Identification help

matthias

Arachnobaron
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Jan 24, 2006
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We are trying to start a feeder colony of Discoid roaches and keep finding these "worms" in them. Tonight I convinced Mina to let me feed an adult Discoid to my T. blondi. After he crunched the roach and moved off a little I found one of these worms in the blondi's enclosure right where the roach had been. Can any one tell me what it is? For reference it is a little over an inch long and doesn't move.

 

Brad Ramsey

Arachnoknight
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Jun 18, 2007
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I think these are aborted ootheca.
Females expose them for a period of time to "dry out" (at least that's the theory) before retracting them for incubation.
Are you bothering / disturbing them a lot?
My opinion is that they should be left alone (almost ignored) except to check food and water once or twice a week, so they feel comfortable to properly hold and "cook" their eggs.

-Brad
 

xelda

Arachnobaron
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Jul 22, 2004
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I agree. That's an aborted egg case. Females develop oothecae outside of their body, rotate them, then pull them back inside their body for incubation.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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What are you feeding them?

Too much protien can cause spontaneous abortions.
 

matthias

Arachnobaron
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Jan 24, 2006
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I haven't found a lot of them, one or two a week.
I clean them out once a week, and then check their food and water crystals twice a week.

I did just do a lot of moving them around but mostly they just sit in a corner.

They get feed, what ever I'm feeding insects that week. We keep a lot of crickets on hand and have another feeder colony of B. latteralis. They get feed every thing from flukers cricket food to crushed dog/cat food, oat meal, fish food, and fresh vegetable scraps. I had been feeding the B. latteralis higher protein because I was seeing several with their legs chewed off.

Now the one I feed to my blondi could have been female how do you tell?
I picked one that was lighter with larger wings, hoping it was a male.

Thanks for all the help.
I'll put that back in with them just in case.
 

xelda

Arachnobaron
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Jul 22, 2004
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I haven't found a lot of them, one or two a week.
I clean them out once a week, and then check their food and water crystals twice a week.
It does sound like you're disturbing them too much. This species gets stressed out very easily if you are constantly lifting up all of their hides. Instead of cleaning out the cage once a week, you should just keep the area where the food dishes are clean and then maybe clean out the entire cage once every two months.

Finding one or two aborted egg cases a week is a lot if you're only just starting a colony. Each time a female drops her egg case, she has to start all over again. There's also no way for the egg case to hatch after it's been dropped.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Are you sure about that, Xelda?

I've seen lobster roaches giving birth after they're dead.

Seriously...white first instar nymphs coming out of a female that had the first half (head and thorax but not abdomen) of her body crushed by the tank I keep my colony in. The crushed part was crunchy, so she had to have been there for awhile.
 

xelda

Arachnobaron
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Seriously...white first instar nymphs coming out of a female that had the first half (head and thorax but not abdomen) of her body crushed by the tank I keep my colony in. The crushed part was crunchy, so she had to have been there for awhile.
But the ootheca wasn't actually aborted, was it? Sounds like the female may have been alive the whole time even with her body crushed.

I've read in research articles that females will usually try to give birth or abort if they can while they're being eaten or killed. But egg cases left behind by live-bearing roaches aren't able to hatch on their own. They dry out too easily. I think there was one known exception during an experiment where they incubated the ootheca, but it was already close to full-term anyway. Otherwise, it needs to be inside the female to complete its cycle.
 
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