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B. lateralis seeing certain colors of light


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I have some B. lateralis that I am using for a science fair project, and I'd really like to be able to take off the lid and study them copulating, though I know they are a bit shy about that. Is there a color of light that they can't see that I can work in? Or perhaps do you have any other ideas relating to how I could count the number of ootheca produced on a minute-by-minute basis?

Thank you so much.

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Most Arthropods cannot see red light, I use red heat bulbs on my enclosures because of this. However if your colony is large enough you should be able to observe copulation in any light. Females extend ootheca before they lay them to harden the casing so most pregnant females should be easy to spot. What is it you're testing for or noting for your science fair? Ootheca are not really produced on a minute by minute basis but over days/weeks. Are you referring to each count of copulation as an ootheca?

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I am studying how environmental factors (change in food/hormones) affect the reproduction of B. lateralis, and I was planning on counting ootheca and then hatched eggs to check it. I know that sometimes virgins make ootheca, too, or they eat them, which is why I was also trying to include the hatched egg part. Do you have any other idea of how to quantify that? If not, when do you suggest I count ootheca? I was doing every 3 days, and then I realized they have cycles within that, so then I was doing it morning, noon, and night, but the bio teacher said it might be better to do it every 15 or so minutes within a 2-3 hour period, though he frankly knows nothing about roaches.

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Sounds like you have a good bit of work ahead of you. What cycles beyond your three day count are you referring? The hatched ootheca are dependent on temperature and humidity and not all hatch so counting hatched ootheca is not an accurate way to determine successful mating. You need to figure out an average first which may be beyond the scope of your projects timeline. I personally would remove ootheca daily and keep them in separate deli containers with damp paper towels. Of those I would count successful hatchings and non to figure out your average. Once that is figured out counting ootheca under specific conditions can be lumped together and a final quantum of hatchings excluding the average non-hatch should be available. It's lengthy but a little more accurate.

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