Monday, August 25, 2008

Alarmed

Colony A is at the tail end of their third molting. I try to leave them alone when they are molting but the rearing container started to feel a little humid to me so I decided to clean it out. I was careful not to disturb the worms too much, but I had to take them out of the container to empty all the frass from it. All but a few of the worms were attached to branches so I didn't have to handle them much. I thought I was in good shape.

However, this morning I had to clear out six dead worms. This is the first time I've had dead worms that didn't look like they were really behind developmentally. three of them looked like they had some sort of molting issue - one had the old skin still on it's rear and, and two of the others looked like the old skin had formed a band around the body, like a really tight belt, kind of squishing the worm. The other three just looked stiff and dead. No nasty fluids, although they were a little brownish. I hope they don't have some sort of virus.

Colonies B and C are at the beginning of their third molt. So far I haven't lost any of those. I know I still have plenty of worms left, but I also know that if I'm not careful it would be easy for a nasty disease to wipe out one or all of my colonies. I'm hoping my hubby and I can finish the ventilated containers that I'm working on. I think that will help with air circulation and hopefully decrease my chances for disease.

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