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Everything posted by Hydrophilus

  1. What kind of setup do you have for them? What are their favorite foods? Glad you're having so much success!
  2. Hi all, I'm glad to see there's continued interest in Ectobius! Unfortunately all my nymphs slowly died over the 2014-15 winter. I believe part of the problem was a humidity issue, it's just so damned dry in my basement I couldn't keep up with their moisture needs. Last summer I also found a site that was overrun with Ectobius lucidus, with a few E. pallidus mixed in there. They did okay for a couple weeks but I eventually overwatered them and their poorly-ventilated jar did them in. I will hopefully be able to go back this summer to collect more and get good photos, I didn't have my camera at the time. Cheers, Eric
  3. Calling all Floridians! I'm planning a trip to your amazing state this winter and am hoping to photograph and collect as many roach species as possible. I have seen many references to lobster roaches being found in the Tampa Bay area, specifically associated with grain mills, but I have also read that they appear to have died out since the grain mills' closures. Has anyone here seen this species in the wild in Florida recently? Thanks for your help! -Eric
  4. Wow! These look a lot like Holocompsa. How big are they? And how do you keep them?
  5. Did you ever end up seeing offspring from this selective breeding?
  6. Any update dcheath? Have you been able to find more? What did you feed them when you kept them, and what was the setup like?
  7. I've been doing a lot of bug hunting all over the state the last few months, but forest cockroaches don't seem to be very common here in New York. The only ones I've seen were one Parcoblatta in the eastern Adirondacks, and a dozen or so nymphs of Ectobius pallidus at the site I collected these individuals from. I found all of the Ectobius on or in very close proximity to a patch of what looked like periwinkle. According to that link, it seems this species may have some affinity for this plant, as the authors found them for several summers among its leaves and stems. E. pallidus is still considered an adventive species here, so I don't think it currently occupies all of its potential habitats in the state, which may explain its relatively patchy distribution so far.
  8. happy1892, thanks for your reply. I'm not sure why I didn't see it sooner. I haven't seen any other Ectobius in the area, in fact this outing was the first (and to date, only) time I have ever seen a member of this genus in the wild. Supposedly Ectobius lucidus can now be found southwest of Rochester, however. I don't currently have any oothecae to incubate, just these five nymphs, none of which appear to have molted yet. I am not sure if/what they are eating. I am still keeping them on the floor of my basement, so maybe the cool temperatures are preventing them from growing more quickly. -Eric
  9. Hello all, I didn't want to hijack Kyle's thread so I'm posting this separately. I recently had the good fortune of collecting several Ectobius pallidus nymphs a couple of weeks ago here in Syracuse, New York. I understand this is a tricky species to breed, so this is an open invitation to all to share your experiences with this or other small, cold temperate Ectobiids to hopefully gain a better understanding of their captive requirements. My five nymphs are currently being housed in an 18qt gasketed sterilite bin with leaf litter from the area where they were collected. I offered them fish flakes, dog food kibbles, and a small piece of apple as food for now. They do not seem to have touched the dog food or fish flakes before they went moldy, but I did observe at least one nibbling at the apple. I will likely move them to a smaller tub with better ventilation before too long. My plan is to give them a curved piece of cork bark which is kept over a permanently damp spot of coir or topsoil/well-aged compost, and a similar setup on the other side of the tub which is kept drier. Maple and oak leaf litter will be provided in addition to whatever food sources folks here recommend. I currently have a huge assortment of fish foods, dog kibbles, roach chow, bug burger, and access to fresh fruits and veggies. It's a bit difficult estimating the nutritional needs of five very tiny cockroaches, however. Thanks all for your input! -Eric
  10. Wow! Where did you catch them? If you can get good photos I may be able to identify them.
  11. Yeah, that's what I hear...I'm keeping my fingers crossed anyway, they're cute little buggers. They've got a bunch of leaves in with them right now, and I also gave them a small chunk of apple which I saw at least one nibbling on. I'm keeping them right on the basement floor, hopefully the cool temperature will suit them better.
  12. Thanks for the reply! That's interesting that isopods could outcompete them...I wouldn't have expected that. I find myself being more and more attracted to the small Ectobiids, and am hoping to make room for this species in my collection early next year. I actually just acquired some wild Ectobius pallidus nymphs and will probably be setting them up in a container just like you described. I hope it works out!
  13. I keep dermestids for this purpose, and have done so for a few years. I don't have a lot of experience but have learned a few things along the way. I use a smoothish-walled container, some sort of blue rubbermaid bin in the 18-gallon range. I have witnessed larvae crawling up the sides though, I wish now that I had gotten a bin with even smoother sides. I don't seem to have a problem with them escaping, however. I have some sections cut out with window screen glued over it. More ventilation is definitely better. The last thing you want is any humidity building up, that'll make things smell very badly, very quickly, and could attract mites, phorid flies, blowflies, or house flies, while simultaneously repelling any other human beings in the vicinity (could be good or bad...your choice!). I keep mine on about 8" of shredded aspen bedding, the same stuff used for rabbits etc. This is nice and light, providing lots of surface area for the beetles, and absorbs excess moisture. The only problem I have ever had as far as keeping them under control was one summer when I lived in a finished attic in a house with no AC. The temperature in my room was regularly in the 30°C range, even at night. At this temperature, if the beetles are not well fed they do have a tendency to fly. The container I kept mine in at the time was an unmodified sterilite bin that I kept with the lid cracked for ventilation. One day I came home after a particularly hot day, and apparently after not keeping a good enough eye on their food levels for a few days, and found hundreds of adults in the room. It was a nightmare to try and get them all over the next couple weeks. The escaped ones apparently started breeding, because months later I was finding larvae here and there all over the place. If you don't let them get this warm (they can apparently only fly in relatively warm temperatures), if you keep them well fed, and if you keep them in a tight-lidded container, you shouldn't have a problem. I now keep mine in the basement to avoid such incidents, but ventilation is even more paramount to prevent high humidity. The culture grows much more slowly like this, but it's easier to manage them this way. It's also easier to keep an eye on the skeletons they work on, since it'll take longer for them to actually start doing them damage. I hope this helps. I have found them generally easy and undemanding, and they occasionally reward me with a nice little skull to add to my collection. -Eric
  14. So what do you keep them in now? Are they still breeding well for you?
  15. What sort of container is that you're keeping them in? It seems quite small!
  16. The problem with dermestid beetles as a cleanup crew is that the phorid flies will almost always arrive and infest a carcass long before the beetles can dominate. Keeping bins dry should help (but may not eliminate the problem...I regularly see a couple phorids in my dermestid colony, which I keep bone dry), and removing any visible roach carcassess and wet foods should drastically reduce their numbers. Making a trap out of an old soda bottle, like what people do for fruit flies, could work well also. Just use something meaty or dog/cat food instead of cider vinegar.
  17. That's pretty interesting, I would think that given the stigma cockroaches receive in this country that the proportion of grossed out people would be higher. I guess this is getting really off topic though... thanks to everyone who replied, I found it very helpful!
  18. Any update Kyle? I just found out someone not far from me has been finding this species in their yard, and I'd like to find some and see if I can't get them breeding before the cold weather hits.
  19. What are their reactions like? Do they usually seem intrigued, or grossed out, or...?
  20. RomanBuck, what kind of questions do you get about your roaches? I've always been pretty surprised that whenever I tell people (even new housemates) that I keep roaches, they are surprisingly calm about it. The only question I ever get asked regularly is what I keep them for.
  21. Haha you tell people what it's for? I would just tell folks I'm using it all for composting... By the way, you have a very impressive roach list!
  22. That sounds like a very nice little gig you've got there! I was already planning on going to a nearby cemetery which is heavily wooded to collect leaves when they start accumulating in the fall...but maybe I'll just offer to rake some nearby yards!
  23. Really? That's interesting... I always thought they only did well when provided with some rotting wood to eat. What roaches do you provide leaves and wood for?
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