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Peppered roach blues


WarrenB
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I've mentioned before, I used to keep Archimandrita tesselata years ago. Second time around, they were very hard to find, and I'm trying to make a point of breeding them.

 

I started with twelve nymphs last year. One moulted to maturity on it's way to me, and died a day later. Three nymphs died for reasons unknown. Guessed at, but unknown. After reading @Hisserdude's blog and the Roachcrossing species guide, I figured I had been a complete dunce regarding their setup. (Nevertheless, four successfully made it to adulthood in those subpar conditions) A couple of weeks ago I moved them to an improved enclosure: more ventilation, more vertical height and surfaces.

Then yesterday morning, I found this:

PRoachBlues.jpg.79e27dce0e952e3c282797fbcb2c5927.jpg

 

It looks like this one moulted cleanly and then... just gave up. I don't know what happened.

 

I keep them in a 20 litre storage box with 1.5-2 inches of Bugznbits premium millipede and woodlice substrate, which seems legit. Also baked oak and beech litter and beech bark, from a forest that I'm pretty sure is far enough away from any agricultural pesticides. (My Oxyhoala duesta have been devouring the stuff with no ill effects) Fed on pond pellets and various fruit & veg, though they're kind of picky eaters.

The thing I'm least sure about is the heating, particularly in this season. I have a 15W heat mat on one side of the box that just about keeps that warm end hovering about 19-21°C (65-70°F) on a cold night. And this unfortunate individual was flat on the ground, pressed up against the cold side. It doesn't seem to slow down the four adults, but do I need to up the ante?

 

I have seven left, almost half my starting number, which is a little frustrating and embarassing. After this incident I finally tried to sex what I have, and as luck would have it, as far as I can tell, the four adults are male and the three remaining nymphs (two large, one stumpy) are female. (The recent death seems like it would have been my first adult female too) I'm tempted to separate the latter and 'hothouse' them, both to speed their growth and make sure they aren't keeling over from the chilly irish climate, though I haven't tried this before, and I wonder if it'd be a rash move based on panic and overthinking things.

 

I managed to breed these before without even trying. Now that I'm trying...

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I might up the heat a bit if I were you, and ensure they have good humidity. Usually mismolts like that are due to crowding, a lack of vertical hides, too low of temperatures, or too low humidity. However sometimes you'll still get mismolts like that even with seemingly perfect conditions, so could have just been a fluke. But from your setup description, the first thing I'd suspect to blame would be the temperatures.

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This moult went a lot better!

51831018619_3b0d987868_o.jpg

I removed the female nymphs to a tall 11 litre canister, and ordered one of those 'hi-power' heat mats to bump up the degrees. Turns out the latter wasn't really necessary when the smaller container size itself allowed the 15 watt mats to raise the temp to a more comfortable 75-77°F. Anyway. I found this girl behind the bark when I was feeding my small menagerie today. Result! I'll give her another day or two before I put her back in the main tub, and stick a bigger mat on that.

 

Thanks for the pointers, HD!

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On 1/19/2022 at 3:36 PM, WarrenB said:

This moult went a lot better!

51831018619_3b0d987868_o.jpg

I removed the female nymphs to a tall 11 litre canister, and ordered one of those 'hi-power' heat mats to bump up the degrees. Turns out the latter wasn't really necessary when the smaller container size itself allowed the 15 watt mats to raise the temp to a more comfortable 75-77°F. Anyway. I found this girl behind the bark when I was feeding my small menagerie today. Result! I'll give her another day or two before I put her back in the main tub, and stick a bigger mat on that.

 

Thanks for the pointers, HD!

Woo-hoo! Congrats! That's quite the turn around!

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