Monday, March 19, 2012

Roaches, Doctors, and other Pleasant Encounters

Hey ya'll!!! 

Making lots of friends sometimes means that you also get to meet tons of interesting people in life! For instance today, when Ray finally introduced me to Dr. Sagathevan (more familiarly known to his students as Dr. Saga). Now, I'm sure if you're a Sunway student, and one from the school of science no less, you might know Dr. Saga immediately as the "lecturer who is so passionate about animals!" and he is, as I learnt today when he gave me a tour of the biology lab and showed me some of his taxidermized and live animal collections. I must say it is actually quite an honor to be shown around by an actual biologist!!! The reason why Ray arranged a meeting for us, however, was really so that Dr. Saga might help me out with my plans to breed the Madagascar hissing cockroach. Indeed my own pair (which were obtained almost a month ago) seem to be rather incompatible with each other and though the male is quite intent on breeding, the female is not. I got rather tired of attempting to "induce" mating between the two when the female was quite clearly unwilling to do so and rather hoped that Dr. Saga would be able to provide me with additional females to try my luck with. As it turned out, he was more than willing to contribute and as a result, I left our meeting feeling very much enlightened and delighted at having made a new acquaintance, but also with three additional members for my budding roach colony. 

The roaches have since been moved into one of my larger "habitats" (the old tank would be a little too crowded for all five of them, I think) and seem to be doing very well. My original pair, which usually do nothing more than hide under the piece of driftwood, occasionally coming out to feed, have grown much more confident with the addition of the new tank-mates and have all come out of their little cave to "forage" even as I write this now. 

And speaking of pleasant encounters, we were just about leaving from our meeting with Dr. Saga when Ray suddenly spotted this magnificent looking creature wriggling quite restlessly among a patch of calyptocarpus flowers (incidentally the calyptocarpus is of the family asteraceae, from which my other name derives from). I knew from a glance that it could not have possibly been living off the little plants with their small dainty flowers because there were no bite marks and a quick look overhead confirmed that it must have somehow come down from the tree above (the leaves were positively riddled with bite marks!). At a glance it reminded me of nothing more than one of the noctuiidae caterpillars (but much larger of course) but I also had a suspicion that it might in fact be of the family arctiidae. Well, there's only one way to be sure and we have since collected it and shall wait patiently for it to metamorphose before determining exactly what kind of moth it will eventually be. 

Watch out for the all new chronicles of the Mystery larva #2
Anyway I'm just taking the time off to write in from what promises to be a rather busy week! Assignments are possibly due at the end of the week and I really need to see many of my students through it! Especially the first years, so do expect some delays in the posting for the time being. 

ps. On a separate note I've finally started placing my bettas into the breeding set up. The male so far has responded quite enthusiastically (the bubble nest is thicker and larger than I've ever seen before!) while the female has taken to hiding behind the water plants, but I'm told that that's also to be expected. Hoping for babies soon!!!

pps. Keric (Grammostola rosea) started to refuse food as of last Saturday so I'm expecting a molt soon within the next two weeks, hopefully. Wish me luck!!!



Nath said...

mao mao cong *runs*

Cyren said...

Haha yeah!!! That's the chinese name.