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PROBLEMS!!!


Zephyr
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Just the other day I changed my lobster colony; there were tons of fruit flies and quite a few dead roaches.

I opened it up today to a rank smell and about 1/2 my colony gone.

What's killing them off?!

It's mostly dead adults/subadults; the container is ventilated on one side.

Is this a virus? Or some other disease?

The same thing seems to be happening with my dubias; my other colonies appear unnaffected.

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How many deaths are we talkin' here?

Were the deaths spread across instars or just adults? I've been surprised a time or two by the number of dead adults that suddenly seem to appear (but I keep some species in my garage and the cold or heat will suddenly seem to take the weak or old ones out in groups sometimes).

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I think I solved the problem.

I changed the whole things again after this die off... I'd say I lost about 50% of my lobsters and 20% of my dubias.

I think it was fungal infection on their nervous systems; I'd find adults that looked dead but were actually writhing very slowly or were only moving a little bit.

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I've actually started doing research on fungi that live in insects. Right now I'm doing a project with fungi that live in the gut of plecopterans and ephemopterans. If you'd like me to take a look to see if your hypothesis is correct I'd be more than happy to oblige.

I think I solved the problem.

I changed the whole things again after this die off... I'd say I lost about 50% of my lobsters and 20% of my dubias.

I think it was fungal infection on their nervous systems; I'd find adults that looked dead but were actually writhing very slowly or were only moving a little bit.

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In Costa Rica, there is a fungus that eats bugs from the inside out. The bug can be alive for a day or two in captivity, and then- POP! Its dead and the fungal bodies are protruding all over.

Here is a pic I took of a cricket that experienced just such a thing:

CRtrip384.jpg

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I've noticed something; Everywhere this "disease" goes there are fruit flies.

Could the fruit flies be transmitting something to the roaches?

My orange heads were under similar conditions (moist for a bit) and they haven't had any problems. I think they exert an insect repellent actually; I never see fruit flies with them.

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I've noticed something; Everywhere this "disease" goes there are fruit flies.

Could the fruit flies be transmitting something to the roaches?

My orange heads were under similar conditions (moist for a bit) and they haven't had any problems. I think they exert an insect repellent actually; I never see fruit flies with them.

No connection at all. The flies only go to dead roaches, leftover food (even tiny tidbits), and (at least in one case) to the frass of the roach.

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No connection at all. The flies only go to dead roaches, leftover food (even tiny tidbits), and (at least in one case) to the frass of the roach.

Then I'll still assume viral/fungal. Mainly adult and sub adult roaches appear effected.

The lobster colony has lost all adults. Only nymphs remain.

The dubia colony is still hanging on; there are some very strong adult females, but most of them have this sort of limp, "stunned" look.

I have since cut the dubia colony down to only 1/3 of what it was with only nymphs and a few strong females. All adult males were wiped out earlier on.

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There is a bacteria that can cause this problem. Do they get a little pink or red after they die?

The solution is pretty involved:

ALWAYS wash your hands inbetween handling species. I use tongs that I can clean.

Destroy any livestock that appears to be affected immediately. Replace any substrate that you have (if you have) at the same time. If possible, wipe out the tub with a weak bleach solution (1 cup or 8 ounces of bleach to 3 or 4 gallons of water). You might also consider wiping down the outside and surrounding area of the tub with a spray disinfectant. Make sure the live roaches have plenty of ventilation. An occilating fan in the room can help. Make sure the roaches eat all of anything you put in there within 24 hours- no leftovers. Continue the hand washing and feeding regimen until you think you have a thriving colony.

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There is a bacteria that can cause this problem. Do they get a little pink or red after they die?

The solution is pretty involved:

ALWAYS wash your hands inbetween handling species. I use tongs that I can clean.

Destroy any livestock that appears to be affected immediately. Replace any substrate that you have (if you have) at the same time. If possible, wipe out the tub with a weak bleach solution (1 cup or 8 ounces of bleach to 3 or 4 gallons of water). You might also consider wiping down the outside and surrounding area of the tub with a spray disinfectant. Make sure the live roaches have plenty of ventilation. An occilating fan in the room can help. Make sure the roaches eat all of anything you put in there within 24 hours- no leftovers. Continue the hand washing and feeding regimen until you think you have a thriving colony.

I've cut out all that appear "infected." :blink:

The nymphs of the dubias seem unaffected; only adults dying there, while the lobsters took a heavy blow.

I'm hoping these guys will bounce back: The live ones seem pretty resilient still.

I did clean out their containers as well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello,

I´m very busy with the University (exams......) and I can´t read the forum as well.

I had the same problem with B. craniifer: I buyed 1,000; I divided the in 5 colonies (200 each) and started to die as Zephyr described (many fruit flies.......). I´m studing Biology and I´m working in the Enthomolgy Departament of my faculty. I think there isn´t any fungus infectation or bacteria, maybe Nematodes. Now, I´m working on them and I´m analyzing my roaches with one of the "Nematode Doc. Teacher" (sorry, I don´t know how to write it). Next Monday I´ll have some results about the analysis.

Best regards,

Javier.

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