Category Archives: Bugs

New 8-legged friend

Hi world!
I’m Ashley the caretaker in the frogs and spiders department
and this is my first blog entry!:-)

Here’s our new friend – Brazilian Black Tarantula
Her body is all black in color, you may think it’s a little bit scary.
But she is extremely friendly and easy to handle.

Just do not be deceived by appearances;-)

Alien was born before 2011

Ok so this is one of our Madagascan hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa). I just found her about to molt. For first time viewers it’s reasonable you have no clue what the ivory white bug with jet black eyes is. They look strange when they have become white because being dark seems to be typical of roaches.

A lil bit facts of this big bug. The hisser is native to Madagascan rainforests and is one of the world’s largest cockroaches. There are a few species that are bigger but the hisser is obviously more well-known than those. I have often found groups of them under logs in the past trips. They would hiss at the beginning of disturbance, but soon would stop hissing and run instead. These gentle giants would not attack no matter how bad they are disturbed. Yeah they are cockroaches, but are so different from the house ones. The Malagasies are naturally clean. Actually they won’t survive in dirty environment. They are relatively slow moving and wingless, means they cannot fly.

Every time they molt they go on a new stage of life. They will molt totally 6 times in their life. Freshly molted hissers are soft and ivory white.  Without the protection of their shed exoskeleton, they would only choose to molt in the middle of the night in somewhere secretive. The body will be hardened and turn dark again quickly.

I’ve spent some time watching her shed entirely. I can’t remember how many times I have seen this but every single time it interests me in a different way. This time it happened right before new year. Obviously this cute hisser girl wants a brand new life in 2011.

By understanding these little critters you will be inspired in some way you’ve never expected. If people can shed like these cold blooded critters, we will be more open-minded and our society will be more positive. Regeneration is the word.

You can now learn from a cockroach how to live a brand new life in 2011.

Happy 2011 everyone!!