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Blaberus craniifer die after last molting: Help!

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Hi everyone

I or better my B. craniifer 'ugly brown' (as you prefer to name our beautiful chocolate brown European 'strain') have a frequent problem: There are good times when nothing happens and such when most of them die shortly after the last molting (and only after that!). The chitin skeletons of the bodies are always nearly fully hardened and colored (I think therefore that they die within a few hours after molting) but they are very limp and feel mellow (like they were filled with some cream instead of muscles and intestines) when "normal dead" are already in a kind of rigor mortis. When I find them few days later they 'disintegrate' and fall into slimy pieces when I trie to lift them out. Another strange thing is, that I have three other B. craniifer strains and B. giganteus in neighboring boxes with the same parameters and food and without any problems, so it can't be a parasite like phoride flies (which I would see anyway), intoxicated food or poisonous items. Furthermore it can't be inbreeding (well, I do selective breeding with only a few specimens and therefore it is a lot of inbreeding...) because if it would be that, they would be normally dead (e.g. turning hard and not into 'jelly'). It can barely be bacteria, cause then I'd expect i) dead roaches after any stage of molting ii) no intervals and iii) the other strains should suffer the same problem. So for me the only thing that remains is humidity cause I keep all the death's heads in boxes where one part is dry and the other contains humidified soil and it could be by coincidence that I water only the 'ugly brown' a bit to much... but that is mere speculation.

Does anyone has an idea what's going on with my roaches? Insufficient Voodoo spell :D ?

Liebs Grüessli

Andreas

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A coincedence - I am seeing the very same thing in a colony I have of the same roach. Will post any findings I come across certainly. This has been occuring for a couple of weeks now for me- how about yours?

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Hi Matt

You too? Dam!

I have the problem each time for about one month and then about 2-3 month without...

Oh, and I found out, that it's unlikely to be related to humidity cause I fed my 'peppers' to much water melon lastly and everything is covered with condensation water now: Some died yesterday and look similar BUT it's not only the adult ones. It gets really weird...

I got a PM from Kay who told me that there is/was a discussion about this in a german forum. He said that thy meant if one could exclude overpopulation and phorid flies it might be something with viruses/bacteria hitting only adult ones. I'd check if I can find either the tread or ask the german 'roach guru' I. Fritzsche (isn't he registred here as 'Lucihormetica'?) who should know more (according to Kay).

Gueti Besserig *

Andreas

* Swiss for: Hope you (or your roaches) feel better soon ;)

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I've seen the problem with Blaberus giganteus , rarely with B. colloseus but never B.craniifer or B.fusca. In B.giganteus occurrence is somewhat related to level of care but even with close attention still happens.

I or better my B. craniifer 'ugly brown' (as you prefer to name our beautiful chocolate brown European 'strain')
I'm not sure what your reference is especially with the chocolate brown versus ugly brown (neither black?) but I'm pretty sure there are no European Blaberus (wrong continent).

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Hi

@Matt

Unfortunately the german forum semi-crashed and I can't find the tread...

@Orin

Any idea what it could be (even if mere speculation)?

About your quote: :blink::lol:

Funny you! Hope you're joking...

They're neither black! We have (meaning: keep as pets and feeder insects) 'Black Wings' being true black (see, if I'm not wrong: specimen 46 in Louis M. Roth. The Male Genitalia of Blattaria. I. Blaberus Spp. (Blaberidae: Blaberinae). Psyche 76:217-250, 1969.) which should be (or ones were) a local form/morph (obviously from America ;) ) but most of the B. craniifer kept in Europe are a form (might also be hybrides of any kind) which is often named in the USA (from what I read on different US-sites) 'ugly brown' cause they are chocolate brown (not kind of light semi-translucent with darker markings like the forms/morphs/hybrids you usually seem to keep). Both variations I mean in color @ www.schaben-spinnen.de

This dark brown is in my opinion one of the reasons why many people in the old world think that 'our' B. craniifer are hybrides (with other Blaberus-species) even though this is very difficult if not impossible (male genitalia are to different and every hybridisation trial I know about didn't work)! I admit that it is more than likely that most of the commonly kept B. craniifer are no more pure local forms. But be it as it likes: I love this chocolate brown!

If you don't understand what I mean: Sue my english knowledge for it :lol: !

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I have a mix of this and a fungal problem with my hissing cockroaches. So far the best treatment I've found is cranking up the heat.

I also had something kind of like this with my lobster roaches. I killed off all adults and some sub-adults and haven't had the problem since.

*EDIT- I also had this problem with my discoids (I believe some people diagnosed it as humidity related but I now believe it had to do with nutritional problems.)*

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@Zephyr

So far the best treatment I've found is cranking up the heat.

Well... I have about 25 to 30°C during daytime and 5° less in the night which I think should be OK. The problem is that I keep my roaches in the "reptile room" where I'm not willing to either lower the temp. or "outsource" the roachs (a Syrian hamster on the dinner table is enough) but non the less I think it's very unlikely that it's the temperature because then I'd expect other (Blaberus) species (and maybe nymphs) to be affected too.

I killed off all adults and some sub-adults...

Do you mean YOU killed them off or they all died? In any case, I think it was a coincidence. Let me know if you are interested in the reasons for that claim (too long to write if it's not of interest ;) ).

...I now believe it had to do with nutritional problems.

Very unlikely in my case cause all my colonies get the same stuff and only one has this problem.

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I have concluded that my issue was due to a possible Steinernema carpocapsae infestation, which I am working to resolve. Basically by destroying 90% of the colony and changing to a new bin with new substrate among other things .... so far so good.

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This occurred to an adult male B. Giganteus I had. It was a seemingly normal adult that had molted to adulthood about 7 days prior to death. Was eating normally, could climb/fly, even tried to mate with the females. Then I wake up and the roach looks exactly like you described it, the whole body went limp and it could barely move and stopped eating and just died for no reason. The females all rejected this males mating attempts, they knew he was ill I guess!

Needless to say it was my last male, and I have all virgin females, but cant find anywhere to buy a new adult male giganteus!

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Do you mean YOU killed them off or they all died? In any case, I think it was a coincidence. Let me know if you are interested in the reasons for that claim (too long to write if it's not of interest ;) ).

I would check the container and find many, many dead/dying subadults/adults. I finally had enough of cleaning it out every other day (this wasn't just a normal die-off; the carcasses would rot and ooze) and killed off all of the adults/subadults myself and kept all young, tiny roaches. I haven't ever had the problem since with my lobsters.

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This occurred to an adult male B. Giganteus I had. It was a seemingly normal adult that had molted to adulthood about 7 days prior to death. Was eating normally, could climb/fly, even tried to mate with the females. Then I wake up and the roach looks exactly like you described it, the whole body went limp and it could barely move and stopped eating and just died for no reason. The females all rejected this males mating attempts, they knew he was ill I guess!

Needless to say it was my last male, and I have all virgin females, but cant find anywhere to buy a new adult male giganteus!

I actually have been having the same trouble i was going to post asking about, but it stopped for a while in the one bin when i moved half my adult colony of cranifer, now its back. also i have a bunch of what i assume are all male giganteus, and no females ive seen them mating with (oddly it seems to be affecting gender in spurts right after molting to the males, then the females other times).

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Hi everyone

I or better my B. craniifer 'ugly brown' (as you prefer to name our beautiful chocolate brown European 'strain') have a frequent problem: There are good times when nothing happens and such when most of them die shortly after the last molting (and only after that!). The chitin skeletons of the bodies are always nearly fully hardened and colored (I think therefore that they die within a few hours after molting) but they are very limp and feel mellow (like they were filled with some cream instead of muscles and intestines) when "normal dead" are already in a kind of rigor mortis. When I find them few days later they 'disintegrate' and fall into slimy pieces when I trie to lift them out. Another strange thing is, that I have three other B. craniifer strains and B. giganteus in neighboring boxes with the same parameters and food and without any problems, so it can't be a parasite like phoride flies (which I would see anyway), intoxicated food or poisonous items. Furthermore it can't be inbreeding (well, I do selective breeding with only a few specimens and therefore it is a lot of inbreeding...) because if it would be that, they would be normally dead (e.g. turning hard and not into 'jelly'). It can barely be bacteria, cause then I'd expect i) dead roaches after any stage of molting ii) no intervals and iii) the other strains should suffer the same problem. So for me the only thing that remains is humidity cause I keep all the death's heads in boxes where one part is dry and the other contains humidified soil and it could be by coincidence that I water only the 'ugly brown' a bit to much... but that is mere speculation.

Does anyone has an idea what's going on with my roaches? Insufficient Voodoo spell :D ?

Liebs Grüessli

Andreas

Im going to try keeping at least some of my roaches off soil, and see if it is helpful if the problem is Steinernematid and heterorhabditid nematodes, which are exclusively soil organisms, to see if this offers any results, as well as change temps, as its written in alot of places that they live in all soil types, so guessing moisture and humidity have no effect (please enlighten me further, or if im way off).

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Hi

Well, my B. craniifer have mainly good times right now (and strange enough only those males died which I wanted to get rid of anyway; too light in coloration for my gusto). I still keep them in a bin with half humid soil, half nothing (egg crates) and at a pretty high population density. There are also some phorid flies present but seem to do no harm.

But my Archimandritas do quite bad: I kept them humid, then in mixed culture, and now completely dry. In the dry culture there are no phorid flies present anymore but still they die and die and die... (they turn black and limp and stink awful)

Now its getting better but likely because of decreasing population; therefore it's the bigger nymphs that start to die now that there are no adults around anymore. Sometimes it's sooooo strange!

I start to believe that it's some sort of virus or just very bad mojo...

Grüessli

Andreas

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Hi

Well, my B. craniifer have mainly good times right now (and strange enough only those males died which I wanted to get rid of anyway; too light in coloration for my gusto). I still keep them in a bin with half humid soil, half nothing (egg crates) and at a pretty high population density. There are also some phorid flies present but seem to do no harm.

But my Archimandritas do quite bad: I kept them humid, then in mixed culture, and now completely dry. In the dry culture there are no phorid flies present anymore but still they die and die and die... (they turn black and limp and stink awful)

Now its getting better but likely because of decreasing population; therefore it's the bigger nymphs that start to die now that there are no adults around anymore. Sometimes it's sooooo strange!

I start to believe that it's some sort of virus or just very bad mojo...

Grüessli

Andreas

any other possabilities except the parasite one presented so far? as its just odd its only attacking the adults (though they and the tiny nymphs are the only real ones that go on the dirt except to eat, or when i take all the paper hides out), though seeming easy enough to control..

Im hesitant to take all mine out, of the tub with dirt, and cupholders, and try keeping them with sterile as possible conditions, as they were just starting to do so well aside from the dying adults. females seems before or after birth, and right after molting same as some males, but mine mostly go limp, fall apart, and are a bright or off yellow with an oddly pleasant smell to me at first. ive notoced very few of the even large nymphs dying at all, and as they dont even eat their shed skins (the blaberus), i tend to notice the ones that die, and only see chew marks on the bodies of the males, and wings of the females. is there a way to test or treat the tubs/soil, if it is the parasitic round worms and symbiotic bactreia type, preying on the roaches that they catch on/in the soil, or do i just have to scrap that soil, and try to sort all the nymphs out and try new sub, if there is any that wont harbor the worms (or would cooling and drying do as well as ive heard it might?)?

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You describe precisely the 'normal/typical' problem!

No one really knows what it is or might be...

The worms would have to be some sort of parasitic roundworm species which does not live in the soil exclusively or at least could have a generation change with maybe a free living and a parasitic life form. But such cycles usually include another species being dependent on insect predators (mainly vertebrates).

OK, it might also be a species which could have a life cycle only including the roaches but that would be very strange especially because the responsible 'agent' exists in subtropic USA as well as in northern Europe.

Up till now a pendulum, a dowsing rod, or tarot cards might provide the best answer :lol: .

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You describe precisely the 'normal/typical' problem!

No one really knows what it is or might be...

The worms would have to be some sort of parasitic roundworm species which does not live in the soil exclusively or at least could have a generation change with maybe a free living and a parasitic life form. But such cycles usually include another species being dependent on insect predators (mainly vertebrates).

OK, it might also be a species which could have a life cycle only including the roaches but that would be very strange especially because the responsible 'agent' exists in subtropic USA as well as in northern Europe.

Up till now a pendulum, a dowsing rod, or tarot cards might provide the best answer :lol: .

hahaha!

so nothing aside else as to how to deal, besides just culling or separating and hoping it burns out?

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so nothing aside else as to how to deal, besides just culling or separating and hoping it burns out?

No, unfortunately not.

Keep them clean and preferably dry, avoid phorid flies (which might be related to that problem somehow) and overcrouding bins, and immediately remove dead roaches; that's all you can do.

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No, unfortunately not.

Keep them clean and preferably dry, avoid phorid flies (which might be related to that problem somehow) and overcrouding bins, and immediately remove dead roaches; that's all you can do.

well i just got an awesome most grown bearded dragon morph, so she should continue to plow through the colonies, and hopefully will be my dumpster for the dead roaches (right after i got her home she plowed through 14 adults, that needed disposal of.

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Uhhh.... I wouldn't feed the dead ones. You don't know which bacteria spread uncontrolled in there.

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Uhhh.... I wouldn't feed the dead ones. You don't know which bacteria spread uncontrolled in there.

i was going to feed ones i had frozen for a few days at least as i have a jar ful, but just mostly feeding deformed and old ones now.

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That for sure is better :D !

You know, it isn't only living bacteria which could cause troubles but also their metabolites which don't degrade upon freezing a few days.

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That for sure is better :D !

You know, it isn't only living bacteria which could cause troubles but also their metabolites which don't degrade upon freezing a few days.

i didnt know it took alot longer to kill and/or weaken bacteria from roaches that needed the heat for the bacteria to thrive.. how long would they need to be frozen to be safe (not that i cant just compost them, and feed fresh, i just thought i might get some use out of them hopefully)?

oddly my dry bin has alot more dead ones when i cleaned, than the somewhat damp one in areas, so im wondering if they are drying out to much now as they did well, when in all moistened bins. im keeping the nymphs except the tiny ones i dont want to bother trying to catch all, and letting them grow out till they are ready to turn ooths (how long from molting to adult if mated right away does it take for the time to turn the ooths to need the soil to be comfy and decrease abortion?. oddly i had one female giganteus just die after i put them all back into their tank after cleaning up, as it just seized and or cunvulsed, and started running around and died on its side (yes side, as it wedged itself in that position).

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