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Everything posted by stanislas

  1. My roach colonies were full of these gnats. This is what I did: - Reduce moisture in the bins. - Smeared non toxic silicone grease on places where the roaches didn't come, but the flies did. The gnats land on it and get stuck. I ended up with hundreds, of not thousands, of dead flies on the grease. - Added predatory mites. Occasionally I still see fungus gnats, but their number is on the low side.
  2. I still haven't made up my mind about what to think of this. Could well be stridulation based. I haven't managed to get to abdomen well into view in the video. The animal also made the sound when it didn't had the wings in contact with the abdomen. The wings don't move, while the abdomen contracted while making the 'hiss'. Wouldn't one expect the wings to vibrate or move in some sort of way? I know it's controversial. And considering that I've only seen it in an older male and then only after several years 'watching the dudes'. So it certainly isn't a common feature. I would love to see a video with stridulation sound in cockroaches. Just to compare the 'sound' and the movements made. In any case, I'm curious if anyone else had observed this? Any idea on how to test for the mechanism? (although I'm not keen on mutilating my animal by taking away the wings).
  3. I keep mine in a substrate of dried crushed oak leaves, coconut fiber, oak forest substrate and a bit of sand (with rounded grains, there are different types of sand). One corner is keep moist which I allow to dry before adding new water. The rest of the enclosure is bone dry. I feed them some fish food in the dry section. They sometimes eat a bit of grapes when they are on the verge of molting. They have so far neglected all kinds of other food I offered. I monitor them with a camera with a motion detection algorithm adapted to my roaches. Their activity can be pretty low at times. When the temperatures are low (17-20C/ 63-68F) they can be inactive for days. For Polyphaga obscura, which are closely related, it is described that they exhibit a kind of hibernation during the colder part of the year. Keep in mind that these roaches come from a climate with cold nights, certainly in winter, and very high day temperatures in summer. The roaches avoid these extremes by living in burrows of other animals. For Polyphaga saussurei it's been described that they can be found in the burrows of Rhombomys opimus (great gerbil) and Testudo horsfieldi (Russian tortoise).
  4. I discovered that older male Archimandrita tesselata roaches can hiss. I was completely surprised that when I touched one of my 2 year old males, he hissed. Pretty much the same way as a Madagascar roach does (albeit much fainter). I checked to see if it wasn't through wings scrubbing or something similar. But the abdomen actually contracted much like one can see in the Madagascar roaches. So I did try to make a video of the hissing action. The quality isn't optimal, as only a red light illuminates the enclosure. To improve viewing, I converted it to black/white. The hissing is also quite faint, but nevertheless audible. Anyone else observed this? Only one of my males does exhibit this behavior, so I assume it isn't common. Hissing Archimandrita tesselate roaches
  5. Perhaps it would indeed be a good idea to put it all on my website.It's relative low cost, as it's mostly off-the-shelf material. I'll try to organize and document it all. What took most of the time was building the software to do the motion detection, create decent PID temperature controllers + software, and the light control and moisture system. But once it's all up and running, its fairly easy to add more of them. And indeed, it's very interesting to have such a control system. I have a PhD in molecular genetics. Never worked with insect though, but now I have my setup I see quite some opportunities to learn more about these animals.
  6. Youtube took my video down? Are cockroaches inappropriate???? Update: youtube reinstated my cockroach video. No idea why they found in inappropriate at first.
  7. For those interested: I've made a time lapse video of the Polyphaga saussurei cockroaches. The activity detection algorithm draws circles in this video whenever something moves. video of activity detection Polyphaga saussurei So far the algorithm is fairly robust and does not get thrown off when the light levels change during the day.
  8. Maybe I should document it all on a blog or something. That would allow me to share code and designs (which a gladly would like to share). It's fun to see their activity in real-time. I have to admit that I tend to 'check in' on my roach bins while I'm at work (and the boss isn't looking ). Downside is that one can get worried if the roaches haven't moved for a few days (which the P. saussurei's tend to to once in while). My Polyphaga obscura enclosure:
  9. The P. saussurei indeed a crepuscular activity pattern. They are often inactive in the middle of the night. The animals in the enclosure are adults. The P. obscura roaches are much younger nymphs. And they are active the whole night. The Therea roaches (also nymphs) show a much longer activity period. Only at the middle of the day they becomes less active. Here a graph of the last 3 days: I do have some data from the Polyphaga saussurei bin when there wasn't a light bulb installed. They did receive some light during the day (no direct daylight), although very little. It looks to me that they where mostly active when the temperature dropped: It's an interesting suggestion that you make! Putting the light and temperature out of sync for a week or so. Good idea!
  10. Recentlly I automated my cockroach enclosures. An automated day/night heatingcycle. Gradual light dimming with red lights at night. Automated fogging to add moisture. This all combined with cameras that register and quantify movement. That gives me quite a good insight on the activity of these critters. I don't think that it's in any way needed for their well being. But it's fun to do... for me at least. I use heating mats (for the Polyphaga roaches) and a heating bulb (for the Therea). Raspberry pi's to control the heaters (PID controllers implemented in Python. Light: Milight wifi lights controlled by a raspberry pi with radio. Each enclosure has a raspberry pi with a camera to monitor the activity. All data is send to a raspberry pi with Emoncms systen to collect data and make graphs. So far it's (as expected) clear that these roaches are noctural Any one else with a similar approach for his/her roaches?
  11. I've good news regarding this issue: There is a Chinese article that describes how one can distinguish P. obscura from P. saussurei. "Study on the morphology and internal structures of Polyphaga obscura Chopart" (http://europepmc.org/abstract/CBA/297263) I've manages to get the complete article, and my Chinese colleague has read it for me. Basically, the ootheca differ. The ootheca teeth differ: Polyphage saussurei has more spaced teeth (the article describes the space between the teeth > 1/2 width of the teeth): (source image: http://www.cic-net.co.jp/blog/cat6/polyphaga_saussurei/) Polyphaga obscura: teeth closer together (article describes this as space between teeth < 1/2 width teeth): (source image: http://www.cic-net.co.jp/blog/cat6/polyphaga_obscura/) I have both Polyphaga saussurei and obscura. But the P. obscura are still small, so I cannot compare yet. My P. saussurei roaches are indeed very shiny:
  12. One of my Archimandrita roaches hissed?!

  13. Wish I could post messages...

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