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mehraban

Keeping Panesthia...

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Hi All!

Last week decided to clean and replace my colony of P.angustipennis cognata - and found that there was no more colony.

One young-looking male, pretty sad, one definitely old female, plus several nymphs of different stages. And that's all.

Communicated with roach-comrades, heard just the same: colonies declined. Panestias, Salganeas, some other species.

I even discovered that mine appeared to be one of the most long-thriving, usually they declined after 3 - 5 years, one full generation.

 

Mine thrived successfully since, AFAIR, 2011 or 2012,  when I found them in a rotting log in southern 
Lao and brought home.

They multiplied, I used them for exchange more than once - there were no signs of anything like decline, until, I think, last autumn.

Food - rotten hardwood, mostly oak, birch, maple, usually several times per year supplied wood from habitat.

T - normally 20...26C, in summer sometimes higher, but they survived successfully periods of 30C.

 

So: why? Any ideas?

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I know sometimes when colonies are doing good for a long time you can forget to give them the same level of care and they fade away.

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I think the problem with Panesthia is that people simply forget about them, due to the lack of frequent care they need, and sometimes they let it get too far and forget to water them when the substrate starts drying out, maybe the room gets too warm for their liking, substrate runs out and is converted entirely into frass, etc...

I know people who've had good long term success with Panesthia colonies overseas, you basically need to set them up in a large, poorly ventilated box with 20 centimeters of rotten wood and leaf mulch substrate, don't let them get too hot or dry, and basically leave them alone. 

As for why your colony died out, I'm not sure, could be any number of reasons, maybe they did just get too hot last summer...

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16 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

people simply forget about them, due to the lack of frequent care they need, and sometimes they let it get too far and forget to water them when the substrate starts drying out, maybe the room gets too warm for their liking, substrate runs out and is converted entirely into frass, etc...

What do you mean by "frequent care"? I do not like to disturb animals unnecessarily... And, IMO, it's not my situation, anyway...

Fresh wood, leaf mulch etc. - and never let them to be dry, though always try to keep some difference in humidity btw two sides of an enclosure.

 

16 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

I know people who've had good long term success with Panesthia colonies

For how long? In years?

They're pretty slow to grow and breed, so, IMO, 2 - 3 years is only enough for one full cycle, and period, which seems to be long in years, appears to be not so long in generations.

When they appeared in the hobby? In mid nineties, or earlier? Are there colonies, still thriving since that time?

Last summer was by far not too hot, I hadn't T above 25C for more than a week.

 

In fact, if they're completely dependent on their infauna for all their digestion, it's more likely for me that smth has happened to it, than to roaches themselves...

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8 hours ago, mehraban said:

What do you mean by "frequent care"? I do not like to disturb animals unnecessarily... And, IMO, it's not my situation, anyway...

Fresh wood, leaf mulch etc. - and never let them to be dry, though always try to keep some difference in humidity btw two sides of an enclosure.

Yes, I was saying Panesthia DON'T need frequent care, so people tend to forget about them entirely for long stretches of time. Seems like that's not what happened to you though. 

8 hours ago, mehraban said:

For how long? In years?

They're pretty slow to grow and breed, so, IMO, 2 - 3 years is only enough for one full cycle, and period, which seems to be long in years, appears to be not so long in generations.

When they appeared in the hobby? In mid nineties, or earlier? Are there colonies, still thriving since that time?

Last summer was by far not too hot, I hadn't T above 25C for more than a week.

In fact, if they're completely dependent on their infauna for all their digestion, it's more likely for me that smth has happened to it, than to roaches themselves...

I'm not sure, I'd have to ask, all I know is cognota is one of the faster growing subspecies, and it seems like people have been establishing cultures of them left and right in EU, I had assumed mostly from CB stock... I could be wrong though, information on Panesthia online is pretty scarce after all. 

Well if it wasn't temperature killing their gut fauna off, then I'm not sure what happened, do you sterilize your substrate before giving it to them? Perhaps a nasty fungal or bacterial pathogen got introduced, maybe some predatory wireworms that would feed on younger nymphs, etc... 

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