C. elegans Eggs With Legs Help

Varden

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
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May 22, 2005
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704
I have a sick feeling I already know the answer to this, but I could use some advice from anyone with experience breeding these guys.

Nearly all of my C. elegans slings have died this last week. Here's my setup:

The heat in my gravid mamas room is 80 during the day and 78 at night. The humidity in the mechanical mom is 85%, with a fan outside the tank that comes on periodically to provide good airflow through the room. The sac hatched out successfully under these conditions.

How they hatched:

Mom had them for 2 weeks. I then pulled the sac and continued to turn it another week before opening to check the progress. We had a few clumps of bad eggs, but the majority looked healthy and we had good development. Out of 172 approx eggs (hard to count the clumps), 119 developed into eggs with legs. I put them into a deli cup, moist soil in the bottom with a soft papertowel hammock and left them in the bottom of the mechanical mom.

Everything looked good. I left to visit my sisters' for two days and when I came back, the elegans were dead or dying. My husband had kept an eye on things as much as he's able. He can verify that we had no temperature spike or power outage. Some had molted, but there didn't look to be anybody stuck in molts to suggest a humidity problem. Never the less, I took them out of the hammock and put them directly onto damp soil, thinking maybe they require access to direct water much earlier than any of my other slings. Only 32 were alive at this point.

For the next day and a half, slings kept dying, then it stopped. I have 9 1st instar slings still alive on damp soil. Was this coincidence? Does anyone have any idea what happened here? I've never had to 'water' eggs with legs before. :( :confused:
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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Feb 13, 2006
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8,662
Oh man I am sorry to hear that.
I have only mated those little buggers once and I had much the same trouble you had. I did get 35 in the end. But I think the only thing that saved those was me transferring them into a setup with them on wet paper towel at the eggs with legs stage and there seemed to be a small amount of water consumption by the little guys.

Out of curiosity what are you using to measure humidity?

When and if I try these guys again I am going to try for a setup that has more ventilation. I think the combo of high humidity and lack of proper air flow is what killed all mine. I can’t say for sure with yours. But molt problems points to low or to high in the humidity department or lack of air circulating.

It’s frustrating when all that work wastes away right in front of you.......... Sorry for your loss.
 
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Becky

Arachnolord
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Sep 17, 2006
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642
I'm pretty sure people normally leave the eggsacs with the mothers for at least 6 weeks? Then when u pull it you normally have EWL and possibly some N2's? Maybe i'm wrong...

Sorry for your loss *hugs*
 

P. Novak

ArachnoGod
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Sep 12, 2005
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6,234
Dang Varden that is horrible to hear. I'm sorry for your loss.

It certainly sounds like you had everything right, maybe the humidity wasn't enough or one day not home the temp spiked up a bit? It's really hard to tell what exactly happened. Atleast you still have some..

EDIT: Just read that your hubby assured there was no temp. spike.
 

tarcan

Arachnoking
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Mar 8, 2003
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2,098
Varden,

Sorry to hear about your loss. In my experience, C. elegans incubation does not require anything different then other species. I cannot say why you had such trouble with yours unfortunatly, but I will share how I do mine in case it could be of help.

Here is how I incubate all my eggsacs (besides a few exceptions) and I have successfully hatched over 20 eggsacs of this species and a few more of other Cyriocosmus spp.

I leave the eggsac with the mother for 30 days or so. By then, I remove it and open it, the content is either 1st instar or very close to molting into.

The temps in my room are slightly lower then 80 F max and drops to about 70 at night. Humidity is at 60% minimum, but inside the incubator is slightly higher, I never measured it. The only thing I would have to guess is that maybe 85% is a little too high. I find that high humidity in incubators make the larvae clump together.

I empty the content of the eggsac on wet papertowel that I place in a plastic deli cup. That's it, no turning, no taking care of except adding water on the paper towel when need. Never have any problems.

I hope you have better luck next time, if you are lucky your female will double clutch.

Martin
 

Mina

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Oct 4, 2005
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2,136
Varden, I don't know anything about breeding, but I hope things work out well for you. I'll be sending you positive energy!!!!!!
 
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