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How to mark an insect?

Tarantulas, Land Crabs, Insects, Scorpions, snails etc.

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TamanduaGirl
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How to mark an insect?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:05 pm

I know they will eventually shed any marking due to exoskeleton but is there some way to safely mark an insect, like a roach, for identification. In theory I could just watch for shedding and reapply. Kinda thinking a drop of nail polish, but not sure if safe.

So I put the roaches in the freezer too late one night and took them out too soon. They seemed immobile but the next day one was eaten by Pua, one was hiding under the place mat and the third was missing till I opened up a finished load of laundry and found her clinging to the blanket in there alive!

So she survived freezing, anteater attack, and an hour and a half in the washing machine with hot water and soap. I figured after all of that she deserves to live.

Right now she has been living in a container with some younger counter parts so I know which is her. One option is to toss her back in the tank once an adult since I don't feed adult females but I'm considering actual pet status in a little tank(I'll need to get one) but she and her current friends will grow up and I'd want to know which one is her. They're communal so I'd not want to keep her alone. I suppose I could keep changing out her companions for younger ones. No way to know if they actually bond to each other though. I know reptiles don't but what do we actually know about insects, lol. So might be potentially mean to keep taking them away. So marking her could be an option once she reaches adulthood.
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Re: How to mark an insect?

Postby Juska » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:31 pm

I think beekeepers mark their queens with nail polish. Bees don't shed though lol. Do your roaches have wings? Maybe you could mark the wing part; I don't think wings get shed with exoskeletons.
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Re: How to mark an insect?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:09 pm

Thank you. I did manage to find a paper documenting various methods and nail polish does seem the best.

Only the males have wings. The females do have vestigial wing covers, shoulder plate things. So marking that should be fairly safe. Maybe a dot on both for style reasons, lol. They don't get those till adulthood but that's when it would matter.

And since you mentioned it about bees I looked it up and dubia roaches normally stop shedding once they reach adulthood(unless there's a weird genetic defect then the second adult shed is normally lethal). So once marked it should last and she could be in the main tank safely. I was assuming they kept shedding like lizards and their skin. But it actually makes sense it would be limited to growth since more goes into it than making skin.

Edit: I just had a look now that she's grown and looks like she may grow up to be a male. I have less affection for the males but I could spare him anyway and name him Poseidon. I've seen the males back up to each other and fight with their wings but a mark high up will still probably stay.

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