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Acro

Help! Death by Bloating!

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Hello everybody,

I need some help. One of my male hissers began to swell over a period of a few weeks...maybe a month. He was extremely bloated and eventually some of his organs began to pop out of his anus (or maybe those were his sex organs?). He was mobile and willing to feed. But being so huge with difficulty getting around, and having his organs hang out from his body for about a week, he finally died. He was the only male in that setup and none of the females swelled up like he did.

Now, next to the dead roaches enclosure, I have a different male with some females and he is starting to inflate! I would like to prevent this roach from dying and I need your thoughts and suggestions as how to help this bug out!

I am posting 2 pictures that will show how the dead male looked a few days before his departure. (he had that split segment all his life). Hopefully these pictures will help diagnose the problem.

I don't want to lose all my male hissers and I am afraid this may spread!

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Im having problems getting another picture up. If you would like to see more (and bigger) pictures I would be glad to send them in an email. Please help my roach!

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Hey Acro,

Feel free to email the photo to me and I'll make sure it gets up here in its full resolution. This is very interesting. I don't have a clue what's going on there. I'd like to see a photo of the still-living roach. Maybe by seeing before and after photos we can at least document this unusual phenomenon.

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Have you changed anything in the diet lately? If your other male dies, hopefully it won't, you should do a dissection and post pictures. Good luck!!!

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Hey,

Thanks for the replies!

The photos are on the way Peter! Yeah, I don't have a clue what's up with this bloating either. The living male seems to be doing better than the last guy. Seems able to deflate a little now and then, but still looks too puffy for me. I will take some pictures when I get the chance.

As for the diet, I feed a very varied diet, but none of the ingredients are new. Also none of my other male hissers have began to inflate either. Lets hope I don't have to dissect anybody.

Hope to hear more thoughts once the better pics go up.

Thanks again!

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Got the email Acro!

I sharpened the last three up a bit...

Almost looks like some kind of worm coming out the backdoor in that last photo.

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I almost have to wonder if its either a bacterial issue rotting the food faster than it digests, or if its some sort of nemotode infection. Or it could be a flagellate infection.

In either possibility, wash your hands before and after handling or feeding the roaches to prevent the spread of infection and destroy the infected roaches asap.

...Or maybe I have been reading too many papers on the microbiology of /and/or gut parasites lately....

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...Or maybe I have been reading too many papers on the microbiology of /and/or gut parasites lately....

I can't quite tell if Peter's quoted "worm" is the genitalia or a nematode. If it's a nematode, then that's weird that it's selectively infecting males although not impossible. I would certainly dissect it; although it may seem cruel at least it may provide information to save the rest of your 'roaches.

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I can't quite tell if Peter's quoted "worm" is the genitalia or a nematode. If it's a nematode, then that's weird that it's selectively infecting males although not impossible. I would certainly dissect it; although it may seem cruel at least it may provide information to save the rest of your 'roaches.

It's definitely the genitals; I've seen these parts come out of my hissers many time when I feed off culls to my beardies.

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Thanks for posting them up Peter! I was thinking that it was the genitalia protruding. It started out lighter and rounder, the tip began to dry and got darker and skinnier. That dark part reminds me of the head on a fly larvae but its just part of the roach.

Yeah, I normally wash my hands between roach cages. If it was something to do with nematode or flagellate, what method of transportation would they take to get from one roach to the other. Also, would they affect female roaches as well?

If its dead, its dead, not cruel to dissect...but if it comes to that, I would have to send it to someone (maybe you BugmanPrice) who would know what to look for. To me, it would all look like mashed potatoes and vidalia onions. But yeah, it has not come to that so give my roach positive thoughts!

Thanks again!

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Also, would they affect female roaches as well?

There are actually nematodes that will infect one gender or another in a population. In parthenogenic organisms it's becomes very interesting because sometimes the asexual females will give birth to males once the female parasite load becomes too much. Once sexual reproduction takes place it clears out most of the population’s parasite load! Uhum... anyway...Parasites are neat when they are not in your pets. If his genitals are drying up because of environmental exposure he most likely will not be able to reproduce, I'm afraid. Hopefully what ever is making your guy bloat will fix it's self, he would be a great looking male (even if he can’t fertilize your females) if he wasn't the shape of a bratwurst. Best of luck to you.

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Oh, and as far as method of transmission my guess would be corprophagy or eggs that get into the substrate and then are ingested. Again, good luck!

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Oh, and as far as method of transmission my guess would be corprophagy or eggs that get into the substrate and then are ingested. Again, good luck!

I thought they would have been introduced in a food item. If you buy the same type of head of lettuce from the same grocery store year after year, you can still occasionally get a special bonus once in a while... :)

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I thought they would have been introduced in a food item. If you buy the same type of head of lettuce from the same grocery store year after year, you can still occasionally get a special bonus once in a while... :)

I would say that's a very plausible way to get them into your culture initially and since they lay so many eggs, transmission from 'roach to 'roach could happen quite quickly through ingestion. Of course all of this is conjecture since we haven't even verified that nematodes are the cause of the problem. Speaking of animal to animal transmission, have you isolated the sick males to a different enclosure? If you have a scope handy, you may be able to see if any excrement has eggs or little ones in it, of course if you don't find any it doesn't necessarily mean that that isn't the problem...

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I have had this problem twice, one case was an immature male I found in a convenience store, the other in an adult I ordered. Both died, and a maggot-like creature about a centimeter came out. I didn't bother to rear it to adulthood. I'm assuming this is always fatal, and any infected roaches should be quarantined or killed. If anyone can rear the parasite for identification, that'd be cool!

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I have had this problem twice, one case was an immature male I found in a convenience store, the other in an adult I ordered. Both died, and a maggot-like creature about a centimeter came out. I didn't bother to rear it to adulthood. I'm assuming this is always fatal, and any infected roaches should be quarantined or killed. If anyone can rear the parasite for identification, that'd be cool!

Came out from where, Ralph?

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Hi all,

having just read the string on 'bloated' cockroaches I thought I'd add my thoughts. The 'worm' emerging fro the male Gromphaddorhina is part of the male genitalia, referred to as the 'genital hook' or 'L3'. It is an eversible tube with a short sclerotised hook at the apex, the shape of which can help to identify some species complexes. If you squeeze hard, you can make this tube 'pop out' of most members of the Blaberidae. The genitalia for the other families do not have this tube, but a similar and more sclerotised hook.

The cause of the bloating is probably bacterial. One of the major causes of such problems is: Rickettsiella which shows itself by distended swollen abdomens, and towqards the final stages of the disease, white matter oozing from the tergites and sternites. The white matter is the infection of the fat body. Since female cockroaches have more fat than the males, the disease is more obvious in females. After the roach is dead, perform a post mortem (send an image), if the body is full of whitish gunk, Rickettsiella is the likely culprit.

Another common species of bacteria called Serratia marscescens Bizio, is found naturally in the guts of cockroaches, but can also cause death of entire cultures. This is readily diagnosed, since cockroaches affected by this often have the paler regions of the body (i.e. intersegmental membranes) coloured pink.

cheers

Darren

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I have noticed this same phenomena in my G. portentosa colonies from time to time. From my observations it seems to occur in a few individuals after feeding the colonies rotten bananas. I never notice any deaths as a result, and after a few days they seem to deflate and return to normal.

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Came out from where, Ralph?

The anus, like Acro's roaches. It was fat and with many segments, tiny head. I once saw the genitalia from a hisser who missed his mark mating, and looked nothing like this.

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I recently found a dead roach in my E. chopardi hisser culture and noticed a 1 cm larva wriggling around on the headless roach. You can see it burrowing between the legs in the first photo. I quarantined this in another container to see what the larva would turn into.

Two days later, I found a bloated and dying E. chopardi. I should have opened it up to look for larvae, but instead I placed it in with the other quarantined roach.

I took the second photo today. The larvae are doing well. I'll post adult pics soon assuming they are some kind of fly (and keep an eye on the hissers).

I'm curious as to whether they are infecting the roaches when they are alive or after they're dead. I'll be sure to dissect the next bloated one if there is one.

It's all bugs to me anyway...

(note: the legs were undoubtedly gnawed off by other roaches...and I'm not sure about the head because I didn't bother to look for it.)

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I took the second photo today. The larvae are doing well. I'll post adult pics soon assuming they are some kind of fly (and keep an eye on the hissers).

I'd bet $20 it's a phorid fly. I'd like to see pictures once the adults emerge, that'd be cool.

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No bet ;)

I found another dead one and opened it up. No larvae.

Seems like it might have been an early departure for any one of these three recent deaths. You can clearly see the ootheca inside. Likely, the flies just moved in on the recently dead.

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I just hope they pupate and eclose quickly...awful smell, even while triple-contained...deli cup within a cool whip container within a plastic bag!

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Hey I saw this post on the internet searching for "Bloated Roaches." I currently have a shitload of German cockroaches living in my residence and I've been fending them off(with much success I might add). I believe this bloating is from Boric Acid. I have been feeding my new friends(whom I do not want) Boric Acid with peanut butter, and a side of Boric Acid and water. I've observed this bloating after I began the treatment. I hope this helps your "Pet." I know I wouldn't want my cat to get sick.

Also, any roach that ingests the stuff dies shortly after the bloating. You need to cut his water supply and separate him from the group, the others will sometimes eat his shit. I hope I'm not to late.

The only reason I know it's this is because of the smell. My house stinks like shit right now.

To sum this up...

Pesticides + Lettuce = Dead bug

I've said shit 3... 4 times in this post.

Best regards,

- Slivers

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