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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:26 pm 
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Over the past five days I have lost 80% of my Indian stick insects. These are on bramble but I also have Leaf insects which are even more sensitive on bramble from the same sources.

None of the leaf insects have died including the smaller ones which I imagine would go pretty quick if they had toxic bramble.

The bramble comes from the back of my house where nobody really goes and nothing is sprayed. The only thing i can think of is these were all adults and all hatched in the space of about a month but surely they wouldnt have all died so quickly?

I a going to monitor the few I have left and hope for the best.

Any Ideas?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Not sure I can help with this to be honest, but what sort of way did they die?

I know it sounds like a stupid question, but did you find them dried up, excessively soft and squishy or anything like that? might give clues as to what went wrong.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:35 pm 
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They are squishy I think. If anymore die I will have a better look. I did cut one open and it was all green and squishy.

What would them being dry or squishy mean?

The thing was I switched my bramble source from a roadside patch (which the council cut down) to a back alley where no cars go and nothing is sprayed so not sure how it could have poisoned them.

I have changed all food and have placed some more Indians from another cage inoffensive cage to see how they do. If they die I know all the bramble is affected. Luckily the roadside source has grown back a lot now so can start using that again.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:32 am 
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From your description it sounds like a bacterial infection give the container they're in a once over with weak disinfectant like Milton's if you haven't already. You've done the right thing in changing the food plant back to fresh and separating the sickly ones.
If they are dried out they aren't feeding and or it's not humid enough for them, they do like a spray of water every now and then, and drink the droplets on the leaves but don't over water them ether.
:thumb:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:14 am 
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Thanks.

They certainly have been eating as the bramble is gone within days. I have kept Indian stock insects for ten years now and have never had anything like it.

They get sprayed each morning along with my reptiles and phyllium. I will give them a good clean out.

I am supposed to be getting quite a few more species in a week but am a bit worried now.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Dranared69 wrote:
From your description it sounds like a bacterial infection


I've had something similar with caterpillars, and a couple of stick insects in the past, I think Dranared helped me at the time too!

The squishy thing also, and I'm not sure on this at all, just what I've observed, seemed to be linked to humidity for at least a couple of the things I've kept - with the stick insects, I genuinely beleive there was too much humity in the tank, and that, combined with perhaps a bacterial issue was enough to cause that squishiness problem.

I saw this with peacock caterpillars too, and it wasn't until I keep another lot, in a different style of tub that I started to think maybe humidity had contributed to things.

You probably know this species way better than me (I'm really new to stick insects), but it's worth considering everything.

It's good that you've seperated the sick ones out, if you still have enough left that look OK, it might be worth splitting them further to try and increase their chances.

Hope they make it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Thanks any help is appreciated.

They are in an all screen cage so it shouldn't be too much humidity. I have cleaned the whole cage with a reptile disinfectant then ashes it down very very thourghly. I have washed all bramble again just to make sure. I didn't have any die over night and the others looks good. Hopefully these lot are ok.

I had a baby Indian hatch this morning though so more are on their way. I only really keep these to get my phyllium babies eating.

Any more input would be highly appreciated.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:05 am 
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Hi
This sounds like a food issue rather than the humidity (although that would look the same if it wasn't for the next bag set up) Contaminated food is my first thought, and quite a few local authorities have been spraying over the last few weeks, there is also a chance ( only slight) that you have had some fresh growth added to the tank, late but after a strange weather cycle some plants do go out of kilter, some fresh bramble growth has a toxin in its early growth that stops grazing animals. Have you tried swapping foods, these will take Lilac, Ivy and hazel as well as other plants, may be worth trying if you don't stabilise soon.

Keep us in touch.

Regards

Graham & Janice

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:10 am 
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The food plant did have a small amount of fresh growth on them but none of that was eaten at all. I am thinking if it was contaminated food though all my phyllium would have does too but they haven't

I may try swapping the food plant species. At the moment the temainibg are doing well.

I just don't want to buy this new stuff and them end up being dead in a few days.

Thanks for your help.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:18 am 
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Phyllium are fussy eaters and more inclined to avoid anything suspect (or anything at all !) so I agree that probably sprayed plants was the problem , try using woodland bramble, much better quality and will not get sprayed.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:05 pm 
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The phyllium have been eating the bramble. I wonder why someone would soraying bramble down an alley way that very very few people to down. What would the spray be for? Hopefully the down pier we have had will wash some away.

I may go back to my old source. I have never had a problem with that before.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:54 pm 
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Not doing bad with my phyllium though. Had this female take her final moult yesterday



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:16 am 
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bradleyw1 wrote:
The phyllium have been eating the bramble. I wonder why someone would spraying bramble down an alley way that very very few people to down. What would the spray be for? Hopefully the down pour we have had will wash some away.

I may go back to my old source. I have never had a problem with that before.


Great looking insects those phyllium :D

Who knows what goes on with councils some times, it boggles my brain with what they decide to do most of the time :crazy:
Sometimes the reasons of die off in a group of insects is hard to ascertain unless you delve into a forensic examination to find out! The only thing you have control of is the environment you are keeping them in and any food stuff or substrate collected from out side runs the risk of bringing in harmful chemicals and/or biological pathogens into the mix. Having said that creating a balanced microbial environment is highly recommended for the health of some insects i.e. Beatles for them to digest lignin.
Even events in the wild populations may have been effected by imbalance in the smallest microbes IMO.
Look after the small things and the rest will benefit that's my thoughts on it anyway :thumb:

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Night or Day, Ying or Yang, Good or Bad, Chicken or Egg which came first doesn't matter neither can exist without the other. SAN '13


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