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Betta132

Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

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On 6/22/2019 at 5:26 PM, Betta132 said:

What do they live on in the wild? The vertical hiding spots makes me think they'd probably like to hide under loose bark on trees. Or, I guess, in the sinus cavities of animal skulls. 

The apple has dried out, and they've had a go at it. At this point, I seriously think they just didn't know what to do with the juicy stuff. They're from a very dry island- a mountain range on the adjacent island blocks storms, so the climate on the island they came from is scrubby. It almost looks like savannah from overhead. There definitely wasn't any fruit growing anywhere near where I found them. They might not have had fruit in generations, depending on how far they tend to roam.

One is hiding right under the top layer of the dirt. At least, I assume. I sprayed in a little water and a roach-sized patch of dirt moved around slightly like something was under it. 

Are the adults reasonably bold? I'm hoping I'll be able to find that one I put in my tesselata enclosure, once it hits adulthood. It being 17% of my stock and all. 

Does anyone know if these have a relatively even male/female ratio? I'm hoping they're not like Therea

Yeah, they probably can be found under loose bark on dead trees and such, as well as objects lying on the ground. Not a lot of research has been done into their preffered wild microhabitats TBH... 

Interesting, well I'm glad they like the dry stuff then! :D

Weird, I've seen a couple of non-burrowing Blaberid nymphs do that before, they'll hide under loose substrate if frightened... 

Probably, I mean they can climb glass as adults, so you might just find it climbing the walls of the enclosure one day! 😂 If the enclosure isn't too big you should be able to find it pretty easy I think, as they aren't burrowers, so it'll be on a hide somewhere... 

Pretty sure it'll be a similar ratio to other Blaberids, however you could still get unlucky and have a unisex group, you never know! 

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Good news: I found another baby in the house. Bad news: it was dead behind the laundry bin (across the hall from the suitcases), probably killed by exposure to soap scum. It must have left the suitcase or skull at some point and gone in there. 

I'm inclined to try and set up some kind of trap, just on the slim chance that there are live ones loose somewhere. It is, however, entirely possible that roach has been there for awhile. I'm thinking of just a crumpled, lightly moistened paper towel and some sort of food, set under a slightly elevated plate, to see what turns up. That would probably lure in a roach, right? 

The ones I have, as far as I can tell, seem to be doing well. I'm trying not to bother them any. They're still occasionally hiding under a very thin layer of dirt, but definitely like harder hides. 

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I've only successfully trapped hissers so I don't know if this will work, but I've set out favorite foods (i.e. fruit) on top of egg crates and caught escapees. They come for the food and stay for the egg crates, so I think you're onto something with the paper towels. Looking forward to see if you can get enough to start a colony!

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Ah, good news! I found a live one! 

image0.jpg?width=226&height=301

Bad photo because he was lively, but definitely the same kind, and not one I had already. He went downstairs from where my suitcase is, the cats hassled him, and then he ran into the bathroom, so hopefully soap scum or whatnot doesn't get the better of him. This brings my total to 6 in the dedicated enclosure, and 1 in my tesselata enclosure if I can find that one. If I can just get an adult m/f pair to mature at the same time and breed, I should be set! 

 

Definitely gonna set up some traps around the house. I'm also gonna remember to check skulls that I collect really, really well for things, I forgot to do that this time. These guys, I don't mind, but I could end up bringing a centipede or something into my house if I'm not careful. 

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I'm so excited by this! I hope you get some adult pairs, too. What a crazy backstory for a new species in the hobby. Crossing my fingers for you.😉

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Yeah, I really hope I have at least 1 pair in here. I figure all I really need is a male and female that mature at the same time and breed, and then their offspring can breed with any not involved in the pair. I mean, people get six roaches as a small starter colony, and that's what we're doing here! 

It's too bad I can't sex them at this point. I wish I could put a little urinal in there and count how many of em use it. That's a reliable way to sex roaches, right? Miniature urinals? 

How big are the adults in this species? I figure when the nymphs get to near adult size, they should hopefully be sexable. Though I don't know if I want to handle them to sex, stink defense and whatnot.

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On 7/3/2019 at 1:16 PM, Betta132 said:

Ah, good news! I found a live one! 

Bad photo because he was lively, but definitely the same kind, and not one I had already. He went downstairs from where my suitcase is, the cats hassled him, and then he ran into the bathroom, so hopefully soap scum or whatnot doesn't get the better of him. This brings my total to 6 in the dedicated enclosure, and 1 in my tesselata enclosure if I can find that one. If I can just get an adult m/f pair to mature at the same time and breed, I should be set! 

Definitely gonna set up some traps around the house. I'm also gonna remember to check skulls that I collect really, really well for things, I forgot to do that this time. These guys, I don't mind, but I could end up bringing a centipede or something into my house if I'm not careful. 

That's great, fingers crossed you get a pair or two, I mean you've got 7 now, you'd have to be quite unlucky to end up with a unisex group! 😂 

On 7/3/2019 at 3:28 PM, Axolotl said:

I'm so excited by this! I hope you get some adult pairs, too. What a crazy backstory for a new species in the hobby. Crossing my fingers for you.😉

Well not really a new species, rather an old one that people in the US kinda stopped breeding, still an amazing find though for sure, (and a great story as well! 😄).

On 7/3/2019 at 7:55 PM, Betta132 said:

How big are the adults in this species? I figure when the nymphs get to near adult size, they should hopefully be sexable. Though I don't know if I want to handle them to sex, stink defense and whatnot.

Adults are 45-50 mm in length, so kinda sizeable. And you can always put them in a clear ziploc baggie and turn them upside-down to sex them. :)

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Oooh this is so cool! Skulls AND new roaches?! You're so lucky! 

I am really curious, though, if bringing back skulls is legal? And though the live roaches were accidental, would it be legal to knowingly bring those in? I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble... I just ask too many questions for my own good LOL

Also, a tip for in the future if you want to see what hitchhikers are on/in bones you collect... Get one of those little bathroom stands that are like a grate on legs and put it in a bucket with a grease barrier. Put the skull/bone on that. Underneath it, put a small sampling of food sources... fruit, veggies, a little meat even. It should draw out anything hiding! And a lot of things (like pedes) cannot climb plastic, so once they drop down for the food they cannot get back up to the bone! 

Please do keep us updated on these guys! 

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25 minutes ago, JavaJavanica said:

I am really curious, though, if bringing back skulls is legal? And though the live roaches were accidental, would it be legal to knowingly bring those in? I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble... I just ask too many questions for my own good LOL

Don't know about skulls, but knowingly bringing those roaches in would probably have been illegal. But seeing as it was an accident it's fine, at least if brought to court I don't think the USDA or APHIS could really punish or fine someone for bringing them in unawares... This is a circumtropical greenhouse pest we're talking about here after all. 

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10 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Don't know about skulls, but knowingly bringing those roaches in would probably have been illegal. But seeing as it was an accident it's fine, at least if brought to court I don't think the USDA or APHIS could really punish or fine someone for bringing them in unawares... This is a circumtropical greenhouse pest we're talking about here after all. 

Thank you for the information! I've always wondered about these cool accidental hitchhikers and if they are legal to keep... like folks who get spiders in their produce lol Realistically, I know it is highly unlikely anyone is going to come for a hobbyist in this type of situation, but I like to explore all the aspects of it.

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19 hours ago, JavaJavanica said:

Thank you for the information! I've always wondered about these cool accidental hitchhikers and if they are legal to keep... like folks who get spiders in their produce lol Realistically, I know it is highly unlikely anyone is going to come for a hobbyist in this type of situation, but I like to explore all the aspects of it.

No problem, realistically even brownboxers are seldom punished in this sub-hobby, our government doesn't seem overly concerned about exotic cockroaches, (and rightfully so). Not that I'm endorsing that in any way, I'm just saying, we're low on the list of priorities for them, they are more worried about beetles, phasmids, orthopterans, etc.

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3 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

No problem, realistically even brownboxers are seldom punished in this sub-hobby, our government doesn't seem overly concerned about exotic cockroaches, (and rightfully so). Not that I'm endorsing that in any way, I'm just saying, we're low on the list of priorities for them, they are more worried about beetles, phasmids, orthopterans, etc.

I totally agree! I definitely do not condone brownboxing ANY critters... but folks with accidental hitchhikers shouldn't be hauled off to the gallows. 

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16 hours ago, JavaJavanica said:

I totally agree! I definitely do not condone brownboxing ANY critters... but folks with accidental hitchhikers shouldn't be hauled off to the gallows. 

Exactly LOL! 😂 

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The skulls are legal, yes. They're feral hogs, which aren't protected at all. Our suitcases got inspected twice on the way back! First by US agriculture, checking for plant materials (the vast majority are illegal to move between Hawaii and the mainland), and once by the airline checking for bombs, and neither of them did anything about the skulls. We didn't hide them or anything, just put them in paper bags and stuck 'em in. Meat might be harder to import, but the only concern with skulls is if it's something endangered.

It would definitely have been illegal to bring these guys in, just like that. I might have been able to get a permit with some calling around, though, since these aren't a crop or human danger. But it's not illegal to accidentally bring something over, nor is it illegal to own, say, an accidentally imported spider. 

I definitely should have checked better to see what was in the skulls (Hawaii has centipedes! yikes), but I was overheated at the time and not really thinking anything other than "sweet, skulls". The real worry with things from Hawaii is accidentally bringing a true farm pest over that doesn't live in the continental US yet, which you find in plants, farms, and related areas, and this was an area without any farming. Well- farm pests and rat lungworm, but the lungworm is on snails, not hogs.

 

They seem to be doing fairly well so far. A smoky brown roach got in there somehow, and I'm leaving it in there as kind of a canary/comparison. It's not bothering them or anything, I find them in the same hiding spots when I check. 

Also, I don't know if it's the Madeiras or the smoky brown, but something has been dragging the food bits under a leaf to eat. 

I see them out at night sometimes. I don't think I have to worry about them escaping- they don't seem to like the petroleum jelly. They'll go up to it and inspect it, but most of the time don't even touch it with a foot. Maybe they don't like the smell very much. One is out now, I can see by my reading light, and it's just kind of wandering across the glass. 

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I moved a box in my closet and found another one. I also transferred them into a new enclosure. I found 5 total while transferring them, but I wasn't checking, just moving the substrate over in big heaping handfuls, so I imagine the rest of 'em are in there somewhere. 

There's a couple that are a good inch long at this point, and I didn't note any smell while transferring them, which I'm glad for. I also noticed that they seem more likely to run down into the substrate now when disturbed, instead of up and around like they did before, so I'm guessing it's because they're used to their environment and think it's safe. 

I gave them a cow vertebra to explore, found in the same place as them. I'm tempted to give them the skull they were found in, but I'd never get 'em out of there again! Too many cavities. 

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On 8/29/2019 at 8:17 PM, Betta132 said:

I moved a box in my closet and found another one. I also transferred them into a new enclosure. I found 5 total while transferring them, but I wasn't checking, just moving the substrate over in big heaping handfuls, so I imagine the rest of 'em are in there somewhere. 

There's a couple that are a good inch long at this point, and I didn't note any smell while transferring them, which I'm glad for. I also noticed that they seem more likely to run down into the substrate now when disturbed, instead of up and around like they did before, so I'm guessing it's because they're used to their environment and think it's safe. 

Wow, resilient little buggers eh? 😂 Glad the little colony appears to be doing well still, fingers crossed they continue to grow and then breed for you! :D

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@Betta132 any updates? i see you havent been on in awhile but heres a shot in the dark! this was such an amazing read! if they take off/have taken off with the bow-chicka-wow-wow and are rare in the hobby im sure you could definitely make more than a few pretty pennies!

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I do have an update: species confirmed. I think.

image0.jpg?width=473&height=630

I know I have this one in there, alive and kicking. I haven't seen any of the others in awhile, though. This one was actually found loose! I think it escaped early on, before I had them in proper containment, and it seems to have been pretty happy to grow and develop outside the enclosure. Probably in my houseplants. I did NOT sex it while I had it out, since I know these have a stink defense and I didn't want to risk it doing that. 

 

I'm actually going to be making a post elsewhere of rehoming these. I have some chronic fatigue issues that are flaring up, so I'm trying to downsize my critter collection pretty far. I know I have this one in there, and I'd ship the whole enclosure's worth of dirt and leaves in case there's more in there. I can't make any guarantees about there being more than one. But if someone would like these, they're up for grabs. Just on the condition that, if there's multiple and they breed, I can call 'dibs' on a culture of them in a couple years. 

They really are a handsome roach, but I'm trying to downsize my bugs. Down to isopods (since they eat the dirt) and the domino roaches that mostly just eat leaves. 

 

Does anyone know where universities get these guys? I've found several academic papers from people at universities studying these, and they seem to be well-established as a live specimen to use for various things. They must come from somewhere. Maybe somebody could find the supplier and buy some for the hobby? 

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10 hours ago, Betta132 said:

I do have an update: species confirmed. I think.

I know I have this one in there, alive and kicking. I haven't seen any of the others in awhile, though. This one was actually found loose! I think it escaped early on, before I had them in proper containment, and it seems to have been pretty happy to grow and develop outside the enclosure. Probably in my houseplants. I did NOT sex it while I had it out, since I know these have a stink defense and I didn't want to risk it doing that. 

I'm actually going to be making a post elsewhere of rehoming these. I have some chronic fatigue issues that are flaring up, so I'm trying to downsize my critter collection pretty far. I know I have this one in there, and I'd ship the whole enclosure's worth of dirt and leaves in case there's more in there. I can't make any guarantees about there being more than one. But if someone would like these, they're up for grabs. Just on the condition that, if there's multiple and they breed, I can call 'dibs' on a culture of them in a couple years. 

They really are a handsome roach, but I'm trying to downsize my bugs. Down to isopods (since they eat the dirt) and the domino roaches that mostly just eat leaves. 

Definitely R.maderae, congrats! 😁 Thankfully it turns out there are one or two cultures of this species still in the US, so they're not extinct yet and will likely become more commonly available in the near future, (whether the interest in buying them will be there or not, time will tell). 

Sorry to hear about your chronic fatigue, I hope you're still able to partake in the hobby, just with fewer species. Wish I had the funds to nab this group, however I'd likely only keep them for a generation or two anyways, to help make sure enough people have them established in the US, then move on, so someone else would probably be a better candidate for you. Regardless of who gets them, hopefully they'll breed well for that person and we see this species established in the US hobby again. :)

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Ah, good- it's a relief to know I'm not literally the only person with any in this country! I was actually trying to look into where laboratories get theirs, to see if any suppliers are legally able to sell to a private collector. I think I'd like to keep a culture of these guys when I get myself better medicated, they're sort of handsome. Something about the lines and the soft coloration. I bet a bustling culture of these would be really nice to look at.

I do still have domino roaches, since they're super easy to keep happy. I accidentally left the culture in a cabinet for two months last year, and they'd all grown when I remembered them. Leaves, dirt, and a little moisture does it for them. I feed them dog food and fruit when I remember, but they really are happy with just the hardwood leaves- growing, maturing, breeding, all that good stuff. And my condition (basically low blood pressure) is manageable, but I'm still trying to wrangle the damn thing, and don't want to neglect live animals while I do. 

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46 minutes ago, Betta132 said:

Ah, good- it's a relief to know I'm not literally the only person with any in this country! I was actually trying to look into where laboratories get theirs, to see if any suppliers are legally able to sell to a private collector. I think I'd like to keep a culture of these guys when I get myself better medicated, they're sort of handsome. Something about the lines and the soft coloration. I bet a bustling culture of these would be really nice to look at.

I do still have domino roaches, since they're super easy to keep happy. I accidentally left the culture in a cabinet for two months last year, and they'd all grown when I remembered them. Leaves, dirt, and a little moisture does it for them. I feed them dog food and fruit when I remember, but they really are happy with just the hardwood leaves- growing, maturing, breeding, all that good stuff. And my condition (basically low blood pressure) is manageable, but I'm still trying to wrangle the damn thing, and don't want to neglect live animals while I do. 

Yeah so they should be fine in the US hobby now, fingers crossed, BTW this line should probably be labeled differently, like R.maderae "Hawaii" or something, (even more precise locality information would be good), so people know there are two distinct lines in culture, so be sure to tell that to whoever ends up getting yours! :D

Glad to hear your condition isn't too difficult to manage, hope you can get it all figured out soon and return to keeping more inverts in no time! :)

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Awesome to hear they were in fact R. maderae ! Not so good to hear you've been having Chronic fatigue though, hopefully it improves in the near future. I enjoy keeping this genus. I love watching them feed and interact with each other. I have the "Gold" color form of these guys. 

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