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wodesorel

A. tesselata molt gone wrong (rather horrific)

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Not sure what happened, but by the time I found it still halfway trapped in it's molt it had already mostly hardened. I freed it as best I could and was hoping maybe it would recover, but after 24 hours it was obvious it couldn't move anything but the end of it's legs, and it's mouth was sealed shut. (So twitchy. :( )

I left it for my preggo emperor scorpion earlier tonight as I had no better idea how to euthanize it, and she got it within 15 minutes and put it out of it's misery.

Absolutely no idea why it happened, unless it's just one of those freak things that occur sometimes?

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Just like I sometimes tell people who have had tarantulas have poor molts or other abnormal health conditions and die, nature doesn't always create perfect individuals, and sometimes they will die seemingly without reason. There are so many in nature that those individuals who die are replaced anyway. The weak ones who die don't reproduce, and that's how evolution happens. In captivity, it's a nuisance, but its a necessary part of nature.

There probably isn't an identifiable factor that caused this. Sorry for your loss by the way.

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sorry man. :(

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This looks like what I had happen to a giant cave cockroach. It shed but was very weak and got stuck. I misted it with water and put it near a warm area and waited a few minutes . I was able to somehow get it out of its old skin without damaging it. It could not grab onto everything and I literally had to prop it up so the wings could expand normally. It stayed rather soft after 3 days and could walk but barely, it did not eat in its own I kept it alive feeding it beef and banana baby food, the stomach was always bloated. It died in day 4 it had many problems wrong.

Usually poor humidity or something wrong with the cockroach makes it have trouble shedding and it just dies in its stuck skin as it seals the mouth, rectum, and basically inhibits leg movement. Looks like that's what happened and something was wrong with the cockroach to begin with and final molt usually is fatal for these individuals especially winged species.

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So.. quite possibly completely unrelated given that I've only had her three weeks... but the scorpion I fed this guy to died quite suddenly last night. :(

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And another bad molt this morning. This one was stuck farther down and has use of at least it's front legs so it was able to drag itself off. Will wait a bit before deciding what to do with it.

Humidity is good at around 60%. They have bark to grab hold of if they need it to anchor. But really I've not had much luck with this species at all and it doesn't seem like there are enough adults for how many nymphs I had over the summer. :/

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DO you have a very moist area in your substrate? 60% is not that high for a tropical species of anything. Don't get me wrong as it is not low either. I had just after i got a shipment of roaches a few weeks ago a bad molt and figured it was due to dry a substrate, Since then i keep one corner very damp and spray the rest of it down once or twice a day. Hydration is critical during an insects shed and consistency in available moister and humidity. I have two tanks being put together to house this species and Blaberus giganteus with automatic temp and humidity controls with night time temp drop. I will post pics of it all once i have it all running. I have warm air sonic humidifiers to turn on when humidity drops below the % i set it at. I use them now every couple of days on my roaches in tanks and they love it.

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Let me expand a bit why i feel 60% is not high enough for humidity. I grow many true tropical plants and at 50-60% humidity their leaves dry on the edges. In many areas of the tropics most of the season humidity is well over 80% with just a very short dry season. Even during this time or even in the desert critters find areas with the correct humidity rather under deep pile of leaves or down in an animals burrow. When i used to keep spiders and breed several frogs and lizards in Colorado i used equal sized Tupperware (to the critters being kept) with entrance holes cut into the sides filled with a moisture holding substrate as humidity chambers that the critters could use at their discretion. Many of the spiders and scorpions would set in these for several days before molting about the same time they stopped eating.

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The room is at 60% which is where the gauge is. The enclosure is a glass 15 gallon with moist peat moss substrate, leaves, and bark. So RH inside should probably be closer to 75% or 80% but I haven't measured it for sure. I've got around 6 or 7 adults from this same group that are perfect, two of which are extremely gravid and due any day. It just seems to be affecting these few. Are they like Giant Caves where they need a vertical surface?

Edited to add: There's food and water bowls at the bottom, but the rim clipped it out of this photo.

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I provide textured vertical surfaces for this species to molt off of. Still, I do see a slightly higher percentage of mismolts with them than other roaches. Their bulky tankmates may be the cause of this through disturbing molting individuals.

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I've had at least another six individuals get stuck mid-molt and either die or need to be put down humanely. And those are just the ones I've found.

What it looks like to me is that the nymph's exoskeleton is paper thin to start, so when they go to crack out of it, instead of splitting down the middle and allowing them to wiggle free it's splitting in multiple places which traps their wings and legs and makes them unable to move. This last one was still alive when I got to it, and it had managed to scrape the old shed (and forgive me, I have no idea on proper terms here!) off it's head and there was a small split where there was supposed to be on the back, but everything else was covered tight. There were split marks on all the legs and a few parts of the abdomen, and it had been stuck so long it had relieved itself a few times inside of it's old shed.

Several of the current penultimate nymphs are enormous and looking they should have molted already, but they too feel odd and papery and I'm thinking there will be more bad molts soon. :(

Diet maybe? I do fresh fruits and Milkbones as their primary diet. Any ideas what I could be offering instead?

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I've had B giganteus with similar problems or sudden death of last instar nymphs that bloat and die. Or those that live but have bad sheds, it wasn't care related or they all would have problems, most turned out healthy. Any info on virus or bacteria or parasites that might cause this?

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