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Change in behaviour - hissers more combative


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HI all, I've recently noticed a change in behaviour in my colony of Gromphadorhina species hissers (probably hybrids, though they look most like oblongonota).

The colony currently consists of mostly adults with a few older nymphs. There are about 45 individuals overall, and all bar a couple of the original adults were born in my colony in January and April this year. The oldest adults from these litters had their final moult around May, and the colony seems to be quite male-heavy i.e. more males than females. Up until recently I have seen little or no fighting between the males at all, and they have been pretty peaceable together, although I believe they have been mating as some of the females look very pregnant!

However in the past few weeks I've suddenly noticed the males becoming a lot more combative and hissing a lot more than they used to. In some cases this seems to be fighting with each other, in other cases it seems to be trying to attract a female (although as I say I think the majority of females are already mated). However I now notice them hissing most of the time, even during the day (whereas before they generally rested during the day), and certainly as darkness falls. 

I haven't obviously changed anything in their setup - enclosure size or decoration, food, temperature or humidity - so I am unsure what (if anything) has triggered this new behaviour. The only thing I can think of is that the days are getting shorter here in the UK and it is now dark from around 7am to 7pm, whereas for most of their adulthood so far the daylight hours were much longer. However I can't believe this would have an effect on a species from Madagascar where the day length is pretty similar all year round, so I am wondering whether anyone else has seen a sudden increase of fighting in their hisser colonies and if so did you pin down what might have caused it?

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They get more active during the night, so if it’s night longer they are active longer which gives them more time to get anoyed with each other, that’s what I’m thinking, are the days getting warmer?

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