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Ectobius pallidus

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Alright, this will be my third year trying to get babies from these guys. They are extremely common in the wild but have proved difficult to breed in captivity. I'll be setting them up like pseudomops with plenty of springtails to keep things clean. Any thoughts or suggestions? These will probably be the smallest species in the US hobby if I can get them going.


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Really cute, but they look frighteningly good at escaping. :unsure:

With a new native species like that, I'd try going for some degree of naturalism. Wood, moss, etc might help if they're fussy about ooth-dropping.

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Have you tried honey and bee pollon? a really moist area and a bone dry area?

I found a ssp of roach only in recently burned wood strange huh?

I might try the bee pollen.

I find them on the edge of forests in dense leaf litter (along with tons of A. vulgare). They lay their ooths in the polly poop/soil directly underneath the leaves.

@ Ralph

I have an egg crate on top of 1.5 inches of coconut fiber mixed with sphagnum moss, some cypress mulch, and leaf litter. Too much cypress mulch seems to irritate them so I only added a pinch.

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I know you’re a science guy: Do some control tests and what not.

One culture with all natural dirt, leaves and wood from where you found them. "This is your control" ironic that this culture is your control but you actually have the least control over what they do.

Have at least two other cultures kept all natural and put them in different parts of your home a warmer place and the other in a cooler place.

As a human being I/we are all about control but we must allow animals to be and anyone's greatest chance of breeding success is with giving them all the materials they know how to use.

Sand, dirt, leaf litter, and wood in all its different stages of decomposition. Keeping in mind many animals will make good use of manmade shelters and materials, ex snakes under tin and spiders making a home in draft free corners of houses and sheds.

One culture should be kept how you like to keep them; hell if I know anything, you might have much more success with this culture. We don’t know that’s why we must try many different tests out.

This is four cultures in total.

This could be something as simple as a diet chance or as complex as a symbiotic relationship with the bacteria passing through its digestive tract every day.

This could be temperature related. I don’t know

But I can tell you that once you are successful in getting ooths and nymphs to go through all there life stages and lay fertile ooths all over again, that is when you can start taking away from them. IE remove different materials one at a time such as dirt replace it with the coco fiber, or wood replace with egg crates.

Before I get any reptile, or insect I ask a good breeder who has seen them go through all there life stages over and over again.

But if something new comes to the table that resists all our preconceived notions of reptile or insect husbandry then you and only you must start from square one and start testing to find out how to breed them and allow them to go through its life stages.

Back in the 60’s it used to be that if you wanted a snake you would have to go out and catch one. And breeding a simple zonata was considered impossible. No one wanted there snake to be cooled for extended periods of time it was considered poor husbandry and the snake would develop respiratory infections. IE go through seasonal changes, but little did we know that is the key to their lock. It was only by chance did someone out west left there snakes in the shed with no heat did they find out that once spring came they would lustfully breed. Even tropical species go through seasonal changes, there subtle but there apparent; differences in pressure, humidity and hours of light.

Kyle don’t lose your interest keep at them you may find something unique.

Best to you


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  • 1 month later...

Alex, I just now read your post, but I fear it's a little too late... They decided to breed in my set up! lol

I believe the problem before was too small of an enclosure combined with too few choices of egg laying spots. I checked today and I saw at least 10 nymphs and the females that are still around are green with oothecae. Hopefully the 10 nymphs aren't the only ones and more will follow aoon!

I kept the back left corner (under the egg crate) moist, the front left corner moist but with minimal debris (oak leaves, moss, wood) covering it, the back right corner (under the egg crate) moist but did not mist it, and the front right corner dry with some debris (this is where I put the food.) I'm really hoping these guys will catch on; to me, the small species can be more interesting to watch than the larger ones.

**Figured I'd explain the "green with oothecae" part; I believe that members of the the subfamily Ectobiinae produce green oothecae, much like how Oxyhaloinids produce yellow ones and Blaberids produce pink-ish ones. The oothecae are so big compared to the body size and the abdomen so thin that the egg cases can be seen inside the female.

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Congrats! The note on ooth colors is very cool too, and practical for the keeper in this case!

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Then forget what I said and do what works for you!!hahaha....Congrats its always exciting when starting from 6 little founder stock and then seeing babies pop up everywere

The only unfortunate thing is I started with well over 25 adults and I've only seen 10 or so babies. :x Oh well, maybe the other ooths haven't started hatching and this is just the beginning of the invasion! :o

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  • 3 years later...
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  • 1 year later...

An update would be great! Especially now I've collected Ectobius sylvestris in a forest nearby my home. I would like to culture these roaches. See how far I can get. 
As far as I understand from the thread is that I need relatively big enclosure with a lot of variation... 

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