Jump to content

Is this mites or fungus or what?


Recommended Posts

I have a handful of G. portentosa adults. In the past few weeks I've noticed a weird white "dust" on one of my males. Not a single other roach has this... just the one male. I've gently given him baths and have entirely cleaned and sterilized their enclosure several times, but the "dust" comes back within a few days.

Whatever this dust is, it's TINY. There was one occasion where I thought I could vaguely make out a little white mite walking around, but this dust stuff is sooooo tiny I'm not sure that's actually what I saw.

Additionally, I observed my affected male doing some weird behavior the other day: breathing heavily, holding is butt straight up in the air, and flexing his body... I found it very strange and it's hard to describe exactly what he was doing. My impression is whatever this white dust is was bothering him (he had quite a bit on him and I had to bathe him again).

Any suggestions on what this is? Grain mites? Fungus? Overgrowth of symbiotic mites? What's the likelihood of this infecting my other roaches of the same colony or moving into my other roach colonies?

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like some sort of mite outbreak. They could block up his breathing holes, and his weird behavior is an symptom of suffocation. I can not be sure without pics though. Try keeping the cage dry for a bit, it might kill whatever is on him.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does he have the good mites on him? If I let the humidity slide too far down (thank you winter) then my adults start getting dusty looking because the mites go and hide in the leg joints rather than wander around on the roaches backs. Boosting the humidity fixes them right up again. Each of my adults when "nice" looking has dozens of mites wandering around cleaning them, and they are really easy to spot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Freshly molted symbiotic mites will be white. On any given hisser in my tank the mites will range in color from almost clear to black-brown. The majority will be clustered in the underside joints (which looks really freaky), but there are always several moving around on top. The big adults will have a dozen or more visible since there's so much surface area.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Isopods are great friends to have in your tanks. They do need some moist places to hide in but they eat the white mites right up. I had a huge mite problem in my centipede tanks. I bought some rolypolys and now the mites are gone!

Spring tails take care of mold but I dont think they eat mites. Can anyone tell me if they do or not?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Isopods are great friends to have in your tanks. They do need some moist places to hide in but they eat the white mites right up. I had a huge mite problem in my centipede tanks. I bought some rolypolys and now the mites are gone!

Spring tails take care of mold but I dont think they eat mites. Can anyone tell me if they do or not?

Isopods are great BUT be careful, I've had isopods multiply so quickly in some roach tanks that they've taken over outcompeted the roach nymphs. In my experience porcellionides are the worst about this, and I'm sure porcellio sp. would be problematic as well. I'd suggest smaller species like trichorhinas or slower reproducing ones like armadillidium.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! This has been a great help. I've removed the substrate and am now keeping my hissers dry. Later on I may try to go back to a natural setup, but I'll introduce isopods to maintain any mite problems.

The mites appear to be in my Gyna lurida colony too. I've always kept them humid because I thought this species needed it. Do they? Or can I convert them to a dry setup as well?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The mites appear to be in my Gyna lurida colony too. I've always kept them humid because I thought this species needed it. Do they? Or can I convert them to a dry setup as well?

You can keep them in the bone dry environment as long as you provide moist foods such as vegetables and fruits. A lab I know has been breeding G. luridas for several years in a bone dry environment and they still have a fairly large and stable colony. Considering the fact that their range includes desert areas, I'm not surprised at the fact that these guys can tolerate dryness.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen this "dust" on hissers that have not moved or who have not been active for many days. I think it might actually be some sort of waxy cuticular excretion that helps to keep them from drying out as it can be wiped off easily by rubbing one's finger against it, much like the powdery wax on wild black raspberry vines. It's probably harmless to all parties involved.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...