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Questions about the white eye American roaches


Keith
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1. How were they created? How do you get a dark-eyed insect to produce white eyed offspring?

2. Are there any other species of roaches who have been bred to have white eyes?

3. Does this mutation occur in the wild?

4. If you can create white eyes, what about changing the color of other body parts, such as legs,abdomen, or wing color?

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I'm afraid the most common story is not the real story. Thanks to a fellow roach enthusiast I was able to acquire a Nature article from September 1958 by G.T. Jefferson which reports the first occurence of the white eye mutation in P. americana. Apparently it was collected in 1947 or earlier from a deep coal mine and when the article was written it had been bred in the lab for more than 11 years. The mutation wasn't man-made though the only place it occured was in a single man-made coal pit and only a small percent of the population (it's a recessive trait and easily isolated). If the coal pit still exists it may still occur there but it's probably only found in culture at this point in time.

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Yes, the real story is way more interesting! You think it could happen with German roaches too, if someone has an infestation for years without getting the roaches exterminated?

Knowing that they will probably start trying to do that with other roaches.

I once had a B. Giganteus nymph with cloudy blue eyes. I dont know if that was because it was ready to molt or was sick, but it died after having a bad molt.

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Ok one more question.

I heard a myth that the white eye roaches are blind, is this true?

To be honest I'm not sure how you would test the hypothesis. Lack of dark pigment should at least diminish sight. Maybe if you were to cover the eyes in black nail polish and look for any changes in behavior relative to the day, night cycle? They may have setae capable of detecting light and dark however.

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I was thinking, cant they navigate with antennae or something? If a roach has it's head cut off it can still find it's way around, so I guess mabye they dont rely on sight? Could be something on their legs they use to feel around?

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