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New to the hobby...


Shawn H
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Hi everyone,

I've been doing alot of research lately on roaches. I found that they were very interesting so I have decided to start a colony of hissers. I have a collection of reptiles that I will be feeding the overflow to. I'm completely new to breeding roaches but I thought it sounded more interesting and alot better then breeding crickets for many reasons. If anyone has any advice on starting a colony I'd appreceate it, specifically where to obtain the roaches. I don't really need a culture of thousands as I'm only looking to have enough to suppliment a couple monitor lizards diets with a few hissers every now and then for now. The roaches will be mostly a pet culture. Thanks!

-Shawn

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Welcome shawn! I hope you'll find the roaches make great pets. Tiger hissers would be a neat one but you might never have extra for feeding. If you are looking for something that breeds pretty fast and is really neat I'd suggest one of the Blaberus species such as the very handsome Death's Head.

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Welcome shawn! I hope you'll find the roaches make great pets. Tiger hissers would be a neat one but you might never have extra for feeding. If you are looking for something that breeds pretty fast and is really neat I'd suggest one of the Blaberus species such as the very handsome Death's Head.

Thanks for the advice, I'll definately keep it in mind.

Ideally I need a large roach because ill be supplementing a 6' black throat monitors diet with them( and one other smaller green tree monitor). But they would mostly just be bred as pets for awhile because I think they are pretty interesting. I was looking at tiger hissers online but the ones ive seen mostly are the dwarf variety( need something around 3 inches ideally). Also I was wondering if thier birth rates are significantly lower then the other varieties of "hissers". I'm also trying to figure out about the size of the caging and the temperature range i want to hit. My home is about 80 F during the day and drops a bit at night becuase of the pythons and monitors I currently have. That should be within the temperature range of the hissers without any supplemental heat I think. A 60 watt light couldn't hurt though im sure. I bought the allpet roach book so I have been getting some ideas through that. Was thinking about maybe getting 2 colonies going, one of death heads and one of tiger hissers depending on mostly if the tiger hissers are comparable to the other ones. They are some very nice looking roaches either way.

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Thanks for the advice, I'll definately keep it in mind.

They are some very nice looking roaches either way.

Indeed !! Real "tiger" hissers actually get a solid 3". They just don't seem to produce as many offspring as G.portentosa (normal hissers). The Deaths Head roaches are just beauties on thier own... I have a pic posted of one of mine in the photos section. Any of the dealers reviewed on this site can fix you up with the roaches...

I would go out on a limb and suggest normal hissers for fun and feeding, tiger hissers because they are realy cool and nice looking, and the death heads for something really different.... for your monitors you may also want to consider discoids and orangeheads....

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A problem with any name, scientific or common is that sometimes people will use the name of a more valuable or expensive species in order to sell off something else. E.chopardi have been known as dwarf hissers for a very long time but one vendor started calling them tiger hissers (which was already the name of a much larger, far more colorful, very different type of hisser) to improve sales. The same thing happened a long time ago when a vendors started to sell B.discoidalis as B.giganteus because the better name improved sales. It was done on purpose but it was hard to tell who started it because the vendors were told they had B.giganteus and just passed along bad info.

(*I did a search and the guy calling E.chopardi tiger hissers is calling them 'mini tiger hissers')

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Even longer ago vendors were selling off Blaberus discoidalis (Discoid) as Blaberus craniifer (Death's head). The original misuse of the name could have been an accident but that seems doubtful since less impressive roaches are mislabeled as much rarer, more colorful and larger roaches and never the other way around. It happens in any hobby, if you keep tarantulas you may remember all the H. gigas (cameroon reds) sold off as C.crawshayi (king baboons). Again, only cheap species mislabeled as more expensive.

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Even longer ago vendors were selling off Blaberus discoidalis (Discoid) as Blaberus craniifer (Death's head). The original misuse of the name could have been an accident but that seems doubtful since less impressive roaches are mislabeled as much rarer, more colorful and larger roaches and never the other way around. It happens in any hobby, if you keep tarantulas you may remember all the H. gigas (cameroon reds) sold off as C.crawshayi (king baboons). Again, only cheap species mislabeled as more expensive.

I've seen the same thing happen alot with reptile dealers. I'm not very familiar with roaches as of yet but as with any type of transaction finding a reputable dealer is a must im sure. I recently purchased a python of questionable heritage (about a month ago). I've been seeing this new label around alot more recently. A python claimed to be an indian rock X burmese and something else of a dwarf variety I forget. I bought a young one for a very good price because I also bought a water monitor lizard at the same time. Anyways it's supposed to look like a burmese and have thier mellow attitude but max out alot smaller then a typical burm. If that happened that would be good, but I'm naturally suspicous that this snake might grow like a regular burmese (20 feet+), just seems to good to be true almost. well see how that turns out I guess.

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