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During my farming of Locusta Migratoria I had several “outbreaks” of some kind - when suddenly, without any change in conditions, my locusts start dying.
I’ve since changed my methods to be more sanitary and isolated from any outside environment, it seemed to work for some time, but now it seems to be back.
I am having a really hard time trying to identify the source of these problems or coming up with a solution.
It usually presents like this:
after of period of zero noticed deaths, locusts start dying, not all at once but rather slowly (say 1-4% of the population daily)
in all cases so far the die-off first occurs in later instars (subadults / adults) and then spread to younger ones
it starts in one cage and spreads to other cages within up to a week
nothing visually wrong with the locusts, only in one case (so probably irrelevant) I’ve noticed a spot on a dead one’s face, see here: https://pasteboard.co/HX3V0rO.jpg
if nothing is done, they keep dying until there is only a few of them, at which point it seems to stop
if I let locusts from a "dying" cage breed and lay eggs, the successive generation is fine until subadult/adult again (or I haven't noticed any dead small hoppers)
I used to have Schistocerca Gregaria in the same boxes, same problems for them
Outside of these outbreaks, they seem to be thriving under the same conditions (permanent 32-35 °C, 12 H light, 30-40% RH, dry food + water)
Has anyone experienced this? Are there any known locust pathogens that would cause this? I am assuming it is a pathogen due to the way it presents itself, but of course I might be totally wrong.
Also, is there any "normal" or "expected" level of die-offs in locust farming? Or does any death always imply a problem?