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About BlattaAnglicana

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  1. Yes that does sound like she is simply very old. Now I've had roaches for over a year I'm starting to recognise the signs of old age in them and losing tarsi, shortened antennae, being unable to eat properly and often some sort of paralysis or mobility issues definitely indicate to me that she is very elderly. Another sign is them getting very thin (because they can't eat properly I guess?) and their abdomens shrink in size so they almost look like newly shed nymphs. It sounds like you are giving her as comfortable old age as you can though, and I can really relate to how attached one can get to these little creatures and the worry and concern they can cause us when they are not well!
  2. I've only ever had roaches as pets (three hisser species - E. javanica, G. portentosa, and another Gromphadorhina species which looks most like oblongonota but is probably some sort of hybrid as they weren't sold to me as a pure species). I just couldn't bear the thought of feeding them to another creature, I find them far too cute!
  3. HI all, I've recently noticed a change in behaviour in my colony of Gromphadorhina species hissers (probably hybrids, though they look most like oblongonota). The colony currently consists of mostly adults with a few older nymphs. There are about 45 individuals overall, and all bar a couple of the original adults were born in my colony in January and April this year. The oldest adults from these litters had their final moult around May, and the colony seems to be quite male-heavy i.e. more males than females. Up until recently I have seen little or no fighting between the males at all, and they have been pretty peaceable together, although I believe they have been mating as some of the females look very pregnant! However in the past few weeks I've suddenly noticed the males becoming a lot more combative and hissing a lot more than they used to. In some cases this seems to be fighting with each other, in other cases it seems to be trying to attract a female (although as I say I think the majority of females are already mated). However I now notice them hissing most of the time, even during the day (whereas before they generally rested during the day), and certainly as darkness falls. I haven't obviously changed anything in their setup - enclosure size or decoration, food, temperature or humidity - so I am unsure what (if anything) has triggered this new behaviour. The only thing I can think of is that the days are getting shorter here in the UK and it is now dark from around 7am to 7pm, whereas for most of their adulthood so far the daylight hours were much longer. However I can't believe this would have an effect on a species from Madagascar where the day length is pretty similar all year round, so I am wondering whether anyone else has seen a sudden increase of fighting in their hisser colonies and if so did you pin down what might have caused it?
  4. I think you just have to watch her doing it to be honest! Though I think if she is unable to get rid of the waste you might see her abdomen getting excessively fat and I would imagine she would show obvious signs of distress if her gut is full and she can't empty it. However it's a good sign that she is eating well a week after the prolapse - I would have thought she wouldn't be if she had gut problems. I would leave her another week or so and see if she is still eating well and looks active and not distressed. If that's the case I'd be very hopeful that she has made a full recovery
  5. That sounds similar to what happened to my two females that survived, eventually the prolapse completely disappeared and their abdominal openings looked normal, so I think you are right to be optimistic. The only thing I would still keep an eye on is (being a bit delicate here!) whether she can still defecate properly. I think the only other thing that could be fatal to her now is if her gut has been damaged by the prolapse and she can't get rid of her waste food properly, but if the prolapse was small, didn't burst and it has now been fully reabsorbed, and she is eating well, it certainly sounds like she is more likely to survive than when you posted your last update
  6. Yes that looks like a small prolapse to me. I've had this happen to four of my roaches (hissers) - always female and always related to giving birth. In two cases the prolapse was quite large and looked ruptured and the females died soon after (within a day or two). In two other cases the prolapse was small and not ruptured, and the females both lived - the prolapse shrivelled up and either fell off or was "reabsorbed" by the female (not sure which - I left both in the colony in the hope that they would survive, and did not see them for a few days, and when I saw them next the prolapse had disappeared). One female is still alive after about 8 months, and the other died of old age a few weeks ago. The good news is that the prolapse in your photos above looks more like my two females that survived, it does not look like the prolapse is ruptured and it is quite small, so you may be lucky and she might well survive and reabsorb it. I would say leave her alone and check on her in a few days to see if it has disappeared. The only thing about my two females that survived is that I don't think either could carry an ootheca to term afterwards - I saw them both aborting oothecae several times afterwards and in one case her oothecae were always misshapen, which I assume was a result of some non-fatal internal damage from the prolapse, so you may find that if she survives she won't be able to breed afterwards. Hopefully you have other females in the colony though?
  7. As you have two males they might be running around to establish a dominance hierarchy and the female is just "in the way". I had this when I bought 4 G. portentosa (2 males and 2 females) a few months ago - for the first month or so the males were running all over the tank chasing each other until one established dominance and since then it has been a lot quieter. The dominant male and the 2 females now tend to hang out together on a piece of cork bark most of the time, and the other male sits on his own at the other end of the tank. So it might be that the female is just getting caught up in the males' fight for dominance? Are there plenty of places for the female to hide if she is being chased/harassed? i.e. cork bark or egg flats that she can hide under if the males are running around or chasing her? In my case with the G. portentosa the females were able to hide under an egg flat and in a toilet roll tube whilst the males were chasing each other but now there is a definite hierarchy and less fighting they come out more often, so perhaps just giving your female more places to hide will help.
  8. If she has only recently moulted perhaps she is just not ready to mate yet? It's possible she may just need a bit of time before she becomes receptive to the male after her final moult, so maybe in a day or two she won't be so defensive with him? I certainly find with my female stick insects that they usually don't mate straight after their final moult even if adult males are around (in some cases it's taken a couple of weeks after their final moult before both males and females take any interest in the opposite sex!) so perhaps roaches are similar?
  9. I have three Hisser species with cork bark in their enclosure (G. oblongonota, G. portentosa and E. javanica) and all seem to be doing fine. I've had the oblongonota nearly a year, the javanica 8 months and the portentosa 4 months with no ill effects, though I do sterilise the bark (pour on boiling water to soak for a few minutes then microwave for at least 2 minutes) before I put it in their cages. They are definitely eating it (very slowly!) as I see them doing so occasionally and the holes and crevices all get bigger over time as they chew it away, though a small piece will still last several years at the rate mine are going! The javanica and oblongonota have both had several broods of young (which also eat the cork bark) and most of those have got to adulthood (the ones that didn't were probably not healthy individuals anyway) or are growing well, so I am pretty sure cork bark is completely safe for roaches. I can't speak for other insect orders / groups though.
  10. Do you keep them on a damp substrate? I did that with mine at first and got huge problems with mould. After a while I let the substrate dry out completely and now keep the humidity up instead by spraying the cage for a few seconds twice daily (I bought an automatic mister recently so I didn't have to keep doing it by hand!). A light spray doesn't allow the substrate to get permanently wet and I have noticed a lot less mould as a result (mostly only on soft food such as fruit which I haven't removed quickly enough!) and they don't seem to have had any problems so far being kept dry. So if you're keeping them quite damp it might be worth letting the substrate dry a bit so you can leave them alone for longer?
  11. How long have you had them? I noticed when I first had my hissers (initially a male and two females then three more females after one of the original females died) that they didn't move around much - after an initial day or so "exploring" their cage they tended to stay hidden under their log for long periods especially during the day. This went on for several weeks after I got each group. They are generally more active at night anyway but I wondered whether they perhaps were a bit stressed with moving to a new "home" and therefore stayed hidden as some sort of survival response. Once they had got a bit more used to their surroundings I noticed they all became more active and now they move around quite a lot even during the day. The colony is also now much bigger as the females started to give birth and as roaches are semi-social perhaps also being in a bigger group makes them less stressed and therefore more likely to come out of hiding? So if you haven't had them long maybe they aren't moving much because they are still getting used to their new surroundings?
  12. The ones I have seen all seem to have been caused by giving live birth (these were hissers not Dubia though - not sure if that is significant). They were all female and all had the prolapse immediately after giving birth, I believe as a direct consequence of it. Two were really bad cases and the female died within a couple of days, but another female had a very small prolapse (significantly I think there was no sign of the 'tubes' described by the OP in this case which I believe means her gut and internal organs were not significantly damaged) and that one seems to have fully recovered, but now seems unable to make a viable ootheca and hold it to term. I don't know whether the births were premature and caused by stress, though I would doubt it at least in one case as the second fatal prolapse occurred several months after I'd got this female and she had settled in with the others and was eating well, and didn't seem distressed in any way. Whether some other damage or injury had occurred to these females in transit (I got all of them as adults, they were not born in my colony) I don't know and as yet I have not had any births from my new adult females who were born and matured in my colony, so I can't really pinpoint the reason. It's possible my original females were just old and therefore more likely to suffer a prolapse anyway.
  13. I've sometimes seen roaches clinging to the underside of logs and hides for ages looking as if they were resting on their backs, especially if the hide isn't very tall and they can touch their legs and their backs on both surfaces - I don't know whether they sleep like that (or even if they truly sleep at all in the sense we would recognise) but I would not be too worried by it unless she shows any signs of distressed behaviour, and it doesn't sound as if she is. However as others have said roaches are semi-social and don't do as well when isolated so I would definitively recommend getting a couple more roaches (if you don't want babies then ideally female nymphs / subadults that are too young to have bred) to keep her company :-)
  14. Thanks Hisserdude yes I was thinking I would probably need to start reducing the numbers soon, before this new generation starts to produce too many babies! The good news is that the UK breeder I mentioned has said they are willing to take my excess stock so it looks like I will be able to reduce the colony size without killing any of them myself - whilst I am sure others have far less qualms about it than me I am very squeamish about the whole idea of using my pet hissers as feeders, especially the bit about choosing which individuals get to live and which ones die, so it will be good to be able to pass them onto someone else - hopefully they will breed from most of them rather than feed them off, although of course I do realise I won't have any control over what happens to them afterwards so I can't be 100% certain. However the alternative (having my house completely taken over by roaches!!!) is probably more of a issue than the small guilt trip I will have knowing that the person I've passed them onto might have less qualms than me about feeding them off!