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Everything posted by windward

  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
  16. If it's not mentioned in that paper you could send the individuals working with them some information about this. They could further test and share the results.Quite a bit is known about terrestrial insect antifreeze proteins and such, but a lot is still unknown. Who knows, maybe the roaches could be handy for some investigations into this.
  17. Mine get a base mix of ground alfalfa and chick starter, combined with some wheat bran and whatever leftover cereal and miscellaneous dried goods that are in the cabinets. I grind it because it seems easier for tiny nymphs and my Parcoblatta to grab and run off with tiny pieces. They devour this mix pretty quickly. This becomes a portion of my mealworm bedding, too. Depending on the species I'll occasionally toss them a handful of dry cat food. They love Natural Balance duck and green pea.. but that's not a cheap treat. Veggies and fruit, the usual. The orange heads are also used to dispose some old food from the kitchen. The species that need leaves have oak leaves.
  18. Here a better [written] article http://entomologytoday.org/2013/12/09/the-invasive-turkestan-cockroach-is-displacing-the-oriental-cockroach-in-the-southwestern-u-s/ There's a link to an open paper in the article if anyone is interested in life history and biology of the species. They mention the army, and a link at the bottom for an LA Times article is about the army introducing them.
  19. And that is bad. Invasive species can do a lot of damage. No one can know if they would simply take over the similar ecosystem roles of those species or not.
  20. I wonder if your skin is a bit softer than mine? And, I did understand that you meant scratches and small puncture wounds, that's why I suggest an antibacterial soap. Its a bit odd that your reaction is enough to cause that amount of swelling, though. I wonder if there's not an allergic dermatitis type reaction happening, too? It could be from bacteria or from the roach frass (proteins in it) itself.I've had house crickets bite, though those bites weren't more than roughing up my skin a little. I've not handled the adult Jamaican field crickets or banded crickets that are used now. I've had numerous grasshoppers sit on me and suddenly decide to bite/attempt to chew on me - large birdwings hurt and can draw blood. I've also had a tiny little bush cricket, sitting on the back of my hand, suddenly bite me. It felt like a needle poke. My thoughts are that orthopterans may have harder mandibles than roaches due to diet.
  21. I don't keep many species, but none have seem inclined to bite me so far. Even shaking the orange heads in a bucket (nymph sorting) doesn't incite any biting. It may be because I do not try to restrain them? Like previously mentioned, doing so would only make most of the roaches kick harder. I keep and handle Parcoblatta spp., I've never seen them be anything but docile and sometimes skittish (degree depends on species and sex). This is is one of the reasons I won't go back to crickets. All orthoptera seem too inclined to bite and they try to bite hard when they do it. As for skin irritation from leg spines, most roaches will poop and kick when frightened so maybe that can lead to someone getting minor infection from the scratches? I'm sure everyone washes their hands after handling their roaches, but for those with more sensitive skin maybe scrubbing with an antibacterial soap right afterwards would help? I don't have that problem, I just get itchy from the scratches.
  22. No. All animals have voltage-gated ion channels that run the nervous system (nervous impulse to muscle to be more exact). This is why medications, poisons, and venoms exist that act on them. It's a pretty popular mode of action used in insecticides, for example.Shutting down or over stimulating the nervous system is an effective way to disable an animal, insects included. Roaches, for reasons I haven't bothered to look up yet, seem to have somewhat sensitive Ca2+ channels, than say, compared to crickets.
  23. Seems sketchy. Zoo or not, they do not cite this claim and of the two links they offer the University of Kentucky site says nothing about recognition and doesn't cite what they do say, and Carolina Biological Supply makes you buy their kits and/or manuals (though my experience with their literature is that they do cite their sources). So unless there's cited studies it's merely anecdotal. For those who have more time and database access: Nelson MC. 1980. Are subgenual organs ‘‘ears’’ for hissing cockroaches? Soc Neurosci Abstr 6:198.5. Nelson MC, Fraser J. 1980. Sound production in the cockroach Gromphadorhina portentosa: evidence for communication by hissing. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 6:305–314. Hartman HB, Roth LM. 1967. Stridulation by the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea during courtship behavior. J Insect Physiol 13:579–586. The papers are older, though a good database will list newer papers that cite them.
  24. Interesting. I don't see any aggression out of nymphs or even males.I'm not absolutely 100% certain mine are P. fulvescens, but that's what the males match up with and it is widely distributed.
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