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Betta132

Hawai'ian cockroach stowaway

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This stowed away in my dad's suitcase, possibly inside a feral hog skull we found. It's about half an inch long and can climb smooth plastic, though I haven't tested it on glass. Any idea what it is? It's from Hawai'i, though I'm aware that there's a LOT of things in Hawai'i. I'm probably gonna chuck it in with my peppered roaches- they like about the same type of environment, I'd imagine.

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Nice, definitely a Blaberid of some sort, shame it's only the one... 

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I guess I'll stick it in with my peppered roaches and hope I see it again once it matures. 

I was really tired when we got back, so when my dad handed me a bag this roach was crawling on and asked if it was one of mine, it took me a couple minutes to figure out that it wasn't! I couldn't for the life of me remember what the nymphs of mine looked like. It's definitely not mine, though. 

I'm not 100% sure it IS the only one. We got 5 skulls, and this was probably inside one of those. How would I go about driving potential roaches out of feral hog skulls without harming the roaches or the skulls? 

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That's a very nice bonus to the skulls. Are you thinking there might be more inside the skulls? Eventually they'll get hungry. I usually have good luck luring out escapees in the middle of the night with some nice ripe and stinky fruit. 

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I found more! 

We brought back a total of 5 skulls, 3 with lower jaws, but 4 of them had damaged enough sinuses that the roaches didn't seem to like em any. There were, in fact, 5 more! The skulls are now outside where the sun will scare out any remainder. I don't think there are any, though- I held the skulls perpendicular to the sinus cavities and smacked them until roaches fell out. 

I got 4 at about 7mm, one at about 15mm. The first one I found has vanished into my peppered roach enclosure, but now that I have more, I've isolated these 5 in their own enclosure. For now they have an inch of coco fiber, a few hardwood leaves, and a bit of pretzel to chew on- I'm tired, so they get something makeshift. Later I'll put them in something with a topsoil/aquarium sand substrate, I think.

They came from a skull that was found under some sort of mesquite-type bush. A couple hundred yards from the water, I think. There were a lot of dead bits from the trees on the ground, and the ground itself was very sandy. It was definitely out of where the waves would even remotely get to, and sheltered from storms. It definitely gets pretty hot out there. Hopefully these are okay in less hot temps, I'm not gonna put them in something big enough to safely heat. 

It was on the island Ni'ihau, which is a small island inhabited by about 200 people, off the coast of the rest. It's largely untouched by human activity, and I'm not sure how much it's been explored. I know someone introduced wild boars at some point, and eland antelope, and who knows what else, so these could be from Africa along with those? Could also be Hawaiian. It's almost in sight of the main islands in Hawai'i, so I think a flying roach could get blown out there in a storm, or it could have come out somehow on a boat. 

I know I can't get a proper ID until they mature, but does anyone have any guesses at what they are? I don't know how to keep these! 

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21 hours ago, Betta132 said:

I found more!

I know I can't get a proper ID until they mature, but does anyone have any guesses at what they are? I don't know how to keep these! 

Very nice, glad there were indeed more! :D It's likely an adventive species, as I don't think there are native Blaberids in Hawaii. It'd be amazing if they were Rhyparobia maderae, (which I think have been introduced to Hawaii), since it seems they have completely disappeared from the US hobby! That's my best guess as to their identity TBH, so I'm excited to see what they turn into. :)

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FYI, if they are indeed Rhyparobia like I think they might be, I'd keep their enclosure dry except for one moist corner, lots of bark slabs for hides, and lots of fruits too. They also like a lot of space. 

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Oh, hey! I looked up the Rhyparobia maderae, and I could only find a couple of pics of nymphs, but they look exactly the same as mine. That's really exciting! 

I have an enclosure in the works now. Do you know what kind of fruit they like, and if they'll take dried? All I know so far about their diet is that they will happily eat a pretzel crumb if you give them one, and that they can apparently live awhile without food. I picked these skulls up in Hawaii on the 5th. It's possible there was some amount of edible material in the skulls they were hiding in, but not only did they not starve or seem to suffer any from being in the skulls that long, only a couple of them actually came out of the skulls to look around. They don't look underweight or anything, and they seem lively enough. 

Can you point me to any care resources about them? Roachcrossing had this to say: 

  • Adult Size: Male: 45 mm. Female: 50 mm.
  • Climbing Abilities: All life stages can climb.
  • Flying Abilities: Adults of both sexes may be able to fly.
  • Mode of Birth: Ovoviviparous.
  • Care Level: Easy.
  • Temperature Requirements: 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Air Humidity: Dry.
  • Substrate Humidity: Dry.
  • Favorite Foods: Not picky.
  • Locality: None.
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I don't keep the regular Rhyparobia madarae, but I keep Rhyparobia sp. "Gold/Malaysia". Which seems to be a variant of these guys, just a different color. Don't think they have been entirely identified yet as the same species though. 

    If care is anything like the "gold" ones then they shouldn't be too hard to raise. I keep mine between 75-85°F. I have mine on dry substrate, but give them a light misting weekly for them to drink. Also I offer them apple and fish flakes and they seem to readily consume those as well. They are one of my favorite species to feed since they find food very quickly. How do these guys behave? You have them all together correct? My nymphs seem to stay close together under cork/wood pieces. Not sure if the maderae exhibit this behavior as well, but I would assume so.

   Don't know of any more care info resources, but someone on here may have more info than I can offer. Hopefully you can get these to adult to be certain of what they are! 

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1 hour ago, Betta132 said:

Oh, hey! I looked up the Rhyparobia maderae, and I could only find a couple of pics of nymphs, but they look exactly the same as mine. That's really exciting! 

I have an enclosure in the works now. Do you know what kind of fruit they like, and if they'll take dried? All I know so far about their diet is that they will happily eat a pretzel crumb if you give them one, and that they can apparently live awhile without food. I picked these skulls up in Hawaii on the 5th. It's possible there was some amount of edible material in the skulls they were hiding in, but not only did they not starve or seem to suffer any from being in the skulls that long, only a couple of them actually came out of the skulls to look around. They don't look underweight or anything, and they seem lively enough. 

Can you point me to any care resources about them? Roachcrossing had this to say: 

They'll probably accept dried fruit, but for optimal reproduction I'd give them fresh apples and bananas, along with dog/cat/fish food obviously... You literally have the only starter colony of this species left in the US, so I'd treat them like royalty LOL! 😛 

Just keep them mostly dry with a moist corner, warm, lots of hides, well fed, moderately ventilated, and they should thrive. @Shinylarvitar97 basically has it all covered. ;)

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Yeah they usually have a good feeding response so I could see them nibbling on some dried fruit, but yeah I agree with hisserdude fresh fruits are the way to to go. I like watching them drag little tiny pieces of apple away haha! They're a neat species for sure. Keep us updated! Hoping they prove to be Rhyparobia maderae! Tried to get these years back for Kyle at roachcrossing, but he convinced me to get the gold lol! I like these just as much though! 

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I have 5 of them together. There was a 6th, but I put it in my peppered roach enclosure because it was the first one I found, and I thought it was the only one. I'll see if I can lure it out with apple tomorrow. I like apples, so my roaches get the de-seeded cores. Let's hope half a dozen is enough to get a decent colony going. They're only in a 2.5gal aquarium now- if they start breeding a lot, I guess I'll have to put them in a proper tub! 

I just took them out of their temporary enclosure, and they have a habit I'm not at all fond of. When you scare them, they go up to the top of the enclosure and run laps around the rim. They're fast, too, so it's basically impossible to keep them in when you open the lid. Even with only 5 of them. I wound up putting vaseline around the top edge so they can't do that, because I really don't want to deal with that at all. I'll gladly treat them like loyalty, but they have to stay in the dang box! 

They're on coco fiber and topsoil, with a few hardwood leaves and a piece of cork bark. Tomorrow I"m gonna dig up more cork bark and make them a little jungle gym. They're very active! All over the place.

I gotta say, these things are tough. They survived a couple days of the skull being outside on a sidewalk, then two separate plane flights, in a cargo hold, which means two depressurizations. They probably got pretty cold when we were flying over Colorado and the like, too. Then they sat in the skull until now, with only whatever food and water is inside a completely picked-clean boar skull. And they're fine! They're lively, they don't look skinny, one looks recently molted and I think another one is about to molt. And before this they were in a very sandy, hot, dry place, fairly salty to boot, without much food other than scrub. If they didn't already have a common name, I'd be voting to call them Durable roaches. 

I'm reading that the "gold medal" roaches have an odor defense. I haven't noticed that from these so far, but they're fairly small, and I'm not exactly handling them very much or trying to smell them. They're terrible for handling! Right up there with banana roaches, probably gonna be worse when they get their wings. Oh man, do these fly? 

Any advice on heating? I tend to keep my room in the mid 60s, though my bug corner is a little warmer. Is there any sort of heat source that would work on a small enclosure?

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Yeah try to find the 6th one if possible. Hopefully it's still hanging around in there. Yeah they can be a little tough to handle, adults especially will do all they can to get away haha! definitely not the most handleable roaches, but I've held them before Once they calm down. If they have plenty of hides they shouldn't dart around too much hopefully. They can be very active, especially when feeding. The Vaseline should help contain them. The 2.5 gallon should work great for them now, just make sure they can't escape anywhere. 

    Also yes they do give off a defensive odor, but I think only the adults do, but i may be wrong. Not sure if the smaller nymphs do, but maybe the larger ones do use it as well. Never tested it.

   It's crazy how some species can survive a lot of abuse, but eventually it may get the best of them. These guys definelty seem hardy as hell so hope they grow fast and well! Yeah maybe there was something they were nibbling on in the skulls. Alot of roaches can go a fair amount of time with no food, but thankfully these guys seemed to make it out alive and healthy. 

     These guys have fluttered small distances with me, but have not full blown taken off like banana roaches or gyna sp. So not positive they wouldn't be able to. They're jumpers for sure though haha and quick! 

Also yeah you're going to have to supplement heat somehow. My roach/invert room gets about mid 60's at night as well, and everyone seems fine overnight, but probably wouldn't be wise to keep them at those temps constantly. I use flexwatt heat tape hooked up to my roach bin shelves, but I have multiple species per shelf, so maybe it would be easier to just buy a small heat mat from a pet store and put it beneath or on the side of the 2.5 gallon. Only concern is they get REALLY hot. Too hot. Maybe if you hooked it up to a thermostat, but I think thats too much work for just one single container. Maybe get a heating pad at Wal-Mart or target and put it on a low setting. I used those for my dubia roaches when I was getting into bugs and they worked ok, but I know they're not intended for that specific use so there may be safety concerns. How are you heating your tesselata? 

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2 hours ago, Betta132 said:

Is there any sort of heat source that would work on a small enclosure?

I use a heat cable for my heating purposes, works well and never gets too hot, just run it under a quarter or half of the enclosure, and you should be set... Of course, getting a whole heat cable MIGHT be overkill for one little tank, but it'll come in handy the more roaches you get, (few species in the hobby will breed at 60F°).

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2 hours ago, Betta132 said:

I'm reading that the "gold medal" roaches have an odor defense. I haven't noticed that from these so far, but they're fairly small, and I'm not exactly handling them very much or trying to smell them. They're terrible for handling! Right up there with banana roaches, probably gonna be worse when they get their wings.

LOL yeah Rhyparobia are some of the least handleable roaches in the hobby, I don't know about nymphs, but adults do have a bad smelling defensive secretion, they'll squeak at you when you attempt to hold them, and will even resort to ejecting poop if need be... So yeah, not really a hands on species, but nice to look at, and adults exhibit some paternal care towards their nymphs. :)

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Can anyone suggest a heat cable brand? I have some other critters I could also use it for. I haven't actually been heating my tesselata- the person I got them from didn't heat them either, and she lives pretty close to here. They don't seem to mind too much. They breed, and they're growing. I'll see if they do anything faster with a little warmth, but it might stay warmer in their enclosure than I think. I could run a little bit of the cable past this enclosure, then use the rest for my tesselata and craniifer. 

They can't get out, I don't think, they've been trying a bit. They settled down now that they have dirt and leaves to hide under. At least, I sincerely hope they're hiding and haven't somehow gotten out of an enclosure completely ringed with vaseline. They don't even seem to want to touch the vaseline, they smell it with their antennae and then walk away. 

I found a molt! The smallest one shed. That's a good sign, I think. 

They actually seem to prefer the bit of gluten-free pretzel over the apple slice I put in. I don't know why, except that maybe it's a little bit more familiar to them than the apple? There was no fruit anywhere around where I found them, just dry brush, so maybe they don't know what to do with juicy food. I'm leaving both things in so they can eat whatever they want, and I'll add protein later today. 

They've actually been coming out to look around despite the light. These could make for an interesting display if the adults tend to do that as well. I'll definitely give them a pig skull like they came in on if/when I have a big colony!

Alright, this is a major case of "cart before the horse", but how fast do these breed once they hit adulthood? A couple people on a bug-keeping Discord server I'm in would also like some. 

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It's good they seem to doing well so far. My "gold medals' grow fairly quick so if they are indeed Rhyparobia Maderae them they should as well. As for breeding they are pretty prolific. I had nymphs in maybe under 2 months once they reached maturity, but that may differ from individual to individual. Definitely heat them a little bit if possible. I Can't recommend a brand of heat cable, but I'm sure Hisserdude can. They'll tolerate room temps too, but for optimal growth/reproduction keeping them on the warmer side can help accelerate it. Also heating your other roaches may be beneficial as well. Maybe they'll eventually figure out the Apple is food haha!

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ZooMed heat cables work great, at least that's the brand I use. :)

Definitely make sure that their lid in on tight, because I've found Vaseline doesn't keep in 100% of climbing roaches, eventually they wear down the barrier and small nymphs can sometimes get past it. 

FYI, I think my buddy @Bmaines96 would love some when you've got an established colony, he has a single pair he got from Roachcrossing, but the female aborted her first ooth, hasn't reproduced since then... His R.sp. "Gold" are breeding well, but sadly there's no one else he can get more maderae from anymore. 

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Alright, I'll pick up a Zoomed cable, and I'll double-check the lid. They definitely haven't worn down the barrier yet! It's still nice and thick, and I made sure to get it in all the corners. 

Is the Roachcrossing guy just gone or something? I emailed him months ago and never heard back. Does anyone know if he's even alive? 

I'm not making any guarantees about sending anyone anything, since I can't guarantee these will breed (though they should), but I'll definitely make a thread on here when I have spares.

I found where they're hiding! They all crammed themselves down into a little crevice of empty space between the dirt and the glass. They have cork bark to hide under, but I guess they prefer a vertical crevice. I'll build them some.

 

I just saw a roach run across my floor and went to make sure it wasn't one of mine. Just a smoky brown nymph. I live in a very old house with a lot of crevices, the roaches are kind of unavoidable. It's too bad I can't vaseline the whole house to keep em out!

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Great some heat should hopefully be beneficial to them once you get one. Just make sure it doesn't get too hot, but they should be ok. Yeah some species will eventually make it past. Some species are better at it than others. 

Kyle from roachcrossing is still around, but at the moment it's difficult to get in contact with him for a few reasons. He's got a lot going on unfortunately with his family and himself personally. Not sure if he'll ever be back completely. I don't know all the details. Maybe try messaging him on his personal Facebook. Some have gotten through to him I think. Not 100% certain though. It's unfortunate, but I'm sure he's going through alot. 

 

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On 6/20/2019 at 11:59 PM, Betta132 said:

Alright, I'll pick up a Zoomed cable, and I'll double-check the lid. They definitely haven't worn down the barrier yet! It's still nice and thick, and I made sure to get it in all the corners. 

Is the Roachcrossing guy just gone or something? I emailed him months ago and never heard back. Does anyone know if he's even alive? 

I'm not making any guarantees about sending anyone anything, since I can't guarantee these will breed (though they should), but I'll definitely make a thread on here when I have spares.

I found where they're hiding! They all crammed themselves down into a little crevice of empty space between the dirt and the glass. They have cork bark to hide under, but I guess they prefer a vertical crevice. I'll build them some.

Sounds good, should work well to heat them! :D

Kyle from Roachcrossing hasn't been active in quite a while, and is very inconsistent in terms of customer service nowadays, several people claimed they paid him and never received anything in return, had to file PayPal claims to get their money back... Overall I doubt we'll be seeing a true return anytime soon, which is a shame, he used to be one of the best vendors in the US. 😕

Of course, but if you can breed them successfully, you'll definitely have some customers is all I'm saying! :D

Yeah according to my friend, Rhyparobia like vertically slanted bark slabs stacked against each other quite a bit for hides, which kinda explains why yours are hiding there! 

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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

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