Monday, May 22, 2017

Coelus & Porcellio Updates, & a Look at My Collection

My Coelus ciliatus are doing great, and apparently can pupate in the same enclosure as each other rather successfully, as long as deep enough substrate is provided, with a moist area in the enclosure. Lots of new teneral adults have been popping up in my main enclosure, which is nice! Lots of adults and larvae in the enclosure right now, these guys are quite easy to care for!

Here are a couple pictures I took of a few of my adults, (and a larva):











When I first got this species, I did not expect they would do so well in captivity, I am glad I was wrong! 😊 They seem very easy to keep, like Coniontis, wish that Eusattus were as easy to breed...
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I have some good and bad news about my Porcellio silvestrii. Good news, my pregnant female gave birth to a dozen or so mancae! Bad news, all my other females and one of my males have died. 😭

I really don't know what went wrong, the dead females all seemed to be fully intact, so it does not seem territorial cannibalism or any malnutrition is to blame, they had a corner kept moist at all times, so I doubt that lack of humidity was the problem, (however, two of the females died in the moist corner...), and I'm pretty sure they had enough hiding places as well. The male had his uropods and part of his face chewed off, and he was the runt of the males, so I'm pretty sure that was territorial cannibalism, which happens sometimes with the Spanish species.

The temperatures have risen a little bit in the past couple weeks, so maybe that could have caused the deaths, I would have expected that they would all have died if the temps got too high though. Plus, there are some Oniscus asellus enclosures right above them, that species is really sensitive to high temperatures, and I haven't noticed any die off in their enclosures. Oddly enough, the other females never got gravid in my care, the only one that survived is that one that was gravid, so maybe they had some weird illness from the get go, still doesn't seem right though.

Overall, I'm pretty stumped, no idea why they all died off like that. I removed three of the males from the main enclosure, leaving just one male in with the last female, as I don't want them to stress her out too much. Just thought I'd let you know how things were going with them.

On the plus side, while looking through the P.silvestrii enclosure, I found a young Porcellio scaber with unusual coloration! Hopefully it retains the white patches by it's rear when it matures, and hopefully it'll produce similar looking offspring once I mate it with a normal individual, (since that's what it's gonna have to come down to, as I can' find any others that look like it).

Here are a couple pictures of it:




















Hopefully I'll be able to isolate this morph, it's quite an attractive individual!
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My collection has grown quite a bit in the last few months, so I thought I would take some pictures of my "bug closet", just to show you guys what it looks like now!

Here it is, in all it's glory!:













Really pushing the limits as to how many containers my shelves can hold! 😄

Anyway, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope you all enjoyed, got some new invertebrates coming this week, so stay tuned for some new posts about them! See you all soon! 🙂

Friday, May 19, 2017

Drymaplaneta & a Couple of Tenebrionid Updates

Well, I am now down to 7 Drymaplaneta semivitta nymphs, so in a last ditch attempt to save these guys, I have completely redesigned their enclosure to mimic the setup shown on this blog here. The owner of that blog, Komatsu, has been breeding Drymaplaneta successfully for years, so I'm hoping that by mimicking his setup, mine will thrive and breed as well.

Honestly, I think the major problem with my previous setup is that I was keeping them way too humid. I think they actually like things really dry, with just one small area of the enclosure moist, or just a water bowl for moisture. Most other people suggest that high humidity is vital to their survival, yet those breeders never got theirs to survive for more than a few generations. I think they just need really dry conditions and good ventilation. So I probably didn't have to mimic the above setup as closely as I did, but I figured better safe than sorry!

Here are some pictures of the new enclosure:

















As you can see, I did make a few adjustments to the design of this enclosure compared to the one in Cic.net. First off, I added some dead leaves to the bottom of the enclosure, to make it seem a little more natural, and to give them even more hiding spaces.

Also, I changed up the food bowel a bit. Komatsu uses rat food pellets to feed his roaches, apparently they last a long time in an enclosure, as from what I can tell, it looks like he puts a whole bunch of pellets in a large food bowl, fills it to the top, and then leaves it there for months. Cat/dog food doesn't last that long in an enclosure though, I don't think it would work the same, but if I just put one piece of food at the bottom of the deli cup, they may have a difficult time finding it.

I wanted to keep the food and water bowls level so I could use that little plastic-mesh-bridge thing, so instead of just putting a small milk cap in the corner of the enclosure, I filled a deli cup with foam, then cut a hole in the middle of the foam and put a milk cap inside of it, and put food in that. So now the food will be on the top, level with the water bowel. 🙂

Here is a picture of one of the nymphs:













Hopefully they'll do better in this new setup, I really think that they will like it a lot better than their previous enclosure, if only because of the dryer humidity levels. We'll see...
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I just realized I have never posted about my Superworms, Zophobas morio, even though I've had them for years! They are pretty cool Tenebrionids, underrated in my opinion.

I have a small colony right now, I kept them on coconut fiber before, but now it's mostly just frass. They don't seem to lay many eggs, (possibly because the substrate is mostly frass), but there are always enough larvae to keep the colony going. I use them as feeders, mainly the pre-pupae or pupae, for beetles, centipedes, and my rose haired tarantula.

Anyway, last month while digging around in the enclosure for larvae to pupate, I found a HUGE larvae in there, much larger than any other I had seen. I isolated it for pupation, and it matured recently into quite a large adult! I took some pictures of it compared to one of it's normal sized brethren, here they are:






















The difference in size of just the heads is quite impressive in my opinion! Just thought I'd share this with you guys, I've never reared one quite this large before! 😀
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Lastly, last week I caught a small Tenebrionid that was crawling on my ceiling, I had never seen the species before, so I decided to keep it, I have it housed in a small container with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, I am keeping one half moist and one half dry, and am feeding it cat food. Don't know if it's a female or not, would be nice to get some offspring though!

I posted pictures on Bugguide, so far no one has identified it just yet, one member suggested that it may be a mealworm, but at just a little over 5mm, that's impossible. Anyway, here are some pictures of the little thing:




















Hopefully I'll get a definite ID soon, I heavily suspect that it is Cynaeus angustus, the larger flour beetle.

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Beetles, Isopods & Centipedes Oh My!

So, after a few years, my Coelocnemis have finally been identified as C.californica by Tenebboy on Bugguide, thanks man! 😁 Sadly, I am now down to a single male, I have had him for almost three years now, he is the longest lived beetle I have ever kept!

Took some pictures of him the other day, here he is:
















Really love this species, maybe one day I'll go back to where I collected these ones and try getting some females again, I would really like to successfully breed this species in the future!

In other Tenebrionid related news, I dumped the contents of my Eusattus muricatus enclosure out a little while back, to see if all four of my remaining larvae were still alive, and found that one of them had pupated and eclosed into a perfect adult beetle! I was quite surprised, as not only was I not expecting any of them to make it to adulthood, but I definitely did not expect them to pupate in the same enclosure as each other!

The remaining three larvae were still alive and well, so I removed the adult and placed it in my Coelus ciliatus enclosure temporarily while I wait for the remaining three larvae to pupate, as their current enclosure is much more humid than the adult would probably like.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the cutie!:


















Hopefully the other three larvae will pupate and eclose soon, really would love to get another generation from this species going! Would also really like to get pictures of the pupa of this species, so I will be checking on them more often in the hopes of catching one as a pupae before it ecloses.
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My Porcellio ornatus "South" have actually grown a surprising amount since I received them, they haven't got that much bigger, but they are certainly growing faster than I anticipated! I had them housed in a rather small enclosure before, but have now moved them to a larger enclosure with some bark hides, which I'm sure they'll love.

Here are some pictures I took of them recently:


















They don't really like staying still, and the flash on my camera makes them look more reddish than they really are, they are more grey than they appear in these pictures. Really can't wait until these are fully grown, hopefully they'll breed well in their new setup!

Unfortunately, one of my Porcellio silvestrii females died of unknown causes, seemingly while molting, so now I'm down to three females total, and five males. 🙁 One of the females is pretty gravid though, and looks ready to pop soon, so that's good. 🙂

Anyway, here are some pictures I took of them:


















That last picture shows off the gravid female, if you look closely you can see her abdomen is yellow and distended quite a bit, a sure sign of a gravid isopod, hopefully I'll be seeing mancae in the enclosure soon!

And lastly for isopod related news, just wanted to report that my Oniscus asellus "Mardi Gras Dalmatian" culture is doing great, I rehoused them to a larger enclosure recently since they had outgrown the little deli cup I had them in before. They are definitely breeding true, I am so thrilled that this morph can be isolated, and that my culture is breeding well!

Here are some pictures I took of them the other day:














Can't wait until this colony gets as big as my other Oniscus culture, it will be quite the sight! 😊
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My Scolopendra longipes is doing great, so far it's eaten a superworm pupae and two adult male Hemiblabera tenebricosa! I haven't actually seen it eat anything yet, as it usually does so in the dead of night, all I find are the remains of it's prey. It's gotten even more thick now, and still spends most of it's time underground, so getting pictures is no easy feat.

For example, the other day I went to get some pictures of it, so I dug it up, and it promptly clambered out of the enclosure and ran under my bed, took me a few minutes to recapture it, all the while my mom and sisters were watching in horror... needless to say, I don't think I'll be digging it up anymore!

Here is the one decent picture I was able to snap of it, unfortunately with it's head in the ground:
















Such a big and beautiful specimen, I am in love with it! 😁

Anyway, that's gonna be it for this toady, I hope you guys enjoyed, will see you all next post! 🙂

Monday, May 1, 2017

Some More Cockroach Updates

My African Bullet roach culture has really been doing well, lots of breeding going on, though there is also a certain amount of antennae nipping going on, not too much though. I'm a little concerned about oothecae cannibalism as well, so I will have to keep an eye on that.

Anyway, here are some pictures I took of them this afternoon:


















Overall, my culture is thriving right now, which is great! 🙂 Let's hope it stays this way!
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So, I have moved my Arenivaga sp. "Algodones Dunes" to a substrate of plain coconut fiber. I noticed they weren't burrowing much in their sandy substrate, and looked a little thin as well, so I moved one of them to a small container filled with coconut fiber, and after a few days I noticed it was burrowing much more and had gotten a lot more plump as well, so I've moved both to a coconut fiber substrate now.

Guess sand really is a bad substrate choice, even for species in sandy environments, as it's abrasive to their cuticle and thus causes them to lose moisture rapidly, which is probably why they were getting thinner. Lesson learned, and just in time it seems!

Anyway, I took some pictures of one of the nymphs, it really didn't want to stay still, so they aren't of the best quality:





















Glad they are doing better now, can't wait to see what species they end up being! 😊
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My Pseudomops septentrionalis culture is doing great, quite a bit of them have been maturing lately, and breeding as well! Don't know if I've mentioned this before, but they really like apples, so I've been feeding them those quite regularly lately.

Took some pictures of them today, here they are:



















I really love the way the adults of this species look, such a pretty US native roach! 😀
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Still waiting on my Panchlora sp. "Speckled" females to give birth, they've been burrowing a lot, one of them even constructed a little chamber at the bottom of the enclosure that I thought may be a birthing chamber or something, but it seems that was not the case. Oh well, at least they seem pretty healthy, hopefully I'll start seeing some nymphs in the enclosure soon!

Here are a few pictures I took of one of the females the other day:
















In the last picture you can really see the tiny white speckles on the wings nicely. Will keep you all updated on this beautiful new addition to the hobby, hopefully they'll reproduce soon!

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