My Expanding Family: Do not watch if of a squeamish nature.
However the food situation is now getting desperate, and I am eking it out. The firm has taken my money (quite a lot of it) but has ignored all my attempts to contact them, so I have now made a dispute claim with paypal. I do know another firm which is more reliable, but unfortunately they are on holiday until mid-March...oh, the drama!
Since they are 5 days old they really should have moulted by now and should be in their second instar. If you click on the photo above I think you can see that some of them are half brown and half white, and wonder if they are in 'mid-moult' and the moulting process is not as dramatic as I'd imagined. I'd expected a cracking open of skin, but instead it seems to be a very thin outer brown layer that gradually rolls or wears away from the head-end revealing the whiter skin beneath.
Comparing this photo with the one two days ago, I can see that their white portion has increased, indeed some have lost their brown skin altogether, and the brown portion that remains is shiny, as if stretched.