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Daily Classroom Special
Critter Corner: The Buzz: Past Issues: Volume 2, Issue 1  

About this Daily Classroom Special
Critter Corner allows teachers and students to learn and share experiences about organisms that can be kept in the classroom. Critter Corner is maintained by Judith Jones, teacher at East Chapel Hill High School (NC) and Teachers Network web mentor. E-mail Judith. Make sure to visit Judy's other Daily Classroom Special, The Time Travel Interviews with Famous Scientists

The Buzz  


Past Issues

Questions, Comments, Suggestions

The Buzzzzzzzzzzz
Catch the Buzz
You have questions

Judy has answers

Ball Python, Cane Toad, MH Cockroaches, Meal Worm Activity

Subject: Ball Pythons

From: Brenda L.

Dear Judith,

I teach 7th grade life science. At my old school last year, I received a gift ball python. At my new school there was already a large ball python and a Texas rat snake. Mine is a smaller python (two feet). The larger python, (four and half) has been in a larger tank for eight years with the rat snake. Our question is whether to place all three snakes together in a very large (100 gal+) tank. It would simplify our critter arrangement to consolidate but not if we risk harm to either snake. I also brought two colonies of gerbils to feed. It was just by chance that we had the gerbils on hand. After reading your page, I realize why the pythons eat so well. Their strike is like lightning.

What would you advise us to do about the arrangement? I hope to hear soon. I really like your site. Brenda L.

Dear Brenda,

It is always a little risky to put snakes together. However, ball pythons are pretty mellow snakes and since the other snake is used to having a companion and the enclosure is so large, I think it is worth a try. I would put them together sometime when you can keep watch for a fairly long time. If all seems to be going well, then you can feel confident that the arrangement will work.

You should be careful that all the snakes are free of disease such as mites, mouth rot, etc. You don't want to infect your older python and the rat snake or vice versa. The other thing you should be very careful to do is feed all three snakes separately. I have seen snakes grab each other in their attempt to get a rodent when someone attempts to feed them in the same cage.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Judy Jones

Subject: cane toad (bufo marinus)

From: Cindy H.

My name is Cindy and I'm a high school student in California, U.S.A. For my Advanced Biology class, we are working on a web page design assignment. My topic is the cane toad (bufo marinus). In order to do this assignment, I need images and information. I need a verification of permission for using other people's info and images. I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me use your info and pictures.

Thank you very much for your help!!

Cindy H.

Dear Cindy,

You may certainly use the information and the picture of my cane toad. I hope that your project goes well. Let me know how it goes and what state you are writing from.

Judy Jones

Subject: greetings and MHC

From: Mike P.

Dear Judith,

I just looked over your web page and its great! I think your letter describing your program is very interesting. It seems like you enjoy teaching science and do it very well!

I have been a science teacher for 11 of 13 years. Having spent the past seven years as a science teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, I am returning to a homeroom position, 5th grade in Freeport, Maine. My husband accepted a position in Maine and we recently arrived.

One reason I wanted to touch base was to find out if you are aware of anyone who may have a population of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. I had quite a healthy, growing population, but was forced to adopt them out as pets to my students when I left Chicago. Our travel plans (including little kids) did not allow for a successful trip for the roaches! I am anxious to continue breeding (the roaches!), but the science supply catalogs charge about 8 dollars per roach. Do you have a large enough population or know of anyone else who may - one that would allow sparing some roaches??? I will be happy to pay for shipping and some fee for the roaches (more reasonable than the science suppliers, however).

Just thought I would check. If you get a moment (I know its a busy time with school ready to start), please respond to me. I have websites still connected with my old school. If you are interested, you can go to http://ucls.uchicago.edu - this is the web page for the U of C Lab Schools. Once you are there, you can find my page under faculty/lower school or find the words "beehive live" (may be under projects and you can see my 1998 honeybee hive simulation!

Cheers, Maria P.
Mast Landing Elementary School
Freeport, Maine 04032

Dear Maria,

How nice to year from you! I am looking forward to visiting your honeybees! I am very willing to spare a couple of cockroaches but I am a little uncertain about how to ship them. Perhaps you could give me a call and we could discuss the details.

Judy Jones

Hello Judith!

Thanks for getting back to me. When I first sent you a message, I was on the net and my husband's e-mail address is the "default" when sending a message. My e-mails addresses are listed below. I am sorry that it took so long to respond. I had to have my husband check his original message for your e-mail address again and I just started a new teaching job after a two week bout with my kids being sick!

Thanks for your offer to send the roaches. I will try to contact you this weekend. I have seen insects arrive via mail in a variety of ways. Generally, they are in a styrofoam container with a wad of moist paper toweling. I have seen MHC's in a small plastic tub, stapled shut and placed in a bubbled manila envelope. The tub was crushed on one side but the cockroaches arrived unharmed! I will be happy to pay for overnight shipping or anything that will make it easier for you.

I look forward to talking with you!

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruitflies like a banana." Groucho Marx


Dear Maria,

That sounds great. I look forward to hearing from you!


Subject: meal worm

From: Cheryl H.

I am a 5th grade science teacher and I would like info on any thing you have regarding the meal worm, i.e., history, as a food source, experiments.

thank you
Cheryl H

Dear Cheryl,

I am going to look around my room to see if I have any more information on mealworms. I believe that most of my information is already up on the Critter Corner site. Make sure to look at the mealworm activity page. If you would like me to mail you a hard copy of the lab, please let me know.

Judy Jones


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