Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

First, let's start with the good. My Paranauphoeta discoidalis have been doing great, most of my nymphs seem to be subadults or pre-subs, and my original female is in fact alive, I saw her in the enclosure a couple of days after my last post about this species. Soon I'll have a lot more adults, which is very exciting, this species seems to be quite hardy and rather fast growing. :)

Here are some pictures I took of some nymphs and my adult female:

This is such a pretty species, I'm so glad they are doing well for me. :)

Now for the bad. My last female Panchlora sp. "White" seems to be dying, and she didn't ever give me more offspring. :( I have about a dozen nymphs in the enclosure from one litter, which should be enough to keep the colony going, but I'm quite disappointed in the low production rates of my females, my other one died without giving me any offspring and this one only gave birth once.

Hopefully my nymphs will be more hardy than their parents were, I'm hoping that they were just stressed or possibly damaged from the long transit to my home rather than stressed from some aspect of my husbandry.

And finally, the ugly. My Chorisoneura texensis colony is on the brink of extinction. My adults had died off quite some time ago, but not before leaving plenty of oothecae. After a few weeks the oothecae had begun to hatch, which was exciting. However, all the hatchling nymphs were disappearing for some reason. There was some condensation on the sides of the container and I saw that a few nymphs had actually drowned in them, so I wiped the sides down and stopped misting the cage so much. That did not fix the problem though, the nymphs were still dying.

I soon realized the problem while feeding my culture though, the nymphs were being out-competed by the giant tropical springtails in the cage, Sinella curviseta. I had introduced the springtails to their enclosure as a clean up crew, however their population had skyrocketed, entering the thousands. As soon as food was chucked in the food dish in the enclosure, the springtails would swarm it, and the poor, timid little Chorisoneura nymphs didn't even attempt to push through the springtails to get to their food.

Now for most roach species, a big population of these springtails wouldn't be a problem, as most other roach species in the hobby are big enough to kinda scare the springtails away from the food. But the Chorisoneura nymphs are very small when freshly hatched, about 1 mm long, while a mature Sinella curviseta can be almost 4 mm long! When your clean up crew gets bigger than the roaches they are housed with, you can run into some problems.

So I went through the enclosure and grabbed the few healthy oothecae I could find and put them into a new enclosure with less humidity and without any springtails and kept my fingers crossed. After a few days some of the oothecae hatched! :) Unfortunately, some nymphs died due to unknown causes, and a couple got tangled up in some food mold and died shortly after. I may only have a couple nymphs left, and I don't know if they'll even make it to adulthood, so it looks like I may lose my culture of this species. :( These were the pride and joy of my collection, because even though they are small and rather plain looking compared to the above species for example, they were the only species of roach that I've bred that no one else has successfully.

Hopefully I can acquire more next year and try breeding them again, this time without any springtails in the enclosure. Let this serve as a warning to you guys, don't use large, prolific springtails like Sinella curviseta as clean up crews for really small species of roaches like Chorisoneura, you may regret it!

Well, thank you guys for reading this post, I'll see you all next time! :)

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