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Nanchantress

50 nymphs in Hisser litter

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One mother with 50 nymphs born this morning. I plan to take weekly photos and then post them later to show growth rate. Next time I'll try to remember to put a quarter in there for relative size. For now, the food dish is a contact lens case lid. Fifty nymphs seems like a rather large litter - has anyone seen a larger one?

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Can't wait to see the growth of them, and the excitement of how they vary in size and color!

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Gromphadorhina portentosa (Madagascar Hissing Cockroach).

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4 weeks old today on 4/19/12 :D Molted around 4/10/12. All the nymphs molted over about a 5-day period beginning on the 10th.

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All nymphs are exactly 37 days old - check out the different growth rates! Sorry for the poor quality of picture because of the container. I will rehouse them in a clearer plastic container next time.

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Update on 5/28/12: Now have only 48 nymphs. Here are 3 photos showing the nymphs on the day they were born (3/22/12), one of the nymphs at about 1 month (4/19/12), and the mother with 3 of the nymphs at about 2 months (5/28/12). I can't believe the size variation! This mother and this litter have been kept segregated from my other hissers since before the birth. I witnessed the mother making another ootheca about a month ago. I'm not sure if this species can store sperm from one mating to be used later, so if this egg sac produces nymphs then I will know they can (she has not come into contact with an adult male since before the birth). I read about it somewhere but just can't remember at the moment...

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I notice that one of your 2-month-old hissers is smaller than the one-month old hisser in the second photo. Are they in their 3rd instar, assuming that they've molted twice, or are they in different instars, because of their varying growth rates?

I've started to keep hissers a month ago, but I haven't seen any molts. :blink:

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They are at different instars at this point. The first molt happened within a 5-day-period for all of them, but now they don't molt as a group so I have lost track of instars... It will be interesting to see if they all reach the same general size as adults. I am also interested in seeing the male/female ratio eventually.

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Usually males grow faster and mature first and like other roaches siblings vary in size, color, and growth rate. It's all part of the fun raising your own you never know what surprises you'll get like someone here with that monster male Hisser!

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Male:Female ratio will probably be 1:1 or close to that, assuming that gender is determined like in humans, you know, XX/XY. Is it possible to predict the number of molts left to get to adulthood?

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Update at 4 & 1/2 months: Hisser mother and 46 of her offspring are still alive and have been kept completely separate from the rest of my colony since the March 22nd birth. There is an extraordinary range of sizes. While the largest of them are mostly males, the smallest members of the litter include both males and females. I took inventory today and sexed them to the best of my ability:

1 mother (on the dollar bill)

27 males

14 females

5 undetermined (too small)

Today I will put them back in with the rest of their colony. This is a G.portentosa colony for the most part, but might have some G.oblongonota genes accidentally mixed in.

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I tracked one dubia nymph from birth, it was one of the last to be born and until it's first molt almost appeared squished, it grew slower than the rest.

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