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jebbewocky

Fox in the henhouse

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So, something I've been considering "experimenting with," is a concept I like to call "fox in the henhouse."

Many of us use roaches as feeders for invertebrates like scorpions, tarantulas, and so on.

I wonder--if one of us were to introduce a predatory invert into a roach colony, would it actively hunt roaches in the tank? Or would it be freaked out by so many roaches?

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I have let a couple of my mantids go in and pick their roaches, but I didn't let them stay in the container with the roaches.

I had a separate colony of similarly sized nymphs that I let the mantids occasionally raid.

When I let a mantid grab a small nymph from the colony with the adult roaches, the larger roaches stressed her and caused her to drop her prey and run up and out.

I think it would cause stress, especially if the roaches are large. Also, if the creature is not an adult, it may be damaged or killed during a molt.

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The closest I've come to doing this is adding large amounts of Rhyparobia sp. individuals to my white-spot assassin colony. The colony is very healthy and I have plenty of babies; I would assume the roaches nibble on the remains of their own dead, assassin exoskeletons, etc.

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I could imagine my Leopard Geckos get swarmed and eaten if I neglect feeding the roaches for a day or two. Some of my feeder colonies are, what I consider, vicious that I truly believe if I place my hand in there for an hour or two, provided I could keep my hand stable enough, my hand would probably missing a big chunk of meat, if it still exists at all!

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Once when I had Parcoblatta I made the mistake of being less thorough at checking their wood than I usually was. A centipede got in and ate way too many babies by the time I noticed it.

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