Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Roaches From Cody Will & Gil Wizen!!!

This week I got some new, rare roach species from Cody Will (who just opened up an amazing new website, The Roach Lab), and Gil Wizen, (AKA Wizentrop on the Allpet Roaches Forum and Arachnoboards). I am very excited to add these new species to my collection, so without further ado, let's get to talking about them! 🙂

I made a trade with Cody Will for a group of his Balta vilis, the Small Tan Roach, I've been wanting this species for quite some time now, they seem to be even more uncommon in the US hobby than B.notulata for some reason, despite having similar care needs and growth rates.

I received about 10 individuals, mostly nymphs but a few adults too! I have them housed in a small plastic container with some pinholes poked in the lid, and a large hole melted into the side next to the food bowl, which I plug up with foam. There is about a centimeter or two of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, with bark slabs and dead leaves for hides, my normal Ectobiid setup. I will be feeding them mostly chick feed, with the occasional offering of fruits and veggies.

Here are some pictures of an adult:

I really love how these guys look, hopefully I'll be as successful in keeping this species as I have been with Balta notulata! 😁

I also got two amazing roach species new to culture from Gil Wizen, (Wizentrop), Hormetica apolinari and Lanxoblatta rudis!!! 😄 Both are very unique and awesome new additions to the hobby, hopefully I will succeed in breeding both of them!

Let's start with the Hormetica apolinari. The adults of this species are about the same size as Lucihormetica grossei, and look very similar, but are more colorful than that species, even though the males of Hormetica lack the "glowspots" that male Lucihormetica do. The males do have impressive horns, which they use to fight each other for territory and females, much like Madagascan hissing cockroaches do.

Fun fact about this genus, Hormetica used to include the "glowspot" roaches, (Lucihormetica subcinctaL.verrucosa, and several others). Eventually, all of the members of Hormetica that had the "glowspots", were moved to their own genus, Lucihormetica. So some could call the genus Hormetica "false glowspot roaches", but I think a unique common name that describes the impressive horns the genus was apparently named for would be better.

I got six medium sized nymphs, which I have housed in a medium sized plastic container with a couple inches of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, with one bark slab on top for them to hide under if they want, and a layer of leaf litter on top of the substrate as well. I will be feeding them chick feed, fruits and veggies.

Here are some pictures of one of the little cuties:

They are a very pretty species even as nymphs in my opinion, I can't wait until they mature! 😍

I also bought some Lanxoblatta rudis, a very flat roach species that is a member of the subfamily Zetoborinae, which is only represented by two other species in culture, (the somewhat commonly kept Schultesia lampyridiformis, and the similarly flat Schizopilia fissicollis, which is being bred by Nicolas Rousseaux at the Cafarnarium in Belgium). These roaches have adapted to live under bark in the wild, and are flat and cryptically colored enough that most predators either can't discern them from their surroundings, or simply can not pry them from the surface of the bark, since they lay flush with the surface of said bark.

They have rather specific care requirements, they of course require smooth bark hides, which must be positioned vertically, and they only seem to eat fruit in captivity, dog food and similar feeds aren't touched. They also need a humid environment, apparently don't like too much ventilation, and they don't like being crowded at all.

I ordered two sexed pairs of nymphs from Gil, but he actually sent me one sexed pair of nymphs and one sexed pair of adults, since he has mostly adults now! 😃 which I have housed in a temporary 6 inch tall container with a centimeter or so of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, (which they will almost never step foot on), and some smooth bark slabs for hides, with leaf litter scattered on top of the substrate. I will be feeding them mostly banana pieces and apple slices.

This is only a temporary setup, as Gil says that they should be housed in a container at least 10 inches tall, and probably a lot wider than my current enclosure, to avoid crowding. My four will be fine in this current setup, but I'll need to find a bigger enclosure for them once they start breeding. I wasn't able to find any suitable containers for them on this week's shopping trip, hopefully next week I'll have better luck! It's crazy how hard it is to find 10 inch tall containers that have a good airtight lid or that aren't insanely HUGE!!!

Anyway, here are some pictures of these amazing roaches:


Adult male

They are so unique, I don't have anything remotely similar to them in my collection, so I really look forward to keeping and hopefully breeding this species! 😊

Anyway, that is going to do it for today, I hope everyone enjoyed this post, see you all next time! 😉


  1. When logins are troublesome, you respond by explosively packing all your comments into large chunks

    How difficult is B. vilis, what color are immatures, and how does it behave? Yes, I know you called Cariblatta easy, but it still seems to me that they quickly ail under suboptimal conditions.

    As for the "internal egg contamination" I mentioned, it was more of a speculative guess on the various ways beetles could differ from flies, such as egg hardiness. The xylophagous beetles apparently spread wood microbes to the surface of eggs, though.

    I finally got the cf. Coniontis into a big cage, but it stuck near the edges and ran slowly in uncannily repetitive back-and forth patterns, as if on a robotic schedule and attempting to escape without wallclimbing. What behaviors did your Eusattus and Coelus adults exhibit when active? Also, approximately how many eggs does each female of each Coniontini species produce (ratio of initial adult population to approx. F1 larva population)? I did some math with my "small" Coniontis, and even if each beetle can only hold 10 megaeggs at once I will be very overwhelmed if I need a large population for genetic health or (even worse) darklings can regenerate eggs after laying! Do you know if the latter is true?

    Oh, and I vote that Lanxoblatta should be "rough disc roach", because just saying "bark roach" fails to convey the flat, Oniscus-like flanged shape.

    1. B.vilis are supposed to be as easy, if not easier than B.notulata, which have proven to be rather easy IME. Just give them a moist cage with some pinholes poked in the top, avoid stagnant or moldy conditions and feed them on a regular basis, Ectobiids are intolerant of neglect. Speaking of Cariblatta, I'm gonna have to rehouse my C.minima again, their cage has been invaded by some small, red mites I've never seen before, and they seem to be causing problems...

      Well I do think that if the carrion beetles are dirty, some microbes could easily spread to the eggs just by contact, so you definitely have to make sure the adults are quite clean before trying to get eggs from them.

      Hmm, maybe it's just exploring the enclosure, mapping it out as it were? That's something I've noticed with some Tenebs after being introduced to a new cage, after a little while they calm down and walk around the middle of the cage more rather than just the sides.
      I rarely see my Eusattus, but my Coelus seem to wander around the cage at night, both around the sides of the enclosure and through the middle among leaf litter. Even in their most active hours, the Coelus seem to spend most of their time just below the surface of the sand.

      I'm gonna guess at least a dozen eggs per Coniontis female, maybe more, and considering how large the eggs are, I'm sure they must regenerate eggs at least once in a season, (unless the eggs just expand when laid?). I could be wrong about the regenerating thing though, I've never looked into it).

      Disc roach is good, but bark roach is fairly descriptive too, after all, bark is all they rest on, and is what the nymphs look like.