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Everything posted by WarrenB

  1. Yeah, I can't say I'm a huge expert, but for everything I've kept, I've provided humidity in the same way as @Hisserdude. I've had few problems. There may be delicate species that I haven't run into, but for hardy, common pet species, I don't think you have to stress too much.
  2. Neat! I hope they do well for you. Looking forward to pics of the adults, especially after that description.
  3. To be honest, it's the sheer uncertainty that puts me off owning any kind of hissers at this point. Hats off to you guys willing to sift through the strains and hybrids. (And nice photos! Impressive close-ups.)
  4. Another female matured, another scene like a Benny Hill sketch. Also, first newborns spotted! I know I'm one of those 'never kept these so everything's a crisis' cases, but I was starting to doubt anything would happen. But achievement #2 has been unlocked.
  5. They seem to have taken better to the koi pellets, and I've started leaving food in a couple of places in the container, not just the dish. It's disappearing faster now. Still moulting like clockwork, too. I saw a couple shed and mature in one day, both large adults, almost swarmed by the small adults before they were fully out. Shoot, that's how little I really know about them. I assume the smaller adults are the males? So have a bunch of adults, some large nymphs, and one or two medium nymphs. So I guess I still have to wait a little longer for small nymphs, unless they're a lot shyer at that size.
  6. I've had my new red-headed roach colony for about three weeks. From what I read about them, I noted 'they like to climb', so I decided to give them plenty of vertical space and set up a ~4 litre cereal container for them, with long pieces of beech bark and twigs to rest on. Boy do they like to climb. I usually see a lot perched up at the ends of the twigs. I think I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've seen them within half an inch of the substrate. Only once on the substrate because there was a piece of food down there. Is this because they're a bit more arboreal than even I thought, or because there's something wrong with the substrate? I used Bugznbits 'millipede and snail' substrate, looks to be forest soil and fragmented rotten wood. I mixed it about 1.5 parts to 1 part play sand. It's maybe a bit damper than it needs to be, but I'm letting it dry out a bit. The guy I bought them from seems to keep them terrestrially with no problems, according to one of his youtube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XofK_BsRMKg Why the apparent change in habits? It's been a bit of a chore finding something that these roaches like to eat. Strangely similar problems with my other two newish colonies: Eublaberus posticus and Archimandrita tesselata. For the O. duesta, along with a liking for climbing, I spotted 'diurnal' and assumed that, even with a generalised diet, they might like a focus on frugivory or even palynivory. Nope! Beetle/gecko jelly is uninteresting to them. Fruit - banana, orange, apple, pear, nectarine - seems to be grudgingly nibbled around the edges or ignored. (They're crazy, those nectarines are delicious) Carrot and green pepper gets a few more bites. The one fruit or veg they seem to actually like is sweetcorn. (Plain corn over in the US, I think) Ditto for those posticus and tesselata. I thought this was unusual considering what bits and pieces I've read concerning their ease of keeping and feeding. Dry food, they seem to turn their rosy noses up at commercial roach chow. They love fish flakes, the only thing I can fill a (small) dish with and expect it to be gone by the morning. Koi pellets are also gnawed on, I expect they'd vanish quicker too if I broke them up. The first food I actually saw them eat was the dead oak leaves I stuffed in the container as extra micro-hides. They've skeletonised a couple already. Surprising, but pleasantly so. If that's what they like I've got a free and inexhaustible (and safe) supply. I've also seen them gnawing the papery bark off their climbing twig. Now is that a bad sign, that they're desperate because I haven't been delivering the right goodies; or have I been barking up the wrong tree (haw haw) and they're more detrivorous than I imagined? Would they actually prefer a nice chunk of rotten wood as opposed to all those choice groceries? The thing that's puzzling me most - I got a mix of sizes in the initial delivery. I can't remember seeing any of the smallest nymphs after a few days. Did they burrow into the substrate? Did they die? Were they cannibalised? Or have I really underestimated how fast they grow? I regularly see teneral individuals and I have noticed more bigger specimens hanging out. They're growing well so I might be doing something right. But there's the same concern: I started with some adults and currently have some adults, but I still haven't seen any small nymphs since soon after I got them. Do they burrow? Are they being cannibalised? Am I overestimating how quickly they breed? (The orange heads were producing nymphs a week or two after settling in) Is there something I described above that is preventing them from reproducing? Heat? One side of the container is up against heat mats and is about 26 - 29°C, 79 - 84°F. The roaches prefer to hang out on that side. Ventilation? I have four Spider Shop vents in the container, small 30mm (1 3/16") diameter vents, two down near the substrate and two in the lid. Any newborns might be swarming through those vents but I doubt it, they're designed to keep out fungus gnats. I also haven't seen any tiny roaches scuttling about the place. Anyway, I could stand to put another one or two in the lid. Maybe also provide photos for closer scrutiny. If you've made it this far: what am I doing wrong? For the sake of the wee roachies, be brutal.
  7. Voile isn't too strong! It doesn't take a lot to pull that out of shape either, and I wouldn't use it without a backing of mesh or similar. I wasted a few patches of it, trying to pull them over the back of the plastic vents that I had. They're ventilating a tubful of Archimandrita tesselata at the mo, and I still have a slight worry in the back of my head about those big bruisers pulling the warp and weft wide. There were a couple of times when I wished I had a scrap of muslin instead, not a million miles from cheesecloth. Oh well, they're getting another home anyway because I underestimated how much height they need.
  8. You've certainly piqued my interest. I had been trying to reduce styrofoam waste by melting it down in a jar of d-limonene, though this method sounds more up my alley. But mealworms give me hay fever and my last parcel full of packing peanuts were the biodegradable starch kind. Curse these environmentally aware internet sellers!
  9. After sticking voile over a handful of vents, I discovered something else: mesh fruit bags. The material looks to be at least as fine as voile (actually designed to keep out fruit flies!) and a bit stronger too.
  10. I've seen that in one of the online stores I looked at. You bring up another point too: it might be easier to dole out portions of the dry feed.
  11. I've a couple of palynivorous roach species on my grail list, so I'm looking up commercially available pollen substitutes around here. It looks like online beekeeping shops sell large patties, at least 1kg/2lb, that are designed to be opened and left out in beehives until they're done. Given that, and considering how long it might take a couple of starter roach colonies to go through 1kg of the stuff, can I assume it keeps well? A back-of-the-fridge kind of affair? The first alternative is dry feed sold alongside. It's more expensive! Though I guess it's cutting out a lot of the wet weight of the former product. The third option is the homemade recipes I see around the net. That has a similar issue of leaving a lot of stuff lying around, even if just the unmixed ingredients. And where do I get soy flour? Does it have to be soy flour? If you feed artificial pollen to your roaches, what do you swear by?
  12. Have you heard of voile? (Rhymes with 'foil', AFAIK) It's a sheer fabric used for translucent net curtains and bridal veils, among other things. It's pretty much a kind of very fine netting, the spaces between the threads are smaller than pinholes. It can be made with different types of fibre, but I've only worked with the synthetic version. I used it over vent holes years ago, in conjunction with metal mesh, because I wasn't confident in the latter's ability to hold in newborn lobster roaches. Thinking of using it again if I can get my hands on one or two ectobiid species, and for the same reason as OP: to keep unwanted guests out of a planned tubful of bigger roaches Bugznbits in the UK sells it (or something very like it) as 'ultra fine mesh'. No affiliation, but they do have a decent photo as an example. https://bugznbits.co.uk/store/ols/products/ultra-fine-lightweight-mesh
  13. Boy is my face red. And my google-fu must be weak, too. I went down through dozens of results on two different search engines before I found one seller in Germany. Anyway. Good to know. (HarbingerWolf, let us know if you solve your breeding woes and end up with a surplus. 😄)
  14. I've already gushed about these in a couple of places, but I've got some more in me. Man, what an excellent-looking roach! Their bright colours and bold patterns are irresistable. Well done for boosting these in blatticulture and letting us know.
  15. Very nifty. If I saw these under a log, I'd completely mistake them for pillbugs or pill millipedes. (And wonder why all those flies were hanging around them, into the bargain)
  16. I've absolutely nothing to offer on this subject, but Harbinger, I've just noticed your location and I have to ask: man, where did you get these!? I've been drooling over Hemithyrsocera pics on Hisserdude's blog, but somehow thought they were only in the US hobby.
  17. I don't know if it's a combination of political and pathological circumstances, but since I was bitten by the cockroach bug again, I've been a little disappointed by the variety of roaches circulating the UK. Some new species, but you have to sift through a lot of sites, and a lot of feeder dubias, + lateralis and hissers, to find anything different. I could only find one guy on that there auction site selling E. posticus, and I managed to find one private seller with A. tesselata. I was beginning to think the latter had disappeared for good. Now if I can just get my accommodation items together before he runs out of them. Work faster, delivery services...!
  18. Hello all. I'm fixing to set up a small Oxyhaloa duesta colony with a bit of a focus on security. I'm using a gasket-sealing tub and for ventilation, some of the screw-on vents from the Spider Shop, this side of the ocean. They're supposed to be able to keep phorid flies out of tubs, but would they keep duesta newborns in? I have the vents here: the biggest holes are about 1mm x 1/2mm. (1/32" x a bit over 1/64") I have a bit of micromesh on the way too, if they need a little reinforcement.
  19. Orange tictacs! Congrats, though. Looks like a great species. They're like roaches in the form of pill millipedes.
  20. Amazing how a piece of music can set the tone. I almost felt like I was watching a Ghibli film there! (Strange but wonderful creatures... maybe a bit less touchy than in Nausicaä...)
  21. When I visited that page I got a popup - 'now shipping to the United Kingdom'. It's like a sign... Edit: 'Only in stores'. Aw... Merely adequate? Cheddar cheese that's both fluffy and crunchy?
  22. Good point about the pH. I guess I'll switch my ideas to something other than orange. I tried it with plain water first. The agar I have is long, uneven strands rather than powder, and the only measurement instruction is to throw the whole lot (40g) into 2240ml(?!) of water. So I played it by ear and threw a few fragments into a small amount of boiling water. Dificult to dissolve, and small pieces were still noticeable by the time I decided I was done. It might be because I used already-boiling water rather than bringing it to boil from cold. Anyway, the water seemed suitably cloudy, so when it cooled a little I added water conditioner (although I'm beginning to wonder if that's a good idea anymore), poured it into a spare ice-cube tray, and put it into the fridge. A few hours later, it looked fine - solid but wobbly. But when I stuck a finger in one cell, it was more like 'watery slop' than 'neat cube'. The roaches won't mind, I expect (I only have a few at the moment, so no big swarm rushing the capful of slop...) but I obviously used too little agar, or messed it up in some other way! Next time I'll properly measure the correct proportion, and perhaps grind it up too.
  23. Nice markings and wings. I'm sure that few others in this part of the world would agree, but I'm a little disappointed that we don't have any native cockroaches like this in Ireland. Heck, we barely have any of the pest species, except in the bigger population centres, apparently...
  24. Fantastic! One of my favourite roaches, and you look like you've got good 'uns there. Nice catch on the fresh moult. It's spectacular.
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