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The Mantis Menagerie

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The Mantis Menagerie last won the day on October 11 2019

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    Lepidoptera, Mantodea, Coleoptera (particularly Dynastinae and Lucanidae), Blattodea, Orthoptera, Amblypygi, Solifugae, Uropygi, Diplopoda, and Chilopoda

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  1. I think the ivory-head roaches would be fine. The three main Eublaberus (distanti, posticus, and ‘Ivory’) are all relatively similar in care. I have been using E. posticus in a 5-gallon bucket as blatticomposters since January 13th, 2020. They have been fine with high moisture and even weathered fly larvae infestations without problem (in the early stages, there were not enough to keep up with the waste supply and attracted flies). Mine eat just about anything, although they have a disdain for leafy vegetables. I have fed mine wood, old socks, paper towels, and some other strange things just to experiment, and each time, they have eventually broken it down. They will eat any fruit, including the peel, and are particularly fond of cat food. Regardless, any Eublaberus should work for this, although ivory-head roaches are generally considered the default for blatticomposting.
  2. Well, it might help me. I have dried oak leaves and only some inconsistently rotten leaves. I am also quite allergic to leaf molds, so maybe keeping the leaves underwater would mean any spores generated in the process would not become aerosolized and affect my allergies.
  3. I was on Roach Crossing, and I saw a post about some new spring tail culture. What I also noticed, though, was the mention of soaking leaves underwater to age them. Can anyone tell me more about this? I have not heard about this before, but what type of process is it supposed to emulate and what is the timescale? Also, what animals are the aged leaves good for? Is it just a blatticulture thing, or is it useful for other detritivores?
  4. I have started Periplaneta colonies with the local pest species before, and I always found them to go crazy at feeding time. They would choose the most inopportune times to start running up and down the walls. As I recall, the nymphs were less chaotic, and I think they also climbed less because the adults were the ones trying to test my reaction time when opening the tank to add food. I never spent much time observing them because they were just a pest species I was raising to feed amblypygi, but the nymphs being poor climbers would be consistent with what I remember about the colonies. From observing the Periplaneta americana present locally, they are good fliers, and you will likely need to be prepared to go chasing them across the room if your colony grows large enough. My colony never reached the size to where there were ever more that 5-10 adults to monitor when I needed to open the tank. From raising Panchlora nivea, though, which seem similarly chaotic, I imagine that with a larger colony, flying would become more common. Basically, I would recommend that you not let your guard down because they seem calm.
  5. I decided to read through this thread to see if anyone had come up with a cheaper alternative to cork bark (besides heavy lumber), and while it seems the answer is no, origami is one of the most original ideas I have heard of for a roach tank. Unfortunately, the only origami I can make is tactical origami (paper airplanes). Coincidentally, I came on the forum to look for ideas for helping my red runner colony. I have the opposite problem: they are far too dry. If your colony is so moist that it is causing cardboard egg flats to decay, then it may not be helping the roaches. While my tank has become a bit dry to the extreme because of the heat lamp, this species does seem to do better with lower humidity compared to some of the more tropical species in the hobby. Rather than replacing egg flats, maybe reducing misting (or however you add water) prior to the arrival of cooler temps would be a better long term solution? This species is not easily harmed by arid conditions in my experience, as at times my colony has become completely dry for weeks at a time and still survived. @Hisserdude also mentioned increasing ventilation, and I doubt that would hurt given the current humidity retention issues.
  6. I would look for Traeger oak pellets. I usually do not find them at Lowe’s or Home Depot, but rather at places like ACE Hardware.
  7. I was not alluding to anything in particular, but you have many amazing species. I do not know what you would be willing to trade, though, so I am not going to start asking about every species. Do you have a trade list somewhere of species you would like to trade?
  8. I have seen some cool pictures on your website.
  9. I have never seen such high densities of roaches!
  10. My first colony of Blaberus giganteus bred fine at 72-75-degrees Fahrenheit. I do not have experience with other blaberids, but it might be worth looking into some of the smaller members of that genus, although B. giganteus is also fine as a feeder.
  11. I do not know much about it, but I would want to see Polyzosteria mitchelli.
  12. It depends which species you have. My hissers have had ventilation on only the lid for many months and do fine.
  13. I wanted to go out for the TITAG IECC conference, but it did not work out this year. I really want to find D. granti.
  14. Grubs can be fun to hold, too! It has become my job to bathe the Goliathus grubs at the local insectarium where I volunteer, and they are so much fun to hold. If only their poop was not so much stinkier than that of wood-feeding grubs! For roaches, I would suggest Archimandrita based on what I have read about them. They sound like a version of my B. giganteus that can figure out how to sit peacefully.
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