Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Anallacta Oothecae, Arenivaga Adults & Other Stuff...

My Anallacta methanoides have started laying oothecae now, and I am very excited! 😄 Once I get some offspring from these, I'll finally be able to spread this species around in the US hobby, there seem to be a lot of people interested in these now who will hopefully be able to keep them going in culture here for years to come!

Here are some pictures of one of my females laying an ootheca:

Will keep you all posted on them!
My Arenivaga bolliana have started to mature now, mostly males so far, but I think I saw one small adult female in there too! Gotta rehouse them now, I didn't realize they were so close to maturity, and their enclosure is way too small for the amount of adults I'll have! Also, there is a sizable Porcellio scaber colony in their current enclosure, and while they haven't caused any problems yet, I am afraid they'll attack any new Arenivaga oothecae, so I'll have to eradicate them all.

Also, one of my Arenivaga floridensis "White" females has finally matured, and there is also at least one adult male in there that molted recently, so I hope to have some offspring soon! 😊 Half of my starter culture ended up being males that were close to maturity, (which have all died off by now), all I have left is this adult female, one or two adult males, a pre-sub female, several pre-sub or subadult males, and a few small nymphs I haven't sexed yet.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the adult female:

She's a real beauty, hopefully she makes a lot of oothecae for me! 😍
I have some good news and some bad news regarding my Pystalla horrida. Good news, I finally got them to feed on male Blaberus sp. "Venezuela", which they really seem to like! 🙂 Bad news, they still won't eat Hemiblabera tenebricosa adults or nymphs. I only have less than 10 Blaberus sp. "Venezuela" males left, and my colony is way too small for me to feed off any of my females. I have TONS of the Hemiblabera though, so I really need the assassin bugs to start eating those instead.

I think part of the reason they won't eat the Hemiblabera is that they often play dead and are relatively inactive compared to the Blaberus, I may try dumping way more Hemiblabera than they could eat in their enclosure, since they will likely move more if they are always bumping into each other. If I do, I'll be sure to toss some fruit in there so the roaches won't turn on the assassin bugs.

Anyway, dietary problems aside, my last Pystalla nymph has matured and came out perfect, here are some pictures of it:

Hopefully I can get them to eat the Hemiblabera soon, but I'm glad they are eating something at least! This has brought to my attention how minimally prolific my Blaberus sp. "Venezuela" have been though, so I should really look into revamping that colony...
Lastly, I just cleaned out my Paranauphoeta discoidalis container, since most of the substrate was frass, redesigned their enclosure and added dead leaves and moss to the enclosure, etc. I have a lot more adults than I thought I did, so I'm expecting to have a population boom soon! 😁

I've also learned that the adults of this species seem to need vertical hides like eggcartons or bark slabs propped upright in order to properly form their wings. Took me a while to realize this, and as a result more than half of my adults have messed up wings. Most of the deformities are not very noticeable, just very slightly ruffled wings, others look really messed up though. But hey, at least now I know, and most of my newer adults are coming out with perfect wings now that I added some more vertical surfaces for them.

Here are some pictures I took of a few adults the other day:

With any luck I will have a big baby boom soon, as some of my females look like they are going to burst!

Anyway, that's it for today's post, thank you everyone for reading, will see you all in the next one! 😉

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Deropeltis Dilemmas & Other Invertebrate Woes...

Happy December everyone! ❄ ⛄ Unfortunately, it hasn't been the best December for my collection so far, but hopefully that will change as the month goes on.

First off, several of my Deropeltis sp. "Jinka" oothecae have molded over, when opened the contents revealed brown mush. I'm having flashbacks of my failure to breed Dorylaea orini, as the same thing happened to their oothecae. 😞 However, it's come to my attention that I may very well be the last person in the USA keeping this species, so if I lose these, who knows when I or any other US hobbyist will be able get them again!? 😱

I've taken all of the oothecae out of the main enclosure, and moved them to a 24 oz container with good ventilation, a thin layer of almost dry coconut fiber as the substrate, and bark bits and pieces of moss here and there, so if/when they hatch, the nymphs will have places to hide until I find them. I've also thrown in some Sinella curviseta springtails, because despite all my complaints about them, they do help in keeping mold levels down.

The container is on top of a heat cable, well, the heat cable is wrapped in newspaper and the container is on top of another container's lid, just to make sure the ooths don't overheat or dry out completely, like they probably would if I put the enclosure directly on the heat cable. I've been misting them lightly a couple times daily, as the heat still does dry things out quite a bit, and some of the ooths were starting to dimple a bit, (a sign of dehydration).

So far things are looking OK, I really hope at least a couple of these oothecae hatch. Unfortunately my adults are getting old, and most of the ooths my females are laying are either tiny or really deformed looking. Will keep my fingers crossed for some successful oothecae hatchings, that would be a great Christmas present! 😁
Well, all but one of my Pystalla horrida nymphs have matured now, which is great! Sadly though, one adult came out with a completely bent and deformed front leg, and a deformed antenna. I doubt it can catch prey by itself now, so I'm hoping it will share meals with it's brethren, (which I've seen the nymphs do several times), otherwise I'll have to tong-feed it, and I rarely have success tong feeding things, (IDK if my hands shake too much or something, I've had a few predatory inverts attack what I have in the tongs, but they never seem to grab it...).

Also, none of my adults have fed yet, which worries me too, so there's that... I've got a few ideas on how to fix that situation though, so I'll keep you posted on them!
My Pasimachus sp. "Arizona" pupa has eclosed, just in time too, since the day before it did there was a little mold growing on it! 😮 At first, the adult looked perfect, the elytra are nice and smooth, there are no dents anywhere, all that was left was for the elytra to finish inflating and cover the rest of the exposed abdomen. Buuuuuuut, they never did. 😑 I am not sure why, but the elytra do not fit the abdomen at all, and there is quite a bit of abdomen left exposed. Really sucks, wish I knew what I could have done to prevent it.

Anyway, here are some pictures of it, first as a teneral adult, then with the finished coloration:

You can kinda see a little wrinkled, dimpled spot near the end of the elytral seam, I think that's where the elytra stopped inflating for whatever reason, and since that spot didn't inflate completely, they failed to cover the rest of the abdomen. Oh well, at least this deformity doesn't seem to hinder it's ability to survive much, it just ate a mealworm the other day.
Lastly, I cleaned out my Cariblatta lutea enclosure, since they don't seem to be doing all that great, and there were a lot of dead bodies in that enclosure due to a previous accident. So, I cleaned it all out, put in some new substrate, (no sand this time), new hides, etc., so hopefully they'll start doing better now!

Also, my main Cariblatta minima colony just seems to be going downhill, doesn't look like they will beat the mites. So, over the next few weeks I'll be periodically removing a few roaches at a time, putting them in a quarantine deli cup with paper towel as the substrate to make sure no mites came with them, and will then put them in with the small group of adults I separated from the main enclosure a little while ago. Then, when all of the roaches are gone, I'll thoroughly clean out and sterilize the main enclosure, and place them back in it, since it is larger than the enclosure I'm currently keeping the mite-free C.minima in.

Anyway, that is going to do it for today's post, thank you everyone for reading, will see you all soon! 😉

Friday, December 1, 2017

Last Chance to Order!

Some shameless self promoting here, today, tomorrow and Sunday are your last chances to make an order from me in December, after which I'll be taking the "For Sale" page down until early/mid January. Just letting all of you know, have a nice day everyone, and happy December! 😁

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Small Coniontis & Porcellio bolivari Updates!

My Coniontis sp. "CA" are doing very well, the larvae have all grown quite a bit, I think some of them will be ready to pupate soon! 😊 My females seem to have started laying a second wave of eggs too, as I'm seeing tiny larvae in the cage now. So, continuing a conversation I had with AlexW from the fine blog, Splendid Unknowns, I'm relatively sure we can conclude that female Coniontis do regenerate eggs after laying all the ones in their ovaries. There was a break in between the two egg laying waves after all, they definitely weren't just laying them the whole time.

Anyway, here are a couple pictures of an adult eating a dead leaf:

I just threw these dead leaves in there the other day, as they had eaten all of the leaf litter I put in the cage originally, and had been without some for a couple weeks. They went nuts for these new leaves, the adults especially, so they definitely seem to be a favorite of this genus! 🙂
My Porcellio bolivari are doing very well, and growing rather fast! Most of them have probably reached sexual maturity by now, so I'm hoping I'll see some gravid females soon! 😁 If I do, I may isolate them, to avoid any stress from males trying to mate with them or territorial disputes. For six isopods, their current enclosure should be adequate, but I'm not taking any chances with these rarities!

Here are a couple pictures I took of two females the other day:

The photos look a bit too bright from the flash in my opinion, but oh well.

Anyway, that's going to do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next time! 😉

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pystalla horrida Adults!!!

Well, apparently I've been worrying over nothing, yesterday I was doing maintenance in my collection, and found out that two of my Pystalla horrida nymphs had molted into adults! 😁 Shortly after checking on them all, another one of my subadults began molting into an adult as well. So now I have three, healthy adults, and boy are they big and stunning!

That premolt period was very long compared to all the previous ones, was very surprised to see adults in my enclosures, as I thought they were slowly starving themselves to death! Glad to see that wasn't the case, and that they aren't the picky eaters I thought they were! 😄

Here are some pictures of them:

Looks like I'm going to have to make a big breeding enclosure now, hopefully I'll get quite a few offspring from them! 😊

Well, that's going to do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all soon! 😉

Friday, November 24, 2017

Drymaplaneta semivitta Hatchlings & a Asbolus verrucosus Update!

It's finally happened, one of my Drymaplaneta semivitta oothecae hatched! 😁 So happy that I finally have offspring of this species, hopefully many more will follow! Funnily enough, this particular ootheca had a small spot of mold growing along the opening seam a week ago, which I quickly wiped off, but I figured the mold was coming from inside of the ooth, which would have meant it was a dud. I decided to leave it be just in case, and I'm sure glad I did!

I was able to get a few pictures of the nymphs squeezing their way out of the ootheca, but was interrupted and had to leave before capturing the whole process. Here are the pictures I could get:

And here is one of them a couple days after hatching:

I am thrilled that I could successfully breed this species, things were looking bad for my colony for a while, but it looks like everything worked out in the end! 😊
On the other hand, my three Asbolus verrucosus larvae apparently haven't been doing well in my care at all, I only have one left! 😞 Either their cage was too small and they resorted to cannibalism, (doubt it, since the last one alive is still rather small), I over-watered them (more likely IMO), or they don't like the food I have them. There's no hope for a future generation, that's for sure, I'd be surprised if I can get this last larvae to make it to adulthood! I'll definitely try my hardest though, I'm gonna keep the sand less moist, and may upgrade the larva's enclosure size soon too. 

Anyway, here are some pictures I took of the remaining larva:

At this age, it looks very similar to an Eleodes spp. larva. At a glance they look the same, the only noticeable difference being the unusual terminal segment, (which looks more odd in person). Hopefully I can get this last larva to mature, I will keep you all updated!

Anyway, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next time! 😉