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Orange head observations

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Posted by James on 7/19/2006, 5:26 pm

I got into the orange heads about 6 months ago and they are breeding like, well..roaches. I have set up several cultures to see what they do best on condition wise. I have a commment and a question.

Comment: I use dried tea (left over from making sweet tea) as substrate and it controls odor WONDERFULLY. I beleive they eat it also. I have several small cultures that have gone from new born nymph to mid size nymph with no food other than the substrate. If they are eating each other I can't tell, they all seem to be there (about 50 in a plastic shoebox). I just mist this group once a week and they must eat the wet substrate. Just an observation. Not feeder insect quality roaches, but shows these things can live on almost anything if necessary. My regular colony is fed real food.

Question: They are kept in very high temps due to location of room, etc. 100F during the day, 85F at night. I am producing mostly male adults. Is there a coorelation between temps and sex determination? I am getting about 15:1 males to females, perhaps higher.

Any information would be helpful.


James Bryan


Link: http://bryanreptiles.tripod.com

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Posted by orin on 7/20/2006, 10:09 am, in reply to "orange head observations"

Considering your timeline (not longer than 1 cycle) there's a good chance your issue is the males emerge first. Eventually you'll be seeing almost entirely females becoming adults because they are slower growing.


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Posted by James Bryan on 7/20/2006, 5:51 pm, in reply to "Re: orange head observations"

I was hoping that was the case. I had read someones observations that the males emerge first. My first litters are now adults. Subsequent litters are medium nymphs to emerging now.

These things breed so profusely it is frightening.

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Posted by Olivia on 7/20/2006, 4:20 pm, in reply to "orange head observations"

"Real food" is subjective. I think brewed tea leaves is probably a step closer to leaf litter (a natural component of their diet) than cat or dog food. I must have over 50 kinds of teas in my kitchen cabinets. Boiled oak leaves smell just like it could be any one of them. So when you experiment with their diets, think in terms of what diet might be more natural for the roaches and would benefit long-term breeding results rather than what would make a better gutload for short-term benefits. A roach burrowing in the ground is more likely to encounter rotten wood, leaf litter, and fallen pieces of fruit rather than roast beef or whatever people feed their orange heads in pursuit of the "high protein high calcium" trend.


Link: www.BugChick.com

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Posted by James Bryan on 7/20/2006, 6:02 pm, in reply to "Re: orange head observations"

That makes sense. I keep hermit crabs as well and they love dried oak leaves, bark, any kind of decomposing plant material. They prefer it over the prepared foods made for hermit crabs.

I am trying the tea on my superworms as well. They are doing well as long as the beetles have egg laying sites. They don't seem to produce well on it if they don't have egg laying sites. The worms love it though.

I am on my second generation of mealworms raised on tea leaves. I have never used anything other than meal of all sorts. Their production is low perhaps due to nutritional deficiencies?

We use 1/2 decafinated and 1/2 caffinated tea (lipton). Being in the SE USA and having 7 people in my house, we drink a lot of tea. I read once that caffeine is used to kill frogs in Hawaii, so I won't be experimenting with it as an amphibian substrate.


obsessive "science experimenter"

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Posted by Jason on 1/12/2007, 3:16 am, in reply to "orange head observations"

If you got a private response to this let me know. I have tried just about every species of roach for my tarantulas, scorpoins and bearded dragons. Orange heads are by far the best in my opinion.

Is there a species you prefer other than orange heads to that I can be sure I have given it a try.


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Posted by Dave on 1/12/2007, 11:51 am, in reply to "Re: orange head observations"

Hey James,you were asking if there were any other species that were good feeders? Have you kept the eublaberus distante? The nymphs when full grown are extremily plump. My dragons really love them and acctually have a hard time getting them down ,they are so big . If anyone is interested in trying them out, my bin is a bit overcrowded at the moment. I am offering adults for $ .50 each until the colony is down to where I want it.

email me at davegrimm1@gmail.com

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