Bugs on my bugs..

socalqueen

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
221
I have three female Gromphadorhina portentosa (Hissing Roaches), I've only had them 2 weeks and I noticed all three have mites, which Ive read is naturally occurring in this type of roach. There are differing opinions on mites, some say get rid of them (and there's a lot of opinions on HOW to get rid of them as well), and some say to leave them be and that they are good for the roaches. I'd like to know what you all have to say about it, want to make an informed decision.
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
In all honesty, it depends on what type of mites they are. If they are parasitic mites, you will need to get rid of them, or else they can feed off of and kill your roaches. Although, they could be beneficial mites that can act as a clean up crew for your roaches. They could also be grain mites that are simply a nuisance in a roach tank and can be dealth with easily. If you can get decent pics or any better description of the mites, it could help determine what they are. Although, if they are on the roaches, that is usually an indicator of them being parasitic and feeding off of your roaches. May just want to get rid of them to be safe, but more info is always better :D
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
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Aug 8, 2005
Messages
9,213
Parasitic mites are usually hardier than the hosts. You could try exotic selective miticides such as cyflumetofen but it is unlikely any are safe or even have been tested on roaches.
 

socalqueen

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
221
IMG_0821.JPG IMG_0816.JPG IMG_0818.JPG
In all honesty, it depends on what type of mites they are. If they are parasitic mites, you will need to get rid of them, or else they can feed off of and kill your roaches. Although, they could be beneficial mites that can act as a clean up crew for your roaches. They could also be grain mites that are simply a nuisance in a roach tank and can be dealth with easily. If you can get decent pics or any better description of the mites, it could help determine what they are. Although, if they are on the roaches, that is usually an indicator of them being parasitic and feeding off of your roaches. May just want to get rid of them to be safe, but more info is always better :D
I tried to get pictures, this is the best I could do, but you can see several of them, they look orange or even light brown in color.
 

All About Arthropods

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
181
Those are Androlaelaps schaeferi, a mite that lives almost exclusively on hissing cockroaches. They are only beneficial to the roach as they prevent fungal infections and consume phoretic mites(which are harmful to the roach) so it wouldn't really be worth the effort trying to remove them.
 

socalqueen

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
221
Those are Androlaelaps schaeferi, a mite that lives almost exclusively on hissing cockroaches. They are only beneficial to the roach as they prevent fungal infections and consume phoretic mites(which are harmful to the roach) so it wouldn't really be worth the effort trying to remove them.
Thank you so much! That eases my mind, as sometimes they seem to have upwards of 15-20 crawling on them. Do they live in the sub as well or primarily on the roaches? So most likely they had these mites when I bought them? Also, if I were to breed them, does the mother pass the mites on to the babies? Is there anything else I should know about these mites?
 

All About Arthropods

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
181
Thank you so much! That eases my mind, as sometimes they seem to have upwards of 15-20 crawling on them. Do they live in the sub as well or primarily on the roaches? So most likely they had these mites when I bought them? Also, if I were to breed them, does the mother pass the mites on to the babies? Is there anything else I should know about these mites?
No problem.:) Yea, that's around the same amount mine have on them as well. Populations of these are limited to the roaches' body and can't survive off of it(they can't fulfill their moisture needs separate from the roach). Yes, I believe all captive stocks of Gromphadorhina have these mites(plus many Elliptorhina stocks). Not exactly, the mites prefer living on adult roaches and populations are either smaller or nonexistent on smaller nymphs.
Not really anything of use, although an interesting fact is that they were once introduced to a colony of B.craniifer.:)
 

socalqueen

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
221
No problem.:) Yea, that's around the same amount mine have on them as well. Populations of these are limited to the roaches' body and can't survive off of it(they can't fulfill their moisture needs separate from the roach). Yes, I believe all captive stocks of Gromphadorhina have these mites(plus many Elliptorhina stocks). Not exactly, the mites prefer living on adult roaches and populations are either smaller or nonexistent on smaller nymphs.
Not really anything of use, although an interesting fact is that they were once introduced to a colony of B.craniifer.:)
That's the Deaths Head roach right? So no other roaches have mites? I'm going to branch into different breeds, the deaths Head is on my wants list, amongst a ton of others. So mites don't reside on nymphs but will ultimately end up with them as adults? Nature is pretty amazing.
 

All About Arthropods

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
181
That's the Deaths Head roach right? So no other roaches have mites? I'm going to branch into different breeds, the deaths Head is on my wants list, amongst a ton of others. So mites don't reside on nymphs but will ultimately end up with them as adults? Nature is pretty amazing.
Yep. All roaches can develop harmful grain mites, but no other CB roaches have symbiotic mites. They are a very nice species, I currently have some nymphs of the "Orin McMonigle" and "UCR" strains, can't wait to start seeing adults! The mites prefer the adults, but small nymphs can also have tiny populations of them.
 

socalqueen

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
221
Yep. All roaches can develop harmful grain mites, but no other CB roaches have symbiotic mites. They are a very nice species, I currently have some nymphs of the "Orin McMonigle" and "UCR" strains, can't wait to start seeing adults! The mites prefer the adults, but small nymphs can also have tiny populations of them.
Thank you so much for all of your help. Are there pictures of your nymphs in this feed? Would love to see.
 

craze horse

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
139
Wow a few of mine have a couple at best! I've always taken the adults out and blew them.off into the sink then crushed them (I'm real tough) my mites are very pale in colour but it's not a problem as I have so very few. In fact I can't always see them. I have 6 adults in view and can't see one mite.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
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Aug 8, 2005
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9,213
All roaches can develop harmful grain mites, but no other CB roaches have symbiotic mites.
Since we are up to our eyeballs in them 8 months out of the year, how are grain mites harmful? While on the subject, same question regarding dust mites?
 

socalqueen

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
221
Since we are up to our eyeballs in them 8 months out of the year, how are grain mites harmful? While on the subject, same question regarding dust mites?
I've read that grain mites can infest an entire enclosure and eventually work its way out and actually infest the home, clothing, carpet etc. I also read that people still debate grain mites being harmful to roaches, some label it an annoying pest that doesn't physically harm the roaches, others disagree. So I'm wondering myself how truly harmful they are besides possibly spreading to the home.
 

Jacob Ma

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
281
If you really don't like the mites, even though I see yours as no problem for your roaches @socalqueen , you can try hiring some pseudoscorpions and/or small rove beetles which will keep your mite "infestation" in-check while being interesting pets themselves. I have had many of these mite species or closely related ones on several of my species and I noticed a trend of them inhabiting only the detrivorous insects in moister conditions.

By the way, grain mites are usually much smaller and in denser populations. Although they do not prefer live hosts, they will envelop dead individuals and also any food sources, producing a strong smell that may have some effect on your roaches. Phoretic mites are not really what you would call a "symbiotic organism" (except a possibility with the Androlaelaps schaeferi) but rather commensal or parasitic organisms because their presence usually offers no benefit or disadvantage to the host, but the mites have free transportation and opprtunities for delivery to possible meals when unboarding. While not being parasitic or directly harmful, the mites' large and dense populations pose problems when they are exposed to food sources that both hosts and mites share, and can cause allergic reactions in people like me from a buildup of fecal matter. Mite wastes, dead husks, or exoskeletons pose a threat to asthmatics and people with other respiratory problems, so for the most part these organisms are indirectly harmful and commensal inverts.
 

All About Arthropods

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
181
Since we are up to our eyeballs in them 8 months out of the year, how are grain mites harmful?
From "For The Love Of Cockroaches"-"Large infestations can kill cockroaches under humid conditions because the hypopus stage blocks the spiracles and can slowly suffocate the cockroach."
 
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socalqueen

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
221
If you really don't like the mites, even though I see yours as no problem for your roaches @socalqueen , you can try hiring some pseudoscorpions and/or small rove beetles which will keep your mite "infestation" in-check while being interesting pets themselves. I have had many of these mite species or closely related ones on several of my species and I noticed a trend of them inhabiting only the detrivorous insects in moister conditions.

By the way, grain mites are usually much smaller and in denser populations. Although they do not prefer live hosts, they will envelop dead individuals and also any food sources, producing a strong smell that may have some effect on your roaches. Phoretic mites are not really what you would call a "symbiotic organism" (except a possibility with the Androlaelaps schaeferi) but rather commensal or parasitic organisms because their presence usually offers no benefit or disadvantage to the host, but the mites have free transportation and opprtunities for delivery to possible meals when unboarding. While not being parasitic or directly harmful, the mites' large and dense populations pose problems when they are exposed to food sources that both hosts and mites share, and can cause allergic reactions in people like me from a buildup of fecal matter. Mite wastes, dead husks, or exoskeletons pose a threat to asthmatics and people with other respiratory problems, so for the most part these organisms are indirectly harmful and commensal inverts.
I will look into a "pseudoscorpion" as I've never heard of that, but then again There's a lot I don't know lol. The mites don't bother me, and from what I've gathered they actually help the roaches, so I'm not concerned with eliminating them at this point. Now if they were to get out of control then I may have no choice. I appreciate all your input and Info!! as you can see, everyone has a different opinion on mites, the harm they cause, etc. so sometimes it's hard to make an informed decision when there's so many differing opinions. hopefully I won't have to deal with grain mites or phoretic mites, not sure how to avoid them but I will be reading up on it for sure.
 
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