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Posts posted by Nathant

  1. On 1/17/2017 at 10:07 PM, Matttoadman said:

    Welcome. A little tip on acquiring pet roaches. First get a species that doesn't look at all like a roach........... its down hill from there lol

    And what species would you suggest that doesn't look like one and is easy to breed?

  2. On 12/11/2016 at 4:22 PM, Hisserdude said:

    Well the offspring have been getting bigger, and I was able to get some pictures of them yesterday, here they are: 




    I'm so glad the trait has been passed on to the next generation, hopefully I'll be able to keep this culture going and spread them around in the hobby! :)

       Is that a Springtail on the right? Cute. :lol:

  3. 4 hours ago, pannaking22 said:

    As a couple extra notes, the wood shavings will likely mold very quickly if kept perpetually wet, which may or may not be an issue for the isopods. I keep pieces of bark/wood in my enclosures for everyone to hide under because it makes it easy to do a quick check on them and because it's something else they will undoubtedly chew on lol. 

     I have no problem currently with mold, but I will agree I'm in need of a better substrate.

  4. 10 minutes ago, lovebugfarm said:

    Oh wow thank you I will be really sinking my teeth into this and comb threw all of those links that is amazing. Texas has a lot of unique any spieces so I am really hopefull I can start some colonys. We have one that's red and an inch long that will clear a 3ft circle around the entrance to their nest that has always facinated me. I feel that spieces will be very challenging since I only see them in arid hard clay soil but now I have a starting place for developing the skills to care for ants. Have you ever considered raising earwigs? The make tunnels and you can watch them care for their eggs and feeding their baby's. The ones I have can't climb glass and live in a jar but they can climb plastic. Again thanks so much I have hours of reading ahead of me I love it. :)

    No problem, happy to open the doors! I have been thinking about Earwigs, they seem neat too, pretty much ants but just not social. That red species could be a Pogonomyrmex species that you were explaining, aka Harvester Ants.

  5. 56 minutes ago, lovebugfarm said:

    Well what are the basics? Are there any good links you could send me? What types do you have and do you produce queens?

    A mature ant colony will reach something called sexual maturity which could take a few years to get to. At that time, the queen(s) will start to produce larger than normal eggs. They will enclose to be flying ants, aka alates, which consist of both male and female. When conditions are met (wind, temp, humidity etc.) these alates will fly from their colonies and the alates will mate with other alates. When one colony starts flying, a sweet pheromone will fill the air, alerting the next colony (of the same genus or species) to start flying, becuase they know they have the chance to mate. This will set up a chain reaction, and soon thousands of colonies will undergo this process. This is called a Nuptial flight. When the males mate, they die shortly after. A female alate will usually mate with several males until they fly to the ground and break off their wings. That alate has just become a queen ant, aka dealate (wingless) queen. They will find a good place to start their colonies. (they have the ability to lay eggs now becuase they are full of sperm) Your job is to catch these queens. You can find them wandering around during flight time, or not. I tend to find recently mated queens under logs and rocks a lot too, but just make sure they didn't produce any eggs yet.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXs9BLdgoBY You then want to put your queen into a test tube setup. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=958o2VcABeI  Then, you must determine what species, or at least genus you have. If your species is fully-claustral, you do not need to feed your queen until she has workers. If she is semi-claustral, she needs food before her workers enclose. You can either feed her through the test tube (easiest) or attach a foraging area to the test tube (unneccasary imo), or just place the test tube in the foraging area. Ants need both carbohydrates (for the ant itself) and protein. (for developing brood) You can feed your queen if semi-claustral a drop of sugar water, honey water, mealworms, cockroaches, fruit flies, hummingbird nectar, termites and a lot more, just make sure not to catch insects or other food in the wild. (pesticides) Take away whatever is not eaten. Each colony has a different food personality and may only eat certain foods. Make sure to provide a variety however. You also have to make sure to keep your ants in the dark and only check on them once a week. Their founding stage is very crucial and they are easily stressed by frequent checkups. Given we are halfway across the country from each other, I am very unaware of species and their needed themperature/humidity, but do know for a fact that fire ants, most notably the Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta) are pretty common in Texas. They may be aggresive, but that is easily avoided if you wear gloves when dealing with food and all that. They are Very fast growing, fully claustral, and have their flights year round too. When your queen starts to lay eggs, you don't need to do anything different. When the first worker arrives however, you should wait bewteen 3-8 days to feed them if they are fully-claustral. Feeding stays the same if the queen is semi-claustral, you may just have to feed a small bit more obviously becuase the population has grown. Personally, I choose to feed them when they start pulling on the cotton, a sign they are hungry. When your colony is starting to get full in the test tube, or is starting to get difficult to feed becuause of escapees, it is formicarium and outworld/foraging area time! You can build your own formicarium http://www.formiculture.com/index.php/topic/2298-how-to-make-a-picture-frame-grout-formicarium-with-advanced-hydration/#entry28868 http://www.formiculture.com/index.php/topic/88-photo-journey-of-how-to-build-a-grout-formicarium/?hl=%2Bpicture+%2Bjourney http://www.formiculture.com/index.php/topic/88-photo-journey-of-how-to-build-a-grout-formicarium/?hl=%2Bpicture+%2Bjourney or buy some from these well-known, reliable sites https://tarheelants.com/ http://www.antscanada.com/ I personally like TarHeelAnts becuase they have more selections, they are high quality and are not overprised like AntsCanada. I reccomend an Atom nest for a small colonies, and watch how to use them in THA's youtube channel. To move them, shine a light on the test tube, and make the new formcarium dark (will make it look attracting) Forcing the colony into a new habitat is simply suicide. Regardless of whether you are building or buying, always make sure your colony fills up at least 70% of the formicarium. All the extra space will become a trash room that the ants make in which you wan the trash room to be in the outworld, where it is easily cleanable. http://www.formiculture.com/index.php/topic/2274-how-to-build-a-foraging-area/ <--- that method is a little overkill, all you need is to pour in the substrate, no grout or anything needed. Fluon is also ideal so no ants get out while cleaning. https://www.amazon.com/Fluon-Insect-Slip-Barrier-pack/dp/B00UJLH12A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484448356&sr=8-1&keywords=byformica The outworld is where you will place all food items. You also can provide a test tube full of water or sugar water into the area, but the humidity SHOULD be enough. Note that ants need a constant supply of water. As your colony grows to a certain size, you can now observe and check on them more frequently, just make sure they are in the dark while not observing though. As long as you provide continued space and food for your colony and keep them clean, they can live long. Some queens can live up to thirty years! Some species of ants are also polygynous, which means the colony can have more than one egg-laying queen (of the same species of course). If you catch a polygyonus species, you can try putting them together in the test tube. When your colony reaches sexual maturity, you can even choose to open the outworld lid, take the ants outside, and if a flight of that species is present, the alates will fly out and mate!


       That is the basics. There is a whole lot else to learn though, like species in your area and such. Here are some other links:











    Feel free to ask questions!




    • Like 1
  6. 8 hours ago, lovebugfarm said:

    Nice I may have to ask you questions about the care and husbandry of ants I really want to keep them one day...I might try a few months from now. I have an outdoor bug room my wife never goes in. Lol

    Haha. Yeah I maybe able to help you out. I have very little personal experience but know a bunch from research and stuff like that. It is more complicated to keep them than you think but is a breeze once you get the basics.

  7. 11 minutes ago, lovebugfarm said:

    It's really interesting your allowed to have ants but not roaches. My wife will never let me keep ants or termites. She's ok with the roaches but gets mad when escapees end up in the bed...for some reason that's where they always go. I tell her they like to cuddle to.

    Yeah I was bit baffled about that too. I'm even allowed to keep Carpenter ants.

  8. 7 hours ago, All About Insects said:

    Another thing, P.moscorum are very hard to breed. Here's some advice that I got on captive conditions from a keeper who did a lot better with them that the vast majority of keeps do. "They need lots lots of leaves. I kept the lid on them with very little air flow. They seem to need high humidity while not being wet. I think a high humidity about 70% with just the right air flow is the secret." He also said "they seem to prefer well shaded areas near some kind of water or a low area that stays moist" in the wild.

    I wish you luck with breeding this tough species!:)

    Oh, I never knew that was a tough species! I live right next to a brook with a good number of trees, no wonder why I only find them in my yard. They are very common under my rocks with leaves slipped under them, and when the dirt is damp. Thank you and noted!

  9. 2 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

    1. Pretty sure they mate year round.

    2. The substrate of those three should be kept pretty moist, and room temps work fine for all isopods in the hobby, temps in the 80s or higher can be harmful to some of them.

    3. Wood shavings may be OK provided they aren't from pine or some other conifer that has harmful residual oils, however I'd go with something more similar to soil, like coconut fiber.

    4. No, just cotton balls won't work, isopods abhor low moisture, and most will dry up rapidly if the whole substrate is not kept moist at all times. Some genera are tolerant of some dryness, Armadillidium for example, but even they do poorly without moist areas in the enclosure.

    5. Dead hardwood leaves are a must for isopods if you ever want them to breed, and they are an important source of nutrients for them as well. Anything else is supplemental.

    6. Not at all, if there are enough leaves in the enclosure you don't even need wood for them to hide under, I don't use wood hides in most of my isopods enclosures. 

    Hope this helps! :)

    Helps a lot, thanks! I knew at the beginning that you didn't need wood hides, but I do it more for viewing and attractiveness. As for moisture, I need to get a spray bottle or something to keep up the moisture and so it's even. Thanks once again!

  10. Hello! I am currently keeping 3 different species of Isopods in the same aquarium (which I am planning on changing real soon) I have a few beginner questions:

    1. If provided all they need, do Isopods mate year round or only certain months in captivity?

    2. What is a good moisture and temperature for Philoscia muscorum, Porcellio scaber and Oniscus asselus? (Those are all the species I am keeping)

    3. Is wood shavings an ok substrate to use in place of coconut fiber? (That is what I'm using, planning on coco fiber soon)

    4. Is providing wet cotton balls ok for producing moisture and humidity? Mine seem to love them, but I'm planning on getting a spray bottle to distribute water evenly.

    5. Are there any must-needs in their diet? All I have been feeding is oats and sugar water. The sugar water is less popular but they swarm the oats.

    6. Does the type of wood matter for hiding places? Should I perhaps wet it to make it look desirable too?

    Thank you for any help. Here is my setup BTW, planning on some changes like seperating species and new substrate, and perhaps any suggestions from you guys. :)





  11. Hello, everyone! I am a beginning bug enthusiast from New England. I keep ants and mealworms (and plan to keep a variety of other insects), but I will probably only talk about my Isopods here. I have a lot of quetions about them. I would love to keep Cockroaches but apparently they are "gross, dirty creatures" that "only live in dirty people's houses and are smelly." Hehe, I bet you could tell who that came from. :lol:  That is alright though.

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