Madagascar roaches

Christianb96

Arachnoknight
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Jan 7, 2017
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Hi guys, I just got my starter colony of Madagascar hissers and I really don't know much about them outside of care, and I'm concerned that I may have got 2 different species. I've got some that are a light brown and plump and the other are dark and rather flat. Is this just a color variation or are they different species?
 

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Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Apr 18, 2015
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First off, congrats on getting some hissers! :) They look like your run of the mill Gromphadorhina hybrids often sold as "G.portentosta", so there will be some variation in their color. That one in the second picture looks like a large nymph to me, it may have another molt or two to go before it reaches adulthood.
 

socalqueen

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I agree with @Hisserdude. I have 3 hissers and their colors differ but their young. So far I have absolutely loved having my 3 girls, looking into getting some males and breeding. This site has been super helpful with answering all my questions and helping me. Hissers are extremely mellow, mine let me hold them, they eat like hogs, and seem pretty content. Last night they were upgraded to a larger viv, with lots of bark and places to hide, their loving it. i definitely reccomend keeping stocked in veggies and fruit, fish flakes, get a spray bottle, and prepare to become obsessed. :happy:
 

Christianb96

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I'm already finding them pretty amazing, I've had some before but they where nymphs that were fed to my scorpions. I had no idea how big and intricate they got. The males horns are pretty cool. They are pretty aggressive eaters, I put in some apple slices and went to the store, and they devoured it I definitely plan on breeding them
 

socalqueen

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Mine really enjoy spinach and recently apples. It's pretty crazy how quickly they can decimate a bowl of food. I have one that is fairly larger than the other two and she's my favorite, she will crawl
Onto my hand. The other two get pretty worked up when I try to hold them. I've enjoyed them a lot, and am hooked. I really look forward to breeding them and learning about all that.
 

Christianb96

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I have mine in a temporary container but I'll be setting up a terrarium with some moss bark and a plant. Then add some heat and hope they breed like crazy. I'm going to add in some little isopods and springtails to clean the tank to!
 

socalqueen

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I have mine in a temporary container but I'll be setting up a terrarium with some moss bark and a plant. Then add some heat and hope they breed like crazy. I'm going to add in some little isopods and springtails to clean the tank to!
I was recently reading about "cleaning crews" but didn't know if hissers need them. (May be a question for @Hisserdude). I use cork bark. Are you adding a live plant? If so what kind?
 

Christianb96

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I don't think they really need it but the cleaning crews will eat some of the excrement and will make cleaning easier. I was thinking about adding a pothos but I havnt decided yet I need to do more research,
 

socalqueen

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I don't think they really need it but the cleaning crews will eat some of the excrement and will make cleaning easier. I was thinking about adding a pothos but I havnt decided yet I need to do more research,
I think a live plant would be pretty cool. Going to look into it myself.
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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I was recently reading about "cleaning crews" but didn't know if hissers need them. (May be a question for @Hisserdude). I use cork bark. Are you adding a live plant? If so what kind?
When your colony gets big enough then a clean up crew may be necessary, unless you want to pick out any dead roaches that may be in the cage by hand, which gets tedious with a huge colony. For hissers I'd recommend Alphitobius diaperinus, aka Lesser Mealworms, you just have to make sure their numbers don't get too out of control by culling out adults from time to time. You definitely won't be needing them until your colony gets larger though.
 

Christianb96

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I think a live plant would be pretty cool. Going to look into it myself.
My only concern with live plants is I've heard of people getting nematodes that way, and although it's rare the thought gives me some serious anxiety
 

socalqueen

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When your colony gets big enough then a clean up crew may be necessary, unless you want to pick out any dead roaches that may be in the cage by hand, which gets tedious with a huge colony. For hissers I'd recommend Alphitobius diaperinus, aka Lesser Mealworms, you just have to make sure their numbers don't get too out of control by culling out adults from time to time. You definitely won't be needing them until your colony gets larger though.
Right on. I'll be adding to the colony soon, so I'll definitely keep this in mind.
 

socalqueen

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My only concern with live plants is I've heard of people getting nematodes that way, and although it's rare the thought gives me some serious anxiety
I read that it is rare but possible. I completely understand the anxiety, it gave me the shivers just looking at pictures. I think I'll hold off on the live plants for a while lol.
 

Christianb96

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I read that it is rare but possible. I completely understand the anxiety, it gave me the shivers just looking at pictures. I think I'll hold off on the live plants for a while lol.
I read some stuff where people bake the soil, and clean the plant with a 10% bleach mixture. But yeah I'd be heart broken if any of my inverts came down with something
 

socalqueen

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I read some stuff where people bake the soil, and clean the plant with a 10% bleach mixture. But yeah I'd be heart broken if any of my inverts came down with something
I read the same thing. I'm not willing to risk it at this point. Fake plants are always cool but I'm into more natural.
 
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