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Everything posted by blatta70

  1. Hello, this is Mark. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on or posted anything, but I’m back. Quick question: Do any of the old time roach hobbyists remember where the decades-old Panchlora nivea culture stock still in circulation originated from? Florida? Caribbean? South America?
  2. Hello, this is Mark. I may have inquired about this once before but I thought I might ask around again. Are Formosa Sand Roaches still in culture? Seems like everyone who had success with them (including myself) experienced culture crash. I am hopeful to acquire a new culture and am interested to know if anyone still has them.
  3. You're right, it probably is a German Cockroach. For some reason, I misread Misa_oma's location being South Carolina, not NC. There are only a few scattered records of Asian Cockroaches being found in the southern part of NC so it likely isn't that after all. Sorry for the confusion.
  4. It looks like a subadult Asian Cockroach (Blattella asahinai) to me. It probably couldn't climb the inside of the vitamin jar if there was a residual layer of vitamin dust that remained or a petroleum film embedded in the plastic to prevent the pills from sticking. This roach has been reported as an outdoor pest (peridomestic) in South Carolina and the remaining southeast/south-central states. Subadults tend to have a slightly lighter coloring than the typical German Cockroach populations. If it's environment was disturbed during the roof cleaning, it may had accidentally found its way inside.
  5. A systemic pesticide was exactly the issue but as I stated previously to only use organically grown house plants that you know are safe because the roaches may very well nibble on them.
  6. I wish that were true for captive specimens. I once set up an exhibit for 30 hissing roaches that had living plants native to Madagascar such as Madagascar Dragon Trees (Dracaena marginata), Blossfeld Kalanchos (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) and Madagascar Palms (Pachypodium lamerei) to name a few. The roaches were still offered their typical diet and water sources they had received prior to being placed in the exhibit. Within days, almost all of the plants had been nibbled on with the Kalancho being completely eaten. Less than a week later, nearly all the roaches were found on their backs with legs twitching. Surprisingly, a few survived but the majority didn't make it. I later experimented with Kalancho purchased from an organic grower. The roaches eagerly fed upon the leaves as before but none of the roaches showed any adverse effects. Since than, I never used plants purchased from a greenhouse/plant store again unless they were organically grown. My advice is to do your research first.
  7. I would be very cautious adding live plants to your enclosure without doing a considerable amount of research beforehand. First off, most house plants such as Pothos are potentially hazardous to both insects and mammals due to an abundance of calcium oxalate raphites in their leaves. Raphites are microscopic, needle-like projections that are designed to embed the gum tissues or stomach linings of whatever eats the leaves, causing severe discomfort. Although not deadly to insects themselves, the internal wounds sustained from their consumption may lead to secondary infections which could cause death. The majority of your thick-leaved, ivy-like plants contain these or similarly composed structures that also help repel terrestrial mollusks as well. However, even if plants are chosen that lack raphites, many growers now use a fertilizer/insecticide mixture that literally incorporates a systemic insecticide such as imidacloprid into the plant's tissues so greenhouse plants that would normally be safe for a terrarium may now prove to be toxic. If live plants are preferred, chose insect safe plants from an organic gardener or from older pots that would not have been exposed to any pesticides. Sweet potatoes can be easily grown from tubers that will supply both nutrition and beauty to most enclosures. Other potato types such as whites or reds that are related to nightshade should be avoided since their leaves are toxic to most insects that are not immune to solanine-based compounds. Hope this helps. Mark
  8. Alan, Since Luridiblatta are native to the dryer regions bordering the Mediterranean, I would keep them in a well-ventilated enclosure with a relatively dry to slightly damp substrate. As long as the air flow is good enough, the roaches might appreciate a light misting every other day providing all moisture evaporates over a half-day's time. I would imagine a similar setup you have for your Blattella vaga would probably be sufficient. My Loboptera decipiens which are from that same region, are fairing quite well kept this way. Most of their moisture comes from the sweet potato and apple slices I provide them. They seem to be highly susceptible to tracheal infections if maintained within humid, stagnant enclosures. My second generation ooths just started hatching last week. Yeah! Mark
  9. It is believed that African Bullets are Neostylopyga propinqua and Giant Greens are Panchlora exoleta. I too believe to know what the Little Kenyans are but won't ruin the fun for Orin.
  10. From what I have read, heard and experienced, the two Cryptocercus species found along the southernmost part of the species range (C. darwini- central TN/ northern Alabama and C. garciai-northern GA) prefer lowland forests and are not as sensitive to higher temperatures as those found in higher elevations such as C. wrighti and C. punctulatus. An acquaintance of mine who lives near the range occupied by C. darwini stated that some of the largest C. darwini colonies he uncovered were found in sun exposed logs whose surface temps were well over 90 degrees. But in captivity, it seems these roaches are highly prone to fungal infections especially if the wood offered is not properly "seasoned". In addition, too much organic material in the wood can actually offset the roach's redox potentials causing their gut fauna to either stress and die or form waste chemicals that are potentially lethal especially at higher temperatures. As a result, they're definitely not a beginner roach and certainly one that's best maintained by expert blattaculturalists only or better yet, left alone entirely due to their rather limited population status. There has been some serious considerations about placing all Cryptocercus species including those found in Asia under a "high risk" category from a conservation standpoint. Mark
  11. I'm guessing those are Arenivaga erratica. The only other similar Arenivaga species from Texas is A. tonkawa but the females are smaller and lighter in color. The males of both types look about the same except their genitalia. Please let me know if you ever have any to sell. Mark
  12. Sorry for the late reply but I thought I should add it anyways. This is a male (Compsodes mexicanus), a primitive blattarian member of the family Corydiidae (previously Polyphagidae); subfamily Tiviinae. Related genera include Austropolyphaga from Australia and Anacompsa from Africa. These are among the few genera of modern roaches that retained the presence of a "pseudovein" that runs diagonally from the radial veins up towards the costals on both forewings. Blattopteran "roachoids" and the earliest mantids also exhibited this feature as well. Fossil evidence shows that as roaches became less flight dependent during the late Jurassic from increased scleratization of the tegmina, they began losing this characteristic. Most tiviid females are apterous. Very cool find and beautiful photos! Mark
  13. Hello, this is Mark. Blaberus identification can only be fully confirmed through genital comparison since many of them can be surprisingly polymorphic with some individuals exhibiting physical characteristics indicative of other closely related species. However, most Blaberus have a few specific visual, odorous and behavioral "tells" that can also be useful identifying markers. The photo is clear enough to see their stouter tegmina in combination with a larger pronotal "spot" suggesting that these are Blaberus fusca aka B. craniifer according to Roth. Also, the broader costal stripes blending with the middle band is also a typical feature of this species especially with females but cannot be used alone to identify B. fusca since it is occasionally exhibited in B. giganteus and quite commonly witnessed on B. atropos as well. Males typically show thinner costal stripes which may or may not touch the middle band. In your case, I would guess that these are B. fusca. Hope this helps.
  14. I have been reading some literature from the Smithsonian regarding several genera of pill millipedes native to the USA such as Onomeris (Alabama,Georgia,South Carolina), Sonoromeris (California) and Trichomeris (Alabama). Just curious if anyone has actually seen any native pill millipedes in their natural state here in the US? I saw an illustration of Sonoromeris from California once when I was still a kid but that's it. I remember it appearing similar to Glomeris marginata from Europe. Mark
  15. I have seen B. giganteus populations that have the half-faced "grin" as well. I had some that I received from Barney at Hatari Invertebrates. Many populations lack the pronotal markings all together while some have a blended ratio between the two. There's a possibility that the two types may have originated from different regions in South America. The "grin" is likely a dominant trait since it is strongly exhibited by most members within the Giganteus species complex.
  16. Thick-leaved and shiny-leaved house plants usually have silica crystals imbedded in their tissues which may cause internal irritation and possibly infection. Ficus plants produce a mildly toxic latex-based compound that most insects naturally avoid. Most house plants that have tender leaves are perfectly edible to insects, however, my concern is that many greenhouses use soil-applied systemic insecticides which incorporate into the plant tissues through transpiration. Some of these compounds can remain active in the soil for years. Unless you know for certain that these are not present, I would suggest not feeding your roaches any plant matter that you would not eat yourself.
  17. Well, perhaps we should all collaborate together and establish an "Institute of Blatticulture", a Blattodean zoo if you will, displaying as many of the world's roaches as possible so the general public can better appreciate the 5000+ species that aren't household nuisances. I am employed by a pest management company and we sponsor an insect zoo that travels to various children museums and schools. Believe it or not, the Hissers and other large cockroaches are statistically still the favorites, immediately followed by the giant millipedes. Don't get me wrong, the kids do have a liking for the lubber grasshoppers, mantids, hercules beetles, and vinegaroons as well. But, none of those are quite as satisfying to handle than a full grown G. oblongonata.......especially for children around the age of 10.
  18. It will be an interesting experiment. I know methylene blue is also used by aquarists for the control of both Ichthyophthirius and Cryptocaryon, common protozoal parasites affecting fish. My only concern would be if its ingested, the beneficial protozoans and bacterial symbionts thriving inside the roach's alimentary tract might be adversely affected.
  19. The jumping hind legs of Saltoblattella is most certainly the result of convergent adaptation. An extinct cockroach(Skok)from the Jurassic/Cretaceous also had similar legs but their are no close affinities between this and the modern species from South Africa. Especially since (Skok) possessed an external ovipositor.
  20. I am currently maintaining an Eastern Subterranean Termite colony that I've had now for two and a half years. I keep them in a 20 gal Tall with a cover that I fabricated myself. I find them much easier to manage than most of my roach cultures; toss in small pieces of water-damaged wood and a few sprinkles of water every other week is all that's needed. They certainly have their place in the hobby to those willing to broaden their blattodean horizons. I would really love to get my hands on some (Mastotermes darwiniensis). For those who are not too familiar with termites, this Australian native is the last remaining member of the most primitive of termite families, Mastotermitidae. The large, roach-like queens protect their eggs within a ootheca similar to those of roaches. However, these oothecae lack a developed keel and calcium oxalate salts, suggesting a degeneration of the oothecal encasement. It is also the only termite species to possess Blattabacterium, a symbiotic intracellular bacterium found in all but one cockroach family (Nocticolidae). This as well as genetic analysis confirms a clear transitional state between roaches and termites. Although many entomologists continue to question the validity of the blattodea/isoptera union, I am highly convinced of the evolutionary relationship between the two. Mark
  21. Hello, this is Mark. I never saw anything posted here about this newly described cockroach here on the forum so I thought I might share. It's called the Table Mountain Jumping Cockroach (Saltoblattella montistabularis). This diurnal Blattellid was discovered in South Africa on Table Mountain and has saltatorial hind limbs similar to those of crickets. My mouth is watering as I'm posting this! Check out the info at Table Mountain Cockroach If anyone lives or knows someone in South Africa, this might a neat species to culture. Mark
  22. I don't have these guys in culture yet, but they're definitely on my wish list. Has anyone figured out what species these are yet? I heard from an entomologist friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous that these may be (Neostylopyga rufimarginata). Has anyone else heard this or any other proposed names? Mark
  23. The smallest known cockroach is (Attaphila fungicola), a wingless species having a total length of 3mm. These guys are inquilinistic in Leaf-cutter Ant(Atta)nests in the southern US where they feed upon the fungi cultured by the ants. A photo of the cockroach that you found would be very helpful.
  24. My Blaberus "peruvianus?" are maintained in a 10 gallon aquarium with rough sides to allow climbing. The adults are actually a bit shorter and somewhat thinner width-wise than my B. craniifer. The shape of the pronotal "shield" is less ovate that those of B. giganteus, B. craniifer, or B. fusca although the markings on the pronotum are consistent with most members of the Giganteus Group. A photo alone can easily be confused with the Mexican strain of B. craniifer however, the tegminal coloring of Blaberus "peruvianus?" is considerably lighter. The nymphs also have darker wing pads as Zephyr mentioned earlier. Regardless of what species/subspecies these are, they definitely are different from the other familiar Blaberids currently in culture.
  25. I have some of these that were also obtained from Double D's. Although I am somewhat skeptical of their authenticity, they are however quite different from the cultures I have of B. fusca, B. giganteus, and "European" B. craniifer. As Zephyr mentioned, they appear as a smaller version of B. giganteus. Does anyone else have any suggestions regarding this strain?
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