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Need help keeping baby hissers alive!


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Hi! Ever since my hissers bred, I've had the worst time raising insects ever. And to make things worse, I have another litter on it's way(I'll be seperating the female once she gives birth).

I had around 20, but their numbers just kept dropping within a month now. Often dying without a cause, I find them on their backs convulsing. The only times that had a cause was when I shut the cage top down and didn't see the roach in the way(poor guy!). And one just 2 days ago, which I think he was stuck behind the water cap for too long. I have 8 now, which have been thriving well and growing. I have 2 small critter cages I keep 4 each. The cages are  about 3.5 inches wide, 6 inches long, and 6 inches height. Pretty small, but big enough for how tiny they are right now, and are the only cages that have ventilation holes  too small for them to escape, not to mention easier for me to observe.

Diet: They are very picky. Because these small cages cause mold growth very quickly, instead of fresh fruit I'm giving them a roach jelly that's made with real bananas. They seem to like it, although it's a rare sight to catch them eating. I provide both hydration gels and water.

Substrate is coconut soil.

Because these small cages collect humidity very well, I only sprayed them down once a week. I don't have a heater for them, so I've recently been putting the cages *near* the heater on my beetle tank(I don't want them to get too warm) and they love it. I always rotate the cages near the heater. One at night and one at day. Maybe this is what they needed to help.

They are half Madagascar Hisser half Halloween hisser. The next litter is going to be half Halloween Hisser half Black Tiger Hisser(we caught their butts stuck).

Although we knew this could possibly happen, this was not intentional. We had no room just to keep our female Halloween Hisser seperate from our other roach collection, although we really have no choice now. We were really excited about the babies, but now I'm just exhausted.

Anything else I can do to help them thrive and keep them alive?

Thanks!

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have been having similar problems as you. i have never found any convulsing, but they just seem to disappear. mine are Madagascar hissers. I also use a coconut fiber substrate. I monitor the humidity and do use a heater which the hisser babies love to sit on. mine are picky eaters as well, which is common, and I feed as wide a variety as possible. next litter I will be creating a little roach nursery with a smaller terrarium to see if it would help to monitor them more closely.

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I recently bought some very fine dry roach kibble that's berry flavored made by someone on ebay. They love it! It states that it's a "super growth" formula, and ever since I've been feeding them that, they have been growing. One died, but I found a new one in the adult roach cage, very large! It must be the hybrid between our huge black tiger and the female halloween hisser. I have high hopes for these little guys. I'm now worried about if they will all find homes. 

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Normally convulsing like that means pesticide/chemical poisoning, very excessive heat, or weird genetic issues... Like them being:

On 6/5/2021 at 12:28 PM, Bugoodle said:

half Madagascar Hisser half Halloween hisser.

Do you have any pictures of them? Yours would be the first documented Gromphadorhina X Elliptorhina hybrids that I know of (I wouldn't be surprised that they could hybridize though), and if they really are that mix, it could be possible that the die offs are due to that specific cross not being a very viable one. Which would actually be a nice change of pace compared to the many other hybrid crosses that are SUPER virile and end up outcompeting pure stock in the hobby.

BTW, I personally wouldn't sell hybrids, but if you do then do be sure to label them as hybrids very clearly, because we are having a HUGE issue in the hobby right now with hybrids being sold as pure stock, which in turn makes pure stock a lot less common. This is bad because hybrids rarely retain a lot of the unique features of every different hisser species, so we are losing diversity in the hobby by losing pure stock hissers. :(

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On 7/12/2021 at 3:29 AM, Hisserdude said:

Normally convulsing like that means pesticide/chemical poisoning, very excessive heat, or weird genetic issues... Like them being:

Do you have any pictures of them? Yours would be the first documented Gromphadorhina X Elliptorhina hybrids that I know of (I wouldn't be surprised that they could hybridize though), and if they really are that mix, it could be possible that the die offs are due to that specific cross not being a very viable one. Which would actually be a nice change of pace compared to the many other hybrid crosses that are SUPER virile and end up outcompeting pure stock in the hobby.

BTW, I personally wouldn't sell hybrids, but if you do then do be sure to label them as hybrids very clearly, because we are having a HUGE issue in the hobby right now with hybrids being sold as pure stock, which in turn makes pure stock a lot less common. This is bad because hybrids rarely retain a lot of the unique features of every different hisser species, so we are losing diversity in the hobby by losing pure stock hissers. :(

I will take images tonight when they are their most active. They're solid black now, but some have pale stripes on their back.

I won't sell them. I'll throw the roaches in for free, if I ever get a beetle trade(I have 8 and more emerging from pupas superworm darkling beetles that need to go!). I want them to get a little bigger before shipping them off, just because they're still awfully small despite the growth spurts.

And yes, it probably is bad genetics. Before turning completely black, with a close look and a flashlight, many of them had the markings of their madagascar father. The silver and brown ones died off. I only had 2 of those as well.

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Very interesting, can't tell much from the photo but it would be very interesting to see what they look like when mature. If they really are Elliptorhina and Gromphadorhina hybrids then it is likely the genetic issues keeping them from thriving. I will say though that young hissers need more humidity than large nymphs and adults do, and that cage looks awfully dry. If there is no moist areas in the enclosure that could also be causing the deaths.

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Thank you for the tip. I spray it down once a week, this enclosure collects humidity real fast and due to that, causes mold build up. They had a fresh spray down this morning.  I have some very interesting news. One of mine has put his colors on and looks just like his mother(the halloween hisser) so far. I couldn't get a good pic of him. This new enclosure is round made with a stated "no-climb" thin plastic(they climb it with no problem). It's very shiny and he was right in the way for an inevitable flash. But I will definently get a pic if I find him in a good position.

 

Edit: He darkened back up. Guess it was a shed, and maybe a sneak peak!

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