Monday, July 15, 2019

Full Circle

Most of my Apsena sp. "Kuna" larvae are at their mature size, and thus I've been moving many of them to a pupation enclosure, (which is just a 16 oz Tupperware with an inch of moist, compressed coconut fiber, and a little bit of cross and lid ventilation).

Now I showed a photo of a pupa in my last post, which then molted into an adult on the 4th of July. Seems it takes pupae 6-8 days to develop on average, which is pretty dang short. Then again, the room they are being kept in is pretty warm during most of the day, around 85-90F°, so that could be accelerating their growth quite a bit.

Interestingly, the teneral adults can take 2-3 days to darken up completely, (depending on the ambient humidity), which is a bit unusual, because in most Tenebrionid species I've kept, teneral adults gain their final coloration within 24 hours no matter the humidity, (though they take much longer to harden completely).

So all in all, it seems the time spent from egg to adult is only around 2-3 months, which is pretty short for a desert dwelling Tenebrionid. At 80-90F°, eggs take 1-2 weeks to hatch, larvae mature in about a month and a half to two months, and pupae only take around a week to develop, with adults taking another few days to darken and harden up.

Anyways, here are some pictures showcasing various stages of development!

Mature larva

Freshly molted, teneral adult:

Day old adult

Fully darkened adults:

Well, that about sums up my experience breeding these little cuties, hopefully this series of posts proves useful to anyone planning on breeding Apsena spp. in the future! 😁

Well that does it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed it, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! 😉

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Tiny Pupa & Long Wings

Well, it's that time, my Apsena sp. "Kuna" larvae have started to mature! Most of them appear ready to pupate, and thus I have been moving larger larvae to a container with an inch of moist, compressed coconut fiber, and am letting them make their pupal cells within it. Since they are so small, I've decided to go for a communal pupating setup, and so far it seems to be successful.

No one's ever bred Apsena as far as I know, so I made sure to dig up one of the pupae for pictures, for science's sake! 😜 These are likely the first and only pictures of Apsena pupae in existence.

Without further adieu, here are the pics:

Don't worry about this one, I've put it in a deli cup with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber, should be able to develop just fine outside of it's pupal cell.

I can't wait until they all start maturing, at which point I will try to get pictures of the teneral adults! 😊
Now for some even more exciting news, one of my Bantua sp. "Namibia" males has FINALLY matured! 😁 I've got two adult females now, so I'm definitely glad this male matured too, hopefully he does his job and mates with my females soon!

Here is the stud!

Isn't he so sleek looking, almost like a little torpedo when his antennae are tucked in! 😄 Fingers crossed he fertilizes my females, and I can successfully get them to give birth! 😊

Well, that's it for this post, hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! 😉

Friday, June 21, 2019

Pretty in Pink

Just how many pink references/puns do you think I can I put in the titles for posts featuring this species before I run out? Place your wagers in the comments below! 😜

So, my Gyna capucina are doing pretty good right now, the nymphs appear to be growing well from what I can tell, I seldom see them though, haven't wanted to completely tear apart the enclosure looking for them! My adult male is still kicking, and is still looking stunning, in fact I was able to snap some pictures of him using that lid hide I made!

Also, it appears I may have miscalculated just how many nymphs I originally received, from the bottom of the enclosure it's looking like there were WAY more newborn nymphs in the package than I originally thought, which is a pleasant surprise! 🙂

Anyways, here are some pics of my male:

Here he is in the hide, (not the best pics, but you get the idea):

Can't wait until one of my females mature, really hope I can breed this beautiful species! 😁

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! 😉

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Walmart Carabid Rescue

So, a couple weeks ago, while shopping at a local Walmart, I spotted a little black spot moving across the floor. So naturally I took out the small capture cup I carry with me at all times and scooped up the spot, which turned out to be a Carabid. After keeping it for a couple days for photos and to help rehydrate the poor thing, I let it loose in my front lawn.

I've never seen this exact species before, which is why I took the photos, and I've submitted some pictures to Bugguide in the hopes of a genus ID at least. Apparently it may be an Agonum species.

Here's the little rascal:

Regardless of the ID, it was a pretty little thing, looked black in normal lighting, but under very bright light it had a green sheen to it, which you can clearly see in the above pictures. I'm glad I was able to capture it and put it back outside, where it will hopefully stay away from human habitations...

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this little story, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! 😉

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Waxy Bois Update

So after looking at my Bantua sp. "Namibia" for a while, I've realized that the nymphs have a light colored, waxy coating on their exoskeletons, similar to Porcellionides isopods and some Tenebrionid genera. 😮 This is to aid in moisture retention, and to help shield them from the arid conditions they live in. I've seen it in plenty of Tenebs and Porcellionides, but I've never seen any roaches with that kind of coating! So now I'm calling my group of Bantua the "Waxy Bois". 😛
Unfortunately I was unable to get any pictures of them fully waxed up, much of their coating had rubbed off during transit, so I didn't notice it until after I first took pictures of my nymphs. I'll snap some pictures of the waxy nymphs at a later date I'm sure, but I just wanted to make note of this quirk in public, just goes to show how adapted they are to an arid habitat!

In other news, one of my females has matured, and the adults apparently have a much thinner waxy coating, if it weren't for the flash of the camera, I wouldn't even have noticed it! (which I find a bit odd to be honest). Additionally, she has changed color from dark brown to black now, and she's looking a lot snazzier in my opinion! 😁

Anyways, here are some pictures of her and her new look:

Ain't she a beauty! 😍 One of the other nymphs has just molted into a subadult male, so I should also get to see what the adult males look like in person soon!

Well, that's gonna do it for today's post, I hope you all enjoyed, and I'll see you all in the next one! 😉

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Elusive Apsena

Unbeknownst to many of you, I've actually been keeping a small Tenebrionid species for the past month or so, and I figured I'd make a blog post on them, as they are poorly studied little things, and among the prettiest of the micro desert Tenebs in the USA. 🙂

So we recently moved to a new housing development, close to other areas I've lived here in ID, and towards the end of winter, I started seeing these dead Tenebs popping up in the house. Now I've lived in southwest Idaho for years, and have extensively explored the surrounding area looking for new Tenebrionid species, and I'd like to think I know most of the Teneb fauna in the area. However, I had never seen this particular species before, and decided to collect some of the bodies and try to ID them myself.
Turns out, they are an Apsena species, which isn't a genus I've encountered before! I don't know if their larvae or pupae have been formally described before, (something tells me they haven't), and I've never seen anyone breeding this genus before, so I figured I'd keep a few if I could find any live ones, and photograph some of their developmental stages, for science. 😛

I ended up finding a few live adults, and placed them in a small, well ventilated enclosure with about a CM of coconut fiber. I'm keeping less than one third of the enclosure moist, and the rest bone dry. They have eggcrate pieces for hides, and have both cotton springtails and some stowaway Dermestid beetles (Anthrenus sp.), for cleaner crews. (Oddly enough, this is the first time Dermestid beetles have done even remotely well for me, I have no idea why these ones are thriving in the Apsena enclosure, hopefully they won't pose a threat to them, or get into my roach enclosures...).

I'm feeding them mostly chick feed, might offer some veggies or leaf litter later on, but they seem to be loving the chick feed right now. Room temperature seems to suit them fine.

With minimal effort, they've been thriving and have laid dozens of eggs, which are about 1-2 mm long, white, and easy to see through the bottom of the enclosure. The eggs seem to take about 1-2 weeks to hatch, and the resulting larvae are tiny! Pretty sure I'm the first person to ever breed this genus, and I'm almost certain I'm the only one who's photographed the larvae. 😁

Anyways, here are some pictures of them! First, one of the pretty adults:

Now the larvae, first picture is of an L1, the others are of later instars:

Overall they've proven very easy to breed so far, and the larvae are growing quickly! Fingers crossed they pupate easily, and I can snag some pics of the pupae and teneral adults!

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! 😉