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Witnessing Ovoviviparous Birth?


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I keep a colony of P. nigra, an ovoviviparous species. Ive never withessed a birth, as I'd assumed they give birth in their burrows. However, sometimes I witness individuals at the surface on their back, not moving much besides what appear to be contractions of their abdomen. I believe they may be giving birth, but can't stick around long enough to see it through. Have you witnessed ovoviviparous birth in any cockroach species in this fashion?

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I tried looking it up on Youtube of that particular species (Shadow roach, if I have it right) and don't even see a regular birth video, so, going based off of my personal knowledge, I would think it is not giving birth, as I've never seen an ovoviviparous roach ever give birth on it's back, but I also don't think it's impossible. I made my assumption that they're not giving birth based on the fact that you're seeing several individuals do it instead of one. If it was one roach, that could just be a personal quirk while giving birth, but since several are doing it, that'd have to be a trait of their species, and since most roaches don't give birth on their backs, I'd assume it's a different activity than birth. Have you seen any nymphs? If you aren't seeing any signs of nymphs, that's a strong indicator that they're not giving birth. Maybe it's just an unexplainable physical quirk like how millipedes randomly flail around (like this).

Then again my thought could be totally wrong as I'm new to the roach world let alone the inverts world. I just wanted to help you think about possibilities.

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On 7/7/2022 at 10:53 AM, coop said:

I keep a colony of P. nigra, an ovoviviparous species. Ive never withessed a birth, as I'd assumed they give birth in their burrows. However, sometimes I witness individuals at the surface on their back, not moving much besides what appear to be contractions of their abdomen. I believe they may be giving birth, but can't stick around long enough to see it through. Have you witnessed ovoviviparous birth in any cockroach species in this fashion?

Those sound like dying adults TBH, healthy roaches don't give birth on their backs (and Pycnoscelus do usually give birth underground).

By the time you check up on them later they were probably devoured by their tankmates, P.nigra are pretty good about eating their own dead.

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