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mixed species cultures


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I've been working on building a feeder colony and it has managed to accumulate several different species.

Blaptica dubia(most numerous)

Blaberus discoidalis

Blatta lateralis(will be the most heavily harvested, currently very few)

some kind of mealworm(Tenebrio obscurus?)

Can anyone predict what will happen? I'd imagine that left to its own devices one species would soon dominate since in captivity there can be no resource partitioning. I'm hoping though that at least 2 species will remain in high numbers if appropriate harvesting is done.

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I'm thinking the Blatta lateralis will go first since their eggcases might get eaten or at least constantly disturbed by the Blaberus and Blaptica. The mealworms and those two live bearers should coexist a long time without much trouble.

If numbers are kept in check, multiple species -even less hardy ones- can be kept together indefinitely.

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Do you think the mealworm pupa will have any problems?

I plan on harvesting and hatching the B. lateralis cases to get the nymphs...so that will help them out somewhat.

My experience: Blatta lateralis are a hazard. Other roaches don't eat them, but they will eat other roaches during ecdysis. Even one lone B.lateralis in another colony will find a roach that is molting and feed on it as it molts, causing it to die, then feeding on it as often as it can until it is gone. Larger lat's will also feed on tiny nymphs of other species (partial assumption based on finding a Blatta lateralis eating a seemingly live nymph of a Panchlora sp. 'Giant').

...but this is just what has happened here at my end. I don't know if other people have found this to be true.

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Hello Matt: That actually confirms my suspicions. Often times when the roaches are nearing molting and they slow down they will be missing most of their antennae...I suspected the lateralis as the culprits. Hard to believe they actually kill the others though! I left orangeheads out of the mix because I feared that.

How will a dubia/discoid colony fair if I mainly harvested small nymphs? Also, I need some Panchlora to supplement this feeding need real bad!

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