Gsc Posted July 24, 2007 Share Posted July 24, 2007 Given the title of the World's heaviest roach species, Macropanesthia rhinoceros has been an obsession on mine for many years. Considered one of the "Holy Grail" roach species (the other being Megaloblatta longipennis), this species can be especially difficult to locate in the United States. With increased captive breedings in Eurpoe and Japan, they are slowly making their way across the pond to our shores. I have had 4 yearlings and 8 adults over the past few years. Currently I have 3 adult pairs. In the past I have had a few unexplained deaths...Information on their captive care has been limited...these deaths take a great financial toll on US keepers. With a few adjustments to husbantry, my current "colony" (if you can call it that) is doing fine. I now blame the unexplained deaths on the dried Eucalyptus sp. leaves I used to offer in their diet. Everything I read at the time said they MUST have the dried leaves in their diet. After much searching I was able to locate organic dried Eucalyptus leaves from a local natural food store. I've now know that there are a TON of Eucalyptus species, with only a few being safe for Macropanesthia rhinoceros. It wasn't until I read an article wrote by ORIN that my eyes were opened- he claimed that they did NOT need these leaves to survive in captivity...I decided to give it a try since I knew Orin and trusted his experience...low and behold- not a single death since. Maybe this was my problem- maybe it wasn't...either way, they are doing fine without the Eucalyptus in their diet. SUBSTRATE: I keep them on a mixture on 1 part sand, 2 parts coco fiber, 2 parts rotton hardwood, & 2 parts decaying oak leaves. In previous research, articles suggested SAND only with wadded up paper towels/toilet paper in one corner to hold humidity. This did not work for me and dried out quickly. The coco fiber, rotten wood and leaves are working much better for me. For humidity I placed a handful of water crystals mixed in with the substrate on one end of the enclosure. I add water every week or two to this end while allowing the opposite side to dry out. This allows the roaches to choose the humidity level that THEY are comfortable at. Keeping the substrate somewhat deep (3" - 4") allows for a verticle humidity gradient also and limited burrowing. My current job keeps me away from home for 2 weeks at a time...so far they are doing fine on this schedule and the substrate is staying moist enough for them. DIET: The roaches can be seen chewing on the rotten wood and leaves while on the surface. I supplement this with dogfood kibble, pre-made roach diet (which I believe they are ignoring at this point), shredded carrots, and about any veggie I have in the ice box at the time. CONCLUSION: I have ALOT more to learn about this species. I look forward to everyone elses replies- maybe I can pick up more tips. This is what is currently working for me...others may have success doing it differently. I am really hoping that at least one of my pairs has babies this year... with three adult females and three adult males, maybe I'll get lucky...keeping my fingers crossed. PLEASE post your comments/criticisms...This is the only way we'll learn...you're not going to hurt my feelings... I'd rather take the advice of a friend than loosing these amazing roaches due to my stubborness. Thanks, Graham Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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