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Field 'Roaching' For Arenivaga floridensis


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After half a day digging in the Sand and temperatures over 90F, me and other member of this forum were able to locate some beautiful A.floridensis ( Highlands locale ). Florida sand cockroaches have a very limited range and are very poorly studied. Most of the sand ridges that they call home are threatened by farmland or new developments. Hopefully we can get these guys breeding in culture. :)

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Thanks guys :) We found 15 of them. It took hours of digging to get them but it was all well worth it. We kept finding nymphs and just before we left we found one adult male, No adult females were found.

Anybody else keeping these guys? Any husbandry advice will be appreciated. Right now I am keeping them in a small container with coco/sand mix ( about one inch of substrate ). They have a dish with water and another with roach chow/veggies. I am wondering if they'll know to look for food in the dishes. They are always buried in the sand so I don't know what they are up to :unsure:

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Lots of questions I hope your willing to answer.

1. About how deep did u dig

2. What plants where they near or under. The root ball retains moisture.

3. I read a study about folks using serves to sift through sand to find FL. Areni's. Did you use anything like this or other equipment?

4. Were there serpentine tracks? (Wavy looking lines in the sand)

I ask because i've been hunting for these on and off for 3years here in AZ with no luck. And I am in areas were there is documentation of captured specimens.

I also agree about tossing the water and giving fruits and veggies. Carrots and potatoes are good for moisture and they don't mold or rot very quickly. U will need to cut potatoes in half 'cause the roaches will not readily eat through the skin. Or just put a hole in it and u will end up with an

empty 'tatoe skin. If the substrate is dry just toss dog for or whatever protein on the sand. While I don't have any scientific backing to this its my hunch that they will drag the dry food under the sand and nibble on it during the day. More food intake should result in a faster rate of propagation.

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I found some information that leads me to believe this genus comes out at night (I would assume when the moon is hidden). I read about people catching these with pit fall traps. I would like to go camping out in the desert soon to try digging, setting up pit falls, and possibly trying to catch them out of the sand.

Were they found near or underneath any plants as suspected?

Very cool you guys were able to find some though :) the only non pest roach I've found were parcoblatta. Keep us updated!

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We tried several spots in the area we were looking for them, but only one place produced sand roaches. We did all our digging around 3 pm so I am not sure if they are easier to find them at night or during the day.

We didn't realize how hard it was to find them until we started digging. There were several thousand acres of scrub habitat and the little buggers seem to only like loose sand under leaf litter at the bases of some species of trees. We found all of ours under the base of a small pine tree. They seem to like moist sand that is clear ( not mixed with soil ). Most were found at around 7 to 12 inches deep but we did find a few a little deeper. after 2 feet deep the sand gets too compacted and its hard to tell if they live that deep.

We did find one adult male but no adult females were found. A local entomologist told us males are frequently trapped in light traps at night.

A lot more work needs to be done with these guys. Another trip is on the planning and hopefully we'll get more of them.

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Thx for the info!

I have also heard a few reports of using light traps to find males more early. My intention it to breed so this isn't the best solution for me. I use many, like a ridiculous among, of pit traps baited with var fruit, veg, wet dog food, and unbaited. I've caught a ton of other stuff, lots of desert crickets but no roaches. I read that they frequent kangaroo rat mounds. I've dug a couple up but I dislike how destructive it is and I will probable avoid this technique in the future.

though this thread has somewhat reinspired me to get back out.

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Thx for the info!

I have also heard a few reports of using light traps to find males more early. My intention it to breed so this isn't the best solution for me. I use many, like a ridiculous among, of pit traps baited with var fruit, veg, wet dog food, and unbaited. I've caught a ton of other stuff, lots of desert crickets but no roaches. I read that they frequent kangaroo rat mounds. I've dug a couple up but I dislike how destructive it is and I will probable avoid this technique in the future.

though this thread has somewhat reinspired me to get back out.

Have you tried digging around plant roots? A friend in Florida said this technique proved fruitful, and if you put the dirt back, it's less destructive.

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Im not sure as to the species but a few desert roaches have been found around socal. I saw one years ago before I was into roaches. Now that im into them i look every chance i get... but havent found one yet.

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Have you tried digging around plant roots? A friend in Florida said this technique proved fruitful, and if you put the dirt back, it's less destructive.

Kangaroo rats tend to make there burrows around and under plants. I do put things back but it is impossible to replace it and have it be exactly the same, mostly u lose the network of tunnels that other animals will use even after the rat is gone. On the other hand there are tons of other one all over. U get the gist. There are several washes near the places i've been looking that I will sift through when the weather is a bit cooler, its 110 here and im to much of a puss to get out till It gets down to at least 90.

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  • 2 years later...

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