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Long molt and help needed


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Hey guys, long time no see :)

Guys, I am a bit worried about one of my female A. tesselata nymphs. She is in the process of her final molt, but it's taking quite some time (I believe). She's been at it for about 9 hours now. Is this an "acceptable" duration or should I be worried (they usually molt when I am asleep or at university, so I don't know how long it takes them).

My other problem is that she tore of the old skin almost completely. All that's left now are her head and her legs. Are the roaches capable of freeing their head/legs with the rest of the old skin almost completely gone? I also think her intestines are poking through one point of her right side (of her abdomen).

I am really scared of losing her and honestly... I don't have much hope for her :(

Thank you in advance~

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:( I'm afraid that doesn't sound good at all. I don't keep A. tesselata but I have 3 species of hissers and none of them (at least the ones I've watched) has ever taken more than about half an hour to an hour to moult, so that does not sound normal to me.

Do you have a photo? It sounds like she has got stuck in her old skin, because the head and legs are usually the first parts they free from the old skin when they moult (the old skin cracks along the middle of the back of the thorax and the top of the head and they sort of "crawl" out head first). I think if she has not been able to free her head and legs then sadly there probably isn't a lot of hope for her, unfortunately, as she may not have functioning mouth parts and won't be able to eat properly. Much as I hate to say it, it might be kinder to put her out of her misery :(


What's the humidity in their enclosure? If it's quite low (under 50%) it might be worth spraying them more as higher humidity can help them shed.

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Thank you for your reply :)

Alas, I have no photo, as I went to bed after making my post (it was 5 am in Germany) and when I woke up today, she was still alive, but partially eaten. So I send her over the rainbow bridge :(

I was feeling like something was off with her quite early into her molting process. I don't know what it was exactly, but she just seemed to do worse than the others.

The humidity is generally adequate, I'd say :o I didn't have any troubles with molting before. I had misted shortly before she started...

Well, I guess you win some, you lose some (even if I had hoped to win this one and am quite sad)...

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So sorry to hear that :( I had hoped it wasn't as bad as you described it and she might have stood a chance, but if the others had attacked her it certainly sounds as if euthanising her was the kindest thing to do.

It sounds like humidity wasn't the problem anyway, unfortunately sometimes roaches just do have bad moults and don't survive, and it sounds like that was the case with this one.

I hope all goes well with the others in your colony :)

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If they get off all their old skin except for the head capsule and other extremities, there's not much you can do, those ones are usually goners. :( Not sure why that happens to insects sometimes, seems like a fluke sort of thing...

Sorry this happened to one of yours, hopefully she's in a better place now.

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Unfortunately you probably couldn’t do anything to help her, though I completely understand how you feel - I have felt this way too with some of mine that have died with bad moults, but having kept insects (roaches and also stick insects/walkingsticks) for about 18 months now I have come to realise that some of them simply do have bad moults, prolapses during birth or are just sickly individuals for no apparent reason. and there really is nothing I caould have done about it. Yes on some occasions I’ve messed up and have learned from that experience but now I have more experience of keeping insects I just put this sort of thing down to nature doing its thing and ensuring only the fittest survive.

Still doesn’t make it easy to lose one though :(

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry to revive this older topic again, but I got good news!

Today one of my other female nymphs molted into adulthood without problems :D I was afraid I had to little vertical climbing space in their box (which they never seem to use that much anyway and rather molt hidden away), but now my mind's at ease!


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