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What ARE these things? Springtails? Mites? Gnats?


Spread.Out.Paradise
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Sorry for the bad picture, but I was checking on my Gyna roach colony today and I notice these little bugs running around under the cork bark I gave them. They found them hanging around the dish of alfalfa/spirulina and they dig into the substrate when exposed to light. 
 

I thought they might be springtails at first since I have springtail cultures going in different colonies but their shapes look a bit different to me. Their movements seem a bit sporadic for them to be mites too? Does anyone know what these are?674C2E18-A644-487D-B4DE-D39FF9899046.thumb.jpeg.38e7c1f8ba94e7d74a2d1391139ff070.jpeg

 

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Given the elongate shape I'm inclined to believe they're springtails of some sort, either that or booklice (which act basically the same as springtails in enclosures, but like drier conditions).

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10 hours ago, Spread.Out.Paradise said:

Oh, interesting. In that case I'm leaning a bit more towards booklice. I've never seen them freak jump like my other springtails do (unless not all springtails jump like that?). I also purchased a bunch of old books recently, so that might have been what introduced booklice into the environment.

Yeah if they don't jump then they're probably booklice, there are springtails that can't jump or jump very poorly but those are somewhat rare in culture.

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  • 3 months later...

@HisserdudeThat's interesting about the booklice! Have they been used at all before in drier roach enclosures to help keep things clean? I don't know if they could pose issues or not but I was curious if anyone in the hobby has intentionally introduced them to enclosures before. Sorry if this is a rookie question, I'm still somewhat new and have only kept roaches for a year, half that if we're talking seriously keeping them for the purpose of helping the hobby. Thanks for any info you can provide in advance!

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I don't think they're booklice because booklice don't burrow. I've had booklice get in a few cages from dried-out bark covered with lichen colleted locally. If they get too wet or the lichen runs out they die out. The bark species are about the size of a fruit fly as adults and a colony lays down a lot of webbing which can strangle very tiny babies of other creatures and there's little chance they'd be useful for anything other than observation. I've seen some tiny, yellow things that are much smaller that are probably booklice but they are also hydrophobic and not good cleaners.

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/6/2021 at 8:39 PM, RenOfTheRoaches said:

@HisserdudeThat's interesting about the booklice! Have they been used at all before in drier roach enclosures to help keep things clean? I don't know if they could pose issues or not but I was curious if anyone in the hobby has intentionally introduced them to enclosures before. Sorry if this is a rookie question, I'm still somewhat new and have only kept roaches for a year, half that if we're talking seriously keeping them for the purpose of helping the hobby. Thanks for any info you can provide in advance!

I've used them in roach enclosures the past, but springtails and possibly predatory mites always outcompeted them, so I don't know how reliable of a cleaner crew they are.

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On 7/3/2021 at 7:45 AM, Hisserdude said:

I've used them in roach enclosures the past, but springtails and possibly predatory mites always outcompeted them, so I don't know how reliable of a cleaner crew they are.

Ah I see. I've never gotten a chance to buy any before so never knew they could be used as clean up crews.

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