Millipede or Roaches for a High School Classroom

Tavyn

Arachnopeon
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Oct 18, 2005
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Hello all I am high school teacher in Sarasota Florida. I am a relative newcomer to the world of keeping arachnids as pets.

Over the last several years I have kept a male Brachypelma vagans. He has been great fun for me and hugely interesting to my students. Due to school policy the tarantula (considered a dangerous venomous insect by the school board) is only allowed to visit my classroom and only with approval from my principal and the notification of all parents that he will be present.

What I am looking for is another arachnid that would be able to reside full time at school. Something non poisonous, hardy, and easy to care for in a drafty air-conditioned school that will go from low 70s when kids are present to the high 80s and even 90s on the weekends. A food source that doesnt spoil or an organism that can go long periods without food. (The tarantula was perfect, there are times when he wont eat for a month.) This makes spring break and christmas break easy.

I have a 20 gallon aquarium tank at school that I would like to use for this critter. It has a lid but not one I would trust to keep any kind of climbing critter in.

Multiple critters would be better than one. Millipede maybe? Roaches? Has to be relatively "acceptable" so as to not freak out the kids or their parents or my principal. The tarantula was a tough sell. Anybody have any ideas?
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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roaches are possibly goign to be "legal" headaches down the road


you can get a number of nice looking native FL milli species though... and most should live together quite nicely

they would be able to eat the right kind of substrate when you don't want to add other food items for them
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
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A vinegaroon might fit the bill nicely. Since you are in FL anything other than native roaches or B. cranifer(already established in FL) will be too much trouble.
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
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There are some very nice animals native to Florida like Chicobolus spinigeris and Narceus americanus millipedes, Blaberus craniifer cockroaches and Mastigoproctus giganteus vinegaroons. FL has some strange regs for Ts and other inverts but the above are all 'natives'. The vinegaroon must be kept by itself but the millipedes and roaches can be kept in pretty high densities.
You can find a nice pic of the B.craniifer roaches at the Allpet Roaches site.
 

Drachenjager

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Over the last several years I have kept a male Brachypelma vagans. He has been great fun for me and hugely interesting to my students. Due to school policy the tarantula (considered a dangerous venomous insect by the school board) QUOTE]

If thats the school boards stance , they are not fit to be on the board.
If they let the MYTHS over ride the FACTS , what other BS are they teaching the kids? OR allowing to be taught?
PEople like that should never be allowed to reproduce nor have anythnig to do with education... I mean do we really want someone in charge od education that thinks a tarantula is an insect? They probably think a newt is a reptile too.
Also seeing as there are 0 count them 0 confirmed cases of death of a human by a tarantula, that makes 0 the number of dangerous tarantulas.
HEck in many Texas schools tarantulas are in the classrooms...usually a wandering male but hey...
Now that i had my rant about your school board ill read the rest of you post and try to help lol
 

Drachenjager

Arachnoemperor
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I would go for some millipedes, you can prob find them yourself and make a field trip out of it. flip some rotten wood and wallah N. americanus... or some of the other native millis there.
also use a mix of natural peat and rotten wood mulch and oak leaves for a substrate and you wont have to feed the millis for a long time...
 

Ralph

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I'd like to chose Cockroaches!!!!they're very easy to raise and they're easy to get... alot of roaches are available on the Sale board .
their foods are esay to store up ,they're big enough to watch..
It seems that some of Milipedes have very strong poisonous.... a little bit danger to childs
 

Drachenjager

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I'd like to chose Cockroaches!!!!they're very easy to raise and they're easy to get... alot of roaches are available on the Sale board .
their foods are esay to store up ,they're big enough to watch..
It seems that some of Milipedes have very strong poisonous.... a little bit danger to childs
they are illegal in Florida! and the native millis dont have strong poison.
 

Tavyn

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
39
Well I went with the Milipedes.

I got 5 Florida Ivory Millipedes, Chicobolus spinigerus for 10 bucks from a place here in Florida. They munched through a good bit of slivered carrots already and are now happily buried in the 3 inches of coco fiber substrate in the 20 gallon long tank I have for them.

Cool critters at almost 5 inches long.

Will they spend all their time buried?

Was hoping they would be surface dwellers so the kids could see them but I guess I can just dig them up when its time to show them off.

Classes started today so its a little busy for show and tell but it should happen by the end of the week.

Thanks all for the help.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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when i kept millipedes they would sometimes climb onto stuff i put in the cage for them. you could also experiment with putting their food on a pedestal or something... make the bugs work for their food a little


of course, there is a good chance they are nocturnal or something
 

Takumaku

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they are illegal in Florida! and the native millis dont have strong poison.
Before making a statement, be sure you know your facts. Not all tropical cockroaches are illegal. Only those currently established in the state can be sold legally. This list includes, but not limited to, Orangeheads (Eublaberus prosticus), discoids (Blaberus discoidalis), death's heads (Blaberus craniifer), dwarf cave (Blaberus fusca) - limited numbers, lobsters (Nauphoeta cinerea).
 

Rochelle

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Our Eublaberus prosticus (orange head) roaches are a GAS to watch! There is always something going on their tank and I SWEAR they have individual personalties. They eat nearly everything and the tanks are the easiest to keep. They do not climb glass and are completely handleable by the most timid of children. Also - no zoonological diseases... No allergies, nor do they bite. We use ours in classroom demos on a regular basis. Also very pretty to look at....;) And a big TY for bringing the unusual to the classroom! :worship:
 

Rochelle

Arachnoprince
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P.s.....

Kudos to Drachenjager for his succinct synapse of your moronic school board. Perhaps they should check with actual experts before making highhanded decrees about things they obviously know NOTHING about... Feel free to direct them to THIS board at the next meeting..... :wall:
 

Rochelle

Arachnoprince
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The last time we went into the classroom (special autistic kids) we took an A. seemani, G. rosea, A.avic, A.geniculata AND hissers! Maybe they should check with the Charlotte, Mich School board for direction - regarding what's safe and what isn't. Every one of these kids got to handle and hold these babies of ours.... Even the principle of the Galewood Elem. left the classroom in tears, due to the miracle of the heightened attention spans of these children when in the presence of these very cool creatures... :p
 
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