Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Bantua Update (Mostly)

Hello everyone, before we get into this post, I would like to start off by saying that I hope you are all doing well despite the craziness going on in the world right now, and that you're all staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing, and effectively helping to prevent the spread of this COVID-19 pandemic.
These are strange, scary times, and my heart goes out to all of those who have been affected by this virus, physically, economically, and emotionally. My deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones to this disease. This is the worst pandemic to happen in my lifetime, one of the most devastating events in the world's recent history, and as an at risk individual myself, the thought of getting infected is very, very terrifying. I hope that we can all get through this dark moment in history, my thoughts are with you all, stay strong.

Thankfully, despite the fact that the world seems to be falling apart, my roaches are all still doing fine. I sold around 20 of my Bantua sp. "Namibia" nymphs this month, and still have around 30 nymphs left. Some of the nymphs from this recent wave of births are nearly half grown, and I'm looking forward to the next wave of babies here in the next month. ☺

Interestingly, I've noted that for the first couple of instars, nymphs seem to lack any sort of waxy coating on their exoskeletons, it's only around the molt to L3/L4 that they seem to start developing that substance.

Also, they are really chowing down on the artificial pollen now, much more than before, and are also making noticeable dents in the chick feed too. It seems nymphs are more protein hungry than adults, which prefer the fruits.

Anyways, I nabbed some pictures of the nymphs and some adults recently, including some nice shots of my biggest female with a couple of males! 😁

L3-L4 nymph

L2 nymph, (note no waxy coating)

Adult female

Adult female and two adult males

Adult males
Weirdly, I found two nymphs in my colony with weird deformities, I'm not sure if they're genetic or just due to molting problems... I've never seen roaches with these types of deformities, it almost looks like the hemolymph filled "bubbles" you'll sometimes see in Tenebrionid beetles, (which can be fatal). 

I've isolated these two to their own enclosure and will monitor their development, if these deformities were simply molt related and the roaches return to normal after a few molts, I'll reintroduce them to the colony. If not, I'll assume the deformities are due to genetic flukes and euthanize them, (I wish my tarantula would eat them, but she doesn't appear to be hungry, just weirdly aggressive).

Weird right? Just in case these deformities are due to molting difficulties, which I'm assuming would be due to space competition and/or bullying from other nymphs, I'll probably be adding more vertical bark to their enclosure soon, for them to hide in between and molt from.

Also, one random update, that Opatroides punctulatus adult I had is no longer with us... That is to say, I threw some Apsena into it's enclosure, which I had collected for a friend, and when I went to dump all that substrate into the shipping deli cup a few days later, I could not find the Opatroides after a minute of searching the substrate... So I gave up. 😛 I'm sure he's living it up with the Apsena in their new home, it was a dead end of a breeding project for me anyways, seeing as I'm pretty positive I did get unlucky with it being a male. Thought I'd let you all know!

Anyways, I think that's gonna do it for today's post, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, stay distanced, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

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