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Wolfie

Tiny litter? Oddly coloured nymphs?

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My lone female wide-horned hisser died yesterday morning while apparently aborting, but later was discovered to be giving birth.

The litter, however, is tiny. There are only six nymphs. I checked the substrate thoroughly and all hiding spots, and there's definitely only six.

Why such a tiny litter?

Two of the nymphs are also different to the others, they are lighter with more white on the edges of the body and pale cream legs rather than grey. I will get photos to demonstrate, but is colour variation normal in hisser nymphs? Will they remain different or mature normally?

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The female might have been sick or had complications giving birth and that's why she died, or gave premature birth and that's why so few nymphs were born.

With the nymphs a picture will be most helpful, when they are born they are pure white and darken to a grayish black hours later, so mabye what your seeing is different stages of gaining color. If today you still see it mabye its something else I'd be interested in seeing!

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I asked my vet when I took my dog in this afternoon, she suggested it was that the mother was very old at two years old to be having her first litter, and I agree that may have been the cause, have you ever heard of that happening?

They are 48-ish hours old now, I thought they were just darkening until today, I figured it's been long enough for them to darken really, but those nymphs are still different. This is a photo of the more obviously different nymph, there are two but the other one was scuttling too fast to get a decent photo.

1238779_10201761286494401_1618152740_n.jpg

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I had a female have first litter at nearly a year with no problems so I don't think its that.

It might be environment or diet.

Females really need good nutrition especially when pregnant. I fed mine a wide variety of foods and the litter was over 40 healthy nymphs.

You should feed them apples, bananas, fresh spinach leaves, romaine lettuce, mango, some white bread, and good quality cat kibble, also iguana fruit pellets and natural food like decaying oak leaves and bark.

Light coloring is from low humidity or poor nutrition. Feed good diet and mist your cage with water from a spray bottle every other day. If after that and proper diet it might be odd coloring but my bet is it will shed normal after improvements.

Let me know how they do keep an eye on them.

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I have a feeling that it may have been brought on by a change in care, and her age just didn't help much, since she happened to die in the one week that I wasn't looking after her, and the substrate was quite damp when I got the tank back yesterday, so I suspect the humidity was too high and the temp too low for her. She was being fed a variety of foods like you say, although she rarely ate very much, and kept warm and at a decent humidity, so I reckon the change in how she was cared for over that week was what brought on both an unusual birth and the death of the mother.

Obviously the nymphs were born and had their first 24-ish hours in that same environment, so if that was the problem with her, it may have been the problem with the odd nymphs, now they're in a small tank with higher humidity and taking a few different foods, so if it's that, it should straighten out by its next shed. Clearly that one in the photo had a few issues anyway as it is missing a leg and looks a little squashed, but he's doing okay so hopefully the next shed will put it all right.

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Sometimes nymphs at the end of the birth can be squished a bit or deformed leg, sometimes it weakens them and sometimes it doesn't. I've had a nymph like that die yet another like it live. Just make sure they have easy access to food if they can't walk good, again next shed should fix that.

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Agree with Keith, those pale babies are often more delicate but they can grow out of it. In hatchlings it might be caused by difficulty and damage in escaping from the ooth.

Some female live-bearing roaches can bring eggs to full term even at complete starvation, but because hissers provide the developing nymphs with food in the brood sac, they probably have lower birth rates when deprived of nutrients. That doesn't look like it happened here though, it may have been no fault of yours but related to her age and health.

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Both the pale nymphs seem to be doing well, although the more deformed one (in the photograph) is quite funny, it constantly trips over its left antenna, which seems to be bent out of shape, hopefully another thing that will be fixed by a moult. But it seems to be getting around fine, just slowly.

Yeah, she usually had a variety of foods, plus constant access to oak leaves and wood to chew on. It was such a shame to lose her with her first litter, because she was a really strikingly beautiful roach, but it can't be helped, and at least I have a few nymphs...

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Yeah sometimes even with the best of care things can happen, and pregnancy is risky for all species. You have some of her babies so one might grow up to look just like her, whether it be male or female. :)

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Yeah sometimes even with the best of care things can happen, and pregnancy is risky for all species. You have some of her babies so one might grow up to look just like her, whether it be male or female. :)

Yeah, exactly, in fact the father, who also died a few weeks ago, was huge and extremely impressive as well, so these nymphs are the most pampered babies in the history of roach keeping, in the hope that good genes + good environment will make for some awesome looking hissers when they mature.

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I'm raising hissers that had huge, pampered parents and the nymphs are going to be larger than their parents they have 2 sheds to go and are nearly the size of the parents already, and one parent was a giant morph so if the babies are larger, are they a giant, giant morph? :) mabye I made a new morph altogether?

Keep us posted on the babies, if they are new color morphs that is cool!

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Lost the last really discoloured one a couple of weeks ago, so I only have two left, both very strongly and prettily striped, and the largest of the nymphs, I'm thinking the others weren't properly developed before they were born, and that's why they faded away one by one.

Almost two months, and still no moult for the survivors. They're still super active and apparently healthy in all other ways, much healthier than the ones I lost. They've got constant access to food and they are defecating plenty so they are clearly eating, so maybe they're just slow developers.

At any rate, it was starting to get cold in my room, so they have been moved to a warmer spot on top of my boyfriend's computer, where their mother used to live, can't wait until they grow a bit and I can get the proper tank set up for them, at the moment a 24 litre tank seems a bit insane for two tiny nymphs.

To be honest, I'm less worried about the moult, I'm just over the moon that they have survived this far, I shouldn't be, but I am quite emotionally invested in these nymphs, so the fact they're apparently healthy is a good feeling :)

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Lost the last really discoloured one a couple of weeks ago, so I only have two left, both very strongly and prettily striped, and the largest of the nymphs, I'm thinking the others weren't properly developed before they were born, and that's why they faded away one by one.

Almost two months, and still no moult for the survivors. They're still super active and apparently healthy in all other ways, much healthier than the ones I lost. They've got constant access to food and they are defecating plenty so they are clearly eating, so maybe they're just slow developers.

At any rate, it was starting to get cold in my room, so they have been moved to a warmer spot on top of my boyfriend's computer, where their mother used to live, can't wait until they grow a bit and I can get the proper tank set up for them, at the moment a 24 litre tank seems a bit insane for two tiny nymphs.

To be honest, I'm less worried about the moult, I'm just over the moon that they have survived this far, I shouldn't be, but I am quite emotionally invested in these nymphs, so the fact they're apparently healthy is a good feeling :)

I'm sorry to hear that, hoping those 2 make it! Do you have a recent photo mabye I can tell if they are ready to shed soon.

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I'm sorry to hear that, hoping those 2 make it! Do you have a recent photo mabye I can tell if they are ready to shed soon.

I don't at the moment, but I will take one and post it, do you need to see them from a particular angle to tell?

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I don't at the moment, but I will take one and post it, do you need to see them from a particular angle to tell?

A view from above is fine.

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Thanks :) Will fire up the camera and get some shots of them... if I can get them to sit still! Crazy scuttly things! :P

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I just took out the food dish and checked on the nymphs, saw both of them acting normally, then I came back with a sample of apple sauce for them to try, popped it in, neither of them moved so I went away to put the jar in the fridge.

Then came back literally a minute later to see if they has picked up the scent and there was one normal one chowing down on a chunk of apple, and a gigantic white sausage-monster hiding in the shelter! Seriously, that thing is five times the size of the other one! No wonder she was taking so long to be ready! Looks like I might be right about these nymphs being giants!

Panic over anyway, hopefully the other one will moult soon as well. I'm so excited! I can't wait until she hardens up so I can get a good look at her! As far as I can see she looks perfect, no missing bits or deformities.

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She's now eating her moulted skin, so safe to say I think she's doing fine. The other one is behaving oddly, wandering around the end of the tank they normally avoid and arching its back, so I think that one might be about to follow, I'm keen to see this one moult, because it simultaneously looks male and female, whereas the other is clearly female, so I'm curious to see what it becomes as it grows!

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Reusing an old topic to avoid making a new one and spamming up the boards :P

The nymph moulted again and is perfectly fine, so this isn't an issue, but what's with the sudden shape change after the second moult?

Because yesterday it was shaped like a normal hisser in miniature, and today it's flat and disk-shaped, which I seem to remember reading is normal, and presumably it will grow up to be normal hisser shaped again at some point, so out of curiosity... why is there a weird stage where they're circular instead of... cockroach shaped?

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Reusing an old topic to avoid making a new one and spamming up the boards :P

The nymph moulted again and is perfectly fine, so this isn't an issue, but what's with the sudden shape change after the second moult?

Because yesterday it was shaped like a normal hisser in miniature, and today it's flat and disk-shaped, which I seem to remember reading is normal, and presumably it will grow up to be normal hisser shaped again at some point, so out of curiosity... why is there a weird stage where they're circular instead of... cockroach shaped?

Each shed starts out flat and disc shaped, that's normal for most roaches. Slowly they will get long and fat as they eat and get larger.

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Ohhh, that makes sense now I think about it, so by the time it's ready to moult again, its length will be in proportion to its width again, like it was before it moulted? That's useful to know, thanks very much :D

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Ohhh, that makes sense now I think about it, so by the time it's ready to moult again, its length will be in proportion to its width again, like it was before it moulted? That's useful to know, thanks very much :D

Exactly! Interesting fact, when a cockroach first molts its fully swollen with air that is how it gets the old skin to split. You can see how big it will get before next molt at this time. Minutes later it deflates and become flat and thin.

Soon after molting see how bloated it is? http://penanggalan.tumblr.com/image/22187003751

Minutes later its flat and short http://creepingthings.tumblr.com/image/42409000144

So any new photos of the little one?

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Makes sense, presumably to give them room to grow.

Yep, here's a photo.

I decided to take a photo of it every time it moults, because I've found a lack of photographs of nymphs at any stage other than newly born or almost adult, useful to have as a reference! :)

1509206_10202805185191216_699433514_n.jpg

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