Tuesday, September 7, 2010

To Blaptica dubia or not?

I have been planning for this year LIHS 21st Annual reptile & Amphibian Expo since I walked out the door of last year's show after it was over. Have not given it much thought all year until now but have given it some now and then. These 'now and then thoughts' have me fairly well prepared for this year's show as far as animals I will display for the competition go. I have a good selection, better than I have had in recent years. This year I plan to place animals into at least two categories. One will be Turtles & Tortoises, the other will be Amphibians. For the life of me I do not understand why amphibians are not broken down into separate classes as are the reptiles (they have snakes, lizards, tortoises & turtles while amphibians are all lumped together) but that is what I have to work with and I plan to enter several amphibians into this year's competition along with a tortoise or two.

As far as the tortoise or two goes, I am not going to divulge which species I am entering, nor am I going to show pics. This year I am keeping it under my hat, so to speak, until the day of the show. As for the amphibians, it will be likewise. I will say this for the slimy ones though: I am planning on entering at least one frog/toad, maybe two. I am also planning to enter at least two different species of newt/salamander. Right now, I have at least 18 different amphibians from which to choose. Who knows, maybe I will not choose among them and just enter them all.

That is not what I have been giving much thought to lately though. The thing on my mind most recently, regarding the show, is what to set up on the vendor/display tables I will pay for at the show. While showing animals in the competition is free, the vendor tables do have a fee associated with them. I am none to sure I want to sell anything and may just put on an educational display on my table(s) this year but even then I will still pay for the tables; that will be sort of a donation to the society from me.

In looking for ideas on what to use to set up on my tables, I have thought of selling things like: varying species of amphibian and reptile, herp keeping accessories, or feeder insects. I have sold feeder insects before - crickets, wax worms, meal worms, and super worms. I can say without a doubt it is a pain in the neck. I have to order them early enough to receive them at least two to three days before the show, then store them in my garage. I have to be at home when they arrive or plan to have someone else here to receive them. I have to repair any damaged boxes to stem the tide of illegal bug-aliens escaping into my garage and there are always damaged boxes. I have to squeeze all the boxes into one of my compact cars and bring them to the show, then set everything up, then spend virtually all day stuck at my table trying to sell them. Despite the hassle, I may do it again this year.

If I do it this year though, there may be a big change. I may also add roaches to the mix. Not those pesty little things,
German Cockroaches, that infest apartment buildings in NYC but bigger, meatier ones that really go crunch when something like a bearded dragon gobble one down. I am thinking of ordering a thousand or so of these guys - Blaptica dubia. Amazingly enough, people actually breed and sell roaches as feeder insects for critters that eat bugs. So, a source of them is pretty easy to find, such as: http://afexotics.weebly.com/available-feeders.html. Even though I have successfully kept another species of large roaches, Blaberus discoidalis, without escapes, as far as I recall, I have got some more thinking to do on this one. I would hate to get them then have any get out. Not that they would likely breed once on the loose, since they require high temps to successfully breed, but in that my wife might kill me - literally -if they got loose. Besides that, I cannot stand roaches, they skeeve me out big-time, so if any got out and wound up crawling up my leg, or wherever, I'd probably have the big one as in coronary - or maybe just grab a pistol and shoot the roach. Either way - it would not be good. So, some more thinking on this is in order.

All the best,
Glenn B
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