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"Red" death...


Zephyr
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I've noticed in my lobster roach colony that a few of the dead adult and sometimes juvenile roach corpses I find have a bright redness to their legs and mouth area. I don't know if this is the cause of death, but I'm finding more and more cavaliers like this. Any idea on what it is?

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So it's rot? Some of them were still alive and I noticed the red. It must have a smell because my BD won't eat them if they are red.

I've seen it a few times on dead or dying hissers (animals can have parts of the body die well before the creature dies) in a healthy colony that has been around forever. As Blay mentions, the same discoloration shows up on crickets, and I've seen it on Nauphoeta cinerea. I'm pretty sure it's just a discoloration of the rotting exoskeleton (and innards). If there are bad conditions causing a lot of animals to die and the humidity is just right it may show up as a symtom of old animals or bad conditions, but it's not a cause.

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I've seen it a few times on dead or dying hissers (animals can have parts of the body die well before the creature dies) in a healthy colony that has been around forever. As Blay mentions, the same discoloration shows up on crickets, and I've seen it on Nauphoeta cinerea. I'm pretty sure it's just a discoloration of the rotting exoskeleton (and innards). If there are bad conditions causing a lot of animals to die and the humidity is just right it may show up as a symtom of old animals or bad conditions, but it's not a cause.

I agree with Orin. Is is an effect of husbandry issues. How the insects are kept can cause a bacterial issue. It is an advantageous infection of a bacteria in the (Serratia sp.?) genus. The reddish color is from the colonization of the bacteria. The best way to avoid it is to keep the colony really clean for a while. This includes removing uneaten food, not letting the enclosure get too damp, washing your hands before and after working / handling the roaches, and feeding them fresh food not partially rotten veggies etc. The most common source of a bacterial or fungal infection for a roach is from human skin.....

If there is a really serious case in the colony, clean the bin, use new substrate, clean or replace the objects they climb on, and destroy any corpses or live individuals with reddish color so other roaches do not nibble on infected tissue. The remaining roaches should recover very quickly.

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So do you know if the "red" comes from the cell death by a secreation (something like the aerolysin cytotoxic enterotoxins) or is it something totally different?

I agree with Orin. Is is an effect of husbandry issues. How the insects are kept can cause a bacterial issue. It is an advantageous infection of a bacteria in the (Serratia sp.?) genus. The reddish color is from the colonization of the bacteria. The best way to avoid it is to keep the colony really clean for a while. This includes removing uneaten food, not letting the enclosure get too damp, washing your hands before and after working / handling the roaches, and feeding them fresh food not partially rotten veggies etc. The most common source of a bacterial or fungal infection for a roach is from human skin.....

If there is a really serious case in the colony, clean the bin, use new substrate, clean or replace the objects they climb on, and destroy any corpses or live individuals with reddish color so other roaches do not nibble on infected tissue. The remaining roaches should recover very quickly.

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Wow i've never seen that happen before, guess thats a good thing though.

It is a pigment by-product produced by the bacteria as they break down the organic matter. It does not 'spead' in a colony so much as it is usually present or not.

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