Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sad Ectobiid Post...

Unfortunately I have some bad news on the Ectobiid front, in the words of Elton John; "it's sad, so sad, it's a sad sad situation".

All three of my Latiblattella lucifrons ooths molded over, I'm not quite sure why, but needless to say, I have failed miserably at breeding this species. 😭 I was so excited to have some in my collection, so I am super bummed that they didn't do well in my care. I'm pretty sure keeping them to moist was the main reason mine didn't reproduce well, but other factors may have been in play as well.

Also, I did a thorough examination of my Chorisoneura texensis enclosure, went through every hide, turns out I only have one nymph left. 😢 Not quite sure what I did wrong this time, I may have kept them to moist, but they had dry areas available, perhaps this AL strain isn't as easy to culture as the NC strain I once had?

I also gave the C.texensis way more hides than I did last time, and as a result they may not have been able to find the food I offered them. Another possibility is cannibalism, Alan Jeon said he had problems with nymphs attacking each other, maybe the AL strain of this species is more cannibalistic than the NC one?

In any case, I've failed with this species as well, which sucks, I was really hoping I'd have better luck with them, considering I had little trouble last time getting a colony set up with my NC strain.

Oh well, sometimes you have big successes in this hobby, sometimes you have failures, it's inevitable. Just wanted to let you all know what was going on with those two species.

That's going to do it for this post folks, thanks for reading, will see you all soon!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Offspring & Adults!

So, it seems Parcoblatta caudelli oothecae hatch pretty quickly, I've already got little nymphs of this species now! 😁 Very happy to have offspring of this unique Parcoblatta species, here are some pictures of them:

The adults are really freaking prolific too, I'm gonna have tons of these soon! Which is good, because the large nymphs/adults are actually the perfect sized prey to feed my picky rose hair tarantula, and the nymphs of this species don't climb or burrow, and it's not like she eats a lot, so these may be the ideal cricket-replacement for her...
Also, I mentioned a few posts ago that my female Gyna centurio gave birth, well I finally got around to getting some pictures of the babies, most of which are now in the second instar!

Here they are:

Hopefully I can rear them to adulthood with no problems! 😊
Now, I am very happy to announce that one of my Eurycotis improcera nymphs has molted into an adult female!! 😍 Man are the adults of this species beautiful! Pictures really don't do them justice, these are by far the nicest looking Eurycotis I have ever seen, I love the patterning on them!

Here are some pictures of the gal:

I really can't wait until more of them mature, hopefully they'll start breeding soon!
Turns out, one of my Deropeltis sp. "Jinka" nymphs has reached maturity as well, and it's also a female! 😃 When I went to grab her, she sprayed a defensive fluid at me, which is something the nymphs have never done to me! (yet...).

The defensive fluid of this species is actually rather volatile compared to those of say, Eleodes, or Mastigoproctus, and actually stains skin that comes into contact with it, as it actually burns through the outer layer of skin I believe. It doesn't hurt to get sprayed, but the discoloration of the skin lasts a few days, washing your hands with soap and water does nothing.

When she calmed down and I went to get pictures of her on my hand, she began trying to eat my fingers, just like the nymph in this post did, and I didn't even have chick feed dust on my hands! 😆 Deropeltis really find me delicious! 😋

Here are some pictures of her:

Note how in the first two pictures, you can see the defensive fluid on my middle finger in it's liquid form, then in the last two pictures, the liquid has evaporated/been wiped off, and the discoloration of the affected skin is clearly visible.

Can't wait until some of the males start maturing, will be sure to snap some picture of them once they do!

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

New Tenebrionid larvae!

Today I received a package from Brandon Woo, (AKA Metrioptera on Bugguide), which contained larvae from several Tenebrionid species he is keeping. He wanted to focus on the rearing of other insects instead of working on rearing these, so he was kind enough to send them my way. 😊

First off, he sent me a few Asbolus verrucosus larvae, I counted three so far, but apparently he sent four or five, so I'll check their shipping enclosure again, just in case! This species is very commonly kept in the hobby, and is known as the "Blue Death Feigning Beetle". They are also notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, and Brandon wasn't even expecting his to lay eggs!

Hopefully I can rear these larvae to adulthood, the most difficult part of keeping this species seems to be inducing pupation, many mature larvae that are isolated for pupation just die instead of pupating. One keeper has been successful by putting mature larvae in deli cups with moist compressed substrate inside an incubator set in the high 80s, I may try a different approach though, we'll see when the time comes I suppose!

I have mine housed in a small container with a substrate that is mostly sand, with a tiny bit of coconut fiber mixed in, and some dead leaf litter on top. I will be keeping the substrate fairly moist, from what I've heard these larvae don't like it as dry as other Tenebs. In addition to the leaf litter, they will be fed chick feed. No pictures, sorry, the larvae are pretty small right now, will try to get some pics of them as they get larger!
Brandon also sent me two groups of over a dozen Eleodes larvae, one group comes from an enclosure that he kept Eleodes acuticaudus and Eleodes osculans in, the other group comes from an enclosure he kept E.acuticadus and E.grandicollis in. So I really don't know what they'll all end up growing into!

I am keeping the E.actuticaudus/osculans larvae in an enclosure with coconut fiber and dead leaves as the substrate, which I will be keeping moist on one side and dry on the other. The E.acuticaudus/grandicollis larvae are in an enclosure with a substrate of sand and coconut fiber, along with some dead leaf litter, I will also be keeping their enclosure dry on one side and moist on the other. Both groups will be fed chick feed.

I didn't bother taking pictures, because they look basically identical to other Eleodes larvae I've kept like E.hispilabris, so no need really. If, once they get bigger, they obtain features that are different or unique from other larvae I've seen, then I will snap some pictures of them for sure! 🙂

I am quite excited to see what they grow into! I'm personally really hoping to get at least a few E.osculans or E.grandicollis, but who knows, they may all end up being E.acuticaudus! 😄 Will be sure to update you all on their progress!

Well, that's going to do it for today's post, I hope everyone enjoyed, these will likely be the last new invertebrates I acquire for a while, as I will be in the process of moving very soon! Anyway, I will see you all next time! 😉

Friday, August 11, 2017

Click Beetle & Pasimachus Updates!!

Finally, after years of waiting, my Alaus melanops grub has matured!! 😁 I could have gotten it to pupate months after I originally caught it in 2014, but I never provided it with a little log to dig into before, apparently larvae of this species will refuse to pupate without a block of wood to bore into and construct their pupal cell in, they'll even put the process off an extra two years if they need to!

Well, I must say, for a larva that put off it's pupation so long, it turned into a nice sized adult male!! (at least I really think it's a male). It emerged from it's log after a lengthy three month or so inactivity period, honestly I was beginning to wonder if it had died or not! I have it housed with my Pyrophorus adults, (more on them shortly), since they have pretty much the same care requirements and can't hybridize.

Here are some pictures of the Alaus adult:

And here are a couple shots of the Alaus adult with my small Pyrophorus male, for comparison:

I'm so happy I was finally able to rear this specimen to maturity, too bad I don't have any females for him...

In other click beetle related news, another one of my original three Pyrophorus noctilucus has matured and dug it's way up to the surface, so now I have two active adults! This second one is quite a bit bigger than my original adult, and may be a female! I know my older, smaller adult is a male, since once it came into contact with the new adult, he chased it around and tried to mate with it, even exposing and extending his genitalia.

The new individual just ran away from those mating attempts, and never attempted to mount and mate with the smaller male, which makes me think it's a female! Time will tell I suppose! 😊

Here is a picture of them both snacking on an apple slice:

My last remaining individual from the original trio has also eclosed now, and will hopefully claw it's way up to the surface in a week or two! With any luck, I may have offspring from this species soon!
The other day, I decided to move my Pasimachus sp. "Arizona" to a smaller container, the reason being that they were having a hard time finding food in the larger container I had them in. They are quite old now, both individuals have lost most of their tibia, and while the female is still largely intact, the male is on his last legs, literally, a few of his legs are just little nubs now.

Anyway, I moved the adults to a smaller enclosure, and dumped most of the remaining substrate from their old enclosure into a ziplock bag for a few days, since I was planning on using it for a future Tenebrionid rehousing, (hey, waste not want not! The substrate was pretty clean and suitable for future use). Well yesterday I went to rehouse those Tenebs, (specifically Embaphion cf. contusum), and as I was adding the old Pasimachus substrate to their new enclosure, a long, dark shape came crawling out... A first instar Pasimachus larva!!! 😮

The LAST thing I was expecting from my old, run-down Pasimachus adults was offspring, especially since my female already laid an egg a few months ago that never hatched. I'm thrilled to have gotten a larva from this species, I'm really hoping I can rear it to adulthood, but with my previous track record breeding Carabids, I'm a bit doubtful.

I have moved it to a little deli cup with some of the substrate from the old Pasimachus cage, (a coconut fiber and sand mixture), which I am keeping fairly moist. I will be trying to feed it pre-killed mealworms and small roach nymphs, and maybe some live Trichorhina tomentosa.

Here are some pictures of the little bugger:

Very cool looking Carabid larvae, will be keeping you guys updated on it's progress! Considering how hard Carabid larvae are to rear, I'm not getting my hopes up too high that I will be able to rear it to adulthood, however, I do know of someone who has successfully done so before, so who knows? 🙂

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

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Anallacta & Arenivaga Updates

My Anallacta nymphs are doing very well, and growing at a good pace too! 😁 They've started to darken up a bit and display more of the colors characteristic of A.methanoides nymphs.

Here are some pictures of them:

Really loving this species so far, hopefully they continue to do well in my care! 😄
My Arenivaga sp. "Algodones Dunes" are doing very well, and apparently I sexed them wrong when I first got them, now that they are bigger it is very plain to see that both are females, not males! Sadly, this doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to breeding, I wish Arenivaga could reproduce via parthenogenesis, unfortunately I don't think they can. 🙁

Additionally, one of my females may be mature, it's hard to tell though. If she is mature, then these definitely aren't A.investigata females, since the females of that species are a lot darker in coloration. However, both of my females have two tarsal claws on each tibia, so they may not be A.darwini either, (unless only the adult males of that species have just one tarsal claw per tibia), so I really have no idea what species they are. 😕

Anyway, here are some pictures of the females:

They have very nice coloration, man how I wish they had mates, would be amazing to get this species established in culture!

Anyways, that's gonna do it for today, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all soon! 😉