Schultesia lampyridiformis


This page is for Schultesia lampyridiformis, the South American Firefly Beetle Mimic Cockroach. The firefly mimic cockroach is a small species (same size as Blattella germanica, the German cockroach) of cockroach (0.5"-1"), and is an insect mimic, the adult form taking on the appearance of the South American firefly beetle. Although different degrees of mimicry, or in this case mimesis, is practiced by many other animals, this small cockroach is a fairly convincing specimen. 


Species Specific Care: S. lampyridiformis
S. lampyridiformis is a "live bearing" species; the female hatch the ootheca internally and expell the newborn nymphs. They need it to be somewhat warmer than room temperature and half the tank wet and the other dry to breed well. This is a climbing and flying species but in all the time I've raised them I've never had one attempt to fly. Their nymphs are small escape artists that can easily climb smooth surfaces. I suggest using liquid teflon for these guys as Vaseline may/will trap the nymphs and kill them occasionally. This small species is very easily handled which is unusual for its size!

Checklist of items to have ready before your cockroaches arrive: FIREFLY MIMIC COCKROACHES
1.) Plastic Rubbermaid style bin with a sealed gasket style lid.  If you want to show these wonderful animals off, a glass tank 10-20 gallons in size that has a built-in screen lid with a lock. These animals are escape artists, be prepared to seal any little gaps with hot-glue or tape. I personally use sterlite bins without a gasket because it's too cold and dry for escapees to survive. I use petroleum jelly in a 2 inch band around the edge and ON the rim to act as a barrier and a seal.  
2.) You may use eggflats but they do mold occasionally in their moderately humid enclosure. I recommend the use of corkbark because it doesn't get soggy or mold easily and makes for great decoration. These animals prefer it warm and moderately humid, 75ºF-85ºF and 60%+ humidity. 
3.) Substrate. I always recommend substrate for moisture control and odor reduction. In a show tank a substrate is a must. What natural setting doesn't have dirt or leaves? You can include fake plants as well but be aware that roaches will eat live plants and they could be toxic to them. 
4.) A food dish. Keeping food in a dish helps to reduce mold and you can avoid misting the food by simply pulling out the bowl when you do so. 
5.) A water dish, remember roaches need moisture in either their diet or as a straight water source. You can use water gel. I do not suggest using the shallow bowl filled with water and pebbles because of their 1i nymphs being so small, it will likely drown them all. 

Nutrition: 
S. lampyridiformis will eat very little compared to other similarly sized cockroaches. However, you should always keep a protein supply (dog food works well) and a moisture supply (oranges, water gel, water) at hand in their enclosures. They are not very active during the day and unless you only feed once every week or so, you will likely see little feeding activity. Remove food immediately once it starts to mold or rot. 

Schultesia lampyridiformis


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