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Pet roaches living alone, can they?


Keith
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Can a pet cockroach live by itself, or does it need other roaches with it? In the pet store they sell hissers by themselves of all sizes in small cages for $5 and say they live fine by themselves as pets but need a bigger cage as they grow and offcourse substrate and decor for molting. I thought somewhere I read that younger roaches eat feces of older roaches for some special enzyme to help them digest food, and without it they eventually die from not being able to digest food. I dont know if this is the case for the more commonly sold pet roach species (ex. hissers). And arent roaches social insects?

Years ago I bought 1 adult male hisser and it died after 1 month of having it, now that I think about it, it made me wonder if it needed other roaches to live or if it was just old.

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Can a pet cockroach live by itself, or does it need other roaches with it? In the pet store they sell hissers by themselves of all sizes in small cages for $5 and say they live fine by themselves as pets but need a bigger cage as they grow and offcourse substrate and decor for molting. I thought somewhere I read that younger roaches eat feces of older roaches for some special enzyme to help them digest food, and without it they eventually die from not being able to digest food. I dont know if this is the case for the more commonly sold pet roach species (ex. hissers). And arent roaches social insects?

Years ago I bought 1 adult male hisser and it died after 1 month of having it, now that I think about it, it made me wonder if it needed other roaches to live or if it was just old.

I've read papers that said that growth rate is decreased by keeping them in solitary, but it should be alright. Cockroaches are not a euscocial insect that way termites, some bees, and ants are. They aggregate together (some species more than others) but can live apart. Also, when a ‘roach molts it shed out parts of its digestive system. When this happens it clears out all of the good natural endosymbionts but it can be replenished by eating feces from other 'roaches or their own.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Also, when a ‘roach molts it shed out parts of its digestive system.

I've seen quite a few molts and have not noticed an attached digestive lining, I wonder if that's just an interesting legend. Besides, recent research has shown even the subsocial Cryptocercids can be reared to adulthood in solitary (those are the only ones where it was thought they would otherwise die).

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I've seen quite a few molts and have not noticed an attached digestive lining, I wonder if that's just an interesting legend. Besides, recent research has shown even the subsocial Cryptocercids can be reared to adulthood in solitary (those are the only ones where it was thought they would otherwise die).

I stand corrected. You know it's weird, I've never actually seen it either, I've just seen it referenced many times. I know the fore and hind guts have a cuticle though...interesting if it’s not molted in cockroaches. Come to think of it, I haven't first-handedly witnessed it in any insect. In that paper you read did it address Salganea sp. since it is also considered altricial, I wonder if the same applies to them (if you could post a citation for the paper, I'd love to read it)?

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