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G. portentosa nymphs dying!


Ralph
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:(:huh::( I have 46~ G. portentosa nymphs, and every few days/weeks some die. They are found on their backs, legs half crossed, twitching horribly. The nymphs are always either 1st, 2nd, or newly molted 3rd instars and either fat or thin. If I right them they sometimes attempt to walk. I suspect a bacterial or fungal infection, does anyone know what it is or experienced this before?
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I don't exactly know. They are in a Critter Keeper (plastic rectangular box with heavy ventilation on the lid) with mesh around the top, and I water them (20ml~) whenever the soil gets dry, which is around every other day. Sometimes I add more water, especially now in the dry winter.

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If I were you I would put some plastic wrap over part of the top of the lid to help hold in humidity. That may not be the problem but at least it would make it so you didn't have to wet the substrate every other day. What is the temp? It might help to describe the enclosure more in detail, there is so many varibles that can go wrong...

I don't exactly know. They are in a Critter Keeper (plastic rectangular box with heavy ventilation on the lid) with mesh around the top, and I water them (20ml~) whenever the soil gets dry, which is around every other day. Sometimes I add more water, especially now in the dry winter.
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There is 1/2 inch of dirt at one end, and it tapers down to none at the other end. There is a large cork, a wood chip, and 2 fake leaves. I hope that's good enough, I will take almost any change you have in mind to help.

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There is 1/2 inch of dirt at one end, and it tapers down to none at the other end. There is a large cork, a wood chip, and 2 fake leaves. I hope that's good enough, I will take almost any change you have in mind to help.

A couple thoughts:

a. What kind of wood is the chip made out of?

b. Remove the dirt. Replace it with something more roach friendly, like spagnum moss, any coconut product, vermiculite, or cypress mulch. 1-2 inches across the whole bottom. Let it dry inbetween waterings.

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Thanks, Matt! I don't have a clue what the chip is, but the nymphs always gather around it. It's pale brown and has no real smell. Second, I'll pick some coconut or moss whenever possible. My family never goes to the pet store much since we got rid of our dog, but I might be able to get some.

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Many new hisser keepers kill the babies because they require a much higher level of moisture. If you make sure there is available water for them all the time the dying should stop though some may never recover. Of course keep a section dry as excess moisture can also kill them. I would say it's a husbandry issue, not disease.

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Thanks Orin, I'll be sure that they are kept wetter. I feel so guilty now... Oh well. One female might have more, so I'll get more chances to not mess up. :)

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What works really well for keeping humidity in Critter Keepers is just placing a small piece of plexiglass or plastic on the top. If you have the same ones as I do, it will still have plenty of ventilation.

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