Pharma

    Mangrove surgery

    Hi Just a a general rule for sewing/glueing (there for sure are exceptions): - If you have a precise and not too deep cut you can sew/glue it by pressing both sides of the wound together so that no air bubbles are present. - If you have to remove something (e.g. tissue, pus, worms) and the skin incision is narrower than the widest part of the hole you should let it open or at least let a small drainage open (and you have to open it twice daily for at least three days otherwise it will close too soon). A wound closes at the narrowest place and by letting it open the scar/new tissue will grow from the bottom outwards towards the skin. Otherwise it is quite likely that an air or liquide bubble will form, the perfect place for bacteria to grow; especially when anaerob ones (because such bubbles are soon depleted of oxygen), or often resistant Staph. aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa start growing you and your pet soon happen to have a severe problem. Bigger sewd injuries usually are combined with preventive antibiotics (systemically applied, e.g. tabletts, injections). To kill tissue dwelling worms one needs a resorbable vermicide (most aren't or at least not good enough): exceptions are avermectine- and milbemycine-derivatives and praziquantel. The first two kill insects and some other species too, the last is very effective against cestodes. My formerly mentioned combination is used against nearly all worm species incl. tissue dwelling ones like heartworms and fox tapworm. One problem with some tissue dwelling worms is, that when you kill them (too fast) they could cause local inflammation or even systemic reactions (anaphylaxis, which isn't that likely in reptiles haveing an underdeveloped adaptive immunity). It just came to my mind that in some few cases (e.g. Loa loa) it can be better to remove worms/parasites mechanically (if you can find/see all; it's possible that they not only stay beneath the skin) or it could even be best to do nothing (e.g. Wuchereria sp. -> elephantiasis kills you slower than killing all the worms and die from anaphylaxis). Some skin dwelling worm species can/should be removed by pulling a hole into the skin and catch the worm (best at the head) with a tiny chopstik or hook and wind it up like spaghetti . Get one sample out wouldn't be that bad!
  4. Hi all I'm always seeking for a variation in food for my bearded dragons (well, they already eat better than I do) and found something promising: tobacco hornworms (Manduca sexta)! Easy to breed, fast reproduction, good size, and nice appearance. But how can I get them in Switzerland? They are quite frequent in nature and used for research reasons and as pet food, which would make it easy to get some captive or wild caught ones from the USA. But they are stated as 'pest' there too leading maybe to 'legal difficulties' in exporting... Any ideas on how I can get some from over the ocean? Grüessli Andreas
  5. Pharma

    Mangrove surgery

    Hi Strange... you have a higher density of herp-keepers but less reptile-specialized vets . I don't know what your snake has but I would use surgery/invasive therapy as a last option! Typical subdermal parasites (with a size you can see) are worms. I'd try some broad-spectrum vermicide; best would be one killing insects and some protista as well. We have a drug called Milbemax which contains milbemycine oxime (one could use another avermectine-derivative as well) and praziquantel. Only if that wouldn't help and the 'parasites' keep on growing/spreading I'd think about surgery. Furthermore I don't know why you want to use furacin. That's a narrow-spectrum antibiotic which should only be used when strictly indicated. As an antiseptic I'd rather use iodine solution or organic silver derivatices like silver sulfadiazine (which is an antibiotic too but due to the silver acts against several micoorganisms, stays longer on the skin to give a day-long protection, and enhances wound healing with less side effects). Good luck! Andreas
  6. Pharma

    Tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta)

    One recipe is as follows [T. Ojeda-Avila, H. Arthur Woods, R.A. Raguso, Journal of Insect Physiology 49 (2003), 293–306]: Casein 36 g Wheat germ 80 g Torula yeast 16 g Sucrose 32 g Wesson’s salt 12 g Cholesterol 3.5 g Ascorbic acid 5 g Carrageenan 12 g Water 733 ml Some use agar-agar instead of carrageenan or other yeast species. There are even recipes without wheat germs or boosted with vitamines & trace elements. Besides: Wesson's salt contains several salts (mainly calcium, potassium, phosphate, and carbonate) and some trace elements.
  7. Pharma

    Tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta)

    I'm luckily not (yet) allergic to roaches but I guess to some mites in theire bins (that means moist culture is better for me than dry ones cause they don't dust around). This allergies come from my childhood and I didn't develop new ones. Allergies to roaches are quite "common" for species like Periplaneta. It is believed that this is less due to the species (by the way; the concrete proteins usually causing the allergy are known) but because of their high frequency (in flats/houses). There is little you can do to avoid an allergy besides good hygiene... either fate hits you or not . I have quite some difficulties to understand your second post (don't know whether it's your fault or mine...) but I suppose that I got the point you're after: Caterpillars of M. sexta feed mainly tobacco leaves which contain nicotine (a very potent insecticide) and similar alcaloids. I don't know the exact mechanism of resistence, typically it's a mutation in the receptors (like nicotinic acetylcholine receptor) and/or it's detoxification by metabolism or efflux pumps. Because caterpillars of M. sexta sequestrate nicotine to protect them from predators I guess it's a mutation. That means that tobacco hornworms are immune to tobacco/nicotine (they have nearly no competitors on this plant) and in addition use the toxins as their own (they are toxic for most predatory). This and their fast reptoduction makes them a very dreaded pest insect on tobacco plantations. If you rais the caterpillars on an artificial diet or on a plant without nicotine (partially possible because they are not that plant specific) they are completely harmless, free of any toxin and can be used as food for herps (like most larvae of pupating inverts they contain a lot of fat and shouldn't be used as food too often).
  8. Pharma

    Blatta lateralis. Substrate, or Not?

    Hi Shelfordella lateralis (that's the current valid name) needs longer than 3 weeks to hatch. I would just wait and wait and wait ... There shouldn't be a problem with your setting, this species is nearly indestructible and not breeding them is more of a challenge than breeding them .
  9. Pharma

    Tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta)

    @laughing dog M. sexta is nearly the only bigger moth/butterfly easily kept on an artificial diet over several generations. In the USA you can buy the caterpillar diet online, prepare it yourself (there are some recepies online, mainly in older scientific publications as can be found with www.sciencedirect.com) or feed them tobacco leaves. A good filter (HEPA) to suck away the air and the tiny wing-scales (being responsible for allergies) should work fine. See for example: www.manducaproject.com @Tleilaxu I know that not everyone develops an allergy but the likelihood for doing so is comparatively high especially for people already susceptible to allergy related reactions (according to some labs working with M. sexta it seems to be around 10% of the people even when using air filters and respiratory masks ). I have a very strong allergy against meal worms (even holding a sealed bag with a few dried worms lets my eyes itch and turn red, constricts my trachea and nose etc. within minutes), my wife has a slight cold-induced asthma and one of our dogs has hayfever (sounds stupid but his immune system is encoded by junk DNA )... the perfect setting that one or the other would start sneezing and coughing sooner than later.
  10. Pharma

    Silverfish and Isopods

    Hi I have those small white ones marketed as Trichorhina tomentosa and another brown species of the same size but unknown name (they seem to be traded as brown or striped isopods ). Tossing in endemic species wouldn't be an additional problem for me because the things they might have stick on the stuff I feed my roaches or use as a substrate anyway. Isopods, especially tropical ones, are an easy trial because one doesn't has to remove them upon failure; just keep the substrate completely dry for a few days and the isopods are all dead and gone again. EDIT: Silverfish to my knowledge feed preferably on cellulose, starch and other polysaccharides which means that they help decomposing the egg crates which in turn leads to an increase in mites (platitude: decomposed carton and equal seems to be a main source for mites in roach cultures which I can confirm by my own experience with moist substrates). On the other hand silverfish eat mites (according to wikipedia)...
  11. Pharma

    Silverfish and Isopods

    Hi Well... I don't know whether I just have a subjective placebo impression or if I'm an exception but I have less problems with isopods in moist roach cultures. Its right that isopods and some cockroaches share the same nutrition BUT isopods eat the poo of roaches and they are a lot smaller and thus feed on smaller debris roaches can't eat. This strongly reduces mold and such. In addition isopods eat decaying and putrid roaches or roaches of species which don't touch dead insects (like my Therea olegrandjeani, Panchlora nivea, or Phoetalia pallida). In the case of the first two species the isopods help to break down bigger chunks of rotten wood to make it available for small nymphs. It might be that in my case there is less to no competition between roaches and isopods because of size difference, speed and sufficient food and therefore roaches eat the bigger and fresh things (on top) whilst the isopods feed on the small and old left-overs (in the soil). Besides the isopods I for sure have a bunch of other saprophytes like mites, springtails and others in the moist cultures but the isopods are the main critters removing "dirt". Grüessli Andreas
  12. Pharma


    Hi Roachman In my case it's as follows: - Archimandrita marmorata: around 50% nymphs and 50% soil, the ratio can be shifted towards roaches by moist soil but brings in more problems like phorid flies, mold and mites - Phoetalia pallida: No free place to hide, overpopulation leads to stagnation in reproduction - Nauphoeta cinerea: No free place at all (I mean not the smallest squaremillimeter without a roach). I suppose that then they start to eat freshly molted ones... - Blaberus and Eublaberus: No free place for molting to adulthood and around 50% nymphs and 50% soil - Oxyhaloa deusta: No free place at all With other species I don't know because increasing population density means decreasing reproduction which can be caused by other circumstances as well and therefore I don't exactely know the critical point of overcrouding for them. As general guideline I think that it's often the lack of free place to hide which can be solved by adding another egg crate or similar. This makes it very difficult to give a concrete number. Grüessli Andreas
  13. Pharma

    Deropeltis erythrocephala

    Hi I don't know anything about this genus (I suppose that both species are similar), but here you can find them in culture: www.schaben-spinnen.de/Content/shop.php?cat=11&start=15 Grüessli Andreas
  14. Pharma

    UV for Varanidae

    Hi Roachman Well, any animal eating whole vertebrates (e.g. rodents) get enough vit. D3, those fed on insects don't (except the insects get a special vitamine D3-enriched diet). Young monitors (as well as lizards in general, snakes, and other vertebrates) need more calcium for their fast growing bones and therefore a lack of vit. D3 is worse than for adults (for youngs it's 50-100 I.U. per kilogramm and week, for adults 50 I.U./kg/week). One has two possibilities to ensure enough vit. D3: either by supplementation (e.g. Rep Cal -> can be quite much if one calculates it!) or by UV-B light (which is better not only because it is the natural way but because over-dosage is impossible). Sunlight would be the best thing and even half an hour each second day is more than sufficient (for humans it's enough with 20 minutes exposure of the under-arms ). Here in Middle Europe the sun at a slightly cloudy morning (I measured it at 10 a.m.) in spring brings us around 200 uW/squarecentimeter of UV-B -> that's what you get with high-end bulbs like the Mega Ray's by reptileuv.com at an appropriat distance! 200 uW/cm2 (around 800 uW/squareinch??) every one or two days for 30 minutes are sufficient for heliotrope reptiles (= desert- but also 'treetop'-dwelling day-active species) to avoid rachitis (IBD can have other reasons) but are not enough for animals with a current deficiency. I can't tell you much about Varanus salvator cencretely... It's such a variable species that some populations have a very high UV-exposure (e.g. 200-400 uW/cm2 UV-B for several hours a day!) whilst others could be classified as 'jungle dwelling' (50-100 uW/cm2 UV-B ). Besides: UV-B has nothing to do with psychological benefits ! It's long-wavelength UV-A which can be seen by most vertebrates (except primates and a few others) and which is responsible for circadiane rhythm and other physiological and psychological effects! Reptiles estimate the amount of invisible UV-B exposure by the amount of visible UV-A and that's the reason why energy-saving bulbs and fluorescent tubes with the 'UV-index' 10.0 can cause damage (the ratio of UV-A to -B is not sun-like and pretend too less UV-B ). Hope that I could be of some help! Grüessli Andreas P.S. My favorite bulbs are the Mega Ray's even though we have cheaper European products (Bright Sun and UV Raptor). These bulbs nearly loose no UV-output over their lifetime compared to every other product on the market and are worth its price. I use the self-ballasted 160W zoologist (blended light bulb = ugly mercury vapor spectrum but the only bulb useful at a distance of 0.8 to 2 meters), the old self-ballasted 100 W as spot (have to replaced it sooner or later) and the new externally ballasted 70W metalhalide (might loose UV-output) to raise the offspring (Note: The wattage is different because we have 220 W on the grid). For those being interested: I have the Narva BioVital T5 tubes as basic illumination in addition.
  15. Pharma


    Cool, a reptile section! Well, I/we keep 'only' 2.3 bearded dragon color morphs cause we just don't have the space for more. But tokays, a panther chameleon, and horned lizards are on our wish list... P.S. What is a tortoise pyramide?
  16. Pharma

    Do these look like pure B. fusca?

    Hi Zephyr This 'gender-related color difference' is kind of typical for the B. craniifer strain (or local form or mix or whatsoever) kept here in Europe! It's usually mainly the females showing that brown pattern whereas the males are brighter, somewhat like your 'American B. fusca'. On my pics HERE it's not that obvious (I do have brighter males) but if you compare your 'strange' strain with a typical 'B. fusca' and with mine... No one knows from where the European strains originate and it could easily be that they are somehow closely related to your individuals or it's just a coincidence because B. craniifer is a very variable species with several local forms showing huge differences in color and pattern (an extreme form is the so called 'Black Wings' B. craniifer). Therefore I still vote for B. craniifer and in my eyes the look more normal than your 'American B. fusca'. Grüessli Andreas
  17. Pharma

    Do these look like pure B. fusca?

    Hi Zephyr To me they look like the 'common' B. craniifer kept here in Europe (if they have many small hairs on their back). Some people in the USA call them 'ugly brown' for whatever reason... That would mean two things: B. fusca is a synonyme for B. craniifer. They should/could (Orin and Matt might disagree) be a 'pure' species BUT you don't know which strain they are or if they are a mixture of several different strains (local forms, subspecies or alike) of B. craniifer. I still 'believe' that (unlike other Blaberus species) B. craniifer can only breed with its own species. If you do a dissection to examine the male genitalia you should be able to tell whether you have B. craniifer syn. B. fusca or whether you have another species. Grüessli Andreas
  18. Pharma

    G. portentosa body types

    Hi I made the observation that this two shapes show up in medium sized nymphs already and don't depend on the amount of nutrition IN the roach (one couldn't blow up a 'flat' one the way it would look 'cylindrical' afterwards and the later doesn't get the same 'flatness' when starving). It might though depend on environmental facts and not genetics but I've seen with my first two females or better their first offspring that the youngs form the 'cylindric' and those of the 'flat' one were similar to their mothers shapes. In addition the two females have a different color which they inherited. My culture should be 'pure' cause it was imported from Madagascar by the zoo Zurich around 10 years ago and as I've been told weren't mixed with other hissers till now. Now that I have several reproducing individuals I can't tell which offspring comes from which parents but there still is a clear difference in shape (there is some variation but one can easily split the roaches in two groups) whereas color and pattern show up in every nuance. I never reflected about that and took it as the natural variability of this species. Oh... 'Princisia vanwaerebeki Black&White', Aeluropoda insignis, Elliptorhina chopardi, and the alleged G. oblongata don't show this difference in shape. Grüessli Andreas
  19. Pharma

    Reptile Forum?

    Hi roachman You're so right in every point! In Germany & Switzerland there are well over 100 reptile-related fora (forums?) and not 10% are worth a byte... Terraristic here around is still a hobby for 'freaks' but it's growing quite fast and with it the fora are mushrooming up (mainly in the field of 'mere scum' unfortunately). We're quite jealous of those of you with outdoor enclosures.... *wanna-have-too!* That's something only possible in southern Europe but people there usually have a very distinct sense for animals (= edible object with legs) like the one near Rome who breeds the bearded dragon morphs 'Leatherback' & 'Silkback' demonstrates. I can understand that those with great keeping conditions don't give a rip about talking on a forum about 'small scale indoor enclosures'. The problem with finding a forum on google or alike often leads to the bad ones because they have a bigger impact on the main population (who many want to go into detail and think about what they're really doing?) and therefore have a better googability... I don't think that all US people are stupid. Otherwise I wouldn't be registered here, would I? It took me quite long to find some useful fora here around and I just couldn't find any (except this one here) from the USA up till now. So it'll be great if you can find one or two! Grüessli Andreas P.S. Besides being the best roach-forum (since the German one closed down) it's a very good writing exercise for me too and in addition helps me to reduce any remaining prejudices!
  20. Pharma

    G. portentosa body types

    Me too!! (Uppsss... that's my shortest answer ever in a forum )
  21. Pharma

    Reptile Forum?

    Hi Weeelllll.... there are some good ones like for example Schlangenforum (THE Swiss herp forum), Terraristik Talk (my favorite one), Bartagamen Infos (best for bearded dragons), Vogelspinnen-Stammtisch (THE Swiss tarantula forum), and DGHT (THE German community for herpetology & terraristic) but they are in German; 'others' are heartly welcome as well and there are a few Denglish discussions too! Any US-forum I've seen till now is mere scum: taming bearded dragons, keeping reptiles without substrate (hygiene = sterility), stuff them into far too small enclosures etc. People there think that we Swiss/German guys are 'loco' when we tell them how to keep reptiles near-natural and throw us out. How many in the States keep their bearded dragons in a 200x80x100 lxwxh (in centimeter!) terrarium with 500 watt high-end illumination? I'm interested in some good US 'general terraristic fora' as well!! Grüessli Andreas
  22. Hi I'd like to present my Blaberus craniifer strains (if I can manage the up-load ): I know that photos and illumination distort the coloration... Picture B is really as dark as it seems and all photos are taken with the same digicam in the same room and the same settings. A: B. craniifer female of my 'Chocolate Brown' selective breeding approache. They looked like photo E and are now nearly as dark as the 'Black Wings' but with a brown colored undercoat. B: B. craniifer common 'Black Wings'. C: B. craniifer male of A, typically a lot lighter in coloration than the females. They show an increased black 'haze' on the wings compared to the 'original' stock looking similar to photo F. D: B. craniifer couple from Germany, referred to be a 'pure' strain. E: B. craniifer female of a common Swiss strain I got from a friend. F: B. craniifer male of E, slightly overexposed but still with the typical distinct 'sexually dimorph coloration'.
  23. Pharma

    My Blaberus craniifer assortment

    Is it common that the males of BW-hybrids are brown? Mine are as black as the females.
  24. Hi everyone I recently heard that it's not the phorid flies who kill the roaches but that they're just a vector for small parasitic nematodes. Is this information true? This would explain why mainly fresh molted adults are infected; The flies don't dig into the earth where the nymphs are and can only transmit the nematodes to newly molted species because the worms can only penetrate soft exoskeletons. Is there a way to selectively get rid of this small bastards? I could try a vermicide but I'm not sure whether that could harm insects (it shouldn't but...). Biological things like selective toxins or parasites for this parasites would be more safe (and more expensive I guess). Any ideas? Grüessli Andreas
  25. Pharma

    Phorid Fly: A vector for small nematodes?

    Hi @Orin OK, if they should be visible (I didn't see anything with my naked eye). I thought there might be some really small parasitic ones because there are soil dwelling nemathodes really only visible with a microscope; I'm only familiar with nemathodes as human parasites. My 'informant' (or story-teller?) said that they are extremely tiny, therefore... I forgot to consider time, your absolutely right about that! Ergo: No nemathodes ! Thanks! @Kay I keep my Archimandrita dry now and I have to remove the dead daily; no saprophyte I keep could eat this huge insects faster than the phorids do. On the other hand it's impossible to keep woodlice with this roaches because they eat them all ! But with the other roaches I have so far no or only negligible trubles (the Blaberus craniifer have a few flies but only rare losses) and the isopods do fine. Grüessli Andreas