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Hello all!


Roachman26
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Hello all! This is my official first post in my official first forum I've ever been involved with. I may need some help getting up to speed with using all the forum's features and observing proper forum etiquette. I've been keeping my own roaches since 1992 and caring for them since the mid-eighties when I worked in pet stores. However, I really just "discovered" the hobby in September at the reptile show here in Anaheim CA. James, of Blaberus.com, had a booth and after "bugging" him (ha ha) for 15 minutes with a million questions, I bought a starter colony of dubia roaches. Prior to that I had only kept G. portentosa. My entire G.portentosa colony is based on three wild caught specimens that were acquired at the big San Diego reptile show in 1992. I bought them just as a fun pet and the colony is still going very strong after 17 years with absolutely no new blood. There are currently over a thousand and its been a struggle to keep the numbers down over the years, but that is a whole other post. I've been contemplating starting roach feeder colonies for a while now, but until I met James, it just never seemed feasible. It was in trying to find info about my new charges that I discovered all of you. I travel for work from time to time and while I was in Pittsburgh all of last week I had a lot of down time. So, I read every post on the whole site. No seriously, I really did. Even though none of you have ever even heard of me, I feel like I already know most of you. After reading all of your posts from that last two years I feel like I've met you all and gotten to know you already. I'm really looking forward to learning from you all and sharing fun roach stories. I'm heavily infected with the "roach obsession" bug and have added to my original purchase. I've quickly gone from "feeders" to "pets and feeders". I'm now keeping my original G. portentosa ( properly housed now, after all of these years, thanks to you guys ), B. dubia, B. craniifer ( direct stock from out of a CA University 15 years ago ), B. fucsa and B. discoidalis. I'll post pics of the craniifer soon to ask if they are the "true" craniifer. I'm very interested in acquiring several more species, so I'll be contacting some of you for trades or purchases. I feel very fortunate to have found you all, as none of my friends or family get it. At all. I'm sure all of you have seen the blank stares and heard the " your doing what, now?! " comments. Even my hard core reptile friends, people that think nothing of having dozens of cages strewn about their house, don't get the whole roach thing. Anyhow, thank you all for what I have already learned and I hope to keep learning more.

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Welcome! I hope we can add some enjoyment to your hobby. I'm looking forward to checking out your B. craniifer pics. The Gromphadorhina portentosa hissers have been in the US since the late 1960s, it doesn't seem likely to run across wild-caught in 1992, especially at a CA reptile show.

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Welcome! I hope we can add some enjoyment to your hobby. I'm looking forward to checking out your B. craniifer pics. The Gromphadorhina portentosa hissers have been in the US since the late 1960s, it doesn't seem likely to run across wild-caught in 1992, especially at a CA reptile show.

I thought that might be the case too after reading some of the other posts on this forum. I can't remember the name of the seller anymore, but it wasn't someone that I had ever heard of. I have no way to verify it, but at the time I had no reason to doubt it. I bought three and two of them died shortly after. The man had about 100 of them in a big glass tank and they were all pretty beat up and dirty compared to any captives that I've seen. Missing feet, antenna, chuncked up exoskeletons, etc. I didn't realize until after I'd had them home a few days that they were covered in mites. I'd never heard of commensal or symbiotic mites before, so I immediately assumed they were killing my new babies and removed them all. That was no easy task. They certainly looked wild caught and were pretty lethargic. I had to look through them pretty thoroughly to find a few decent ones. Now, before anyone asks why I would buy an animal under such conditions, let me just tell you: Youth and ignorance. My friend ( also young and ignorant ) also bought three, but only one of hers died. She ended up giving me her two after a couple of years and that's when all the trouble started... Anyhow, thanks for the welcome.

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These symptoms match common effects of overcrowding and old age which is something you'd rarely see in wild-caught specimens, let alone all of them. The mites are commensals and could vary greatly wild or captive.

I hear ya'. I wish I had some way to verify it one way or the other. At that time ('92) the whole "Captive Bred" thing was really catching on in the herp world so it just seems unlikely that a seller would fib in that direction. Most people at that time were starting to shy away from wild caught whenever possible. Remember the old "Vivarium" magazine? I don't mean to sound argumentative, but those roaches looked and behaved differently than any other hissers I've seen. Mine, the direct descendants of those, have been very overcrowded for over a decade and they don't look anywhere near as bad as the ones at the show did. Its seems from what you are saying that maybe those roaches were just very poorly cared for and not in good condition by the time they got to the show. Since I really can't know for sure and you think its very unlikely, I think I'll just stop calling my original 3 wild caught. Either way I'm happy that they survived and bred and I get to enjoy their distant offspring every day. Thanks, Orin, for sharing your past experience. I really have no idea what was happening in the roach world way back then, so you may have helped to prevent me from sounding like a dufus in the future when talking to people who do know what was going on back then.

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