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Jimbobtom

Hisser death, turned white almost like mold?

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I've seen this twice over the past several months, a mid sized hisser nymph dead. In between the stripes and on the bottom they turned white so it looked like a zebra.

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Do you have a photo? I have seen live (and very healthy) hisser nymphs with the colouration you describe, which was because they were very close to moulting and had stretched their old skin as far as it would go and the white parts between the body plates were showing, so it would really take a photo to show whether yours had any more untoward symptoms.

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That would make sense, but I double checked and it is definitiely dead. I got a picture, but it won't let me upload? It almost looks like mycelium. I noticed today there was some green mold on it too, but there was also mold on some fruit I left in the bin,  Not sure if the body is just molding at that point from being dead. The bin is very humid and moist with tons of springtails, green banana roaches, isopods, and surinams along with the hissers. I use this bin to feed out of for my chams. My main hisser colony is kept in much more dry conditions, though these ones seem to be thriving In the humid bin, they've been there for awhile, molting and growing. Have only seen this twice, but I wonder if it is humidity related?

 

A bit off topic here, but does anyone here have thoughts on feeding out of a colony that may have consumed moldy food? Often stuff grows mold pretty fast, and I remove it, or let the clean up crew take care of it. I usually still use them as feeders figuring in the wild they would probably be eating things that eat mold/decaying matter pretty regularly. Never noticed any issues, but would like to hear anyone's thoughts.

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I used my G. portentosa as feeders last summer to the point that I had no juveniles left. My mantids loved them! I occasionally had issues with procrastinating on changing moldy food in my roach tank, so my mantids were eating mold-filled roaches. I did not notice any maladies affecting my mantids because of the roaches. 

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Hmm, the type of mold you are describing sounds like a Trichoderma species, most are benevolent scavenger molds that come for their bodies after death, however, some protein hungry species can infect living roaches and kill them...

The fact that you have several other roaches in there that aren't dying off at an alarming rate means that your Trichoderma mold is likely a scavenger species, consuming bodies after death, likely thriving in the more humid enclosure. Your hissers are probably fine, but the nymphs may not like the higher humidity, or perhaps competition from the Panchlora, Pycnoscelus or isopods are stressing them out and causing them to die off... 

TLDR; the mold likely isn't the cause of death or anything to worry about, and is just consuming the roaches which have died due to something else. 

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4 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

Hmm, the type of mold you are describing sounds like a Trichoderma species, most are benevolent scavenger molds that come for their bodies after death, however, some protein hungry species can infect living roaches and kill them...

The fact that you have several other roaches in there that aren't dying off at an alarming rate means that your Trichoderma mold is likely a scavenger species, consuming bodies after death, likely thriving in the more humid enclosure. Your hissers are probably fine, but the nymphs may not like the higher humidity, or perhaps competition from the Panchlora, Pycnoscelus or isopods are stressing them out and causing them to die off... 

TLDR; the mold likely isn't the cause of death or anything to worry about, and is just consuming the roaches which have died due to something else. 

Thank you for posting! This would make a lot of sense. I found a few surinams like this as well, but also a lot of the roaches lived for a long time(until I fed them off). Strange because i thought springtails would eat the mold, but I guess not this kind? The substrate is pretty deep, I found a few pockets of this greenish mold when digging around.  Should I throw out my substrate, remove just those chunks of it, or ignore it? The isopods in there seem unbothered by it and are absolutely thriving, same with the springtails. Makes me wonder if the isopods were just stressing everybody out. 

 

And one other question, in a large bin, with small nymphs, tons of substrate, and lots of isopods... is there anyway to separate the nymphs? I have some porcelain roach nymphs in a relatively large bin. I think the isopods are bothering them, but it'd be near impossible to dig them all out to move. Any suggestions for doing this?

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9 hours ago, Jimbobtom said:

Thank you for posting! This would make a lot of sense. I found a few surinams like this as well, but also a lot of the roaches lived for a long time(until I fed them off). Strange because i thought springtails would eat the mold, but I guess not this kind? The substrate is pretty deep, I found a few pockets of this greenish mold when digging around.  Should I throw out my substrate, remove just those chunks of it, or ignore it? The isopods in there seem unbothered by it and are absolutely thriving, same with the springtails. Makes me wonder if the isopods were just stressing everybody out. 

And one other question, in a large bin, with small nymphs, tons of substrate, and lots of isopods... is there anyway to separate the nymphs? I have some porcelain roach nymphs in a relatively large bin. I think the isopods are bothering them, but it'd be near impossible to dig them all out to move. Any suggestions for doing this?

In my experience springtails don't usually eat that type of mold, and I'd just remove mold spots and clumps as you find them, but I wouldn't worry about completely replacing the substrate. And it's quite possible the isopods could be stressing them out, I'd almost never recommend housing isopods with roaches for that reason... 

Honestly I'd just get a strainer of some sort and sift through the substrate, removing as many Gyna as you could and then freezing the rest of the substrate... The isopods are almost certainly stressing them out, Gyna as a whole can be pretty sensitive to disturbances such as a big, thriving population of isopods competing with them for food.

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You can also use a pitfall trap to try to catch roaches, though it may be harder with a climbing species. You bury a cup up to its rim in the substrate, and you put food in the bottom, but nowhere else in the enclosure. If it's for a climbing species, you'd probably want to use a deepish cup and put a ring of petroleum jelly around the inside so they can't climb back out. You'll also catch a lot of the isopods, but if it's just roaches and isopods in the bottom of the cup, you can dump them into another container and sort them. 

If you have the space, my suggestion would be to sift all the substrate, pull out as many of both the roaches and the isopods as you can, then put the substrate in a bucket somewhere and keep feeding like normal. Repeat another time in a couple of weeks when any remaining critters will have grown enough to be caught. 

If your substrate is getting mold pockets in it, you're probably keeping it too moist, and it may be too deep. Also, there's probably something fueling that mold- possibly roaches are dying in there and it's growing out of them. IME, substrate on its own doesn't tend to mold often.

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