|Baby hisser #1 next to daddy Frankie|
|The two still-pregnant females: Lola and Brigite|
Yes, unlike most insects Madagascar hissing cockroaches give live birth so I'm not kidding when I'm calling them "pregnant." Interestingly enough, if there is no male around they will create an entire set of eggs and then expel them if they are not fertilized. The first time I saw it I thought there was something wrong, but it's completely normal.
Unfortunately, I think momma Louise is going to die soon. She's been lethargic for about three days, which in the past has been the first sign that they were going to die. I'm really not surprised as the females were at least a year or two old when I got them and I have had them for some time. Louise was also one of the first two adults I obtained. She's still responsive, though, so I'm hoping she will recover. Her original partner in crime Thelma died some time ago. I also lost my younger male, Walter, recently after he had been getting progressively thinner for several weeks. I think Frankie, who I believe to be the father of the babies, had been keeping him away from the food.
I was going to clean the terrarium today, but instead I'll clean it tomorrow. I'm a bit concerned about the nymphs being delicate right now because their bodies may still be soft. They are born white and will darken to a dark brown color over time. This happens again each time they shed, and when they are still pale they are vulnerable and shouldn't be handled. When I do clean their terrarium I'll replace the bedding and separate out the babies and count them.
|Baby roaches #2 and 3 on the water sponge|
|Baby roach #4 on the wheat bread that the roaches love so much|