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Is It True...Only Once???


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I recently read that hisser females only mate once. And that the one mating will produce every nymph she "gives birth" to for her life time.

Is that true?!?!?

Females can retain sperm a long time but six months is about the maximum. I'm not aware of any detailed experiments with results on the exact number of broods that can be produced from one mating.

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Matt K had an awesome answer for me when I asked this a time ago. See Post #8.


Ok, birds and bees time. ;)

There are a lot of things that can effect the reproduction in female roaches. I used to think that it was an "on" or "off" thing, much like women can be pregnant or not. Different species -even among hisser types- can have alot of variables. Long story short version would be how successful was the mating of that female roach and what kind of health condition is she in?

Long story long version: If she has had plenty of water to drink, food to eat, and maintained in a good temperature range, she will be most viable. Females have two organs that are used for the storage and dispersal of sperm from a mating. On a successful breeding with a male, sperm is stored in a compartment over the oviduct where the eggs go from where they are made into the brood chamber. As a batch of eggs are produced, the second sperm-related gland secretes a carrier fluid that washed over the opening of the sperm storage gland thus carrying sperm over the eggs and fertilizing them.

Analogy time: Take a cup of coffee. Hold it over the sink and turn on the faucet. As water flows into the coffee cup it carries coffee out with it as the cup overflows. Eventually all the coffee is diluted and rinsed out of the coffee cup. When roaches mate, the females 'cup' is filled with coffee, and as she makes eggs the 'coffee' is rinsed out over the eggs by ther 'faucet' gland.

Having said this, hopefully you can imagine how it really depends how much coffee is in the cup and how diluted it is and how that may effect the eggs being produced.


Because of this, some roaches like Periplaneta americana can lay fertile eggs for almost a year off of one mating. Other type of roaches may only be able to become gravid or lay ootheca fertile 1-3 times after mating.

Now for the negatives: If the female became dehydrated or went too long without food, the sperm could have been destroyed or even absorbed by the female, so she would not be able to become gravid at all. If she was in poor condition food/moisture wise when she mated, some or none of the males sperm may have survived the experience.

SO, to make a long story longer, that is why my answer was "yes, and yes". They generally don't need to mate every time to produce a brood. However, depending on housing conditions they might have to. In a good condition, I would think that if they mate every few months or so they would produce year round.

Thank you again Matt K.

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