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Strange hisser deaths


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Hello there!

I have a problem with my new hissser colony. I've been keeping them for a month or so. I've started with 5 hissers and about two weaks ago one of my males started to act strange. His behaviour became excited and he pointed his abdomen upwards a lot like he was trying to squeeze out something. After a day or so he became very slow and he seemed very weak and died shortly after.

I keep them in a glass tank with a metal part on the top. Their meal mainly consists of fruits like apple and orange, I always wash it and change it daily. I also give cat food and some cereals to their food. I use a sponge in a small bowl for drinks.

The temperature is about 77-80 degrees of Fahrenheit and the humidity is 60-80%. I, have coconut substrate and a large cork wood husk for housing.

Yesterday one of my females was starting to have the same symptoms with the lifted abdomen and at the end of her abdomen the supra-anal and the subgenital plates moved very far away from each other exposing the tissues under the plates. Today morning she seems very exhausted and nearly unable to move. I'm worried and I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or what could I do? Thanks in advance!

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Males sometimes exhibit that kind of "mating" behavior when they are very old and near death. I've seen elderly male hissers stumble around with their abdomens extended and genitalia flexing, and try and mate with food items and about anything else. It's... really pathetic.

I also have an old male Lucihormetica verrucosa who showed similar behavior about a week ago; I'm not expecting him to last much longer.

I haven't noticed this in females, though. It may be that she recently aborted an ootheca. :(

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