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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wanted to do a post on this species I recently started working with, seems like a good candidate for the dart frog hobby



Compsodes Schwarzi are a native US species found from Arizona to Florida. All specimens currently kept in captivity were collect from ant colonies, where they cohabitate. Im unsure if this relationship is parasitic or mutual in nature. They don’t require ant colonies to be cultured.



Size

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(Have yet to “freeze” them and get some hard measurements)

Males measure 7mm x 2mm(5mm x 2mm excluding wings)

Females measure 5mm x 2mm

Saw some nymphs around a 1mm



Housing

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Small gasket tub with peat moss, cypress bark, and sphagnum moss for the substate(kept fairly moist), fair amount of leaf litter and cork bark for structure.



Diet

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They are detritivores, so leaf liter, and other decaying plant matter is a good staple. I also provide fresh veggies, fruit and fish flake on occasion. The general consensus for roach diet has been high protein feed; dog food, fish flake, grains, etc but as time goes on it seems while these diet facilitate fast growth it may do so at the expense of the roach’s health and thus our animals health. Build up of uric acid is one those concerns. People are now moving towards lower protein diets(<4%).



Some concerns/challenges

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  1. Growth rates, I found one post claiming nymphs take seven months to reach maturity and adults live three months, when kept in the mid 70’s. This while good for keeping nymphs at appropriate feeding size would likely mean long(er) establishing time for the colony before feeding. I Currently keep my colony on the top shelf of roach closet(likely mid-high 80’s), so hopefully this will speed up maturation.
  2. Size sorting, once my colony is more established I’ll begin testing various sorting methods, I’m thinking metal mesh that I currently use for ventilation. It’s highly standardized so should make fine tuning/replicating results easy. There is large(enough) difference between instar stages that it should make sorting feasible. They also lay ootheca(egg case) which should make harvest hatchlings quite easy. Simply harvest the ootheca and place in a secondary container. Ootheca contain eight nymphs, and females may be able to lay up two ootheca a week while only taking several weeks to hatch.



They are far from a widely kept species so information on husbandry and growth is extremely limited, and I’ve only just began working with this species but I wanted to compile a quick bit of information I found for anyone interested in some feeder diversity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I currently cant take macro shots so here are some photos from other people’s colonies.

The Last photo is with a dime for reference with Compsodes Schwarzi on the left(lighter color) and Nocticola sp."Malaysia" on the right, the smallest species of roach currently kept. Maxing out at 4mm and more slender than schwarzi.
 

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I've wanted these for a while but I'm in Scotland. I would kill, literally kill, for a culture of them. From all I've seen they can be reasonably productive once the colony is established.
Interesting that they have a relationship with ants, I believe the same is true for some springtails and isopods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Took me months to find someone who had any available, the person who I purchased them from made mention of selling in Europe. He may have the permits if you'd like to contact him. Very interesting roach, they seem to "explore" a lot more than my other species of roaches. You can almost appreciate them more in photos due to how absolutely tiny these guy are.
 

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Size sorting, once my colony is more established I’ll begin testing various sorting methods, I’m thinking metal mesh that I currently use for ventilation. It’s highly standardized so should make fine tuning/replicating results easy. There is large(enough) difference between instar stages that it should make sorting feasible.
I use these soil sieves to sort mealworms; might work here too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Took me months to find someone who had any available, the person who I purchased them from made mention of selling in Europe. He may have the permits if you'd like to contact him. Very interesting roach, they seem to "explore" a lot more than my other species of roaches. You can almost appreciate them more in photos due to how absolutely tiny these guy are.
Would love to get in contact with this individual!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Started having some of the ootheca hatch, nymphs are coming out at a 1mm long, and maybe 3/4 of mm wide. I don't currently have any melanogaster on hand, but I'm pretty certain they are smaller.
 
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