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S. lateralis oothecas being eaten by nymphs


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Experienced keepers, please help!

For the last several weeks, I have been noticing more hollowed out oothecas in my Shelfordella lateralis colony. I initially thought that some of them, such as the ones I have found in the food containers, were just being dragged into it. However, today I was working in the roach/spider room and observed a young nymph eating the contents of one of the oothecas not yet dropped by the female carrying it.

The setup is a clear 58 qt bin with four 2 inch mesh vents in the top. The bin is also opened at least once every 24 hours for maintenance or feeding spiders. I use roughly 5 full size egg crates with paper towel tubes along the sides to increase room (colony size approx 1500-2000). Food is placed in short cut off solo cups with are placed against the egg crates for easy access. Food is in near constant supply and consists of rolled oats, rabbit pellets, and some chicken laying pellets with fresh produce added in every several days.

Any advise appreciated, thanks!

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They'll cannibalize and eat eggs when they do not get enough protein in their diet. Rabbit food is a poor food source for roaches due to the high fiber and low protein content and should be left out. Rolled oats are a reasonable source of carbs, but also low in protein content. Chicken layer pellets are also not a good source of protein. They're formulated for less protein content, and higher calcium content. If you're going to use chicken pellets, make sure to use grower pellets or chick starter. Protein, protein, protein!

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I second the chick starter feed. All my roaches love it.

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I had wondered if it was a protein deficiency.

I had been under the impression that a diet high in protein could cause a uric acid accumulation (especially in adults) and cut my protein down to roughly 15% about 3-4 months ago. Anyone have any clarification on the physiology?

My lats have always snubbed their noses at chick starter but I gave them some of our dry cat food this morning. I hope this resolves my problem. Thanks for the input so far!

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