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My main feeder colony is established, I am now looking for a species to keep for the simple joy of it.....

Attributes I'm looking for are:

Good for handling

Visually appealing

good for observation...suggestions?

also please tell me your favorite "non utility" species and why.

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Well, I like my Madagascars for all those reasons. There may be more... all the "big boys" are interesting to me. I have a child at home and they can deal with "rough" handling, and are a good learning pet for him.

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Definitely agree! Hissers are the universal 'pet' cockroach, they're big, beautiful, totally harmless, very sturdy, pretty active and amiable to being handled.

I think they are the perfect pet roach. They're also quite long-lived, you get several years with your average hisser, so you can get fairly attached to them, safe in the knowledge they'll be around for a while.

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Aside from the usual hissers, I hear that Peppered roaches (A. tesselata) are very easily handled. They're winged and look much different from the hissers, so that provides some variety.

Oh yes, Peppers are gorgeous and really impressive to look at! They're a bit more 'scuttly' in my experience, whereas hissers tend to be 'plodders', I used to chill with a hisser on my sleeve on warm days, I'm not sure I'd attempt it with a Pepper, but of course, it depends what you want in terms of handling!

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Oh yes, Peppers are gorgeous and really impressive to look at! They're a bit more 'scuttly' in my experience, whereas hissers tend to be 'plodders', I used to chill with a hisser on my sleeve on warm days, I'm not sure I'd attempt it with a Pepper, but of course, it depends what you want in terms of handling!

A lot of times, I find that the adult male hissers run away and sort of "jump" -intentionally or otherwise- from my hands when I attempt handling. Females are usually calmer, but many of my adults are gravid and so handling them is a little bit riskier. This may be because they live in colonies and are constantly breeding and competing over territory. I do notice that mine which live in containers alone or with a few others are generally calmer, but this might be coincidental.

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A lot of times, I find that the adult male hissers run away and sort of "jump" -intentionally or otherwise- from my hands when I attempt handling. Females are usually calmer, but many of my adults are gravid and so handling them is a little bit riskier. This may be because they live in colonies and are constantly breeding and competing over territory. I do notice that mine which live in containers alone or with a few others are generally calmer, but this might be coincidental.

My hissers jump to, it's very odd, like a rhino jumping, it doesn't seem natural. I guess the hard body armory protects them as they seem fine doing it.

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All of these are great suggestions. To add a little variety here are some other fun species for handling. Each had its own unique quality:

Byrsotria rothi (Roth's Giant Burrowing Roach)

Elliptorhina chopardi (Dwarf Madagascar Hissing Roach)

Ergaula capucina (Burmese Beetle Mimic Roach)

Ergaula sp. "Black Giant" (Big Black Beetle Mimic Roach)

Eurycotis decipiens (Zebra Roach)

Polyphaga aegyptiaca (Egyptian Desert Roach)

Therea petiveriana (Domino Roach)

Therea olegrandjeani (Question Mark Roach)

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One of my favorite roaches for handling and temperament is Eurycotis floridana, the Florida Skunk Roach. The adults are very easily handled and their defense smell is almost like almond extract. Otherwise I'd go with a type of hisser. Probably the Halloween variety or tigers.

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