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stanislas

Female Ectobius sylvestris

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Since a few months I have a bin with wild caught Ectobius sylvestris roaches. I had a number of males (+-4) and a few females (+-6). 
When I caught them, they were still nymphs, but soon became adults. The males only lasted a few weeks as adult, while the females still do well. 
I'm not sure what that means. Do the males live shorter, yet still fertilize the females? I guess I'll find out. 
I still don't have the feeling that I master the keeping of these roaches well. I consider it a challenge... 
Suggestions and comments are very welcome! 

Below: female Ectobius sylvestris eating a bit of fish food flakes. 

ectobius_sylvestris.jpg

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I think the males of Ectobius are probably naturally short lived compared to the females, it's certainly the case with several other Ectobiids. Hope they breed for you, no one here in the US has really figured out how to successfully breed Ectobius yet!

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Nice markings and wings. :)

I'm sure that few others in this part of the world would agree, but I'm a little disappointed that we don't have any native cockroaches like this in Ireland. Heck, we barely have any of the pest species, except in the bigger population centres, apparently...

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It has been a bumpy road with these fellows. No ootheca last year (2017). 
Somehow I did not manage to find the right conditions and food. I believe I kept them too moist at first. I tried feeding powdered fish food, honey, fruits, vegetables, yeast, powdered oak leaves etc. But it hasn't been clear to me what they like to eat. 
And so the colony dwindled... With fall nearing I caught some more nymphs to supplement the lost roaches. 
After that I added more forest substrate and crushed leaves and kept the enclosure substantial dryer. As result no more losses. 

On the food front I decided to try something else: bee pollen. That stuff arrived today. I crushed the pollen pellets to powder and put that in the enclosure. Low and behold, they started eating the stuff. 
While it's still early on in this experiment, at least my hopes have raised that I might one day be able to get a thriving colony of this (local) species (keeping my fingers crossed)! 
 

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On 6/25/2017 at 4:42 AM, stanislas said:

The males only lasted a few weeks as adult, while the females still do well. 
I'm not sure what that means. Do the males live shorter, yet still fertilize the females?

This is true of wild Ectobius, since it is highly seasonal. https://books.google.com/books?id=R7eVRP08kasC&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=ectobius+"short-lived"&source=bl&ots=8-bxflLVsD&sig=vi2-xTptF0tptn86iI2E9LWTsTQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjDhpuY99PaAhWL0FMKHTwVAUsQ6AEILzAB#v=onepage&q=ectobius "short-lived"&f=false It is possible that artificially-simulated seasons may be important for the health of E in captivity as well.

 

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@CodeWilsterThank God for Kyle Kandilian and his suggested reading to me that discussed how another Ectobiid roach ootheca (Ectobius sp) required sudden moisture to stimulate hatching. Shoot me a message if you'd like to see the paper. Turns out L. trivittata oothecae are the same, and are comparable to plant seeds. They seem to need to be kept very dry, and then cool/dry, and then sudden moisture and warmth in spring stimulates them to absorb water and hatch shortly after

 

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8 hours ago, Test Account said:

This is true of wild Ectobius, since it is highly seasonal. https://books.google.com/books?id=R7eVRP08kasC&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=ectobius+"short-lived"&source=bl&ots=8-bxflLVsD&sig=vi2-xTptF0tptn86iI2E9LWTsTQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjDhpuY99PaAhWL0FMKHTwVAUsQ6AEILzAB#v=onepage&q=ectobius "short-lived"&f=false It is possible that artificially-simulated seasons may be important for the health of E in captivity as well.

Thanks! That explains a lot! The adults last year were indeed short lived. The nymphs I had, overwintered without growing much. I suspect these will soon become adults. 
Now the big question will be: Does Ectobius silvestris roaches have a one or a two year life cycle? 
Deducing from the google link/article compared to my observations, I guess it will be two years. As the nymphs did overwinter well here (I kept them cool during winter). This will imply that my nymphs will mature soon, live for about 5 months months and then my enclosure will be empty until (only ootheca) for a year :( 
I guess I need to catch a second generation in fall to have these roaches on display the whole year round. 
Adapting the figure from the article, it will give me this:

E_sylvestris.jpg

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