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Hello all, I am looking for an active, easy-to-keep (and breed), terrestrial if not arboreal roach species to keep in a new multi species vivarium I am setting up. Any suggestions?

I'd love to keep Eublaberus sp. or Panchlora sp. in the enclosure, but they burrow so much I think they might destroy the plant's roots.

Thanks,

Arthroverts

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Here is what I am thinking of doing for this tank (a 12" by 12" by 18" tall Zoo Med front opening glass cage). Currently has a Pachira, Lemon Plant, and a Spider Plant growing in 3-4 inches of Reptisoil, with a drainage layer of clay balls; a large piece of cork is angled at the back against the glass. A thick layer of sphagnum moss covers the substrate with some rotting oak and Pachira leaves topping it off.

I want to do 4-6 Pystalla horrida and get a small colony established, along with some Blaberidae sp. "Little Kenyans", along with the arboreal roach species (maybe a hisser species?) and some sort of isopod species. Maybe even a beetle than can take a high moisture level.

Thanks,

Arthroverts

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Hissers may work, they seem to tolerate a fair range of humidity and temps so they be a viable option. Only concern would be them escaping. I know exo terra/zoo med like enclosures usually have some points where the small nymphs may be able to slip through. That's just my thoughts though.

    The other concern would be the Psytalla eating the roaches if they were large enough. I've seen mine take down considerably bigger prey. Don't want to dissuade you from stocking the tank with multiple species though as I believe it could work if you find the right species. The Kenyans would be a nice addition because of their size. Don't believe they'd mess with the other species too much, and with enough of them, they may act as a secondary food source for the assassins as well. 

   Not alot of options i can think of at them moment unfortunately. Maybe Simandoa conserfarium. They can be a bit secretive though and stay down low under cork/wood pieces. I've seen them out and about, but only for feeding times and at night when I catch them off guard. Then there comes the dilemma with the zoo meds small gaps. I could see the nymphs slipping through too possibly. They're slippery little ones. Beautiful species though.

    The Eublaberus would work great, but yeah them digging/destroying the roots is a big concern and they primarily burrow. Bananas mainly dig too, and adults can fly and are pretty small as well. Hard choice. Maybe someone else can throw in some better advice/suggestions. Haven't made a multi species tank myself so my knowledge is limited. 

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Therea sp. adults would make excellent display roaches as well, but the nymphs burrow pretty much exclusively and don't think they'd fair well in higher humidity. the adults aren't particularly long lived either unfortunately. 

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@Shinylarvitar97 I figured with the assassins, which is why I want something that reproduces quickly, like the Little Kenyans or Eublaberus. The cage has very tiny ventilation holes (about the size of a metal pin head, not the plastic pin heads) on the front, but they are mostly obscured by the moss. It also has the standard Zoo Med screen ventilation for the top lid.

The problem with Therea, besides what you already said, is that they are so active they would become instant targets for the assassins. Coupled with their short longevity/slow breeding process, I can see them dying out pretty quick. I want something that you can see pretty regularly but also reproduces at such a rate that if 5-6 become meals every two weeks the colony wouldn't die out.

Maybe a Deropeltis sp.? Or a Gyna sp.? Do they burrow much?

Thanks,

Arthroverts

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Yeah Therea species coupled with the assassins probably wouldn't fare too well. Once you get a large colony though you'll pretty much have adults most of the time, but the assassins are a concern. Gyna species burrow mainly, but will come to the surface. Mostly the adults, but I've seen larger nymphs out as well. Once you get a reasonable sized colony of those they'd be pretty active too. Deropeltis sp. Might work. They seem to climb more than burrow. I honestly haven't seen mine dig really honestly. They're usually at the surface. They stay together in groups it seems as well, as they're always clustered near one another. That's just how I've observed them though. Also yeah if you could cover the holes somehow it might work. 

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Part of the issue is the gaps along the sides of the doors. Especially small roaches will definitely slip through those. Your kenyans might, for example. 

I don't think I'd use Therea. They only have about 1 female for every 8 males, so it's easy for all the females to get eaten. If you bred a ton of them elsewhere, that could work, but I don't think it's what you're looking for. Besides- you'd need a lot of nymphs underground at all times to have a population of visible adults, and I don't know that there's quite enough dirt to keep that many nymphs happy. 

How about banana roaches? You'd have to figure out a way to keep them contained, but they're definitely climbers, they're brightly colored, and they're prolific. 

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@Betta132, the only problem with the Banana roaches is that they burrow, at least the nymphs do, and thus would uproot my plants. 

@Shinylarvitar97, I am strongly considering Deropeltis based on what you said. They have strong chemical defenses from what I hear, so I don't think the assassins would prey too much on them.

The gap alongside the door is about 1/16" (I will measure and get a conclusive answer), so are Little Kenyans/Bananas/Hissers that small as nymphs?

Thanks,

Arthroverts

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I don't think the burrowing nymphs would uproot your plants. Not a decently rooted plant, at least. They'd just go between the roots. Alternately, you could enclose the roots in a fabric mesh to keep the nymphs out of the main root ball, so they could only bother the roots that grew through the mesh. 

From what I remember seeing of hisser nymphs, yes, they'd squeeze out through that gap. They're very flat and good at escaping. 

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The chemical defenses of deropeltis won't stop assassins bugs ive fed mine roaches with significantly stronger defenses than deropeltis with no issue also you'll be hard pressed to find deropeltis in the states the only species we have left is paulinoi and almost noone is working with them atm and they need it incredibly dry to do well so most plants would die in those conditions. Your absolute best bet would be epilamprid species, like high dry air but moist sub, breed very very fast so no over consumption worries most are pretty and adults are often out and about and while nymphs can burrow they stay within the top half inch of the sub or under pieces of bark in my experience more than digging deep

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Thanks @Bmaines96! can you give me some examples of commonly available epilamprid species? I can very little about them online. It appears that Rhadoblatta is an epilamprid species, but they aren't available in the US it seems, and if they were they'd be out of my price range, ha ha.

Thanks,

Arthroverts

 

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8 hours ago, Arthroverts said:

Thanks @Bmaines96! can you give me some examples of commonly available epilamprid species? I can very little about them online. It appears that Rhadoblatta is an epilamprid species, but they aren't available in the US it seems, and if they were they'd be out of my price range, ha ha.

Thanks,

Arthroverts

 

He isn't on here a ton, so I'll just answer for him. Within the U.S, no epilamprids are that commonly available, but you can find Opisthoplatia orientalis, Epilampra maya, and Rhabdoblatta formosana available at times; some new species may be available soon as well. @Bmaines96 may very well have the last R.formosana colony in the U.S right now and I believe he has all 3 epilamprids I mentioned available right now at very reasonable prices. ;) 

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I get on occasionally dang it😂 but yep like @All About Arthropods mentioned i have one of the last rhabdoblatta colonies in the states and shockingly i actually don't charge that much as i just want them in people's collections so next time I almost lose mine its not a full on panic mode.. But atm the epilamprids I'm working with are 

 

Opistaplatia orientalis-red and black roach-beautiful adults and relatively active at all life stages but mostly stick around in leaf litter 

Decoralampra fulgencioi-nymphs are excellent bark mimics and adults are shiny beetle mimics with rove like characteristics semi arboreal at all life stages

Rhabdoblatta formosana-one of the most arboreal ones but also the fastest breeding and most sensitive to waste build up.

Epilamprinae sp "borneo"-basically chunky rhabdoblatta that are just as arboreal as actual rhabdo but more impressive looking and slower breeders

Epilampra maya-breed at a relatively slow rate if kept more towards room temp stunning looking shiny nymphs and panchlora-esque adults moderately sensitive to waste buildup but not as bad as rhabdoblatta 

And finally my favourite(and slowest breeding/rarest/most expensive) epilamprid-thorax porcellana or what ive nicknamed Vampire roaches-these guys look cool at every life stage with adults having neat pyramid shaped wings and nymphs blending in seamlessly with most organic display items also the most arboreal(in my experience tbey only breed well if kept like arboreal tropical mantids) but tbe coolest part? The newborn nymphs hide under the moms pyramid wings until their first molt feeding on the moms blood with a specialized pair of jaws they molt off after leaving moms back!

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Pseudoglomeris magnifica are pretty aboreal I think, active during the day, and easy to keep. Just really expensive... 😅 

Out of all the Epilamprids in the hobby, I do think the Thorax are truly the only aboreal ones, as adults are often found in shrubbery in the wild, whereas Rhabdoblatta adults fly and climb around a lot at night, but prefer to hide under objects and such during the day in my experience. 

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