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Complacency, not if but when:


Matt K
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Complacency affects us all sooner or later (and for some, regularly!). Today I note that while I have always been very concerned about containment- in that I have my room of roaches virtually escape-proof into the rest of the house- sometime or another I overlooked inter-bin transferrance.

While checking my wonderfully black Pycnoscelus (niger, or so it seems), I found that other Pycnoscelus (surinamensis) had snuck out of thier bin and into this one somehow, and the result after who knows how many weeks is a disaster- a roach that is not really identifiable- like a dark suriname. Miffed that I now have to burn this lot I go about feeding a few other bins. What do I find? You got it. Surinames in several various bins rapidly out numbering the resident colony in just a matter of a couple/few weeks in some cases. And to add insult to injury, a similar circumstance involving Nauphoeta cinerea in a couple of tubs- nearly wiping out my defenseless and meager Diploptera punctata. The thing about either of these invasive species is that they eat other roach species' nymphs as they molt, resulting in no nymphs of the resident species until the adults all die off.

So the lesson here: NEVER neglect seemingly indestructable species like Pycnoscelus or lobsters- they will eat everything else you have if given the chance. Tomorrow I will be doing some serious bin cleaning and burning of substrate- the hassle here is that to do so all the obvious livestock has to be moved into a fresh bin with fresh substrate/egg cartons and it takes a while to catch out each one of the right species and not transfer any of the wrong one. Then to knock out /kill whats left with alchohol, then to scoop all that into the fire (which I do outdoors, not in the fireplace in the house).

Do yourself a favor, and even if maintenance is annual, do it.

:)

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Matt, that's great advice! My P. surinamensis came from a woman that found them stowing-away in some nursery plants she had purchased. At room temperature, they seem to be my most prolific culture. Going to go throw a molding bagel in their bin in a few minutes. They are consistently the hungriest species I keep. I purposely do not share or sell this particular species because it concerns me. I only keep a culture as feeders for my reptiles.

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Luckily I've only found surinams sneaking into my hisser colonies, and seeing as I do weekly check-ups in all my other colonies, I generally find any escapees before things become problematic.

Next week, thanks to this post, I'll be reconstructing my surinam bin (drilling dramatically smaller airholes and putting a preventative screen layer between the top of the container and the lid) to make sure they can't get out.

One more thing Matt; Are you sure some of those dark Pycnos aren't just dark-er Pycnoscelus surinamensis? I've got a lot of color variations in my surinam bin, which is particularly strange since they're parthenogenetic.

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Sorry to hear that MattK, but from others mistakes hopefully we can all learn so thanks for sharing. I hope there is somebody that can get you another culture of the Pycnoscelus niger vel aff.

N. Bohr: An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a narrow field.

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Never underestimate where a small nymph of Pycnoscelus can go or get through.... they can squeeze through something that appears almost half of its body width.

No, my jet black P.niger were not dark P.surinamensis. Now that they may or may not be all hybridized....its just sad. I had only seen them available one time ever and I bought all the person had, and they are long gone from the hobby. Yesterday it a fit of disheartened feelings I bagged the substrate and all, tied it closed and put it in a closed bin outside in the 20 degree weather....now I sort of wish I had thought to pluck out a few that were black/blackish and keep those.... oh well. Frozen roach chips anyone?

I still have a few Pycnoscelus drifting around here and there. I found some nymphs that looked like Therea nymphs but now I wonder otherwise (I have Therea pop up here and there too, but they are MUCH less a menace.)

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Looks like nylon screening, did they chew through the screening or just rip off the hot glue?

I think the ones that look mushed should probably be okay. What did you use for ventilation on your jar container? Looks like tiny holes drilled in the pic… I can’t tell though.

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Looks like nylon screening, did they chew through the screening or just rip off the hot glue?

I think the ones that look mushed should probably be okay. What did you use for ventilation on your jar container? Looks like tiny holes drilled in the pic… I can’t tell though.

Their little legs ripped through the screening during night time climbing sessions.

There are teeny, tiny holes in the lid; I'm not worrying about humidity and mold because if the humidity swings too high I can just feed them leaves until it goes low enough to just add other food.

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