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Everything posted by stanislas

  1. This is why I keep my roaches under red led light at night. I allows me to see them, while they do not see me or the light. I can even touch them (which startles them). I also use a red head light to watch critters in the garden at night.
  2. I know it has been a long time since you posted this, but i do wonder: do you still have them? How did you manage these mites?
  3. Indeed, you won't see them often while they are nymphs. But I do see the soil shifting from day to day. Also I have a camera on them that registers movements (in this case moving soil that is). They exhibit quite some activity below the surface. They are quite low maintenance...
  4. Yes, provide a moist lower layer and a dry top layer. They often will remain in the zone between them. They do indeed eat mostly dead leaves and a bit of protein rich food like fish flakes. Mine haven't eaten fruit nor vegetables yet. They are fairly active, but mostly within the substrate. I haven't manages yet to 'smell' something when handling them. Perhaps I'm too gentle
  5. I have 7 Polyphaga saussurei roaches since november 2016. It looks like some are now becoming adults. And while so far they almost never got to the surface, even at night, one adult female saussurei is above ground every night since a couple of days. At first I was wondering that she might be in need of extra food, or moisture. But adding extra food and moisture hasn't changed this behavior. So that got me thinking. My hypothesis at the moment is that this female is kind of waiting for a male to 'find' her. I think so because I've found some articles described the life cycle of these kind of roaches. Shortly said, the males are active in early summer. At that moment they fly around in search of females. Pheromones are most likely involved, but none the less, the female increased meeting changes if she is at the surface (I think). Eggs are laid in summer and overwinter until next spring (hence the reason why they take so long to hatch). So I believe she is looking for a mating partner. I expect her to start making an ootheca soon. For now I can enjoy watching her every evening... What do you all think of this? Have you noticed something similar?
  6. That's the reason I also refrein from using oats... Last time I used that, the enclosure was swarming with tiny white specks. As far as I know, cat food is in general better quality, with more proteins, due to the fact that cats have higher requirements than dogs. I guess cockroaches know the difference somehow.
  7. An update would be great! Especially now I've collected Ectobius sylvestris in a forest nearby my home. I would like to culture these roaches. See how far I can get. As far as I understand from the thread is that I need relatively big enclosure with a lot of variation...
  8. During the day, my Eupolyphaga roaches stay hidden in the substrate. However at dusk and during the night the adults are relatively active. The males tend to wander around and will escape if the lid isn't closed well (happened here). Compared to Polyphaga roaches I find them much more active. They are however shy and will dig if disturbed. If you pick them up, they often play 'death'. As 'All about insects' and 'Roach collector' mentioned, they eat leaves and eat quite a lot of additional food. I feed mine gold fish food in addition to the substrate leaves. They do prefer more moisture than most Polyphaga species. I keep half of the container moist. I use a substrate of coconut coir mixed with partly rotten oak leaves. My roaches mainly reside in the moist part of the enclosure. They are produce a lot of ootheca, which hatch relatively fast if you keep the temperature high (4-6 weeks at 30°C-32°C/ 86°F-90°F) .
  9. I think you can disturb them pretty often without problems. These insects are quite adaptable. They will get used to being handled, to movements, to light changes. The peppered roaches of my children for example are docile and tamed compared to my colony. They do fine none the less. How to pick up? I either just take them in their sides or push my hand under them. In the latter case they do tend to climb upward (as Twilightroach pointed out, although the diggers tend to prefer going downwards).
  10. I would tend to leave them rotting on a heap before adding them to the roach bins here. Kind of partly decomposing then first. But I couldn't find evidence indicating that fresh (or dried fresh) leaves are harmful. So you millage may vary and perhaps it will work just fine. You could keep us updated on your experiences!
  11. Thanks! It took quite some pictures to get it right and luckily the sun was shining, so the light was ok (and a good camera+lens helps). And I'm glad to have these babies. For a particular reason: my Eupolyphaga sinensis population is in quarantine due to a Sancassania berlesei mite problem. These mites came with the animals I bought. I haven't managed so far to get rid of the mites. They are though and have a special kind of nymph stage (hypopus) that attached itself with suckers to the roaches. They don't do harm to the roaches. They rather use the roaches as transport to food sources (phoresy). None the less I do not want them in my roach collection. So I collect the ootheca, clean them thoroughly and keep them seperate. That way I hope to start a new colony without mites. Well, now I have the first nymphs going
  12. My first Eupolyphaga sinensis nymphs appeared! I managed to get some photographs of the 2 day old nymphs. They must have eaten already, as their intestines got dark. They are about 3mm / 0.12 inch in length. The ootheca hatched after about 6-7 weeks (at constant 28C / 83F).
  13. From: Phenols as defensive secretion in a Malayan cockroach,Archiblatta hoeveni vollenhoven, Journal of Chemical Ecology,May 1978, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 375–381: "They produced sharp chirping noises and re- peatedly sprayed us with large quantities of a stinking fluid. " "A quantitative analysis gave a ratio of 274:1 (p-cresol to 1 phenol). " P-cresol <-- bad smell Phenol <-- nasty
  14. You could go for a slow growing species from the Corydiinae subfamily. For example an Arenivaga, Eupolyphaga or Polyphaga species? They are easy and handsome (in my biased opinion). Their reproduction is rather slow, so it will certainly take a while before you start thinking of them as a 'feeder'. On the other hand, once you do get there, I'm not sure if all recipients on the other side of the feeder business can palate these roaches. Perhaps it's better to sell them by that time.
  15. Polyphaga saussurei. The less flexible body and the loose sand are a bit too much... These cockroaches tend to take 'their time'....
  16. And a male Eupolyphaga sinensis on his back (note that it's a 'white eye'):
  17. Out of curiosity to see how different cockroach species handle being on their back on sand, I made some videos. Fine sand is very difficult for insects deal with... First: Eupolyphaga sinensis female:
  18. It's tempting to put their DNA on one of the sequencers here (I'm working as labspecialist and bioinformatician in a human genetics lab)...
  19. There have been predatory cockroaches in the past: Ancient predatory cockroach found (BBC)
  20. I use Hypoaspis miles predatory mites in my enclosures. I added them after a grain mite infection (my own fault) and after I got Eupolyphaga sinensis roaches that carried Sancassania berlesei mites. The grain mites were no match for the predatory mites, but the Sancassania mites fared better (but their numbers are dwindling). I also have the impression that they took care of the fungi gnats (those small black flies). They have become rare as well. All my enclosures have predatory mites. Their numbers stay low. For me they work well. I don't think one has to fair a 'hostile' mite take-over. They are self limiting once their prey is on the verge of extermination. That's my 2 cents on the matter.
  21. So Kyle does ship to Europe? I live in Belgium, and I'm looking for Arenivaga roaches as well. Maybe we can split costs
  22. Probably of interest: Cockroaches Their biology, distribution and control World Health Organization, 1999 (May be freely viewed, abstracted, reproduced and translated) link to document Excerpt: P 20. Polyphaga saussurei Biology, life cycle and ecology It has been reported that under the conditions which prevail in the range of this species 3.5-4 years may be required to complete its life cycle. While this may seem rather long, it must be remembered that this is a large insect and the weather conditions in that region can be rather harsh. This species is adapted to live in loamy or clay soils. Because of this fact, it thrives in housing with clay floors and walls. It is reported to be capable of parthenogenesis and is an important domiciliary species in south-central Asia (Bey-Bienko 1950).
  23. I don't know the optimal breeding temperature. Although I think room temperature would do fine. I can't immediately find the article I've reads about the life cycle of Polyphaga species in the region where one can find Polyphaga saussurei. I remember it to be a life cycle of hibernating in winter, becoming active in spring, reproduce (males in nature search for the females at night) and lay eggs during summer and autumn. The eggs hatch next spring. After which the cockroaches grow during summer and autumn. Males probably become adults after a year, females perhaps after two years. That also explains why these eggs take so long to hatch. Considering the habitat and the life cycle, I believe it also explains their slow growth. They indeed tend to dig deep. Mine are mostly at the bottom of a 2 inch substrate, I'm sure they might get deeper if I added more. They do exhibit some kind of crepuscular activity pattern here (although I should do some kind of statistical analysis over a longer period to conform this): Interesting to now that they eat collard greens. Good to know that. I found on a Russian site that they also eat cow and horse dung. So I tested the latter (dried), and they indeed showed interest and ate a bits of it.
  24. They (Chinese) indeed breed these roaches en mass. There are in fact a lot of patent description available that describe methods to breed them. The English translation isn't particularly good (rather abysmal), but it contains a well of information: breeding patent eggs hatching method And there are many more....
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