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Death of some orangeheads.... diagnosis help?


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I received some orange heads awhile back. I split the group into two.

One of the groups went belly up in the past couple of days...

Care conditions:

I was keeping them in a gallon jar with sphagnum substrate, placed in an incubator.

Incubator runs 35 C or a bit higher.

They had a mite problem that I was going to deal with when I had opportunity.

The jar lid had perforations, but there was another container sitting on top of it.

There are 2 other jars of roaches in the same conditions (N. cinereous and H. flexivitta - lobsters and giant lobsters) and both were fine.

No major change in diet in the past month.

I have not checked on them for 48-60ish hours (like 2-3 days) as we have had Thanksgiving holiday Break)

When I observed:

Most of the orange heads were on their backs with their legs twitching, the rest were dead.

What I did: Pulled out the twitching ones and placed them in a clean jar at room temp with a piece of egg cartoon. I won't be able to check them again until Monday to see if any revive (roaches are in my classroom where I teach). The jar of death and its contents were wrapped in a plastic bag, placed outside in a snow bank for several hours (to euthanize the poor beasties and any parasites/pathogens that may have been present), then brought back in and place in a trash can in the hallway (so nothing from it spreads to my other enclosures)

My thoughts:

Symptoms look like pesticide kill (on backs, twitching) but so far as I know, no new pesticides have been introduced to my classroom, and we have not done any labs with volatile chemicals recently (I hate that solubility lab we do that involves naphthalene!) Also, the two other jars seemed fine, but were right next to the jar of death.

I thought perhaps suffocation, as I know that the jar really is too small for the roaches I had in it. However, I thought that if it were suffocation, they would revive... when I left them, it did not look like they were reviving... perhaps the half dozen in the new jar will be right as rain on Monday

more to add later, have to soothe infant now...

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Too small of an enclosure for large roaches, most likely suffocation was cause of death.

I always open my completely sealed containers on a daily basis to make sure everything goes right. I know you said you had holes in the top but you have to make sure there is some kind of air flow going into the enclosure.

I bet you meant N. cinerea :)

I hope they pull through! They are a nice species to have!

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Thanks Roman. Yeah, oops on the scientific name... I typed it from memory.

Further comments (wife has infant now):

Suffocation would surprise me, as they have had weekends before with the same conditions.

I don't think that the mites would have killed them... but if they did, I need to be careful, as these mites are in a couple of my enclosures.

I'm glad I try to put each species in a couple of different enclosures just in case something happens to one of them. My biggest concern is actually that a student would put something toxic in with them...

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With your description and further comments I'd still say suffocation, the Nauphoeta wouldn't be killed by the same issue as easily. Well not exactly suffocation but damage to the respiratory system from the humidity and lack of airflow. The earlier periods would have been part of the damage rather than examples to the contrary.

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With your description and further comments I'd still say suffocation, the Nauphoeta wouldn't be killed by the same issue as easily. Well not exactly suffocation but damage to the respiratory system from the humidity and lack of airflow. The earlier periods would have been part of the damage rather than examples to the contrary.

Thanks for the confirmation. Guess I was kinda stupid for trying to keep them in such a small enclosure.

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