2/2/2023: Single file with Salganea raggei
Unique roach behaviors are sometimes overlooked in captivity, a fault I am often guilty of. However, on those few nights where I can prowl the bug room uninhibited by schedule restrictions, I often have some interesting experiences.
I don’t often look at my wood-eating roach bins, especially during the day, but some activity in a Salganea bin caught my attention. The group had made a long chamber along the side of their enclosure, and I just so happened to catch 3 large individuals moving from one end to the other. As if in some cartoon, they were lined up nearly head to abdomen tip, moving forward synchronously. When the lead roach stopped, so did the ones behind it.
Advanced parental care has been recorded in Salganea species, and like the distantly related but still wood-feeding termites, I guess it’s not surprising that an array of similar intraspecific behaviors could emerge. I was very enamored with the observation as the roaches’ movement possessed a sort of human-like awareness to it, something I have only felt in invertebrates once before when observing the oh-so delicate tactile awareness of vinegaroon sensory legs.
I suspect that styling a large enclosure like a children’s ant farm could make prime conditions for observing the social behaviors of this species and will be working on doing just that in the future.