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I'm starting to really understand WHY the expensive, rare roaches are expensive and rare. My lateralis, cinerea, discoidalis, dubia, fusca, posticus and tesselata are all exploding beyond my comprehension. I started these colonies in January and there are more than I know what to do with. My decipiens, giganteus and subcincta are doing nothing, but slowly dying off.

I waited months for my giganteus to mature. They finally did and everything seemed great. Until I started randomly finding dead adults for no apparent reason. I did find a few tiny nymphs, but those have disappeared now too. I started with 15 smallish nymphs and now I have 8 adults left. All my other Blaberus are in the exact same set ups, in the same room with the same routine and they are all doing great.

I had a few E. decipiens die off, after maturing, for no apparent reason, but I was seeing ootheca hidden here and there. The ooths weren't hatching though. Just two weeks ago, I did see a few hatchling nymphs, but they have now disappeared. My adults seem fine, but are slowly dying off. I started these with subadults in January and they were all adults by Feb.

The L. subcincta stay buried ALL the time. When I fish around for them, they seem fine and are all adults now, but no babies. They were large nymphs in January too.

The room is 80ish at night and 85ish during the heat of the afternoon. Ambient humidity hovers between 50 and 60% all the time, but its obviously higher in their closed bins. They are all in 18 gallon bins with two 3x6" screened holes for ventilation. They've all got dead, dry hardwood leaves and 3 species of oak leaves to chew on. I keep a front corner of the substrate damp, and let it be dry-ish toward the back. They have dog kibble always available and fresh fruit every few days. Water crystals in a little cap at all times.

Can anyone see a pattern as far as which species are thriving and which ones aren't? Are their any other parameters to consider for why some species just aren't making it?

I also have craniifer, boliviensis, colloseus, E. distanti, H. flexivitta, and of course my old portentosa that are all doing fine and producing offspring. Not exploding like the above mentioned species, but doing well. I just found some B. orientalis and I've already gotten half a dozen ooths. Should have babies soon.

Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.

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As far as these three:

You might try misting / moistening the decipiens and giganteus a bit more than the other species, particularly the decipiens. In thier native habitat it gets really moist/wet for a third of the year (rains almost every day). My giganteus just seem to prefer very high humidity though they do get dry from time to time. Give the decipiens less dry food and more firm fruits.

As for the Lucihormetica- starting a colony takes alot of patience, they are very slow to get going. Once they do though they are consistant (just not fast by any definition).

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As far as these three:

You might try misting / moistening the decipiens and giganteus a bit more than the other species, particularly the decipiens. In thier native habitat it gets really moist/wet for a third of the year (rains almost every day). My giganteus just seem to prefer very high humidity though they do get dry from time to time. Give the decipiens less dry food and more firm fruits.

As for the Lucihormetica- starting a colony takes alot of patience, they are very slow to get going. Once they do though they are consistant (just not fast by any definition).

Thanks Matt. I had heard the giganteus like it drier. To get it wetter, I'll have to remove the egg flats. I've got vertical branches in there now and I can lay some horizontally on the substrate to give them something to climb on/in. Is this what you were talking about when you hinted at the hollow log? If it gets any wetter in there it may start to mold and mildew. I'm close to that point now. If I open the vents a bit on the bins then the water will all evaporate and then the bin will just be ambient humidity. What do you think? Given all that, should I just go wetter with the giganteus and zebras?

May I please have a few examples of "firm fruit".

BTW, H. flexivitta are doing very well. They keep surprising me by how much food and water they consume. I'm going to have to go with bigger food dishes for them now. When I first got them a piece of kibble would last a week. Now, a dozen pieces only lasts two or three days. Any fruit is gone over night. I did a sixteenth of a large orange the other day and it was gone in two hours.

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I personally keep my B. giganteus dry and I have no problems; In fact they're practically eating me out of house and home.

I did hear something interesting from a fellow enthusiast; They might need rotting wood in their diet. I have cypress mulch in with them and one back corner of the cage gets "stagnant" between weekly substrate mixings; I always find shards of cypress mulch wood that look like something polished them down, too.

As for E. decipiens, ditto what Matt said. I personally keep mine at about 80 and about 90% humidity and I have more than I'll ever need now (I probably have 70 nymphs from 2.3 adults with about 30 or 40 oothecae still unhatched.)

I've had hit-and-miss with Lucis too; I have a female L. verrucosa who has decided, ever since her mate died, to be the most productive little roach ever. She popped out 9 babies 2 months ago and she's about to explode with another ooth. My subcincta on the other hand... I had an adult pair that produced no young in a year. The male just died. I have 2 other females that have just matured and the first girl from the original pair is just now showing sure-fire signs of being gravid. Like Matt said, they just take some time. (Heat seems to help, too; both colonies are at 80 and 80% humidity.)

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I personally keep my B. giganteus dry and I have no problems; In fact they're practically eating me out of house and home.

I did hear something interesting from a fellow enthusiast; They might need rotting wood in their diet. I have cypress mulch in with them and one back corner of the cage gets "stagnant" between weekly substrate mixings; I always find shards of cypress mulch wood that look like something polished them down, too.

As for E. decipiens, ditto what Matt said. I personally keep mine at about 80 and about 90% humidity and I have more than I'll ever need now (I probably have 70 nymphs from 2.3 adults with about 30 or 40 oothecae still unhatched.)

I've had hit-and-miss with Lucis too; I have a female L. verrucosa who has decided, ever since her mate died, to be the most productive little roach ever. She popped out 9 babies 2 months ago and she's about to explode with another ooth. My subcincta on the other hand... I had an adult pair that produced no young in a year. The male just died. I have 2 other females that have just matured and the first girl from the original pair is just now showing sure-fire signs of being gravid. Like Matt said, they just take some time. (Heat seems to help, too; both colonies are at 80 and 80% humidity.)

Very good info. Thanks.

I've got very old, weathered oak and aspen logs in with the giganteus, but no cypress. I can buy a bag of cypress mulch and mix that in with the giganteous. My giganteous went through a big appetite surge just as the majority were molting into adulthood, but then it slowed back down.

I'll replace the egg flats with some old weathered wood for the decipiens and wet the whole thing down. Do you have any pics of decipiens babies? Does the second or third instar look anything like a lateralis?

Not too worried about the L. subcincta. None of them are dying and they seem pretty healthy. Just waiting...

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Very good info. Thanks.

I've got very old, weathered oak and aspen logs in with the giganteus, but no cypress. I can buy a bag of cypress mulch and mix that in with the giganteous. My giganteous went through a big appetite surge just as the majority were molting into adulthood, but then it slowed back down.

I'll replace the egg flats with some old weathered wood for the decipiens and wet the whole thing down. Do you have any pics of decipiens babies? Does the second or third instar look anything like a lateralis?

Not too worried about the L. subcincta. None of them are dying and they seem pretty healthy. Just waiting...

E. decipiens 2nd instar look almost identical to B. lateralis; At L3 they begin to show their characteristic pronotum markings.

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E. decipiens 2nd instar look almost identical to B. lateralis; At L3 they begin to show their characteristic pronotum markings.

Whew! That's a relief. I thought somehow a lone lateralis got into my bin. I didn't see how that was possible,but...

So I have at least one surviving E. decipiens nymph.

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Whew! That's a relief. I thought somehow a lone lateralis got into my bin. I didn't see how that was possible,but...

So I have at least one surviving E. decipiens nymph.

If you look through your substrate you will find more. The younger ones, especially newly hatched, seem to really enjoy hiding in the substrate.

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Mine seem to like to stay above ground. That's one of the things I really like about this species. Whenever I open the bin they all come out to say "hi". Unlike my L. subcinta who are beautiful, but hide all the time.

Anyway, I went ahead and removed the cardboard and egg flats. It rained in decipiens world today. Here's the new and improved version:

fng280.jpg

The wood is all old and weathered. Its two species of oak, mulberry, and aspen. They got some fresh plum after the pic.

BTW, I found 6 babies. I'm guessing they are second instar since they are pretty small, but bigger than when I saw them right after they hatched.

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Mine seem to like to stay above ground. That's one of the things I really like about this species. Whenever I open the bin they all come out to say "hi". Unlike my L. subcinta who are beautiful, but hide all the time.

Anyway, I went ahead and removed the cardboard and egg flats. It rained in decipiens world today. Here's the new and improved version:

fng280.jpg

The wood is all old and weathered. Its two species of oak, mulberry, and aspen. They got some fresh plum after the pic.

BTW, I found 6 babies. I'm guessing they are second instar since they are pretty small, but bigger than when I saw them right after they hatched.

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Those might work but weathered old wood is rotten wood that's partly eaten, those sticks look pretty fresh.

The oak has been laying dead in the dirt for nearly ten years. The aspen about 6. The mulberry was still upright on the tree, but dead for three years. The dead mulberry tree finally blew over. I'll look around to see if I can find something in a better state of decomposition. I'm afraid to grab something from out in the woods around here, because there is a lot of eucalyptus and I really won't be able to tell what kind of tree its from. I've got a big chunk of rotten Aspen trunk that I can use. Its the trunk of the 6 year dead tree, but it was submerged in the beaver pond. It smelled pretty rotten when I soaked it in hot water to kill any "stuff" on it.

Thank you Orin.

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