First thing's first, let's begin by looking at the emerging insect enclosures and cages that can be used for stick insects. Because these highly evolved invertebrates come in many shapes and sizes, it goes without saying that the types of accommodation available are many and varied. Perhaps the most useful design is a tall, transparent container with ventilation holes in the top, in it's simplest form this can be a glass jar with a nylon mesh top held in place with a rubber band. However, these techno-types look at the word "useful" and take their creations to the extreme. Some, as you will soon find out, go too far!
Perhaps the most obvious solution to the housing problem is a suitable aquarium that can be converted to house terrestrial animals (such as stick insects). Whereas the traditional aquarium has been around for eons, the new creations of some of the old favourites are quite different indeed. Take Clear Seal's modern range of aquaria for example. With extended specs and an optional vivarium lid, this type of enclosure would be wonderful for humidity loving species such as heteropteryx dilatata, leaf insects and the genus dares. If an aquarium proves too humid for your pets, you could always hunt down a decent 20 gallon model at a car boot sale (for a mere few pounds) and (with some tenacity) remove the silicone sealant holding on one of the sides. Then cut a groove into two pieces of baton (each piece should be as high as the aquarium). Now, with more silicon sealant, attach the pieces of baton to the remaining three sides of the aquarium. Allow the baton to dry and then tack or staple on some fine mesh or nylon netting (ensure that this is escape proof). Eh voila! a perfectly good, customised enclosure - just right for your prized pets!
Product on Review:
HAGEN PANORAMIC ALL GLASS AQUARIUM (A-3346)
Dimensions: 60 x 45 cm, with rounded glass front.
Our Verdict: 9/10 a cracking piece of kit. Excellent craftsmanship and design.
Plastic Pet carriers
I love these! Plastic pet carriers aer the answer to every entomologists prayers! Whilst the smaller enclosures make great breeding cages or nurseries, the larger "jumbo" varieties make great homes for insects of varying sizes (even jungle nymphs!). Lightweight, stackable and portable, these cages are just about perfect in every way! However, for humidity loving species, you may have to cover those well ventilated lids with a sheet of plastic or sandwich film.
Product on Review
HAGEN SMALL PALS PEN - SUPER LARGE (61920)
- Small Animal pen and nursery
- Terrarium, Aquarium, Carrier
- 4.5 U.S. Gal (17.04 l)
Our Verdict: 10/10 a truly amazing product. I'd buy a hundred! and at that price, I probably could!
In recent years, I have been delighted by the sudden increase in the functionality and availability of these nifty little constraptions. With fully adjustable vents on the top, perfect for controlling humidity, it is possible to have total control over the environmental conditions within the propagator. They are (naturally) available in a wide range of sizes and cost from as little as £3.29. The one on show here is £8.79 from B&Q, which I think is very good value for the size (51cm wide! - over half a metre). These are also portable, but the lids are often buckled during transport and do not always fit well, you will need to make sure that you are buying a product of reasonable quality, therefore I reccommend you buy a Sankey® propagator as these are by far the best.
Product on review
SANKEY GROWSTART UNHEATED PROPAGATOR KIT 570mm
Strong and durable with rigid, vented top
Our Verdict: 8/10 sound as far as propagators go.
Please move on to the next section of exciting new products : Specialist cages - for the rich and famous?
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