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IceRoach

Blaberus giganteus nymphs and some questions

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I found some nymphs in the substrate. They are ca. 3 mm long and like to be under the coco husk. I am afraid some have dehydrated from the heat mat, because I did not expect babies now! I have only one adult female.

Can she give birth again in the future? 

How hardy is the nymphs of this species?

And what is your experience of this species? (I think this is the most fun arthropod I have!)

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Congrats on the babies! :)

Yes, she could give birth a couple more times I imagine, so hopefully you will get more babies soon! Be sure to keep the substrate moist, definitely don't want the nymphs drying out! I'm not sure how hardy the nymphs are, I think they are pretty hardy until they start maturing, at which point some will just die off.

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Thanks :D I have heard that this species is challenging, and needs a lot of space. So I think on making my own terrarium soon! This species has sadly not gotten so much recognition in the hobby I think, and they have very fun and active personalities! For example they are often walking around and exploring and wifting fast with their antennas, and look like they have some sort of social language. The species can glide short distances, so that is fun to show to friends! :lol:

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8 minutes ago, IceRoach said:

Thanks :D I have heard that this species is challenging, and needs a lot of space. So I think on making my own terrarium soon! This species has sadly not gotten so much recognition in the hobby I think, and they have very fun and active personalities! For example they are often walking around and exploring and wifting fast with their antennas, and look like they have some sort of social language. The species can glide short distances, so that is fun to show to friends! :lol:

Yeah, they certainly like a lot of room, which is the main reason I haven't gotten any! It's gotten pretty good recognition in the hobby I think, it's just the fact that they need so much room and that they can be difficult to keep at times that keeps more people from keeping them. Yeah, I've heard they are quite active, and that the males can be territorial, like hissers! They definitely look like an interesting species to keep! :)

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Here are some pics I took with a macro lens. They are ca. 6-8 mm! When they got scared, they played dead :D They are sooooo cuuuteeeee!!!!:lol::lol::lol: I dont know how many it is, but I guess there are ca. 25 nymphs relative to what I found! :)

awddwdadw.jpg

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Aww, so cute! :wub: Yeah, small Blaberus nymphs often play dead, which in my opinion makes them even cuter lol! :lol:

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29 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Aww, so cute! :wub: Yeah, small Blaberus nymphs often play dead, which in my opinion makes them even cuter lol! :lol:

Totally agree!

26 minutes ago, KatsKreations said:

Surprised how much they look like dubias!

That`s an interesting tought. Maybe the nymphs live in similar ways in nature. I have to read more about that! :)

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On 3/9/2017 at 6:10 PM, IceRoach said:

I found some nymphs in the substrate. They are ca. 3 mm long and like to be under the coco husk. I am afraid some have dehydrated from the heat mat, because I did not expect babies now! I have only one adult female.

Can she give birth again in the future? 

How hardy is the nymphs of this species?

And what is your experience of this species? (I think this is the most fun arthropod I have!)

I have a male and female that are breeding quite well. I see new nymphs about every 6-8 weeks, and they seem to double in size about every 2 weeks. That's a ballpark as I don't really keep track of the timing, but I saw my first tiny batch in December and she's had at least 3 births total. The first batch is now about 1.5" long - about the same size as B. discoidalis before their final molt. 

I've found the nymphs to be very hardy. I haven't seen any dead ones yet (though they probably eat them before I can find them). I see about 10-12 nymphs with each birth. I know that lower temps and lower humidity can really slow their growth, and they grow quicker when living in colonies. Something about being jostled around stimulates their growth and development, like dubias.

I keep mine in a tall pretzel bin with vertical bark and deep moist substrate (with collembola) topped with sphagnum moss. The moss does a nice job of keeping the soil humidity balanced. I've been feeding mine mostly fruit with the occasional roach chow or piece of cooked chicken/cooked hamburger. They freak out over the hamburger, but I don't give it often. I keep some food on the ground and hang some from the lid on a wire. I think the adults like being able to eat while they're on their bark, and it draws out the little ones. I also have some small pieces of rotting oak wood for food. I spray the enclosure every other day at feeding time. Mine are kept at 78-85 F with about 35% humidity. Not sure that that's the ideal condition, but they are making babies faster than I thought they would!

The really interesting thing about their mating is the courting ritual. I haven't seen mine do it yet, but I saw it on a documentary on cave roaches. The males flip their wings up and emit an edible pheromone substance that draws the female. The female climbs up to ingest the substance, and while she's busy the male starts getting down to business. I've read a few journal articles that provide some evidence that males raised on high carb foods are larger, heathier and more appealing to females than those raised on high protein, as food affects the pheromone substance. The female only needs to mate once and she can give birth throughout her life. 

Here's my set up (I will be switching them to a larger container as they grow, and removing extra males).

 

 

2017-03-14 11.41.01.jpg

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Here's the setup with the female to show the relative size of the bin.

2017-03-14 11.41.28.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Axolotl said:

Here's the setup with the female to show the relative size of the bin.

2017-03-14 11.41.28.jpg

Thanks for the great comment! :D I have seen the curting behaviour. The males do it more often when the females are not pregnant from my experience.

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8 minutes ago, IceRoach said:

Thanks for the great comment! :D I have seen the curting behaviour. The males do it more often when the females are not pregnant from my experience.

Can you get a video of it if you see it again? I'd love to see it in captivity. 

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7 minutes ago, Axolotl said:

Can you get a video of it if you see it again? I'd love to see it in captivity. 

I will try! :lol:

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A deep moist substrate is key for this species (air humidity is less important, I think). Nymphs strongly prefer a vertical surface for their final molt, otherwise they can have issues, which may or may not kill them. Besides those two potential issues, this is a very easy and rewarding species to keep. Neat to hear about all the interesting behaviors you guys are noticing too! :)

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More babies coming soon!!!! :lol:

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They are growing! :lol:

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