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Christmas Moult :-)


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I promised myself I wouldn't post on here on Xmas day(!) but this makes it well worth it! One of the three remaining nymphs from the small litter my dead female gave birth to has just moulted, and I watched all of it happen - the first time I have seen a moult all the way through! :) I saw it come out onto the side of the cork bark (which is unusual as the little ones tend to hide a lot more than the adults) and it was making sort of wriggling motions, and then suddenly a split opened along its back and a pure white little creature struggled and strained its way out of the old skin over the next few minutes!

I am amazed at how much bigger the next instar is than the old skin it shed, and in fact it seemed almost to inflate itself like a balloon once it had come out of the old exoskeleton and just kept on growing. It was quite weird to watch! It is still pure white (and has now scuttled off back under the bark to hide) and it will be interesting to see what colour it darkens to over the next few hours and days as the previous stage had quite a bit of white on it (a sort of white "border" round the edge of the body and several white stripes on the top plates of the thorax and abdomen). They look most like oblongonota nymphs from the photos I've seen online but I am sure they are hybrids of some sort so it will be fascinating to see what colour this one ends up!  

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That's awesome! I've never seen a molt, though I did once find a freshly-molted white nymph, and I've gotten a couple of exoskeletons. 

They actually do inflate themselves a bit after emerging. Most crustaceans puff air or water into their new, soft exoskeleton so it'll dry a size or two too large and they can grow into it. 

 

By any chance do yours look like mine here? Mine turned out to be G. Portensa + G. Oblongonota, and the nymphs look like Oblongonota, whereas the adults look a bit more like Portensa.

 

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4 hours ago, Betta132 said:

By any chance do yours look like mine here? Mine turned out to be G. Portensa + G. Oblongonota, and the nymphs look like Oblongonota, whereas the adults look a bit more like Portensa.

My adults look more like the females you have (including the male who is much darker than your males). They are all a dark mahogany colour, including the nymphs, but the nymphs have a "border" of white around their entire bodies and very light undersides as well as some white striping across the thorax and abdomen, at least of the very young ones. I have looked online at photos of both portentosa and oblongonota nymphs and they don't really look like either, especially with the white striping on the body. I did see the one that shed yesterday a bit later on last night and it had darkened up without any stripes on its abdomen (still a bit of striping on its thorax and still a thin white border round the body) so I am guessing that the stripes will go on the others too as they get older, so I don't think that trait will last to adulthood. I'll see if I can get pictures of the little ones but they are fast little things that shoot away under something as soon as I open the cage, and tend to spend most of the day hiding anyway, so I haven't yet managed it!

My feeling, looking at photos on here and online (though I am no expert, I've only been keeping them since October!) is that mine are probably mostly oblonogonota, but they were sold to me as hybrids by the breeders who know way more than I do about roaches, so I'm sure they are not pure!

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