Simandoa conserfariam: Ideal Starter Colony Size And Care

goliathusdavid

Arachnoknight
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Oct 27, 2020
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Hello! I have been working with Simandoas for a few months now, and despite having access to people very knowledgable in their care I nevertheless find myself with new questions almost every day. I currently posses 24 VERY small nymphs divided into two colonies (one in a ten gallon, another in a 24x16x13 plastic bin) but am debating about what my ideal starting colony size should be. I am looking to breed as many as possible, and believe I have emulated the correct conditions for breeding to occur (I am certainly seeing molting and growth), but am curious about the ideal space to roach ratio. I know that unlike most species, Simandoas enjoy having a bit more space, and a lack thereof can result in antennae nipping and decreased quality of life. What space offering has worked best for those who have worked with this species before?

I know this may seem extremely niche but I am trying to go about this in as scientific a process as I can, and would appreciate any input you might have. Would also just love to hear about others experience with this beautiful species!
 

Sarkhan42

Arachnodemon
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The most important thing I've found with Simandoa is the presence of copious leaf litter- when I had my peak colony of hundreds of individuals(which started from 6 nymphs I may add), I was going through gallon bags every month. Without having plenty of leaf litter to go through, breeding slowed or stopped entirely IME. I also provided plenty of rotting wood, including a full log that they created spaces within which seemed to minimize nipping of both antennae and wings, as they were decently able to distribute themselves in the space.

I kept my colony in a 20 gallon tub with a couple holes drilled in the lid- they were otherwise kept entirely in the dark on about 6 inches of moist cocofiber beneath their leaf litter. Individuals would burrow a little here and there, but honestly they primarily stayed on or under the wood provided.

They also IME prefer leafy greens like spinach, over other vegetables or fruits. I also provided some cat food for protein which they enjoyed thoroughly!
 

pannaking22

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Agreed with a good protein source, that seems to help decrease antenna/wing chewing. One thing my group has really done well with is increased surface area even though they're in a mediumish plastic bin. I stacked several pieces of cork bark so there are levels they can hang out on, which really got them to take off. I throw in a few handfuls of leaf litter every now and then and it disappears, though I haven't had any breeding issues without it. They get some general scraps though, so there may be some micronutrients in there that they're needing. Apple cores, pieces of bell pepper, carrots, etc. Mushrooms were pretty quickly devoured too I noticed. Room temp or slightly cooler seems to be totally fine.
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnoknight
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Thank you both so much for your replies! I have leaf litter in my setup but may increase it, and will also increase the protein I am providing them (mainly dog chow and fish flakes). The idea of stacking cork bark for increased surface area is also one I will pursue, as I think that could be helpful if I get the colony growth I am hoping for. Again, thank you so much for the advice, and for keeping this species!
 

goliathusdavid

Arachnoknight
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Revitalizing this thread to ask another question. I can't seem to find any information regarding smell or defensive liquid with this species. Anyone know anything about that? I desperately need to read Orin's section on them in For The Love of Cockroaches, but can't cough up the cash right now. Defensive behaviors were also sadly not mentioned in the Roth\Naskrecki paper.
 

Sarkhan42

Arachnodemon
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Revitalizing this thread to ask another question. I can't seem to find any information regarding smell or defensive liquid with this species. Anyone know anything about that? I desperately need to read Orin's section on them in For The Love of Cockroaches, but can't cough up the cash right now. Defensive behaviors were also sadly not mentioned in the Roth\Naskrecki paper.
They absolutely squeak defensively, but I don't believe they have any chemical defense. Its possible I'm wrong and just never experienced it, but I can confirm they certainly squeak up a storm when restrained.
 
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