November 7th, 2005

YingShiong showing off and 0.1 gram accuracy weighing scale

YS was perched on the open cage door waiting for me to get in after my breakfast. So eventually I got in with my coffee. I took out the box of mealworms pupae. I separated them from the mealworms to make it easier to get the newly emerged white mealworms beetles that he loved. He enjoyed the slightly brown beetles which were a bit older as well. He did not like the old black beetles probably as their shell were harder.

Now, YS would normally fly to the table and he would then wait for me to offer him the white beetles. But this morning, I was delighted and amused when YS flew to me from the door and hovered right in front of me even before I took the white beetle out. Cheeky little bugger! But I was so pleased that I called my wife to have a look.

I did not feel it fair to him to prolong that hover as it really felt to me as if he wanted to show off and I should not take advantage of it. I got the whitest softest beetle and he snapped at it and took it while hovering.

Bloody show off!

One after another, he took another two more beetles that way before he decided he had his fun and landed on the table. The next beetle was placed on CM weighing machine so that YS would get to the scale and be weighed in at 34 grams.

Got him a few white worms and a few pineapple beetles. Did I mentioned that the pineapple beetles looked a bit like cockroaches? I did a search for them on the Internet and identified them as Pycnoscelus surinamensis , or surinam cockroaches. They have no smell to them at all unlike the house cockroaches.
I will call them suri for short.

They are plant feeders so perhaps the cat food that I gave to them may not be very appropriate as they are listed as feeding on plants and vege matters. I got the balance of the japanese sweet potatoes and a bunch of carrots that I boiled for 5 minutes and fire off for 15 minutes to lightly cook them and they are now in the freezer to be feed to the suris and crickets and mealworms.

It is listed that the suris need to burrow and that is why peat moss is required and it is a big relief to find that normal home environment is not suitable for them at all.

There is something very interesting about this species: females are parthenogenic and many cultures contain no males. David had mentioned to me those with wings are males. Now, I do take them out into smaller plastic boxes to make it easier to feed to YS. Once, I checked and saw that only 4 wingless suris were in the small box. The next morning, I was surprised to see two of them freshly moulted to white WINGED forms.

I then weighed YS again. With a shock, the scale registed as 36 grams this time. I did not feed YS that much beetles or suris. It was more likely the scale was about to jump to the next 2 grams.

I had to get a more accurate scale.

From the Internet, I found a shop specialising in weighing scales in Geylang just after Lorong 7 and made my way there from Kallang MRT. Shortly after leaving the MRT and at Lorong 1 just after Jalan Ayer, I felt hungry and had a lunch of mutton bryiani. Guys, that was the absolutely BEST mutton bryiani I ever had. Much more tender and tastier than those Indian restaurants at Race Course Road.

I found that shop and decided an Ohaus Ruby compact jewelry scale best answer my need, to 300 grams and accurate to 0.1 gram. Cost me Sing$120

When I got back, YS was happy to see me and flew on the table. He seemed to be used to weighing scales. He nicely waited while I checked the Ohaus.

----------------CM digital scale-------- Ohaus

Then he got on and his weight is 36.0 grams.

I feed him with white beetles and mealworms and suris. After a while, he weighed in at 36.4 grams. Gave him a cricket and chucked some mealworm beetles into a couple of other feeding boxes I arranged at the new very wobbly perch and another near my chair. Kind of allow him to 'forage' around a bit. I dared not use the suris. In fact, everytime I feed him a suri, I used a self retracting forceps and I crushed the head first. Even if suris do not live in home environment, I am sure you do understand my paranoia against them escaping.

In fact, last night, I caught another of the suri escapee from my hall as it was making its way across. Ivan should take care of that, but I think suris are too small and beneath his dignity to handle.

With the accurate Ohaus, tomorrow and day after will still be the old diet. I like to weigh YS early in the morning and later in the evening to see the range of weight before I introduce him to the new YS mash.

And if he takes to the new YS mash, the training can begin.

free webpage hit counter