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Megaloblatta longipenis — Breeding Project

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Hello friends! :-)

Spoiler: Yes, I did it, but... :P

Some months ago I've start my first topic here in the forum, asking for information about care and breeding of the genus Megaloblatta, to find that as it seems, there's not any available information at the moment, and... that every known attempt of breeding this genus has failed, specifically at the point of incubating their oothecae.

First topic here: 

Now the news... As you can see in the other thread, I've started with 4 nymphs, but one died in my process to find their right food. Impressively the other 3 survived my clumsiness to reach adulthood. I've learned over this period that they could receive conventional roach food (cat/dog food, fish flakes... oats), but in very low quantity, and they really loved sweet fruits, specially mango and bananas. And the most important: the right protein source seems to be raw meat... I use chicken hearts that they eat with a lot of passion :D 

Fresh molted nymph: 

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0005_Xenoblatta

 

Adult female:

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0004_Xenoblatta

 

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0000_Xenoblatta

 

The ooths are huge (between 4-5 cms)

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0001_Xenoblatta

 

Between the 3 survivors, I've got only one female... that laid only 4 ooths during her life.

And here started the tricky part.... for after around 5 months the first laid oothecae was spoiled, fly worms emerging from inside. And then the second one!!!... Of course I was doing it wrong.

So I took the determination of dissecting the third oothecae to check out what were happening. And I've found alive healthy embryos forming themselves inside... so the real problem were during the hatching.

I've been really careful at the moment of dissection, and the eggs inside survived enough to hatch :-) And they seems to be the first generation of Megaloblatta breed in captivity.

Pictures (Notice the antennae shape... they are much shorter in proportion than in big nymphs... that's adorable!!!)

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

I have around 40 of them... and I'm already finding new details about them, for example...  they are not interested in the same kind of fruits than the big ones likes, but I don't want to provide any information about it until having a real experience with it.

Personal conclusion: Of course dissection is not the right method to hatch these ooths, but I was desperate and it worked for this time... at least I have enough individuals (much more than at the beginning) to keep on breeding and try something better next time.

I have already an hypothesis... It could be that the oothecae case is very strong and hard in some Nyctiborinae species (because some other breeders and myself have found the same problems with some of their species), so perhaps the oothecae have to undergo a process of degradation by the environment during the incubation, something similar to the scarification process in some species of plant seed's. I would risk to affirm that that's why, in this case, M.longipenis lay ooths in "dirt places" (for I've found my girl released ooths covered with substrate in really muddy spots). So at the moment of hatching the ooths should be weak enough to allow the nymphs emerge, which is not possible with the aseptic methods that breeders (including myself) use to use... ;)

I will try to incubate next generation really moist and with a lot of springtails and as always... I'm open to you suggestions :-) 

Best regards! :lol:

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19 minutes ago, Xenoblatta said:

Hello friends! :-)

Spoiler: Yes, I did it, but... :P

Some months ago I've start my first topic here in the forum, asking for information about care and breeding of the genus Megaloblatta, to find that as it seems, there's not any available information at the moment, and... that every known attempt of breeding this genus has failed, specifically at the point of incubating their oothecae.

First topic here: 

Now the news... As you can see in the other thread, I've started with 4 nymphs, but one died in my process to find their right food. Impressively the other 3 survived my clumsiness to reach adulthood. I've learned over this period that they could receive conventional roach food (cat/dog food, fish flakes... oats), but in very low quantity, and they really loved sweet fruits, specially mango and bananas. And the most important: the right protein source seems to be raw meat... I use chicken hearts that they eat with a lot of passion :D 

Fresh molted nymph: 

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0005_Xenoblatta

 

Adult female:

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0004_Xenoblatta

 

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0000_Xenoblatta

 

The ooths are huge (between 4-5 cms)

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0001_Xenoblatta

 

Between the 3 survivors, I've got only one female... that laid only 4 ooths during her life.

And here started the tricky part.... for after around 5 months the first laid oothecae was spoiled, fly worms emerging from inside. And then the second one!!!... Of course I was doing it wrong.

So I took the determination of dissecting the third oothecae to check out what were happening. And I've found alive healthy embryos forming themselves inside... so the real problem were during the hatching.

I've been really careful at the moment of dissection, and the eggs inside survived enough to hatch :-) And they seems to be the first generation of Megaloblatta breed in captivity.

Pictures (Notice the antennae shape... they are much shorter in proportion than in big nymphs... that's adorable!!!)

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

I have around 40 of them... and I'm already finding new details about them, for example...  they are not interested in the same kind of fruits than the big ones likes, but I don't want to provide any information about it until having a real experience with it.

Personal conclusion: Of course dissection is not the right method to hatch these ooths, but I was desperate and it worked for this time... at least I have enough individuals (much more than at the beginning) to keep on breeding and try something better next time.

I have already an hypothesis... It could be that the oothecae case is very strong and hard in some Nyctiborinae species (because some other breeders and myself have found the same problems with some of their species), so perhaps the oothecae have to undergo a process of degradation by the environment during the incubation, something similar to the scarification process in some species of plant seed's. I would risk to affirm that that's why, in this case, M.longipenis lay ooths in "dirt places" (for I've found my girl released ooths covered with substrate in really muddy spots). So at the moment of hatching the ooths should be weak enough to allow the nymphs emerge, which is not possible with the aseptic methods that breeders (including myself) use to use... ;)

I will try to incubate next generation really moist and with a lot of springtails and as always... I'm open to you suggestions :-) 

Best regards! :lol:

Wow, that’s an interesting theory!

 

There’s a thread on Luridiblatta trivittata, and it was discovered that the oothecae should be kept dry for a while and then moistened to cause hatching. When moistened, the ooths puffed up before hatching.

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@Xenoblatta, is there a wet season and dry season in Megaloblatta’s ootheca habitat? If so, the dry/wet cycles would be a good idea :)

If wild oothecae are in a constantly wet place, your springtail and mud idea would be more suitable.

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3 minutes ago, Test Account said:

There’s a thread on Luridiblatta trivittata, and it was discovered that the oothecae should be kept dry for a while and then moistened to cause hatching. When moistened, the ooths puffed up before hatching.

Yep... I've got that suggestion before, and I will try it... But Megaloblatta species lives in the tropic, inside very healthy forest with a lot of vegetation that keeps temperatures and moisture very constant along the year. 

And well, there's a rain season, but judging for the periodicity with the female laid eggcases (one every 2 months, that takes around 5 months to hatch) and the microclimates they seems to choice to lay eggcases in (very hidden)... I'd say they look for a constant climate condition :D

But yes... I hope to get a good oothecae number with this generation and I will try it ;)

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HOLY CRAP, you did it!!! :o:D Congratulations man!

I'm very interested, how did you go about dissecting the oothecae, without killing all of the nymphs? 

That degradation theory is certainly interesting, I wonder if adding isopods to the enclosure, along with springtails, would help speed the process up? Isopods have been known to nibble on roach ooths, the problem would lie in finding a species that will chew on the outer casing, but won't devour the oothecae completely...

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This is great news and definitely a step in the right direction. I share your notion that Megaloblatta's oothecae are tough like bricks and must go through some kind of process in order to hatch.
What was really interesting for me to read were the observations on diet preferences between adults and nymph. This means that they possibly occupy different habitats in the wild. Maybe the nymphs have a specialized diet, or are associated with other insects (termites, fulgorids). Another option is that they stay close to the mother and she directly feeds them or prepares processed food for them. I am not sure I would go this far, but it is not too far fetched when talking about cockroaches.
In any case, well done on hatching them and I hope they do well!

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24 minutes ago, wizentrop said:

This is great news and definitely a step in the right direction. I share your notion that Megaloblatta's oothecae are tough like bricks and must go through some kind of process in order to hatch.
What was really interesting for me to read were the observations on diet preferences between adults and nymph. This means that they possibly occupy different habitats in the wild. Maybe the nymphs have a specialized diet, or are associated with other insects (termites, fulgorids). Another option is that they stay close to the mother and she directly feeds them or prepares processed food for them. I am not sure I would go this far, but it is not too far fetched when talking about cockroaches.
In any case, well done on hatching them and I hope they do well!

I have a feeling the nymphs spend most of their time in the undergrowth, while adults tend to spend more time above the forest floor. So the smaller nymphs probably have a diet more similar to other roach species, I have a feeling they'll eat more grain based foods than large nymphs or adults.

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That's awesome, maybe these massive roaches will finally become more common.

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28 minutes ago, Tleilaxu said:

That's awesome, maybe these massive roaches will finally become more common.

One can certainly hope! :D

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4 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

I have a feeling the nymphs spend most of their time in the undergrowth, while adults tend to spend more time above the forest floor. So the smaller nymphs probably have a diet more similar to other roach species, I have a feeling they'll eat more grain based foods than large nymphs or adults.

 

4 hours ago, wizentrop said:

This is great news and definitely a step in the right direction. I share your notion that Megaloblatta's oothecae are tough like bricks and must go through some kind of process in order to hatch.
What was really interesting for me to read were the observations on diet preferences between adults and nymph. This means that they possibly occupy different habitats in the wild. Maybe the nymphs have a specialized diet, or are associated with other insects (termites, fulgorids). Another option is that they stay close to the mother and she directly feeds them or prepares processed food for them. I am not sure I would go this far, but it is not too far fetched when talking about cockroaches.
In any case, well done on hatching them and I hope they do well!

Ooo, oo, let me dig up a book quote...

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Holy moly! Congratulations! This is certainly an exciting turn of events in the hobby. Does anyone have experience with their growth cycle? As in from hatching to adulthood taking 1 or 2 years? I'd imagine they grow at a similar rate to Archimandrita or a similarly sized roach. I'm very interested in seeing updates on these as your adventure in their husbandry continues! 

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11 hours ago, vfox said:

Holy moly! Congratulations! This is certainly an exciting turn of events in the hobby. Does anyone have experience with their growth cycle? As in from hatching to adulthood taking 1 or 2 years? I'd imagine they grow at a similar rate to Archimandrita or a similarly sized roach. I'm very interested in seeing updates on these as your adventure in their husbandry continues! 

No one knows how long the nymphs take to mature, this oothecae hatching in captivity is a world record really! I'm sure their growth rate is comparable to other tropical Ectobiids though, so they'll probably mature within 5-8 months.

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On 3/2/2018 at 6:51 PM, Test Account said:

 

Ooo, oo, let me dig up a book quote...

 

Quote

@Hisserdude

 have a feeling the nymphs spend most of their time in the undergrowth, while adults tend to spend more time above the forest floor. So the smaller nymphs probably have a diet more similar to other roach species, I have a feeling they'll eat more grain based foods than large nymphs or adults.

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=R7eVRP08kasC&q=Nymph#v=onepage&q=Ontogeny of habitat use&f=false

Page 38: Ontogeny of habitat use

 

@Xenoblatta, I highly recommend this book. The google version is not 100% free, but a completely free version is around somewhere on Researchgate. Not only is there a lot of good information, but a number of tropical cockroaches mentioned inside (or their close relatives) live in your area. :)

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5 minutes ago, Test Account said:

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=R7eVRP08kasC&q=Nymph#v=onepage&q=Ontogeny of habitat use&f=false

Page 38: Ontogeny of habitat use

 

@Xenoblatta, I highly recommend this book. The google version is not 100% free, but a completely free version is around somewhere on Researchgate. Not only is there a lot of good information, but a number of tropical cockroaches mentioned inside (or their close relatives) live in your area. :)

I have the physical version and the free pdf lol. It's a fantastic book, I'll have to look through it and see what it says about them and their close relatives. 

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Just now, vfox said:

I have the physical version and the free pdf lol. It's a fantastic book, I'll have to look through it and see what it says about them and their close relatives. 

 Oh, and I would like to add a second, more significant bit from page 64:

 

”Nymphs may starve to death in the midst of many foodstuffs...”

 

Basically, I’m too lazy to open up my PDF, but there’s something there that says adults are hardier than nymphs, for reasons I forgot.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Test Account said:

Basically, I’m too lazy to open up my PDF, but there’s something there that says adults are hardier than nymphs, for reasons I forgot.

That's odd, my experience has been the opposite with most roach species, with adults being far more fragile and picky than their nymphs, (one exception being my Lanxoblatta...)

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I do know ladybeetle larvae are more needy than the adults, probably because the 

14 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

That's odd, my experience has been the opposite with most roach species, with adults being far more fragile and picky than their nymphs, (one exception being my Lanxoblatta...)

adults do not need to grow. Haven’t raised larvae, but research papers have plenty of documentation on this.

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On 3/2/2018 at 1:08 PM, Xenoblatta said:

Hello friends! :-)

Spoiler: Yes, I did it, but... :P

Some months ago I've start my first topic here in the forum, asking for information about care and breeding of the genus Megaloblatta, to find that as it seems, there's not any available information at the moment, and... that every known attempt of breeding this genus has failed, specifically at the point of incubating their oothecae.

First topic here: 

Now the news... As you can see in the other thread, I've started with 4 nymphs, but one died in my process to find their right food. Impressively the other 3 survived my clumsiness to reach adulthood. I've learned over this period that they could receive conventional roach food (cat/dog food, fish flakes... oats), but in very low quantity, and they really loved sweet fruits, specially mango and bananas. And the most important: the right protein source seems to be raw meat... I use chicken hearts that they eat with a lot of passion :D 

Fresh molted nymph: 

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0005_Xenoblatta

 

Adult female:

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0004_Xenoblatta

 

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0000_Xenoblatta

 

The ooths are huge (between 4-5 cms)

Megaloblatta_longipenis_0001_Xenoblatta

 

Between the 3 survivors, I've got only one female... that laid only 4 ooths during her life.

And here started the tricky part.... for after around 5 months the first laid oothecae was spoiled, fly worms emerging from inside. And then the second one!!!... Of course I was doing it wrong.

So I took the determination of dissecting the third oothecae to check out what were happening. And I've found alive healthy embryos forming themselves inside... so the real problem were during the hatching.

I've been really careful at the moment of dissection, and the eggs inside survived enough to hatch :-) And they seems to be the first generation of Megaloblatta breed in captivity.

Pictures (Notice the antennae shape... they are much shorter in proportion than in big nymphs... that's adorable!!!)

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

 

Megaloblatta longipennis - First Nymphs Ever!!!! :-D

I have around 40 of them... and I'm already finding new details about them, for example...  they are not interested in the same kind of fruits than the big ones likes, but I don't want to provide any information about it until having a real experience with it.

Personal conclusion: Of course dissection is not the right method to hatch these ooths, but I was desperate and it worked for this time... at least I have enough individuals (much more than at the beginning) to keep on breeding and try something better next time.

I have already an hypothesis... It could be that the oothecae case is very strong and hard in some Nyctiborinae species (because some other breeders and myself have found the same problems with some of their species), so perhaps the oothecae have to undergo a process of degradation by the environment during the incubation, something similar to the scarification process in some species of plant seed's. I would risk to affirm that that's why, in this case, M.longipenis lay ooths in "dirt places" (for I've found my girl released ooths covered with substrate in really muddy spots). So at the moment of hatching the ooths should be weak enough to allow the nymphs emerge, which is not possible with the aseptic methods that breeders (including myself) use to use... ;)

I will try to incubate next generation really moist and with a lot of springtails and as always... I'm open to you suggestions :-) 

Best regards! :lol:

Fantastic work and photos!

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On 2/3/2018 at 3:17 PM, Hisserdude said:

I'm very interested, how did you go about dissecting the oothecae, without killing all of the nymphs? 

Hello friends! Sorry for the long absence... :-p 

Well... I did it with entomological scissors and a lot of care. Next time I'll make pictures... I'm afraid I will have to repeat this procedure with my Nyctibora ooths :-( 

On 2/3/2018 at 4:51 PM, wizentrop said:

What was really interesting for me to read were the observations on diet preferences between adults and nymph. This means that they possibly occupy different habitats in the wild

Yes! Actually in the wild I've never seen an adult over the floor... only very high in the trees; and on the other hand, I've never seen nymphs on the trees. Still could be casualty, I mean... I haven't spent enough time watching them in their habitat, but it looks like an behavioural pattern :-D

On 2/3/2018 at 5:17 PM, Hisserdude said:

I have a feeling the nymphs spend most of their time in the undergrowth, while adults tend to spend more time above the forest floor. So the smaller nymphs probably have a diet more similar to other roach species, I have a feeling they'll eat more grain based foods than large nymphs or adults.

Yes.... and yes :-D your feelings seems to be right hahaha...

On 3/3/2018 at 10:58 PM, Test Account said:

Xenoblatta, I highly recommend this book.

Thank you very much @Test Account! :-D I already have it... it is certainly a very good book! 

I'll be updating this information every time I've got news... But at the moment the nymphs are doing well, at least I'm pretty sure they are eating well :-)

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8 hours ago, Allpet Roaches said:

Have you tried offering ootheca shells to isopods and other things to see what might chew on them?

I second this question, I have a feeling certain isopods might come in handy for gnawing down the ooths a bit, you should try offering a Nyctibora oothecae to some isopods before cutting them open.

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On 7/4/2018 at 7:54 AM, Allpet Roaches said:

Have you tried offering ootheca shells to isopods and other things to see what might chew on them?

Yep, I already have some ooths in cups with small isopods (two species) and springtails.. they don't seems specially attracted for them, so the ooths use to have over them as many bugs as any other spot on the substrate.... hopefully they are slightly making their (supposed) magic :-) 

On 7/4/2018 at 4:51 PM, Hisserdude said:

you should try offering a Nyctibora oothecae to some isopods before cutting them open.

Yep... I already did it with other fresh Nyctibora ooths, I think it was too late for the ooths I had to open (...for the embryos seems too ready to hatch)

On 8/4/2018 at 10:07 AM, CockroachTV said:

congratulation for the offspring. :D

Dankeschön!! I really like your videos BTW :-D!!

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