Roach Articles by Takeshi Yamada, Brooklyn, NY

For the Love of Insects

 I am just an enthusiastic amateur insect lover. I am originally from Japan where breeding insects is a quite common hobby for many centuries. I had over a few dozen of different species of insect pets when I was a kid.

Today, breeding Kuwagata (stag beetle) is a big boom in Japan. Each Kuwagata is sold from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on the size and maturity. Ookuwagata lives about five years. There are many clubs of amateur Kuwagata breeders all over Japan - they produce poems, publish articles, create many dedicated websites.

Almost every single Japanese family has an experience of breeding Suzumushi (Japanese Bell Crickets). Suzumushi is the ôKing of all the singing insects in Japan. There is even a Buddhist Temple in the ancient city of Kyoto in Japan where people can hear the heavenly singing of some 50,000 of this precious creature all year long.

I started using tropical giant cockroaches for art and science projects for my students originally. I am now working on several projects on my own such as "Super Hisser Project" (growing the mega-giant size Hissers with hormones and bacteria strains) and "Rainbow Hisser Project" (changing the color of Hissers by giving them color-enhancing bacteria strains) and etc. My approach is more like a creative artist or mad scientists rather than common insect breeders.

There are over a few hundred great websites about Hissers and cockroaches in Japan, Europe and the United States. I enjoy researching them regularly. I just wish we have more information about other charming tropical roaches such as Giganteus, Pepper roaches, Orange Head roaches, Orange Spotted roaches in the websites so that I could come up with more Projects. I am breeding those here as well and have been researching them over many websites. I learned that researching other species of insects also deepen the understanding of life of roaches and coming up better breeding techniques for them.

Good luck to you and your pet insects!
(c) Takeshi Yamada 2002


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