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Everything posted by Betta132

  1. I'd suggest boiling them to be sure there's no salt or contaminants on them, but they should be fine. At worse, they won't really do anything. The roaches will probably like hiding under them, and if you're really lucky, they'll nibble off all the outside and leave you with the pretty mother-of-pearl inside. I have deer bones in my death's head roach enclosure. Mostly because I thought it would be cool to see these big black Jack-O-Lantern roaches sitting on bones, but also as hiding places and calcium.
  2. I assume these little buggers won't hurt the roaches? I have both. I wouldn't care, except that my roach tanks are in my room and the occasional high-flying gnat always seems to head for my face. They're actually going to be useful, though. I'm getting some carnivorous plants for Christmas, particularly sundews (little sticky guys that make a sweet smell to attract gnats), and they'll be going on the windowsill right above the tanks. I don't expect them to eliminate the gnats, there will always be some that stay in the cage and breed where the plants can't get them, but the sundews will probably like having a fairly steady food supply, and I assume that having sweet-smelling traps right up above the tanks will catch all the bothersome escapees before they get in my face.
  3. Small heat packs actually meant for that sort of thing are usually safe, assuming they're separated from the bugs. But, really, you should find out (or get the buyer to find out) the lowest possible temps in the area and refuse to ship if it's just too cold. A lot of services that ship live animals will shut down for the winter if they're located somewhere really cold. Styrofoam is good insulation, provided it's on all six sides, and it's pretty cheap.
  4. If the pieces fit in a pot that you own, you can submerge them in water and boil them for awhile. It makes your kitchen smell like someone made tea out of a forest, but that's not a bad smell, just a bit weird. You can also fit half a chunk of wood into a pot, boil it for a few minutes, and then flip it over to put the other half in.
  5. Hissers are pretty chill, mostly because any you'll buy have been in captivity for quite a few generations. Just let them calmly walk across you or sit in your hand, and most will get used to it pretty quickly. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don't walk away. They probably won't enjoy being petted, roaches don't secrete oxytocin (the stuff that makes mammals go 'yes this affection is good I like it') and don't recognize affection, but it won't hurt them to lightly touch them now and then.
  6. OK, good to know, thanks. Is there any way to tell which Gromphodorhina these guys are descended from? That one black nymph looks like Oblongonata, but the colors look more like maybe Portentosa? Frankly, I'm just Google Image searching the species names to compare them, I don't have the experience to do anything beyond that. Actually, it seems I might have found out what they are. According to the seller, these are a mix of Petco roaches and Cape Cod roaches. Cape Cod sells Oblongonata, and although Petco doesn't currently seem to have any for sale, their care sheets are for Portentosa.
  7. Hm, could have sworn I read somewhere not to put any two species of hissers together because they can interbreed. That makes sense, though, somebody involved must have been misinformed. In that case, I suppose I don't have any reason not to put a couple of Elliptorhina in there if I happen to come across some. They seem to be settling in pretty well, though for some reason I found them all crammed under the same piece of bark. They have plenty of other spots to hide. Is this fairly normal behavior, or is something wrong with all the other places? They're in a bin with a scattering of peat moss, a couple of deer bones and a few chunks of bark to hide under, a water bowl stuffed with peat moss so they can't drown in it, and some food. The chunk of bark they've picked is the only one without peat moss under it- could it be they don't like the moss, or just aren't used to it? I thought they might like to hide under it, even if they don't burrow. And yes, there's petrolium jelly keeping them in. I put a band nearly 4" thick around the whole thing, which is probably overkill, but I don't want these getting out because I'll never find them. I'd especially hate to have a pregnant female somehow push the lid off, that would just not be fun to discover too late.
  8. Just got 7 hybrid hissers, 2 adult pairs (with gravid females) and 3 1" nymphs, out of curiosity to see what patterns and colors might develop. And, yes, they will be clearly labeled as hybrids and I probably won't be getting rid of them anyway. The poor guy with the nibbled antennae also has a corner of his second abdominal plate missing, he's clearly been chewed on a bit. I'm not surprised- I ordered 1 pair and got WAY more than I expected, so clearly the seller is a bit overstocked. These two are about 5g each. These girls are both nice and fat, so evidently I'm about to have a few dozen hissers. That's slightly more than I really needed, but oh well. They're around 7g each. Really hoping these keep those dark colors, especially the black nymph. Didn't weigh them because they're more active and wouldn't stay on the scale. Any clues on possible ancestors? That one black guy looks like baby Gromphadorhina oblonganata to me, and I'm not sure what to make of the adults. Also, assuming this is genetically possible, how frowned upon would it be to add an Elliptorhina javanica to see what the offspring look like, since this is already a hybrid batch? That seems like it might have the potential for some really interestingly-patterned babies.
  9. Put damp sponges/paper towels in dishes around the cage and hope they find one. That's probably your best bet, aside from looking under everything.
  10. Gorgeous! I'd look into getting a permit, you could probably make a very tidy profit off of those cool critters if they bred for you.
  11. Have you tried dead crickets that it might not be afraid of, maybe held in tweezers? You can get maggots for fishing bait, maybe try a few of them? They're very soft and bad at getting away from things, and they're small.
  12. I think if you only itch when the hooks are in your skin, it's not an allergy so much as your nerves going "DUDE WHAT THE HECK" and objecting. If there's a visible reaction afterwards, that would definitely be an allergy, and probably something to avoid as much as possible so it doesn't get worse. You could probably wear swim goggles to keep the offending dust out of your eyes while cleaning. They make big goggles that are fairly comfortable to wear.
  13. Generally, it takes a lot of exposure for a non-pre-existing allergy to develop. I'd suggest wearing a mask to clean the cage- I think they make masks specifically to block out allergens while mowing grass, something like that would work. If your system isn't being constantly flooded by the roach particles, it's less likely to decide that the particles are a threat.
  14. If it's any comfort, most insects don't have the nerve structures necessary to feel pain. They can register if something is injuring them and therefore needs to be moved away from, but they don't feel pain in the way that we do. Which is why you sometimes find bugs running around nonchalantly with pieces missing, and why this female is acting more or less normally. I wonder if they could have been handled roughly by a vendor or during transport and suffered internal injuries that led to this?
  15. They do not eat fruits and vegetables, that would be like trying to feed lettuce to a vulture. Cat kibble is fine, but be sure you get a fairly high-quality brand with a LOT of protein. Far too many cat foods are mostly fillers.
  16. Ah, cool! Thank you! These guys were just downstream of a waterfall over a dam. I wonder if they just happened to like the wall, or if the waterfall was to their liking?
  17. Perhaps "flecked" or "calico" for the name? Hope they're willing to breed at least mostly true, they're very neat. Looks like they've been sprinkled with gold.
  18. How long does it take for them to fatten up? I could swear this one was like that when I got them last month, and I thought it looked like that last week, but I suppose I could have been mistaking different newly molted ones for the same one. These guys are turning out to be really cool. They'll already sit on my hand and not try to escape, can't wait until they're big and showy.
  19. There seems to be a fairly large amount of variation among the species, depending on the source stock, and some of them are entirely brown and orange instead of having any black on them. Looks like it wouldn't be too difficult to start with some of those paler individuals and breed a light orange strain. Pumpkin roaches would be a neat variant of Halloween roaches. Plus, some of the lighter ones already have thin white bands, so it looks like it might be possible to eventually breed a pure white strain. Would this theoretically be possible?
  20. I have no idea what these are actually called, or if they even have a common name, but here's some cool damselflies. They were perched at the top of a 20ft wall over a river, and there were probably at least 12 switching out between sitting on the plant and flying. They were surprisingly bold- didn't care about me putting my phone 6 inches from their faces. I could probably have caught them by hand if I'd tried. Not shown: the series of 10 photos taken from increasingly short distances because I had no idea how close I could get to them without scaring them away. Turns out, very close, but I've had damselflies spook from 7 feet away.
  21. I recently purchased some Blaberus craniifer nymphs, and all are healthy and growing nicely, but one looks a bit different. Most are oval-shaped, not particularly shiny, have checker-stripes all the way across their abdomens, and are fairly plump. The outlier is almost completely round, very shiny, has markings only around the outside of its abdomen, and is flat despite usually hiding under something right next to the food. Also, it's more skittish than the rest. The other nymphs its size will sit semi-calmly in my hand, the outlier won't hold still or tolerate being in the light. Is this just an oddly flat nymph, or could it possibly be a different variety?
  22. Banana roaches are surprisingly pretty for roaches, and from what I've read, they aren't too skittish. They seem like they'd be suitable for some sort of nicely decorated display enclosure rather than the usual bin full of dirt. Assuming they didn't have a very bright light shining on them, would they come out and be visible? Also, could they theoretically be kept with some sort of low-light plant, like maybe some ferns? Or would they just eat anything that tried to grow no matter how much additional food they got? And, if the goal was only to have a stable colony and not to grow five bazillion of them, how big a tank would they need? And would they use vertical space at all if given climbing things? I've found some really nice mini terrariums for sale, but most of them are tall and made for climbing things. It'd look a bit silly to have roaches in only the bottom quarter.
  23. I've been to a couple of different reptile expos, and those are usually a lot of fun, but they usually don't have any invertebrates other than those intended to be food for other things. Does anyone know of any events of the sort more directed towards insects, specifically any around Central Texas?
  24. There's an insect collection method where you place a large funnel over a jar, put a big scoop of insect-filled dirt in the funnel, and shine a big light at the top. As the soil dries out, the bugs crawl deeper into the soil, and you take the top layer of bug-less soil off to expose more of it until the bugs eventually crawl out the bottom of the funnel and end up in the jar. Would this be a viable method for removing small nymphs from bedding when the tank needs to be cleaned out? It might take a while, but it would probably be very effective.
  25. I'm lovin' my horseshoe crab roaches, Hemiblabera tenebricosa. They don't come out much, but sticking your hand into a seemingly empty tank and coming out with a half-dollar-sized roach is fairly impressive to guests, and they aren't even fully grown yet. They're also fairly chill, easy to handle, and kinda cute. For roaches.
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