Simandoa leaf litter...

Teal

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Hey yall! So my dream of owning Simandoa conserfarium is finally coming true! I have a dozen nymphs on the way from Orin and I could not be more excited!!

I have done a ton of research because I want to set them up properly, of course... everything I have read says they are easy keepers. I read the very few threads on here about them, and I have a few questions still for those who have kept/keep this species!

1. Leaf litter seems to be an important food source for them... but what type of leaves?!

2. I have read that individuals of this species like their space and do not do well with crowding. Can they be given *too much* space? Is a 5.5g tank too big - or too small - for a dozen nymphs? I can go bigger if needed and definitely will when they start reproducing, but that is my open tank at the moment so it would be handy if it was okay for the nymphs for now.

3. One YouTube video I watched had a random G. portensa female living in with the Simandoa, burrowed down in the moist substrate. Does anyone else have experience mixing these two species? I keep my portensa mutts with my E. javanica, and keep them dry... would a portensa mutt do okay in the humidity the Simandoa need?

My enclosure plan is the 5.5g tank (if it is big enough), with several inches of moist top soil topped with some moss to retain moisture. I will add a top layer of leaf litter as well, once I know what type to use. I'll also be providing slabs of bark both vertically and horizontally for hiding places. I know they are climbers... and while they have wings, I haven't read any accounts of them flying. I'll be cautious about flyers, just in case, and will utilize a Vaseline barrier on their enclosure like I do with my other climbers.

In addition to my questions above, any other firsthand information yall want to share about owning these guys would be awesome!
 

mantisfan101

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For the most part hard woods are fine(oak, maple, etc). Avoid softwoods or coniferous leaves.
 

Teal

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For the most part hard woods are fine(oak, maple, etc). Avoid softwoods or coniferous leaves.
Thank you for the reply so just common backyard leaf litter? I was thinking they'd need something special haha We have a ton of oak trees of various species... are live oak leaves okay? Those trees are what we have the most of (because they spread like wildfire!), but I also have blue and gray oaks.
 

pannaking22

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Hey yall! So my dream of owning Simandoa conserfarium is finally coming true! I have a dozen nymphs on the way from Orin and I could not be more excited!!

I have done a ton of research because I want to set them up properly, of course... everything I have read says they are easy keepers. I read the very few threads on here about them, and I have a few questions still for those who have kept/keep this species!!
Congrats, they're a heck of a species to keep!

1. Leaf litter seems to be an important food source for them... but what type of leaves?!
Really any hardwood leaves will work. I throw in a couple handfuls to mine every now and then, but I don't always have it present. I'm not sure if it makes a difference or not, but they do seem to appreciate the extra cover/food source.

2. I have read that individuals of this species like their space and do not do well with crowding. Can they be given *too much* space? Is a 5.5g tank too big - or too small - for a dozen nymphs? I can go bigger if needed and definitely will when they start reproducing, but that is my open tank at the moment so it would be handy if it was okay for the nymphs for now.
5.5 gal will be fine. It may be a bit big early on, but they'll grow into it, doubly so when they start reproducing. I've found that stacking bark and egg crate really helps decrease overcrowding and you can get more out of an enclosure. Overcrowding really just results in antenna and wing biting, though I'm sure it would decrease reproduction to an extent too.

3. One YouTube video I watched had a random G. portensa female living in with the Simandoa, burrowed down in the moist substrate. Does anyone else have experience mixing these two species? I keep my portensa mutts with my E. javanica, and keep them dry... would a portensa mutt do okay in the humidity the Simandoa need?
I haven't tried it (I don't mix any of my species), but portentosa are about as hardy as they come, so I wouldn't be too surprised if it did well.

My enclosure plan is the 5.5g tank (if it is big enough), with several inches of moist top soil topped with some moss to retain moisture. I will add a top layer of leaf litter as well, once I know what type to use. I'll also be providing slabs of bark both vertically and horizontally for hiding places. I know they are climbers... and while they have wings, I haven't read any accounts of them flying. I'll be cautious about flyers, just in case, and will utilize a Vaseline barrier on their enclosure like I do with my other climbers.
You probably don't need a ton of substrate since they don't seem to burrow much. I think I've got an inch or two of cocofiber and that's it. They really appreciate extra cover though, I have several pieces of bark and eggcrate stacked in mine and they'll utilize all the space they can. They'll run throughout the leaf litter too until it's all eaten.
Their wings are too short for flying (maybe flutter-fall).
Definitely use Vaseline and lots of it, these guys are major climbers. A wide thin band should slow them down, but I've found that as long as they have suitable cover they aren't as inclined to climb around and potentially escape.


In addition to my questions above, any other firsthand information yall want to share about owning these guys would be awesome!
They're pretty messy eaters, so you may want to add a clean up crew as well. I have Trichorhina tomentosa and some random springtails in with mine and it's working great.
 

Teal

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Thank you so much for the reply!

Leaf litter will be easy to do, it sounds like!

I use clean up crews in all my enclosures... mostly just A. vulgare because that is what I have locally, but I do have T. tomentosa as well!
 

pannaking22

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I'm betting A. vulgare would be fine as well. I just use T. tomentosa because that's what I have on hand and I have tons of them lol.
 

Teal

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I didn't even know I had T. tomentosa until I lifted a bit of bark in a roach enclosure and discovered a huge colony! Lol.

Of course, USPS is doing its usual "tracking"... Ahhhhhh, I hope my post scans them when they arrive so I'll get a text to go get them!
 

pannaking22

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I didn't even know I had T. tomentosa until I lifted a bit of bark in a roach enclosure and discovered a huge colony! Lol.

Of course, USPS is doing its usual "tracking"... Ahhhhhh, I hope my post scans them when they arrive so I'll get a text to go get them!
I knew I had them at one point but then they all disappeared, so I'd assumed I'd killed my whole colony. Then they randomly showed up in three enclosures (two of which I hadn't put them in originally). They're pretty good at teleporting it seems.
 

Teal

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They're heeeere! :D

I am going out to collect leaf litter for them now :)

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Hisserdude

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Odd, my nymphs never seemed to touch their leaf litter, never thought it was an important part of their diet...
 

pannaking22

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Odd, my nymphs never seemed to touch their leaf litter, never thought it was an important part of their diet...
Overall I don't think it's super important (can't imagine they were getting much of it in the caves where they were originally found), but I think they appreciate having it now and then and it's an extra snack in case you forget to feed them.
 

SonsofArachne

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I've read that apple helps with breeding success. I'm still waiting for the first babies though. It might be too cold this winter in the room I have them in (68-72 deg).
 

Hisserdude

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Overall I don't think it's super important (can't imagine they were getting much of it in the caves where they were originally found), but I think they appreciate having it now and then and it's an extra snack in case you forget to feed them.
True true, I offered mine leaf litter just for the smaller nymphs to hide in really lol, and for some more naturalistic decor. :)
 

Sarkhan42

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I’ve found they will run through leaf litter when breeding well- I’ve had to give new gallon bags of oak leaves about monthly since the new batch of adults matured out. They will also destroy leafy greens, they can’t seem to get enough of them. I’ve had my colony finish a full head of romaine overnight.
 

Teal

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Yaaaallll! I just wanted to share my excitement over my FIRST ADULT! :D I hope others aren't far behind!

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