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Eggcase (1/7)



  1. Sorry for intruding with my own question... It seems now that I've got new life in my hisser enclosure. I don't think there are anything on the hissers themselves but the cardboard items seem to be alive with tiny rather fast moving critters. There seems to be two kind of insects, others are light beige or whitish and somewhat oblong. Grain mites? These don't move that much. Others are round and seem orange or brownish and move very fast. I havent found magnifier so cant look any closer. The substrate is coconut fibre. I guess these critters are not dangerous to hissers? Is it possible that they spread somewhere else? We live in a flat so I'm not sure if our neighbours appreciate the diversity of life as much as we do... It would also be great to catch them and feed them to aquarium fish but havent managed to do so without squashing them. It would be really great if someone made a sticky topic called All possible cockroach roommates and listed scientific names and links to good pictures!
  2. Wow! Very nice article and video! Certainly an article I'll be linking around when people ask about my roaches.
  3. I just learned, that my hissers prefer 75% humidity. I had 80% before and they moved hardly at all, except for darkest time of the night. Then I managed to improve ventilation and the roaches started moving in daylight immediately when the humidity dropped to 75%.
  4. Thanks for all the information! Unfortunately my hissers still haven't understood that they're supposed to eat leaves and wood. Maybe they get in the mood when the autumn comes...
  5. Wow, I managed to get mold on bark... The humidity has been around 80% and there's a little coconut fibre as substrate. Cardboard items have started to get mold and now i just noticed some unwanted growth on bark as well. I think I need to get rid of the coconut and try sand instead.
  6. Ok after intensive googling I've learnt that they've got these arm like moving things called maxilla that pick up food and take it to the jaw like things called mandibles. But it's still difficult to see if they've actually eaten anything. They've got fish food all the time there and now pineapple (fresh, not canned) and orange. I guess it would be easier to feed them if there were more hissers, maybe then the food would clearly disappear? Hopefully they're happily eating the tree bark I've given them and not having a hunger strike.
  7. Bamboo and Keith: I've been thinking exactly same! Didn't find info on the actual real original location in Madagascar from the link. Maybe it's a trade secret? The best info so far is that they're from "the Western part of the island, from dry8ish) dedicuous forests" . But still, it would be fun to know at least some exact locations where these critters live. Most of all it would be interesting to know if they live in any of the existing national park areas or are their territories possibly under threat (as most wildlife in Madagascar is). Also, it would be interesting to know whether anyone brings hissers from the wild to widen the genepool or does it even matter with insects? Who was the first to keep hissers in captivity and when? And yes, it would certainly interesting to see videos from wild populations! Where they live, what exactly do they eat (rotting wood maybe, but what tree species?), how many are there in a typical community, what animals eat hissers and so forth!
  8. Does the size matter? Just wondering about the fish food I've got, it's not flakes but tiny granules, maybe 1mm in size. Are they actually able to grab such tiny pieces? I've been trying to search pictures of hissers mouth anatomy. They are chewers I presume? So they can't suck up stuff like flies or butterflies? Do they use their legs when they eat, like grab something in their "hand" and put it in their mouth? Or do they just gnaw stuff? If that's the case, it would seem logical to give food in relatively big chunks and then clean out leftovers.
  9. Are there some ingredients that I should be aware of if I want to try these luxurious jellies? Funny though, some of them seem to be just brown sugar, honey and banana . Maybe I'll just give those foods fresh and not in a tiny plastic cup...
  10. Keith: good point! Maybe I'll try to sound stimulus first!
  11. Hi all! Thanks for the tips, I will try the red light then. It seems they're really clever with shadows, the other one hissed when he saw my shadow move on the tank floor. They're still very shy, not sure if they've eaten at all yet. Took away the cucumber and offered banana and apple, not sure if they nibbled them at all. Have to say they're really cute! ArtBug: We have the "Swedish" roach Blatta orientalis and "Russian" Blatta germanica that have lived as pests and Ectobius sylvestris and Ectobius lapponicus that are native. Never seen any of those! I've been reading about insects now and trying to find the biggest ones in Finland, but we really don't have much. Meloe violaceus is our biggest bug, also Geotrupes stercorarius is fairly massive. In short, if size matters, you have to go for tropic! The biggest pet shop chain started a bug campaign earlier this year but even they don't have roaches available. Here's a list of available bugs http://www.faunatar.fi/kovakuoriaiset don't mind the Finnish, the scientific names are also there. Not sure how popular these bugs have become now. Many people keep land snails and tarantulas though. Yeah I will post pics of the set up when I get it ready. I still haven't got substrate but I think I'll go for aspen shavings and coconut fiber and mix them together. I also realised that if I want to try red clay, I can simply buy some from crafts shop and put a layer in a separate bowl or tray. Or simply just buy some random clay items for them to climb on. But I'll definitely add more rotten wood! At the moment they've got bark from goat willow, I'll probably get some aspen and birch later. And of course leaves in autumn, I've got good supply of maple here and I'll probably also get some oak leaves, if they're the favorite?
  12. Wow, this is interesting! I wonder if it's possible to teach them to associate tapping on the tank wall with food. It would be really useful if they learnt to show up when called. I guess natural instinct would be to hide even better if they hear the sound but maybe they could learn to overcome that. If the sound is too scary, how about a parfume spray? I've got lots of aromatherapeutic oils that I could spray in the air with very light doses. I'd certainly love to go to a shop and ask the staff "is there anything you could recommend for taming cockroaches?" . Maybe vanilla or coconut? Flowers - rose? Ylang-ylang? Jasmine? Fruits?
  13. Hello from Finland! I just got my first Madagascan hissers. These critters have been on my must have list for some years, ever since I first heard of them. Now the pieces finally fell together I found my old 13 gallon aquarium and realised that I could keep the hissers in our bathroom. I've always wanted to have an aquarium there but the combination of water and electricity freaks me out. Hissers are perfect, the temperature and moisture is okay for them and they don't need a light. You can just sit on the toilet and admire the marvels of evolution... I've got two males since I heard this is best if you're not interested in breeding. Females can get surprise babies so there's a risk with them. Males might fight if it's very warm and if they're being fed a lot of protein - are these things true? They've got lots of hiding places and surface area, so maybe that's enough for these two. I've got 4mm hard plastic sheet as a cover, there are holes on it and it's got magnets to keep it in place. There's about 2-3mm space between the cover and the frame of the tank. How do you know if they've got enough ventilation? I hope it's not big enough for them to escape though, boys are something like 2 inch/5 cm long now. And there's vaseline on top inch of the tank wall. The temperature should be minimum 24C/75F - I've got closer to 30C now, usually it's something around 26C . There's been contradictory information on humidity, but at least 65% ? The tank will get some moisture when we use the shower and I can also spray the tank if it seems dry. I'm curious to know if anyone has used a "wetbox" for hissers. I've understood that it is fairly common thing for reptiles, basically a small plastic box with a hole for the critter to go in and filled with damp substrate. I wonder if hissers would use such a thing? Feeding - I've got fish food, dog food and cat food that I can use. I also have some milk-based cat treats that our cats didn't like so let's see if the hissers eat them, it would give them calcium. I've got cuttlefish bone as well if that's better. I've got a tiny water bowl and a piece of cotton in there. Otherwise we will try to give whatever veggies and fruit we'll get from the kitchen. I will also collect some plants for my aquarium (dandelion, nettle etc) and give them to hissers as well. Tree leaves are also on the list. The first meal is now cucumber and some grapefruit. I've been trying to search info on the soil type in the hissers' natural habitat. Is it black soil or laterite clay? My world atlas says there's laterite but I'm not entirely sure of the exact region where the hissers originate. Just wondering since I've seen amazing pictures of terrariums that have a natural clay bottom, they say it's easy to keep clean and antibacterial. Anyone tried that with hissers? I still haven't decided what substrate to use, right now they have nothing. Originally I was planning to use potting soil but couldn't find non-fertilized version anywhere. How about clay based cat litter? And now that the substrate was mentioned: what is the exact location where the first hissers have been captured? I just noticed that google maps gives a really detailed satellite picture of Madagascar island, you can even see individual trees there! Would be great to put a pin on the hissers home . Last few days I've been searching info on other Madagascan fauna & flora. It would be fun to have some houseplants that originate from Madagascar but so far the Traveller's tree is the only one I've found to be available as seeds. Luckily though Stephanotis floribunda (wax flower) is a common plant! Tamarind is another option but it's not endemic. Is there any info on the plants that grow in original natural hisser world? On animal side, I know there are Madagascar day geckos and chameleons and some big land snails come from there. How about aquarium fish or birds? Needless to say, I'm curious to know everything about wildlife conservation and research in Madagascar whether it's related to hissers or not. Do you know if there are any projects going on or any societies or funds that one could support? I have this silly idea that if you get yourself an exotic pet you're sort of obliged to participate in wildlife protection somehow. There must be dozens of wildlife projects going on in Madagascar just curious if you could recommend me anything. In general I'm interested in animal behavior and learning, cultural beliefs and folklore on animals and wildlife conservation. I'm eager to learn what these critters see, hear, smell and taste, how they experience the world and how they communicate. Like for starters I'm curious to know if they see colors. I've got these tiny led torches in different colors (red, blue and green) and I'm wondering if there's a wavelenght of light that doesn't bother them. It would be fun to spy on them when they think no-one is watching! How about blacklight, do they see that? I'm also interested in other bugs, such as isopods (because they resemble trilobites!) and beetles and millipedes as well. But hissers are my first exotic pet and it truly is a whole new world for me! Very exciting!
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