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Everything posted by CritterChick

  1. Eh, usually a name is just a name. It doesn't have to mean that something takes after it's namesake. I really like the name Freya. Perhaps some of your hissers should be related. Thor, Sif, Odin, Frigg, Tyr, Baldr, Hel and the awesome wolf Fenrir are some of the most recognizable.
  2. My tarantulas all have names that translate into "Legs" or "knees" in various languages. Thank you, Google translate. My assassin bug is named Vlad. My giant vinegaroon is named Mittens. I haven't yet named the whipscorpion, but I'm leaning toward Hyde McFeely. The roaches are mostly just "minions". My carpet python is called Thabu, which means "snake" in one of the coastal aboriginal languages (again, according to the interwebz). My short-tailed opossum male is called Gator because he shows me his teeth whenever I startle him. In general, I'm a fan of names from various mythologies, especially greek, norse, and hindu. I haven't yet named any individual roaches, but I did have a trio of scorpions ages ago that were named Zeus, Nemesis, and Persephone. The gods and goddesses of greek mythology are wonderfully varied and intertwined, and you can almost certainly find one with the attributes to fit just about any pet. Slightly less diverse are the norse and hindu gods, but with arguably cooler names
  3. It does look like he's "exhaling" like a hisser with a little body flex when he's making the noise. I also don't see any ruffling or vibrating of the wings like you'd expect with stridulation. That's really interesting!
  4. I use those terrariums, too, because I love the front doors. I've learned that for just about any invert, those backgrounds turn out to be problematic as they are. I'm too lazy to plug all the holes with aquarium sealant, plus I don't want to make them even harder to take out when someone inevitably makes their way back there.. so I just toss them now. For really neat backdrops for all your critter tanks, check this out.
  5. I've rinsed them off under the tap with lukewarm water. The roaches aren't real thrilled about the idea, but come out of it none the worse for wear. Of course, I've only ever had to do this with new arrivals, so a handful at a time. If I had a fully established colony, it probably wouldn't be worth the effort.
  6. I find it interesting that the P. saussurei almost seem crepuscular. The majority of their activity is within 2 hours of sunrise and sunset, but nothing in the middle of the night. I'd also be curious to see if activity in the P. obscura would change if the temperature didn't rise in sync with the light source. While this is obviously how it would occur in nature, my curiosity is whether it's the heat or the light that gets them hiding.
  7. They're actually commensal mites, meaning the mites get a benefit but are neither beneficial nor detrimental to their host. I personally dislike them and get rid of them, but I've never had allergic issues to my hissers. Some people have issues with the fungi that hissers apparently host and that's what these mites reduce. From what I've been able to ascertain, aside from a reduction in these fungi, there's no noticeable difference in life expectancy or health of a hissing roach colony with or without their mites. Granted, the knowledge I've picked up regarding these mites has been through internet searches and only 2 different colonies of hissers that I've had personal experience with, neither of which was princisia. Maybe the more experienced keepers here will have different insight more specific to your roaches.
  8. Which kind of reptiles do you keep? Bigger reptiles like tegus or monitors can definitely handle the tough exoskeleton of the hissers and would probably even enjoy the challenge, but the roaches that are commonly kept by the awesome group of folks on this forum are extremely varied. There are probably many species that would be as fun to keep as the hissers and more palatable or exciting to your reptiles. Chameleons, for example, get super excited about the green banana roaches. Watching bearded dragons chase the turks around is hilarious. Leopard geckos are ambush predators that aren't the best at catching the faster moving roaches, nor do they have the jaw strength of a beardie. Pac Man frogs can handle just about anything, though they'll swallow their prey whole so prekilling is recommended. The occasional insect treat for a crested gecko should be a climber so the crestie doesn't have to go to the bottom for the snack, but it should also be pretty soft bodied. Basically, there's a roach for everyone. Careful, though. . . soon you'll be a collector.
  9. Calcium carbonate as ingredient #4 might be worrisome. It's meant as a gutload diet, which means it should be fed for a few days prior to feeding them to a reptile to increase the calcium content in their gut. I wouldn't imagine that much calcium would be healthy long term for a non-crustacean invertebrate. For use as part of a varied diet it would probably be fine.
  10. I just go to Home Depot and get these styrofoam boards. They cut easily with a box cutter if you want accurate dimensions, but they can also just be scored and snapped. I put them under some heating pads to keep the surface the bin is sitting on from soaking all the heat away, and it also tends to even out the heat distribution. It also allows me to leave the heat pad in place on the insulation and easily move the bins for cleaning/inspection without dragging a cord around. I don't know if I'd consider it safe against a glass tank, and placing the heat source at the bottom of a bin with substrate & burrowing species can be a recipe for disaster. My feeder bin is bare bottomed and all their shelter is in vertical egg crates, meaning the temperature gradient is vertical. In all of my non-feeder bins and habitats, I keep a horizontal temperature gradient. I don't want the critters having to decide whether to feel safe & hidden or properly warm; they should always be able to find shelter at whatever temperature they're wanting. The feeders, unfortunately, have to be set up a little more utilitarian for ease of cleaning (as infrequently as I do so) and collecting individuals to be fed out. The bins I use are these, since the dark plastic seems to hold the heat better and the roaches don't really like the light anyway. I wouldn't recommend a dark bin for flying species, or you'll have a hilarious surprise every time you open it. These bins don't have gaskets for perfect sealing, so I'd recommend a grease barrier for climbers.
  11. Yep! In leopard geckos, for example, if the eggs are incubated below about 83 degrees, almost all of the hatchlings will be female. Between 84-86ish, there'll be a mix of genders, and above 86, almost all of the hatchlings will be male. Often if the "wrong" gender is hatched at a given temperature, they'll display adult behavior of the opposite gender and be either infertile, or at least uninterested in the opposite gender. I've hatched "hot" females before, and it's pretty interesting watching them grow up to posture like males.
  12. He is really cool. I love watching him look for food. That pair of legs that doubles as antennae are really amazing in their ability to seek out where the prey went to, and he can sure scoot there fast!
  13. Oh, heck no. Trying to identify and capitalize on individual traits (aside from appearance) in a colony bred animal would be next to impossible, which is why nobody's bothering to do it. Maybe that's why so many of us keep a bunch of different species
  14. Since we're on the subject, a valid question to ask is why hybridize? If you're breeding feeder roaches, you can be selective for size, palatability, meat to shell ratio, litter size, etc. If you're breeding pets, you might also look for size, as well as color, reduced skittishness, or hiss proclivity & volume. Either hobbyist might breed for husbandry traits, like hissers that don't care to climb, dubias that don't care to burrow, or bananas that aren't so fast to fly. Aside from maybe color, I think realistically no one is actually doing this. Unless you're regularly splitting your colony and culling/selling off the roaches that least fit the direction you're trying to go, the hybridization is only laziness. If we really care about the species we keep, we won't let convenience be the driving force behind the direction we take our collection.
  15. I wonder if the gender that hatches from the ooths can be swayed by temperature like some reptiles.
  16. I feel like hybridization in captivity is only a problem as it relates to conservation. It's important that pure strains remain or the different species within the genuses start getting muddy. As others on this forum have pointed out, as long as you're indicating to your buyers (even if they're just the local pet shop) that your roaches are hybrids, it shouldn't be an issue. The purists still have plenty of places to get their stock. As far as US stock and Euro stock vs. original wild stock being different, that's all a natural process. Whether through an inadvertent introduction of a hybrid, selectively breeding for a specific trait, or perhaps even a dominant male skewing the gene pool in a given colony, isolated populations of anything will undergo changes from generation to generation. Take a look at the English budgerigar, for example, or the American Bull Terrier. The best thing to do when trying to avoid hybrids (at least, in the case of roaches) is wait until your new additions are adults before introducing them to your existing colony. If you still can't tell which species they are, don't mix them in.
  17. I think you'd have to kill the roach first, since none of the carnivorous plants I know of (at least, not the ones we can keep as houseplants) are strong enough to hold onto a roach unless it's a tiny nymph.
  18. I've always liked the roaches and tarantulas, but the centipedes and whipscorpions were definitely an acquired interest. It wasn't too many years ago that I drew a hard line at centipedes. . . and then I did some reading. This past summer, I actually cried when my flagtail centipede died. Granted, a lot of that was guilt because I'd forgotten to take into consideration just how fast that stupid ceiling fan was going to dry out the bins, but I was very sad. I still can't find a new one, since the Brits (who seem to have plenty) can't ship to the US. So I've got a tiger on order from Peter, and I'm still thinking about getting a subspinipes. I'm just on the fence about having one that's that venomous in the house, since I've got the dogs and a pig who thinks bugs are delicious. So if anyone has a line on flag tailed centipedes, let me know
  19. So maybe your pied were a bit like the glowspot roaches, where they needed a special diet to crop up with their color. Really, I think your mardi gras 'pods are super cool looking, and I'm glad they're breeding true for you!
  20. My name's Steph and I have a pretty ridiculous menagerie in my house. In addition to my interest in roaches, I have about a dozen different tarantulas, a horrid king assassin bug, death feigning beetles, and a giant whipscorpion. Moving to the caged vertebrates, I have a carpet python, a herd of Syrian hamsters (I have a handful of genes I breed for), sugar gliders, short-tailed opossums, and a little winter white hamster. Then there's the bulldog, the pug, and the miniature pig. Like I said, we're ridiculous... but it's my house & my rules. I have to close the doors to two of the bedrooms for my mother to even step foot in here, lest she accidentally glimpse a spider or some other creepy crawly as she walks through. Ages ago, I had madagascar hissers which was my first real interest in roaches, though they doubled as pets and feeders for bearded dragons. Right now I have the oddly combined dubia/turk colony that are feeders for just about everyone: T's, Vlad (the assassin bug that dislikes crickets, but finds dubias acceptable and baby turks a delicacy), the whipscorpion who's still currently nameless & tiny, the 'possums & gliders, and especially the pig. Olive saves me from strays, because if I drop a bug while feeding, I just say "Olive, find it!" and her nose hits the floor. I've been working in the pet industry for 20+ years now and have experience with all kinds of critters. I love working with animals, teaching people about them, and learning more things every day.
  21. Good call on holding off on the "So... I might've misplaced several giant tropical cockroaches somewhere in our house" conversation! If they do, let's hope the roommate isn't the first person to spot them
  22. Do you sell your slings? I've got a P. cambridgei but I'd love an irminia as well.
  23. I think Mardi Gras would be a cool color name, or even just "party" the way they refer to some dog breeds with color patches as "party colored". Also, if you get your colony big enough and reproducing predictably, put me on your waiting list for sales
  24. My guess is that your piebald morph wasn't a heritable trait at all, but either a random mutation or something that happened during a pivotal time during their early development. Maybe a temperature or humidity fluctuation, or a certain material/microbe that was briefly present or ingested. Then it becomes a frustrating guessing game to try and reproduce that condition. The notion of heritable color traits in my pet inverts is super interesting to me. I hadn't ever really thought of breeding for color or pattern in them, I just figured oddball colors were either a fluke or a family line tendency as opposed to a specific inheritance. The mosaic pattern in sugar gliders, for example, isn't technically heritable. It falls within certain bloodlines, but there's no guarantee of the offspring being born mosaic, or what version of it they get (mosaic is simple random places where the pigment doesn't take. Sometimes they have ringtail markings, sometimes they have white patches on their bodies/faces). There's no "mosaic carriers" or "het for mosaic". It's just knowing that mosaic parents are likely to throw mosaic joeys, where a family line of gliders that hasn't ever had a mosaic isn't going to just crop up with one. Getting even nerdier, it can have to do with where (which allele)on what gene the mutation has occurred. In both my syrian hamsters and sugar gliders, for example, there are colors that are mutations of the same gene. That means no matter what other wacky combination of colors I want to create, I can never make a platinum leucistic sugar glider or an extreme dilute, dark eared white syrian hamster because these two color traits are on the same gene; you can't mutate the gene in two different directions at once.
  25. If the mutation causing your new color is recessive, it would require both parents to carry both copies of said gene to pass it to 100% of their offspring. If it's dominant, the offspring only need to receive one copy of the gene to express the color and continue passing it on. There are also color genes that are homozygous lethal, meaning that if the offspring inherit both copies, they're dead before they're born. I wonder if something like that happened with your previous color morph when you segregated them from the rest of the colony. Then again, that situation (at least in rodents) would generally result in smaller litters since a percentage of them are reabsorbed as embryos, but the offspring that inherited only one copy of the fatal gene would still express the color and thrive.
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