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Aphaenogaster

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Everything posted by Aphaenogaster

  1. Great photos! These are probably the smallest species I have ever seen in person.
  2. These will almost certainly require a period of diapause if they were collected from a northern location.
  3. No problem! Kyle actually got his F. candida stock from me, so, if you purchase from him, you will have the same strain that I use. http://www.roachcros...ite-springtail/ You could also just collect some springtails locally though. In most regions, you can find multiple species in a single small sample of soil, although not all of them will be easy to culture.
  4. That's a good idea. I'll have to get some buckets from Home Depot. Out of curiosity, what do you use for housing "display" colonies (if you happen to keep those)?
  5. Add some springtails (I use Folsomia candida) and isopods, and try to keep the substrate relatively moist.
  6. I don't know what region C. magnifica is native to, nor do I know anything of its biology. However, I can say that it is illegal to import any insect species into the United States without a permit. The USDA inspects shipments from other countries and I know a couple of people who were fined for importing exotic insects (not realizing it was illegal). Another important factor to consider is the extreme rarity (and endangered status) of many insect species. In this case, it is simply unethical, as well as difficult, to collect individuals from the wild. There is also, of course, the fact that an immense number of species are nearly impossible to raise or breed in a captive setting. For example, the vast majority of ant species will not mate in captivity (due to inbreeding avoidance, need for certain environmental stimuli, etc.) and most termites (especially the Termitidae) require very specific environmental conditions that are challenging or impossible to replicate in a captive setting. Indeed, this is no doubt the case for most insect species, and is probably true for many roach groups as well.
  7. I suspect that they are wild-harvested, as with many components of traditional Eastern medicine.
  8. I think that Periplaneta nymphs have beautiful appearance. It's strange that the genus has such a reputation for being "ugly." I suppose that, if you find a roach in your silverware drawer, it doesn't matter much what it looks like.
  9. The large numbers don't sound like Camponotus to me, but that is certainly possible. Camponotus spp. tend to keep the majority of their colony's population outside and then build small satellite nests indoors. Photos (even blurry ones) would probably be enough for at least a genus-level ID.
  10. Do you have any photos? It would be interesting to identify the species. Exceedingly few ants are persistent house pests.
  11. Currently, feeders go to Platymeris biguttata assassin bugs, leopard geckoes, and several ant colonies (Tetramorium caespitum, Myrmica cf. americana, Pheidole ceres, Tapinoma sessile). We are also anticipating the acquisition of a couple poison dart frogs.
  12. Yeah, isopods are crustaceans (not insects), meaning that they are much more closely related to lobsters than they are to beetles.
  13. Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it. Will they grow at room temperature? I'm running out of space in my heated desk drawer.
  14. Earlier today, I took a tour of the local university insect zoo. I donated a few insect species and ended up with some assassin bug nymphs in return. I assume that they are Platymeris biguttatus, given the coloration. Does anyone have experience with these? Are they difficult to maintain? Thanks!
  15. Cockroach allergies are developed over time. I have heard that they are possible to prevent, if contact is limited. In other words, I would advise you not to breath in the frass.
  16. Thanks for the help! I appreciate it. I'm just looking for a species that would make for an effective and productive composting organism, without the need for spending money on extra heat.
  17. Thanks for the responses! RomanBuck - How slow is "slowly"? Will they breed fast enough to provide a steady source of feeders?
  18. I have a few questions regarding Nauephoeta cinerea (lobster roaches) that I was hoping someone could answer. Given their high reproductive rate and generalist habits, I thought they might be useful in a composting system. Thoughts? Will they continue to breed well at room temperature (~70 F)? Has anyone ended up with allergy problems from this species? Thanks in advance!
  19. Agreed. I think that, one day, a pathogen will finally catch up with them, but I expect that it will be long after humanity has gone extinct. They are tough little roaches.
  20. Something else interesting to mention, while we're on this subject, is that obligately parthenogenetic species usually do not last very long on an evolutionary time scale. The "Red Queen" hypothesis suggests that this is mainly because asexual organisms (at least, multicellular ones) cannot adapt quickly enough to changing pathogens/parasites. There are other explanations, but I think that this one makes the most sense. Of course, there are exceptions. Darwinulid ostracods, bdelloid rotifers, and oribatid mites have all reproduced exclusively through parthenogenesis for tens of millions of years. Anyway, this subject is particularly intriguing to me, as you can probably tell.
  21. There are actually two major forms of parthenogenesis. "Apomictic parthenogenesis" is essentially cloning. Unless a mutation occurs, all offspring are identical to their mother. "Automictic parthenogensis," on the other hand, is not true cloning. Often, this happens when two haploid egg cells combine to form a viable embryo. It is basically self-fertilization (extreme inbreeding), although no sperm cells are involved. In many species (usually those that also use sexual reproduction), offspring produced in this way are much weaker. I'm not sure which type parthenogenetic cockroaches would use, but I hope that helps a bit. It might be worth mentioning that some termite and preying mantis species (both close relatives of cockroaches) are known to use the second - automictic parthenogenesis.
  22. I think that this species will need a substrate to carry out its life cycle properly. Someone please correct me if I am wrong though.
  23. I think that anything that affects such a wide range of insect groups would also be harmful to roaches. The product description even states that it can be used against termites, which are essentially cockroaches.
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