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About windward

  • Birthday March 31

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    Anything insect and reptile related. Insect behavior. Aquatic entomology, field collecting, and mayflies(my current research area).

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  1. Its not unique. This occurs in many species and had been noted for a number of years. http://psyche.entclu.../92/92-493.html I have several of the various papers they cite.
  2. Insects are perfect for limited space. Honestly with that species, there wouldn't be much room taken up even if you housed them in another containers. For a few hundred, even a plastic shoe box with the top cut and screen glued in is more than enough room. You may try one more angle if you are determined: cleaner insects clean. In other words, they can help keep a bin from getting smelly. Smelly bin can be rather unpleasant in small rooms.
  3. I'm not sure what you are considering to be "fuzzy"? Tenebrionids, while having a few setae, pretty much all look like mealworms (variation in color, size, and mouth of course). You may be confusing them with other commonly used cleaners, the dermestids. These have very fuzzy larvae and the adults usually have some small "scales" covering their bodies. Dermestids vary greatly in size and can range from useful cleaners, the frequently used museum bone striping species Dermestes maculatus (hide beetle), and to numerous pests species.As for why they end up in cricket shipments - they're hitchhikers. No one wants to spend time picking them out. I once got an order of crickets and spiders... the latter was likely along for the same reason. Grain mites, by the way, can come in on any number of grain based products. Always carefully check anything that comes in for mites or signs of pest damage. This includes human foods like cereals and flours. These can also become infested later on, so it's a good idea to either put food like this (an roach food) in a airtight container or in the freezer for longer storage. Once the insect bins have been clean it would be a good idea to either move them to another room for a bit or perform a very thorough cleaning on the area where the bins were.
  4. I toss pieces of pepper to my orange heads frequently. Just make sure no stem pieces are on any of the pepper - the same for tomato. While the fruit is perfectly safe, the stems and leaves of tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes (all in the family Solanaceae) are toxic. As for the smoothie.. the Inta site looks suspicious, there is no nutritional information (unless I'm missing it) and vague over encompassing health claims. It could be possible that extra calcium is added to the smoothies, though, which isn't good for roaches. If the cereal is still good, eat it or share it with someone who wants it. Sell by dates are more or less a suggestion on items like that.
  5. I tend to focus more on streams than lake or ponds, as such it takes more energy (colder temps) to freeze running water. This doesn't mean that stream surfaces don't freeze. Slower flowing ones will and streams in much colder regions do. It does mean that 1.) walking across a seemingly frozen stream or river is risky and 2.) I have unfrozen water to work with in swifter flowing streams.
  6. Regularly. That's the fun thing about aquatic entomology, you can still collect some insects when its cold out. Of course reaching into the water isn't particularity enjoyable. As for how recently, two days ago and it wasn't very eventful. It was all Progomphus sp. and chironomids. When it warms up I don't have to go very far to find interesting insects or roaches - I live in a fairly rural area.
  7. Yes, that one is very good. I will warn you though, physiology and development is fairly thoroughly discussed and thus makes it aimed at someone who at least has had a college biology course or two. This text also includes some basic information on aquatic insects, parasitism, and various interactions. Its a bit light on taxonomy, though. If you want dichotomous keys down to family level of several orders, than you would want something like Borror and DeLong's text - but that one is $200+ If you go with Gullan and Cranston pick up a used copy.
  8. The new cuticle layer is only secreted shorty before molting and the pronotum wouldn't be flexible enough to offer space for any growth in the meantime.Plus the new cuticle layer under, even should he be ready to shed tomorrow, would not be firm enough to push up the old.I think he just snuck a molt past you. Once you gave him enough food his body would rapidly put it to use. If you don't have an undergraduate level entomology textbook (introductory level) you should consider getting one. Cheap used textbooks can be found online on amazon's market place or half-priced book's market place. The benefit of a introductory text over looking stuff up online is that all of your terms will be defined and you'll have labelled illustrations.
  9. No. An insect's outer exoskeleton is essentially "dead". There is no cell division, thus no growth in the pro and epicuticle. Secretion of new cuticle occurs at the epidermis, under the old layers of cuticle. Internal tissues can grow and insects have softer portions of their exoskeleton that allows for some expansion (between segments and such). But as for a nice hard sclerotized pronotum - no, it's not growing. I suspect that your hisser may be eating it's exoskeleton. I have a few giant cave roaches that did that for several molts. The only way I knew that they molted was their brighter/cleaner appearance and a slight increase in size.
  10. Depending on the pesticide used, you may not be able to wash it off. There are many popular insecticides that are known as systemics. They are applied to the soil, seeds, or the plant itself and are taken up by the plant as it grows and distributed throughout its tissues. For those with cats or dogs: think of the popular flea and tick treatments - Frontline, Advantage & Advantix, and Revolution. Those are examples of the exact same systemics used on animals. The pesticide circulates through the animal's entire body and persists for a number of days from application at one site. Best to be cautious of feeding many fruits and veggies unless you grow them yourself. Luckily if you do, and have plenty in the summer, you can freeze fruits and veggies for winter use. The roaches won't care much about texture changes from freezing.
  11. The difference, though, is that aquatic insects have cuticular modifications that allows them to retain the air bubble against their spiracles (spiders rely on their silk). While all insect cuticles have some degree of water repelling properties due to the wax layer, and that will allow a bit of a temporary bubble, terrestrial insects tend to lack the modifications such as hydrofuge "hairs" (type of setae) or are able to make use of a subelytral cavity that would allow them to be truly aquatic. Its still more likely that they're doing the equivalent of holding their breath. As for why roaches that appear to be drowned live when dried out - they can go a while without oxygen. Surely most people here have done or seen the "drowned" fly and salt trick? Does anyone know if there are any papers over the behavior and possible cuticular modifications of the semi aquatic roaches? I wonder if they actually qualify as aquatic at all or are really just exhibiting behavior that is present, to some degree, in many roaches?
  12. I think it's just a carry over from cricket keeping... and laziness. I use them too, so I admit to it. I also just pour water into their (shallow) dishes and let them figure it out. The tiny nymphs will drink from spray drops and the larger roaches climb right into the dishes.The reason the roaches can do this, easily, is that they can close their spiracles. This is why they can come up through plumbing, too... I'm curious, though. What age groups do you see in the water? Do earlier instars venture in?
  13. Seems to be going a bit slow, what temperatures are you keeping them at? I started a dubia colony in July with 100 mixed (a few adults) and then added a few hundred more small nymphs... and honestly, I don't know how many I have now - just that there's a few (plus) thousand. I keep the warmest portion of their container around 32.
  14. No idea what as to what the values would be, but I add a bit to my house plants and throw the rest on the garden. I figure it can't hurt and I have to do something with it..
  15. They are adorable roaches. I have one.. she was in with colony orange heads I bought. I need to get more. lol
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