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Everything posted by BlattaAnglicana

  1. Are the ones in the most recent photos the same ones / same generation as the hatchlings from a few photos above? or are they a later generation?
  2. Just wondering whether it was possible to get a "jet black" morph of Gromphadorhina portentosa as I have got a couple in my (growing) colony. They are completely black all over with no sign of any lighter colouring, stripes or patterning anywhere on the body. I have a colony of about 50 adults and subadults overall which all came from two litters from just two founder females, and the vast majority of them are the "normal" colouring for a G. portentosa i.e. tan/brick coloured abdomen with darker pronotum and thorax - some show a graduated darkening from abdomen to thorax, but others have some darker striping or patterning on the abdomen and thorax as well, but these completely black ones stand out quite a bit. They were sold to me as G. portentosa though there was no specific indication that they are "pure" stock, I am guessing they are hybrids of some sort but does anyone know whether there is genuinely a "black" pure G. portentosa colour morph, or are these ones more likely to be a throwback to some other species they were crossed with in the past?
  3. Here is one of my "black morph" portentosa - a female, I think adult but may be subadult. There is no trace of any other colour than black anywhere on her body. Isn't she stunning?
  4. Hmm, interesting - I recently increased the humidity in their cage so I wonder if this has had an effect? I am using an automatic misting system which was misting too much in the summer and causing mould, so I reduced the timings, but then it got a bit too dry, so I increased the timings again about a month ago and also sometimes spray by hand if I happened to be feeding them. I have definitely noticed it is more humid in there when I open the cage door, although the substrate is still completely dry. I wonder if this is what has induced all the females to give birth?
  5. HI all, I have a colony of about 40 Gromphadorhina species (probably oblongonota but may be hybrids) hissers. They are all adults now approaching between 8 and 10 months old, and all came from four litters from two females, and maybe a small number of others from a third female who died and may only have produced a few nymphs. They reached adulthood between mid May and August this year and I assume have been mating (there has been a lot of hissing!), but there is as yet no sign of babies Some of the females look quite plump and I assume they are gravid but I am beginning to get a bit concerned that I have not seen a single birth since they became adults, which is at least 6 months for the older ones now. I have not changed anything about the conditions I keep them in from the ones I kept the original adults in which gave birth, other that I haven't really given their cage a good clean out. Do you think this is an issue and/or why they are not giving birth? The cage is a 30cmx45cmx45cm Exo-Terra terrarium which is kept fairly dry, with coco coir substrate and a lot of natural looking hides (cork bark, tree roots and fake plants), and I do remove obvious piles of frass every now and then but I have not changed the substrate completely for about 8 months. They are kept at temperatures in the mid-20s Celsius (upper 70s Fahrenheit), humidity is generally around 50-60%, but they are sprayed automatically twice a day and sometimes more if I am around to do it, so the humidity goes up to about 70-80% for short periods each day. Food is a mixture of dry cat food and porridge oats for protein, and mixed fruit and veg (lettuce, carrot, broccoli, banana, orange, apple, pear, sometimes sweetcorn, haricot beans and green peas). I have noticed they are not eating anywhere near as much as they did when they were growing but other than that and not breeding they all seem to be healthy and active. I haven't noticed any aborted oothecae either but the females could be eating them I guess? Anyone any ideas? Are they just taking their own sweet time or is there anything in my setup that could be causing them not to breed? Should I give the cage a full clean out with new substrate? Could it be that they have mated with too close relatives to produce viable eggs (many will be litter sisters and brothers, but I thought that inbreeding wasn't a big issue for insects)? Though, I also separated 5 females from the same four litters as nymphs and put them in a separate cage with a male I had from a different colony and they haven't given birth either, although a couple of them look gravid too, so maybe there's something else I'm not doing? Any help / ideas appreciated, as I'd really like some babies out of these!
  6. LOL and this morning I woke up to find a whole load of tiny white newborn baby roaches in one corner of the tank as well - so they are definitely producing now!! Interestingly almost all the adults in my colony were born at about the same time as this last year. I wonder whether hissers have any sort of seasonal birth timing preference or whether it’s just a coincidence?
  7. Just to follow up, there have been at least two more births in the last week so I now have loads of teeny little ones running around in the cage! The first batch have now moulted at least once (most of them twice) and are looking enormous in comparison. So it looks like they were just taking their own sweet time to give birth - and now they have started I'll probably be knee deep in tiny roaches before long
  8. Unfortunately you probably couldn’t do anything to help her, though I completely understand how you feel - I have felt this way too with some of mine that have died with bad moults, but having kept insects (roaches and also stick insects/walkingsticks) for about 18 months now I have come to realise that some of them simply do have bad moults, prolapses during birth or are just sickly individuals for no apparent reason. and there really is nothing I caould have done about it. Yes on some occasions I’ve messed up and have learned from that experience but now I have more experience of keeping insects I just put this sort of thing down to nature doing its thing and ensuring only the fittest survive. Still doesn’t make it easy to lose one though
  9. They definitely do get to around 5.5-6cm, I thought that was the normal size for javanica though - I haven't seen any (at shows etc. not just in my colony) where the maximum size is much smaller. Perhaps European stock of javanica is bigger than US stock? Could that be possible? Mine are also very well fed - I always make sure there is food in with them at all times and never end up with periods (even a day or two) when they have none at all, so maybe they have grown bigger because they had more nutrition as nymphs? To be fair there are smaller individuals in the colony as well (some adults are only 4cm for example) but significant adult size variation seems to be the case for all hisser species I have. Some of my oblongonota males for example aren't any bigger than the female javanica pictured, but I thought that was just because they were "minor" males and it was normal to have both large and small individuals in all colonies? Is that unusual?
  10. I've just been measuring my roaches and my javanica definitely grow to about 5.5-6cm, a big male or female can get quite large. However they are nowhere near as big as say a Gromphadorhina oblongonota - some of my biggest oblongonota males are over 8cm and they are built like tanks too! However oblongonota aren't that variable - they do have variations in the markings on their backs but these are not obvious from a distance, so probably would not fit your criteria. For what it's worth I've attached a photo of a large female trying to climb the glass of her cage next to a tape measure showing she's at least 5.5cm long, and a photo of a group with a few red-pronotum individuals (two females at the bottom and right of the group) with some black pronotum and nymphs. Neither photo is particularly good I'm afraid - I was trying to hold my phone and a torch to light them and take a photo at the same time before they all scuttled off under the cork bark and fake plants! It might be worth considering hybrid Gromphadorhina portentosa if you are not bothered about whether they are a pure strain - mine (I am guessing they are hybrid) are very variable in both the base colour, and the amount of black markings on the abdomen and pronotum, and they definitely get bigger than the javanica.
  11. I have a colony of E. javanica and yes they have quite a large variation in colouration. They are all basically yellow and black striped as adults, but some do have red pronotums, although in many individuals there is a mix of black and red, with the patterning of the black areas being extremely variable. In my colony I rarely see one with no black at all on the pronotum but there are a few notably "redder" individuals with the body colour often also being lighter/redder than those with fully black pronotums. The nymphs start off a uniform brown but as they grow they begin to develop the stripes which get more obvious as the nymph matures, so it's fun to watch them slowly developing the adult colouration. They are very active and interesting to watch, especially when you have males fighting over the females! Their hiss is much quieter than the hiss of say a Gromphadorhina oblongonota, it's quite "gentle" in comparison, but the males still hiss as insistently either when fighting or trying to persuade a reluctant female! Mine are definitely more active at night but they are also out in the open during the day, but that might be more to do with the size of my colony - when I didn't have so many I didn't see them so much during the day. One word of warning, these can be very prolific - I started off with males only but after I added just seven females in May, the population has exploded and I must have at least a couple of hundred of them now! Unfortunately I am not US based so I can't offer you any (pretty sure it's illegal to ship them from the UK to the USA), but just to say if you only start off with a few, it will likely not be long before you have more than you know what to do with! (Thankfully I have a couple of people/places where I can offload my "extras" as I don't feed them off to anything, they are purely pets). However overall they are very much recommended and are probably my favourites of the three hisser species I have (G. portentosa, G. oblongonota and E. javanica)
  12. So sorry to hear that I had hoped it wasn't as bad as you described it and she might have stood a chance, but if the others had attacked her it certainly sounds as if euthanising her was the kindest thing to do. It sounds like humidity wasn't the problem anyway, unfortunately sometimes roaches just do have bad moults and don't survive, and it sounds like that was the case with this one. I hope all goes well with the others in your colony
  13. I'm afraid that doesn't sound good at all. I don't keep A. tesselata but I have 3 species of hissers and none of them (at least the ones I've watched) has ever taken more than about half an hour to an hour to moult, so that does not sound normal to me. Do you have a photo? It sounds like she has got stuck in her old skin, because the head and legs are usually the first parts they free from the old skin when they moult (the old skin cracks along the middle of the back of the thorax and the top of the head and they sort of "crawl" out head first). I think if she has not been able to free her head and legs then sadly there probably isn't a lot of hope for her, unfortunately, as she may not have functioning mouth parts and won't be able to eat properly. Much as I hate to say it, it might be kinder to put her out of her misery What's the humidity in their enclosure? If it's quite low (under 50%) it might be worth spraying them more as higher humidity can help them shed.
  14. So I got a better look around today and there are at least 12-14 little ones in the cage I don't know whether that's all of them but I suspect not - I didn't look under all the bits of cork bark or tree roots and there are lots of crevices they could be hiding in, so I would not be surprised if there were not a few more lurking around somewhere. No sign of escapes from these little ones yet but I did find a couple of javanica nymphs (which look quite different) that had somehow found their way into the oblongonota cage Those javanica babies are little escape artists and I have no idea how they get out as I'm sure I've sealed up every possible way out of their cage!
  15. YAY!! Babies at last! Was checking on them today and I finally saw a tiny little roach sneaking out to drink when I sprayed their enclosure, and when I looked behind some of the cork bark there are several little ones there (at least 7 that I counted but probably more), so it looks like one of my females gave birth at last! I guess they were just taking their own sweet time, but it's nice to see the teeny tiny ones again! The only downside is that I've now had to "baby-proof" their enclosure (an Exo Terra terrarium) - i.e. cover the top of the glass walls and everywhere there are gaps in the glass with vaseline and close off all the ventilation holes along the front, as I know from bitter experience with my javanica colony, in the same type of terrarium, that the little ones can get out of there. Hopefully the oblongonota babies, being bigger, won't even try, but just in case they do hopefully closing off the escape routes will prevent the majority of them getting out. Let's hope the other females follow suit shortly!
  16. Ah OK, I had assumed they were really tiny nymphs! As they are a few months old they are probably quite big by new (3rd or 4th instar?) and by that age they are much less vulnerable than tiny nymphs anyway so think it's unlikely they are gathering round the female for protection. I suspect it's more because most roaches are sub-social (not fully social like bees or wasps, but they do tend to aggregate in loose colonies or groups of other roaches rather than being solitary) and seem to like to hide together in groups if they can, so I imagine it's just that they prefer to be with a group of other roaches rather than specifically flocking to the female because she is an adult. Adding more hides would not harm them though, so I would not hesitate to add more things to the tank if you have the room.
  17. I've often seen newborn hisser nymphs crowding round their mother for the first few hours or even a day or so, which I think is partly for protection whilst their exoskeletons first harden and partly because a lot of hisser mothers feed their young on a secretion from their brood sac ("roach milk") which the babies eat as their first meal. However after that they usually disperse and go off to hide in little nooks and crannies e.g. cracks in cork bark around the tank. They often do hide in groups though, and I am guessing this is for protection. However, I haven't seen them crowd around a female (especially one that isn't their mother) after the first day or so, so it sounds unusual. How old are the nymphs? Did you give the mother roach away as soon as they were born or after they were few days/weeks old? Do they have anywhere else to hide, e.g. cork bark, egg boxes, toilet roll tubes? Tiny nymphs do like to hide away as they are quite vulnerable, so if they haven't got anywhere else to hide perhaps they are crowding round the adult female because she is providing a place for them to hide under?
  18. I have been watching this unusual little Elliptorhina javanica grow for several months I first noticed him as quite a small nymph and called him "Little Twist" for obvious reasons! The strange twist in his exoskeleton became obvious from about his second instar (though I suspect it was there from birth) and grew with him and became more obvious with every moult. Now he is an adult and it has never seemed to bother him at all and he is perfectly healthy. Has anyone seen anything like this before? I don't know if he has mated with any females (he is a male despite not having particularly prominent horns) but it would be interesting to see if it's a genetic trait that gets inherited or whether it's just a one-off aberration. All the same I think he is beautiful and he is definitely one of my favourites in my javanica colony
  19. LOL I like that! Oliver Twist it is then!
  20. Whilst I didn't know Daniel, other than seeing his posts on here, it's obvious from what everyone has said that he really loved his roaches and was just getting going with a business which he had a great passion for A real shame and a very sad loss. RIP and condolences to his family.
  21. Well, it's a sad day for me as my old original male hisser who I got over a year ago died today I think it was just old age, as I got him as an adult so he must have been at least 6 months to a year old when I got him, and he had slowed down noticeably over the last month or two, so although it wasn't entirely unexpected, as he was the first hisser I'd owned (along with two females which both have also since died) it's a bit sad to see him go. Yes I know, he was "only" an insect , but as I had him when I only had a few roaches I had more time to watch his behaviour and get to "know" him than the ones born since into much bigger colonies, I became quite attached to the old boy! He had been in a separate enclosure for the past few months with some adult females whose mothers came from a different colony from him. I had put them in with him as nymphs to try to increase the genetic diversity of my colony, and although I never actually saw them mating he was certainly hissing a lot at them until he started slowing down a month or so ago, and a couple of them look like they might be pregnant, so I am hopeful his legacy will yet live on
  22. Thanks Hisserdude, that's what I'm hoping and a couple of the females (there were five in with him and he was the only male - so yes he certainly had a good life!!) definitely look rather fat, which I'm hoping is a sign of pregnancy rather than just overeating!! He certainly gave me a lot of fun watching him hissing and chasing the females around the cage when he was still in his prime a few months ago, so he may be gone now but he definitely won't be forgotten
  23. Looking for some advice here. One of my original female hissers that I got back in November seems very sick, she seems to have almost like a paralysis of her mouth parts (I've tried to feed her water and orange juice from a paintbrush but see no response at all, her palps and jaws simply don't/can't move - she is missing one of her longer palps but I don't think that is the problem have seen others eating perfectly well with just one) and although she is able to move around she keeps twitching and arching her abdomen as if she is in discomfort. I didn't think she was that old (I got her when adult so I don't know how old she is, but she is not missing any tarsi and doesn't otherwise look or act old, i.e. slowing down etc., though her antennae are a bit shortened) so I don't think it's simply old age. Has anyone seen anything like this before? Any idea what might have caused it? Do you think there's any chance she will recover or is it hopeless? I'm going away soon so don't want to leave her suffering (I am not sure whether they suffer in the same way as vertebrates, but she does not look comfortable or contented and clearly cannot eat as she is currently) so if it's a hopeless case, sadly it may be kinder to put her in the freezer before I go than leave her What do people think? Any advice?
  24. 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!
  25. 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!