Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eurycotis, Meracantha & Panchlora Updates!!

My Eurycotis improcera nymphs are growing nicely, I think I'll have adults in a couple months or so, very excited!! I took some pictures of a few of the nymphs the other day, and they are better than the pics I've previously taken of this species, so I thought I'd share them here. πŸ™‚

You can really see the nice coloration of the nymphs in these pictures, I love their striped legs!
In a recent post, I said that I thought only had one female Panchlora sp. "White' left, and that the rest were males. Well I'm happy to say that I was wrong, after digging around the enclosure and sexing the nymphs properly, I found out that two of the "male" nymphs I had were actually females that were one or two molts behind my other female. 😁

And that folks, is why no one should ever sex roach nymphs based of size alone! (which is what I was doing, since they all seemed to be growing at the same rate, and my other female is quite a bit larger than the other two, it was a novice move on my part). Anyway, I feel a lot better about the future of this species in my collection now, I can't wait until they all mature!
So, I suppose I never actually said anything here on the blog, but the eggs that my Meracantha contracta female laid all hatched, and I've got quite a few larvae now! 😊 They have been growing, slowly but surely, and now some of them have gotten to the size where I can take some pictures of them!

Here are some pictures of one of the larger larvae:

Surprisingly, they are doing pretty well on a substrate of just coconut fiber with a little bit of leaf litter mixed in, (which they don't seem to eat as fast as other Tenebrionids I've kept). I thought the larvae of this species would need rotten wood in their diet to survive and grow, and was prepared to move them to a rotten wood substrate should they start dying off, but so far it doesn't seem to be a necessity for them! Of course that could change as they get older, they are still rather small right now, so we'll see...

Anyway, that is going to do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Monday, July 17, 2017

Collection Culling

So a couple of months ago I wrote about some stress issues I was having, particularly about how I wanted to get rid of all the species I had that I didn't really love, well, over the past couple of months I have been doing so, and today I finally got rid of the last of them.

I gave away my Rhabdoblatta formosana months ago to Kyle Kandilian and another friend, hopefully they'll do well with them, and I traded and sold off my Ergaula capucina and Therea regularis to Cody Will last month.

Today I sold off all my African bullet roaches, Blaberus atropos "Florida", Byrsotria fumigata, Parcobatta fulvescens, Parcoblatta virginica, Pycnoscelus femapterus, Pycnoscelus surinamensis, Pycnoscelus sp. "Thailand", and Therea petiveriana to someone locally, so now I've completely decluttered my collection, and only have species that I truly love and have an interest in!! 😁 (Except for some of the essential feeder species I have that I need for some of my other invertebrates, like superworms and mealworms, that I could kinda care less about).

Feels great to have finally done this, now I have more room for new species that I will really love! 😊 Here's hoping the rest of this year holds lots of new exciting acquisitions for me!

Anyway, that's gonna do it for this post, just thought I'd let you guys know what happened to all of these species in my collection, since I was offering many of them for sale here on the blog and on various other bug sites not too long ago! Thanks for reading everybody, hope you all enjoyed, will see you guys next time! πŸ˜‰

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hanging on by A Thread... Again

So, unfortunately one of my Drymaplaneta females died, I'm not 100% sure why, but it seems like she wedged herself under a cage decoration and got crushed when the decoration in question shifted; since there is no substrate in their enclosure, everything in there shifts every time I move the enclosure. I have two more adult females though, and two more subadult females, so I'm not too worried about that, but it still sucks to lose one. 😞 I have decided that I'll add a layer of bone dry substrate to the bottom of the enclosure, to stop this from ever happening again. As long as it's kept dry, they should be fine.

The real thing I'm worried about is that I only have ONE subadult male, all my other individuals are females, (save one nymph that I haven't sexed yet, it's pretty small and seems to be stunted). I really hope nothing unlucky happens to him, because if he dies before mating, I can kiss my culture goodbye. Honestly, I probably don't have anything to worry about, once I add some dry substrate to the enclosure the shifting decor shouldn't be a problem, and other than that they are doing very well in my care. I've started colonies with single sexed pairs before, so it should be fine, but taking into consideration my overall experience keeping this species so far, I can't help but be a little anxious...
My Panchlora sp. "White" culture is also in a precarious spot, more so than my Drymaplaneta colony. It looks like I only have one female nymph, the rest are all males... 😟 I had at least two before, but for some reason my other one died as a subadult. I also lost two small nymphs early on due to unknown reasons, so it's not that surprising that I ended up with only one female. Still, there are like 5 or so males, it's quite an uneven sex ratio.

I've had an unsettling amount of random deaths with my nymphs, so I'm very scared I may lose this female too. Even if she matures successfully though, I'm gonna have to take most of the males out so they don't stress her out too much, and then there's the hassle of trying to get her to give birth. Hopefully she'll be more inclined to breed than her parents, since she hasn't had to go through any shipping stress. Still, it's entirely possible she may only have one litter like her mother, in which case I'm gonna have to go through this all again, with no real culture growth until my next generation matures, and who knows how many of those nymphs will survive?

All in all it's a pretty crappy situation, I just really hope she survives and reproduces for me, the most important thing is that I don't lose my culture, I've spent a lot of money, time and resources trying to breed this species, if I lose them I will be devastated! 😭 Fingers crossed I get lucky with these!!
And lastly, it looks my female Chorisoneura texensis has died, after laying only three oothecae. In addition, it seems that most of those resulting nymphs died off fairly quickly, possibly due to me keeping them too humid, or perhaps this strain isn't as hardy as the one I previously had, (I'm guessing it's the humidity issue). I have at least four nymphs left, might not have any more than that, however I'm not sure if the third oothecae ever hatched, as she laid it out of sight, so it's possible that I may have a few more nymphs on the way.

Unfortunately, in addition to all of that, it seems like they have a minor grain mite infestation in their food bowl. Overall, I'm fairly confident that I won't have any more nymphs by the end of this month, and even if they make it to adulthood, I only have about four, so chances are they may all be the same sex. But who knows, I've had cultures come back from worse, take my Balta notulata for example, perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised by my remaining individuals! πŸ™‚

Anyway, that's it for today, sorry for this bummer post, (with no pictures! 😧), this was kind of a way for me to vent, I really hope these cultures bounce back, that would make me really happy! Well, thanks for reading everybody, will see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My New Arenivaga floridensis From Alan!!

I bought a dozen Arenivaga floridensis "White" from my good old friend Alan Jeon, he just went on a trip to Florida this month and collected these beauties in Lake Placid. I ordered a dozen, and he sent me about 20, so a nice over count! 😁 This is by far the prettiest Arenivaga I've ever seen, pictures just don't do them justice! 

I am keeping them in a small plastic container with coconut fiber as the substrate, and decaying hardwood leaf litter on top. I am going to be keeping the lower layers of the substrate moist, and the upper layers dry, (maybe not bone dry though, as it seems this species may prefer slightly higher moisture levels than other Arenivaga in the hobby). In addition to the dead leaves, I will be feeding them chick feed. 

The females of this species apparently get quite large according to Alan, about 2/3 the size of A.bolliana females! That, combined with their striking colors, makes them my favorite Arenivaga species in my collection! 😊 There is also a darker, black color form of this species, I may end up adding some to my collection one day if these ones do well for me.

Anyway, here are some pictures of mine:

For some reason this species has not been established in culture, despite entering collections multiple times, I'm not exactly sure why. Hopefully I'll be able to breed this beautiful Arenivaga, would be great to get these into more keepers' hands, they are such pretty little sand roaches!

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dorylaea orini Attempt #2!!!

The other day I received a surprise package from my good friend Sebastien, (or "Santa Cockroach"), which contained 8 Dorylaea orini oothecae! 😁 They all seem rather healthy, and when I first got them, I placed them in a small, shallow container with moist substrate in it for incubation until I got around to making them a bigger, proper enclosure. I figured I had at least a few weeks until they started hatching.

Well, the next day I opened the enclosure and several black nymphs came running out and either jumped out of their container onto my bedroom floor or ran around the rim just like in this video I took last year. I was not expecting them to hatch so soon! πŸ˜†

So I rehoused them and the rest of the oothecae into a bigger plastic container with coconut fiber as the substrate, and bark pieces and dead leaves for hides. I will be keeping them a lot more moist than I did last time, and with slightly less ventilation, as I think that lack of suitable moisture and too much ventilation may have been the main reason my previous oothecae never hatched. Also, according to both Sebastien and Kyle Kandilian, this species likes to eat moldy food, and thus old food should not be removed, (unless of course it becomes a breeding ground for mites). Following these new care perimeters, I hope to be successful in both rearing these nymphs to adulthood and in breeding them as well!

Anyway, here are a couple pictures of one of the nymphs:

This species has rather large hatchlings (like Drymaplaneta), that are surprisingly very dark in color, they look brown in these pictures with flash, but in person under normal lighting they look black. I can't wait to see them develop their characteristic stripey coloration! 😊

Well, that's gonna do it for today, a big thanks to "Santa Cockroach" for this lovely surprise, stay tuned for my next post, which will be about yet another new addition to my collection! I hope everyone enjoyed this post, will see you all soon! πŸ˜‰

Friday, July 7, 2017

Drymaplaneta & Pyrophorus Adults!!

A couple of my Drymaplaneta semivitta adults have finally matured, and they look awesome! 😁 They are both females, one of my other subadults is a male though, so hopefully they will start breeding really soon!

Here are pictures of one of my females:

So happy that they are starting to mature, really hope I can breed them successfully!
Well, my Pyrophorus noctilucus pupa has molted into a adult now, it looks absolutely stunning! 😊 Sadly, it is a puny 25 mm long, half the length of a normal adult, and it looks like the other two larvae from the original trio are also pupating as well. I'm not sure why these larvae are pupating so prematurely, I have a strong suspicion that it is diet related though.

I recently switched out dog food for chick feed as the main food source for much of my invertebrates, and admittedly this all started happening to my Pyrophorus after the switch, (though I think the first larva to pupate actually stopped eating right before the switch...). I don't know if it's the switch in diet itself that stunted my larvae, the chick feed itself not being nutritious enough for them, or perhaps improper substrate, (they are being kept on my old fermented Traeger sawdust), and that's what's killing me the most. 😩

The younger two larvae I have are being kept on different substrate than my other larvae and are also being fed chick feed, so we'll see what happens with those. If they become stunted like my other larvae, even after being fed chick feed from an earlier age, then the chick feed itself is likely to blame for the malnutrition.
If the larvae grow to a normal size though, then that means it was either the abrupt switch of diet that caused my original trio to become stunted, or poor substrate. The problem is, I won't really know for certain which one was to blame without further testing...

Anyway, at least they didn't die or anything, hopefully I'll have a sexed pair out of the trio and will be able to breed them, and then refine my care methodology for them so I can raise nice, big adults in the future. πŸ™‚ If the larvae can't eat chick feed though, that's gonna suck, I'll have to feed them mostly live prey then, since I don't want to buy dog/cat food anymore, and that's going to get tricky with the tiny hatchling larvae... πŸ˜‘

Well, here's a dark, blurry photo I took of my adult through the side of it's enclosure, you can see both headlights glowing here:

It will take about three weeks for the adult to emerge from it's pupal chamber, so it will be a while still until I can get some decent pictures of it.

Anyway, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading everyone, I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Anallacta, Armadillidium & Zenoa Updates!

My Anallacta are doing great, my first batch of nymphs have started to all molt into L2, and it looks like another ootheca hatched as well! πŸ™‚The second instar nymphs are starting to develop the long, lanky legs characteristic of this species!

Here are some pictures of a few of the nymphs:

So far so good with these guys! If all goes well, soon I'll have more than I'll know what to do with lol!
Sadly, one of my original large Armadillidium maculatum "Dalmatian" adults has passed away due to a molting deformity, however my other ones are doing well, and I have lots of little mancae now! Some of the larger, older mancae have started developing really nice coloration, which will hopefully only intensify with age! 😁

Here are some pictures of them:

Very nice looking isopod morph, I'm glad they are breeding for me, can't wait until these mancae get bigger!
Lastly, I am very happy to tell you guys that my Zenoa picea has matured! πŸ˜„ It looks like a female to me, but that's just a guess, as I have no idea how to sex these guys. I don't know if this species actually eats as adults, I will offer it fruits, but my guess is that it won't eat them, or anything else, as these guys don't live long at all once they are mature.

Here are some pictures of it when it was teneral:

And pictures of it fully hardened:

Very glad to have been able to document most of the life cycle of this unique and poorly known beetle species, too bad I won't be able to breed them, they are pretty cool looking!

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