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Hello everyone. I've been lurking around here for some time now gathering up all of the wonderful experiences and other information you all have garnered here. I've got an insatiable need for some hissers now and I've ordered a cage ect which will hopefully be in on Friday. But now I have a dillema! I've grown fond of both the G. portentosa and G. grandidieri. My setup is purely show as it will be placed in my future middle school science classroom. I was thinking that the G. grandidieri might be the best choice for such a thing, but I need a little bit more information from someone who's kept them for some time. I guess I should go into the basics first; being a supply list I've devised from the information found here and elsewhere.

Exo-Terra Glass Cage (18inx18inx24h) (it's taller than most cages, but I plan on having a good branch nestled corner-to-corner for climbers)

Coco-fiber for substrate

Corkbark hides

Food and Water dishes that are shallow and climbable

Heating pad to bump the temperature up (schools are infamous for a wide range of temps, even in San Diego)

A UV light (for viewing, not so much for heat)

Temprature and Humidity guages (Temperature to be kept around 80F and humidity is variable)

As for diet:

Oranges, apples, carrots, potatoes, hardwood leaves (oak ect), dogfood (crushed), leafy greens, fish pellet, other random fruits, veggies, ect.

Now here's where my question about which would be best to keep comes in. I've compared information on the two species and have need of someone to verify that I may or may not have my facts straight. That and there's some holes that need to be filled in.

Tiger Hissers (P. vanwaerbecki or G. grandidieri... it's up for debate, I've read through the posts :rolleyes: )

About 2.5-3 inches at adulthood.

Mainly keep their pattern the same, but black morphs ect are possible with time and colony size.

Not as prolific as G. portentosa (that's all I could glean)

Regular Hissers (G. portentosa)

From 3-3.5 inches at adulthood.

Much diversity in patterns, colors, shape ect. is expected and can be linked, at least in part, to diet.

Rather prolific, able to at least double colony size given around 6 months time.

Traits for both:

Lifespan of about 2-5* years, 5 being exceptional.

Able to cross-breed with the other species (A deffinate no-no)

Males are less happy about being handled than females.

Both are relatively docile and make great pets.

So, now that's over with I will get to my questions (finally :rolleyes: and of course I realize there's a bunch of other things not covered, but I feel I've gone into too much as it is.)

1. If I were to purchase an even dozen tiger hissers, would this be enough to establish a small colony for years to come?

2. Given that the above amount were enough to start, how many hissers might I expect to have the next year? (I don't have anything to feed these to and was wondering if I'd have to cull them more often than G. portentosa? I really don't want to have to kill any more than absolutely needed, but I may invest in something to eat them.)

3. Anyone have a relative breeding rate and number of young that can be expected for each species? (Ties back to the 2nd question)

Basically, my intent is to have a managable little colony of hissers to be used in some of my lesson plans and be a nice classroom pet. Plus, there's the added bonus of educating and fascinating young people, perhaps breaking a ton of stereotypes about roaches and insects in general.

Thank you all for your wonderful contributions to the hobby, I'm hoping you'll be able to help me a tiny bit with my concerns. If all goes well, I should have a nice little colony sometime in the near future once I figure everything out. I'll probably get some pictures of the terrarium on here once I have everything in order. Sorry if I've gone overboard for a new poster, I just research the heck out of everything before considering anything.

-Ryan

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  • 6 years later...

Hey everyone, still alive and so are my colonies. I went dark for awhile as I was getting through the teaching program etc. If anyone has questions about  grandidieri or insignis hissers, I'm reachable. Good to see so many of you from 7 years ago are still at it. Ignore that huge block of text above, I answered my questions through experimentation. 

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On 1/16/2017 at 8:23 PM, Psydeus565 said:

Hey everyone, still alive and so are my colonies. I went dark for awhile as I was getting through the teaching program etc. If anyone has questions about  grandidieri or insignis hissers, I'm reachable. Good to see so many of you from 7 years ago are still at it. Ignore that huge block of text above, I answered my questions through experimentation. 

Welcome back, I think you'll find quite a bit has changed in the hobby, lots of new species have made their way into culture here in the US, including a couple new hisser species, hope you enjoy it here on the forums! :)

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45 minutes ago, Psydeus565 said:

You're telling me! Orange dominoes!? Crazy. And recently orange armadillium? Nuts. I love orange btw ;) 

Haha, things must be so different for you, when I started keeping roaches in August of 2015 many of the newer species already had a firm foundation in the hobby! Speaking of isopods, can't forget about the awesome new Armadillidium sp. "Montenegro"!:D 

BTW welcome back, always great to see older members come back to the forums. :) 

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