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Is it necessary to continuously add fresh bloodlines to established colonies?


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I'm currently breeding 4 species of roach, and as the title suggests, would like to know whether adding unrelated bloodlines is necessary for a healthy colony. I've heard many different things from many different people and would like to hear from some veteran breeders on the issue. Thank you in advance for any help!

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36 minutes ago, Aow said:

I'm currently breeding 4 species of roach, and as the title suggests, would like to know whether adding unrelated bloodlines is necessary for a healthy colony. I've heard many different things from many different people and would like to hear from some veteran breeders on the issue. Thank you in advance for any help!

I would say in the vast majority of cases, absolutely not. Really the only species in the hobby that's *thought* to possibly have issues stemming from that is Elliptorhina davidi (since the captive stock originally comes from a single gravid female), which have continued to flounder in captivity years after being introduced to it, but we also might just not understand some aspect of their husbandry. Almost all of the other species stocks in the hobby come from a handful of individuals imported multiple decades ago without any new bloodlines introduced since then, yet they still thrive to this day. 

As for first hand experience, I have some colonies that have been going self-sustained for nearly half a decade now and I'm not seeing any signs of any sort of weakening. 

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41 minutes ago, All About Arthropods said:

I would say in the vast majority of cases, absolutely not. Really the only species in the hobby that's *thought* to possibly have issues stemming from that is Elliptorhina davidi (since the captive stock originally comes from a single gravid female), which have continued to flounder in captivity years after being introduced to it, but we also might just not understand some aspect of their husbandry. Almost all of the other species stocks in the hobby come from a handful of individuals imported multiple decades ago without any new bloodlines introduced since then, yet they still thrive to this day. 

As for first hand experience, I have some colonies that have been going self-sustained for nearly half a decade now and I'm not seeing any signs of any sort of weakening. 

Alright I wont worry about inbreeding them. From most of the people that breed exotic roaches I've heard inbreeding isn't a problem either, but a few dubia breeders told me otherwise so I wanted to double check. Thank you so much for the help!

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Some of my observations from the “wild”.  German cockroach infestations seem to appear in most instances from a few specimens or a single egg case. It’s actually quite insane to see what that can turn into. 

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Almost all the species in the hobby, including most of the older stocks like dubias, originated from a small handful of individuals, and thus have all been inbred for years and years, mostly without any adverse effects whatsoever. As long as your colony is healthy and heavily deformed individuals are culled, there should be no reason to add new bloodlines, ever. 

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6 minutes ago, Hisserdude said:

Almost all the species in the hobby, including most of the older stocks like dubias, originated from a small handful of individuals, and thus have all been inbred for years and years, mostly without any adverse effects whatsoever. As long as your colony is healthy and heavily deformed individuals are culled, there should be no reason to add new bloodlines, ever. 

Thanks for the info! I'm glad I wont have to keep adding new blood into my colonies. If I felt like buying roaches all the time I wouldnt have bought a colony in the first place lol.

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5 hours ago, Aow said:

Alright I wont worry about inbreeding them. From most of the people that breed exotic roaches I've heard inbreeding isn't a problem either, but a few dubia breeders told me otherwise so I wanted to double check. Thank you so much for the help!

No prob at all! 

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  • 5 months later...

I'm so glad this issue has been brought up....having bred Dubia for the last 12 years I have unequivocally stated that by introducing "new" blood lines you are apt to introduce negatives rather than a positive. My argument was based upon my own experience purchasing a very large collection and bartering other people's roaches with my supplies....I give them chow they give me roaches. I began to see health issues with other people's roaches....primarily smaller females, lack of production, premature death. I also noted that the current dubia population was introduced 20+ years ago and all dubia have the same bloodlines.....assuming  that nothing has been introduced from the wild in any significant numbers. So when a group of FaceBookers thought they would share males amongst themselves in order to strengthen bloodlines via diversity....my point of view went over like a Led Zeppelin. The only diversity I have encountered is what I call "diet diversity".....feed your dubia nothing but cheerios and they will begin to look much lighter....feed them poultry feed which contains the patented pesticide DL Methionine and you'll get a bunch of health issues...including the aforementioned ones with females becoming adults in sizes no bigger than a quarter....so, just like all animals, imho should you purchase a group of roaches...quarantine them before adding them to your general population.....I've read that some pesticides can stay in the colony for up to 3 generations.....

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