Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cariblatta Crashes & Pystalla Problems...

Well, I've been having a stroke of bad luck with my Cariblatta cultures lately. Luckily it doesn't seem like I'll be losing either species from my collection any time soon, but their numbers have been diminished a bit...

I forgot to feed my Cariblatta lutea a few weeks ago, just one missed feeding, but in the three days they were without food, I lost about half of my adult population, and quite a few nymphs too. 😢 It was quite a stupid mistake, I simply took their moldy food out of their enclosure when it came time to do maintenance, but forgot to put some new food in. Luckily the remaining individuals seem to be doing well, and I still have a couple dozen or so individuals, but it really sucks, because my culture was undergoing it's first big population boom...

Meanwhile, my Cariblatta minima culture has become infected with some sort of small, round, dark red mites, and they seem to be affecting their overall health quite a bit. Most of the remaining Cariblatta are too small to pick out individually without also collecting some of the mites, so I was only able to pick out a few adult females and two adult males, along with one subadult female, and I have moved them to their own, mite free enclosure, in the hopes of establishing a new colony in case the old one dies off completely.

I also added lots of Sinella curviseta springtails to the mite infested culture, in the hopes of them out-competing the mites and saving the Cariblatta minima, and I added more hides for the Cariblatta and springtails as well. Maybe the mites will die off and the roaches will bounce back, we'll see, for now though I am keeping them in my bathroom, far from my other enclosures, so the mites don't spread to the rest of my collection.
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My Pystalla horrida subadults are being SO picky when it comes to feeding, they are refusing to go after prey in the standard enclosures I have them housed in, so I've been trying different enclosures, hide types, hide placements, and food types in an attempt to get them to feed. So far I've had no luck, and it's driving me up the walls with frustration... I got these to help relieve me of stress by getting rid of excess roaches, not to create more stress! 😩

I really don't know why they won't eat anymore, they fed just fine for me on a wide variety of prey items up until now. I suspect they want a specific type of hide to perch from and swoop down on their prey, but nothing I've done seems to be adequate for them... Hopefully I can get them to start eating normally again soon, I really want to be successful in breeding these beasties!

Oh well, I think that's gonna do it for this rant of a post, hopefully the next one will be a little more upbeat! Thank you all for reading, will see you next time!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lanxoblatta & Corydidarum Updates! (Picture Heavy!)

I moved my Lanxoblatta rudis to a larger enclosure recently, but most of it is empty, I need to buy some more bark for them soon. Right now they should be comfortable the way things are though, and indeed there has been some molting activity! 😁

My female nymph molted, into what I assume is the subadult stage, as she is quite large now! My male nymph also molted, into an adult! My original adult pair are still doing well, and I even got some pictures of my female a few days ago!

Here are some pictures of them:

Adult pair, female on the left, male on the right
















Adult female






































Adult male


















Subadult female
















Subadult male



















Freshly molted adult male





















Their new enclosure (I surrounded their bark hide area with cardboard, to make them feel a little more comfortable)
















Hopefully I'll be able to find some suitable bark for them soon, will let you all know when I do!
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It looks like one of my newer Corydidarum pygmaea females gave birth a few days ago, which I was definitely not expecting! Their male brethren are still alive, usually the females don't give birth until several months after all the males are dead, (at least all the males that matured at the same time they did, that is). Super surprised and happy to see this newest litter of Corydidarum nymphs, glad this species is doing well for me! 😊

Here are a couple pictures of the newborns and their mother:




















Aren't they just the cutest little things? 😄 Even the adults are cute!

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

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Armadillidium, Anallacta & Panchlora, Oh My!

Pretty sure I made the same pun on a different post title as well, but whatever! 😜

My Armadillidium maculatum "Dalmatian" colony is doing quite well, and I've been doing my best to selectively breed for the most white coloration possible, while still retaining a good amount of grey spots too! I'm pretty sure I've done that now, here are a couple pictures I took of one particularly good looking individual:




















Nice, right? I'll take the silence as yes! 😆 Hopefully these will become more widespread in the hobby soon, it's a beautiful strain of an already very attractive species, that every isopod enthusiast should have!
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My Anallacta methanoides are maturing like mad, and I have quite a few females now! I should be getting plenty of oothecae soon! 😁

Here are a couple pictures of a mating pair:















Can't wait until I get some oothecae from them!
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At least one of my Panchlora sp. "Costa Rica Yellow" females has given birth, there are more than a dozen tiny nymphs crawling around the enclosure now! 😊 I am quite relieved, as I was beginning to doubt if they would ever give birth, after their substrate was infected with a nasty fungus a month or two ago. Things are definitely looking up though, which is great! No pictures of the little nymphs unfortunately, they are just too small right now.
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I finally moved all of my Panchlora sp. "White" to a medium sized enclosure, with plenty of bark, dead leaves, and New Zealand sphagnum moss for hides. There are three areas where I place food in the cage, so the adults are always sure to find some, let's hope they like it! Unfortunately the enclosure did get inoculated with Sinella curviseta accidentally, so now I have to keep my eye on them and make sure their numbers don't get out of control...

Also, while moving my old female and her nymphs to this new enclosure, I discovered that she actually gave birth to a good sized litter, a dozen or more nymphs! I thought she only produced half that much, so this was quite a pleasant surprise! 😄

Here are some pictures of the enclosure:



















The adults seem to spend most of their time on the sides of the enclosure, which is a bit concerning to me, but apparently not unusual for Panchlora. They don't seem stressed, trying to escape or anything, they just like resting on the sides of the enclosure. I might redo the enclosure later and prop some bark slabs up vertically, maybe they just don't like resting on a horizontal surface?

Anyway, that is gonna be it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all soon! 😉

Thursday, November 2, 2017

My New Porcellio bolivari!!!

I did a trade with Alan Grosse (who just opened up a new website, Captive Isopoda) this week, I sent him a dozen of my Armadillidium maculatum "Dalmatian" for six of his Porcellio bolivari! 😁 Unfortunately, one of the P.bolivari he sent died in transit, but luckily he sent a freebie, so I still got exactly what I traded for!

This is my dream isopod species, and they've been on my wishlist for years! Can't believe I actually have some in my collection now! 😊 Let's hope I can breed them successfully, these are one of the trickiest of the Spanish isopods to culture, and they are very finicky!

I have mine in a plastic container with lots of ventilation, and coconut fiber as the substrate. There are lots of bark slabs for hides, and plenty of leaf litter on top of that. I am keeping most of the enclosure very dry, with one moist corner, which has a clump of New Zealand sphagnum moss in it to retain moisture. I'll be feeding them chick feed, in addition to the dead leaves.

Here are some pictures of them:






















The males have much longer uropods than the females, so once they get big enough, it is very easy to sex them! The first two pictures for example, seem to be of a female, the rest are of a male. I am very happy to add this species to my collection, I really hope they'll do well for me! 😄

Well, that's gonna do it for today's post, thanks for reading everybody, will see you all soon! 😉

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rare Roach Updates!

Some of my Anallacta methanoides are finally starting to mature! 😁 These have taken a lot longer to grow than I thought they would, the last couple molts especially were rather far apart! Oddly enough, most of the adults are males right now, hopefully some more females will start maturing soon, I really want to breed this species and get them established in the US hobby once again.

Here are some pictures of the first adult to mature:






















Let's hope the rest of the nymphs mature with no problems, and that I get a ton of offspring from them!
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My Drymaplaneta semivitta are doing very well, I am up to at least five large oothecae now, (it was six, but they ate one of them recently for no reason). All of these large oothecae are nice and healthy looking, so with any luck I will have a ton of nymphs soon! Quite the comeback for my culture, which was on the verge of crashing completely! 😄

Here's a picture of a female in the process of laying yet another ootheca:













Hopefully I'll have some little nymphs running around the enclosure soon!
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So, after quite a bit of effort on my part, and one complete enclosure change, I was able to get my old Panchlora sp. "White" female to give birth to a small litter of nymphs! 😃 I haven't gotten a total head count, since I really don't want to disturb them too much, but I'm guessing there are less than a dozen total.

Here are some (rather poor) pictures of the cuties:



















The female that gave birth to this litter looks like she's gonna die of old age soon, so my hope for more nymphs lies on my other two females, let's hope I can get them to reproduce too!

I am thinking about making a really nice enclosure, with lots of bark, dead leaves and New Zealand sphagnum moss incorporated into it, dumping all of my remaining individuals inside of it and just hoping for the best. It would be smaller than the gallon enclosure I had them in originally, sort of in between that and the cages they are in now in terms of size.

It would also have feeding areas on both sides of the enclosure, just in case the reason they were doing poorly in their original enclosure was because they couldn't find food consistently. I will also try to keep Sinella curviseta springtails out of the enclosure, and will only inoculate the enclosure with the small silver springtails, and maybe some small white ant springtails too. But we'll see, we'll see...
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One of my Ischnoptera deropeltiformis "Ruby Red" finally matured into an adult male, so now I have one adult pair! 😆 These things have taken FOREVER to grow, I was getting worried my female may die off before a male matured in time to mate with her! Luckily that was not the case, so hopefully they will mate and my female will lay lots of fertile ooths!

Here are some pictures of the male:
















I like the way the males look even more than the females, since they have longer wings and more vibrant red coloration!
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Lastly, I am happy to say that one of my Eurycotis lixa matured the other day, I am pretty sure it is a male! This species is pretty large when mature, and they actually don't seem that bad for handling, the male rarely bit me when I held it, and didn't seem terribly skittish! (whereas I can't get my Eurycotis improcera to stay still for half a second!).

Here are some pictures of the adult male:


















Note the slightly flattened, dented in hind legs, similar to the males of Drymaplanetta. The other four nymphs are all subadults too, and all look very plump, so I am pretty sure they will all be mature within a couple weeks! Let's hope I can breed them successfully! 🙂

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

3 Years in a Garage, & Other Tenebrionid Updates...

Last week, I was digging around in my garage, looking for an old Ziplock bag of rotten wood I had collected over three years ago, to use in my Pyrophorus enclosures. I found the bag and opened it up, only to find that half of the wood was highly deteriorated, and seemed to have been turned into tiny frass pellets. I was quite confused, until I dug around a bit and found several Tenebrionidae larvae inside!!! 😮

Somehow these things survived in this Ziplock bag full of only rotten wood, in my poorly insulated garage for THREE YEARS!!! That's three hot summers, three freezing winters, conditions I wouldn't think anything except for maybe mites could survive in! That's what I call a hardy species!

They are Alleculinae larvae for sure, and since the wood they were collected in came from the same tree and was collected at the same time as my old Hymenorus sp culture, I'm guessing they are the same species. I will be moving them to a proper container soon with more rotten wood, which I will still keep in the garage during the winter, since the cold may be needed for proper development. Once springtime comes I will bring them indoors, I'm guessing several adults will emerge at around that time.

It was quite a pleasant surprise, I'm glad to be culturing this species once again! Unfortunately, this all means that I have less usable rotten wood than I thought, so I may need to get more...
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Upon request, I'm giving you guys an update on my Edrotes ventricosus! 🙂 So far, nothing has changed, all of my adults are still alive, and they seem to be only eating chick feed. I haven't gotten any eggs from them yet, whether because my setup is wrong, or because they only lay eggs early in the year, I have no clue. No one has successfully bred this species before, so I have no idea what is needed to get females to oviposit.

A friend of mine is working with this species right now, and will be trying to feed them live wild oat grass, (Avena fatua), among other native plants that are commonly found in their wild habitat, so maybe he'll be able to breed them successfully, we will see!

Anyway, here are some pictures of my adults:



















Will be sure to post an update on these guys if anything changes!
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So, it looks like only one of my remaining Eusattus muricatus larvae made it to pupation, the other two died. Now I have two adults in total, and it seems like they are both the same sex, as I have not noticed any mating behavior, nor have I found any eggs in their enclosure. So it seems like I've reached a dead end with this cool little darkling beetles species. 😞

Anyway, here are a few pictures I took of one of the adults today:





















Will be sure to post an update on these cuties if anything changes, but I highly doubt I'll be getting any offspring from them.
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Many of my Eleodes tribulus larvae have been pupating lately, and my first CB adult just eclosed the other day, it's a male! I find it very satisfying to rear desert Tenebs to adulthood, I'm glad I was able to successfully breed and rear this species, I believe I am the first person to do so! 😊 (Not that these are particularly hard to breed, it's just that there aren't a whole lot of Tenebrionid breeders out there).

Here are a couple pictures of the teneral male:




















Hopefully there will be many more adults where this one came from!

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