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Daily Classroom Special
Critter Corner: The Buzz: Past Issues: Volume 2, Issue 4  

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

Roaches, Tarantulas, Corn Snakes, and Mealworms

Subject: Roaches

From: Maria P.

Dear Judy,

I e-mailed to thank you for the roaches. My students are so excited. I appreciate your generosity a great deal. I plan to thank you more formally with a little insect something. Just please give me a little time to shop! A new job with two little ones has not allowed me to shop for anything but absolute necessities!!!! I enjoyed talking with you the other week. You sound like a great teacher and a nice person. I will be in touch soon. Oh yes, I will get you the info on entomo-l list serv. Remind me if I don't. I have to go back into my electronic files to get the one involving how to sign on.

Cheers, Maria

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

Dear Maria,

I am so pleased that the roaches arrived safely! Thanks for getting the information about the insect listserv. I have some students who would be very interested!

Judy Jones

Subject: Madagascan Hissing Roach

From: Marcy K.


Can you tell me how many times a year MHC's breed? And how do you tell the males from the females when they are still small?

Any help you can give me would be really appreciated!


Dear Marcy,

My roaches only breed once each year but I think that they can be encouraged to breed twice a year with the proper temperature and lighting. As to telling the genders of the young ones, I have never tried and I am not sure how to do it. They are small. Next time I have young ones, I will give gender identification a try!

Good luck,
Judy Jones

Subject: Rosy
From: Bill


I have my own rose spider. Her name is Harriet. I read your page and would like to tell you of my experience about one thing you said. I have her in a 35 gallon tank which she seems to have enjoyed for about seven years. I thought she might be cold so I put a heat rock under the vermiculite. She would not go on that side of her cage until I unplugged it. Wish you, your students and Rosy well.


Dear Bill,

Thanks so much for your tip. It is true that we sometimes think that our fuzzy arthropods will be more satisfied if they are cozy and warm like us! But I have found that mine tolerates room temperatures very well. I would love to hear about any other critters that you have!

Judy Jones

Subject: Corn Snake
From: Zach

Dear Miss Jones:

Hi, my mom doesn't like snakes. I would like to know a way to convince both of my parents to let me get a corn or any other kind of snake. I think that they are pretty cool, but she thinks that they are gross. I would appreciate it if you would write back.

Thank You,

Dear Zach,

This is a difficult problem! A lot of adults don't like snakes and are not eager to change their minds. My mother was not a snake-lover and here is how my brother and I solved the problem. We learned all we could about snakes and told her what we had discovered. We found museums and zoos in our town where there were snakes and we talked her into visiting with us. The people at the zoos got the snakes out so that our mother could see how easy they were to handle. We promised to take care of the snake and to keep it in an absolutely SNAKE PROOF cage - very important! She finally agreed to let us have a garter snake and she ended up being very interested in it and learning a lot about snakes with us!

You might be able to find a teacher in your town that has a snake and would be willing to meet with you and your mother and talk about the behaviors of snakes. Some people don't like the fact that snakes eat mice. You can assure your mother that corn snakes will learn to eat defrosted mice; the snakes don't have to kill the mice. Tell your mother that if she would like to e-mail me and ask questions, I would be very willing to write back and forth. (I am very sensitive to people who don't like snakes!)

Good luck. A corn snake makes a very clean, easy to care for, and interesting organism to raise.

Judy Jones

Subject: Mealworms
From: Kaka


My 6th grade class is studying mealworms. I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on how to handle them? Thank you!


Dear Kafka,

How nice to hear from you! Mealworms are very easy to handle because they are quite safe. You can just pick the mealworms up with your fingers, being somewhat careful not to squish them. But since they have a slightly hard outer covering, it is not very likely that you could hurt them - and they certainly can't hurt you. The adult form, the darkling beetle, is equally safe. They might feel funny when they crawl around on your hand but they are not dangerous at all for you to handle. I hope that this answered your question!

Judy Jones


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