Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Roaches From Cody Will & Gil Wizen!!!

This week I got some new, rare roach species from Cody Will (who just opened up an amazing new website, The Roach Lab), and Gil Wizen, (AKA Wizentrop on the Allpet Roaches Forum and Arachnoboards). I am very excited to add these new species to my collection, so without further ado, let's get to talking about them! 🙂

I made a trade with Cody Will for a group of his Balta vilis, the Small Tan Roach, I've been wanting this species for quite some time now, they seem to be even more uncommon in the US hobby than B.notulata for some reason, despite having similar care needs and growth rates.

I received about 10 individuals, mostly nymphs but a few adults too! I have them housed in a small plastic container with some pinholes poked in the lid, and a large hole melted into the side next to the food bowl, which I plug up with foam. There is about a centimeter or two of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, with bark slabs and dead leaves for hides, my normal Ectobiid setup. I will be feeding them mostly chick feed, with the occasional offering of fruits and veggies.

Here are some pictures of an adult:






















I really love how these guys look, hopefully I'll be as successful in keeping this species as I have been with Balta notulata! 😁
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I also got two amazing roach species new to culture from Gil Wizen, (Wizentrop), Hormetica apolinari and Lanxoblatta rudis!!! 😄 Both are very unique and awesome new additions to the hobby, hopefully I will succeed in breeding both of them!

Let's start with the Hormetica apolinari. The adults of this species are about the same size as Lucihormetica grossei, and look very similar, but are more colorful than that species, even though the males of Hormetica lack the "glowspots" that male Lucihormetica do. The males do have impressive horns, which they use to fight each other for territory and females, much like Madagascan hissing cockroaches do.

Fun fact about this genus, Hormetica used to include the "glowspot" roaches, (Lucihormetica subcinctaL.verrucosa, and several others). Eventually, all of the members of Hormetica that had the "glowspots", were moved to their own genus, Lucihormetica. So some could call the genus Hormetica "false glowspot roaches", but I think a unique common name that describes the impressive horns the genus was apparently named for would be better.

I got six medium sized nymphs, which I have housed in a medium sized plastic container with a couple inches of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, with one bark slab on top for them to hide under if they want, and a layer of leaf litter on top of the substrate as well. I will be feeding them chick feed, fruits and veggies.

Here are some pictures of one of the little cuties:














They are a very pretty species even as nymphs in my opinion, I can't wait until they mature! 😍

I also bought some Lanxoblatta rudis, a very flat roach species that is a member of the subfamily Zetoborinae, which is only represented by two other species in culture, (the somewhat commonly kept Schultesia lampyridiformis, and the similarly flat Schizopilia fissicollis, which is being bred by Nicolas Rousseaux at the Cafarnarium in Belgium). These roaches have adapted to live under bark in the wild, and are flat and cryptically colored enough that most predators either can't discern them from their surroundings, or simply can not pry them from the surface of the bark, since they lay flush with the surface of said bark.

They have rather specific care requirements, they of course require smooth bark hides, which must be positioned vertically, and they only seem to eat fruit in captivity, dog food and similar feeds aren't touched. They also need a humid environment, apparently don't like too much ventilation, and they don't like being crowded at all.

I ordered two sexed pairs of nymphs from Gil, but he actually sent me one sexed pair of nymphs and one sexed pair of adults, since he has mostly adults now! 😃 which I have housed in a temporary 6 inch tall container with a centimeter or so of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, (which they will almost never step foot on), and some smooth bark slabs for hides, with leaf litter scattered on top of the substrate. I will be feeding them mostly banana pieces and apple slices.

This is only a temporary setup, as Gil says that they should be housed in a container at least 10 inches tall, and probably a lot wider than my current enclosure, to avoid crowding. My four will be fine in this current setup, but I'll need to find a bigger enclosure for them once they start breeding. I wasn't able to find any suitable containers for them on this week's shopping trip, hopefully next week I'll have better luck! It's crazy how hard it is to find 10 inch tall containers that have a good airtight lid or that aren't insanely HUGE!!!

Anyway, here are some pictures of these amazing roaches:

Nymph



















Adult male














They are so unique, I don't have anything remotely similar to them in my collection, so I really look forward to keeping and hopefully breeding this species! 😊

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pasimachus L3 Larva & My Current Pyrophorus Larvae Setup

My Pasimachus sp. "Arizona" larva has molted to L3, and is still eating like a champ, fingers crossed it will pupate soon! 😄

I had moved it to a larger jar once it molted to L3, since I thought it would want more room to burrow around, but unfortunately it seems like it took the whole burrowing thing too far, and never found the food I offered it. Once I noticed it hadn't fed on anything for at least a week, I moved it back to it's little deli cup, and it resumed it's normal feeding activity.

So note to self, (and all you Carabidae keepers), don't house Pasimachus larvae in spacious containers with deep substrate, as they don't seem to have the ability to find food easily in such conditions.

Anyway, here are some pictures I snapped of it the other day, I want to be sure to photograph every phase of it's development that I can, including the pupal stage!

















Will keep you all updated as to it's development!
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So, I have been isolating any Pyrophorus noctilucus larvae from my main enclosure that come close to the surface of the substrate, since they are all starting to grow a bit now! I have twenty-three deli cups devoted to them at the moment, each of them filled with a centimeter or so of moist rotten wood. Twenty of the deli cups now have larvae in them, and it looks like there are still quite a few larvae in the main enclosure... So it looks like my adults have been really busy LOL!!!

I'll be keeping the larvae in these deli cups for several months, until they grow too big for them, and will be feeding them chick feed in addition to the rotten wood, until they are big enough to tackle some small Tenebrionid larvae. My cf. Cynaeus angustus and Tribolium sp. are probably gonna come in real handy for feeding these little guys!

Here is a picture of my current setup for the young Pyrophorus larvae:













As you can see, I've put all of the deli cups in one shoebox, so I can move them around more easily, as taking down each deli cup one by one off of the shelf they are stored on would be quite a pain!

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Drymaplaneta Oothecae & Panchlora Updates!!

A few days ago, I checked on my Drymaplaneta semivitta enclosure, and was ecstatic to discover that there was a nice, full sized ootheca under one of the bark pieces in there! 😁 I am so happy my females are now starting to lay normal oothecae, let's hope many more will follow!!

Additionally, the stunted nymph I had has started growing very rapidly, ever since my females started laying oothecae, and is now either a subadult or a presub, and it is a female, which is great! So obviously something has changed with my husbandry that is both getting my females to lay oothecae and my nymph to start growing again, but I have made SO MANY changes to their setup in order to get them to breed, that I'm not exactly sure what I did right!! 😕 

I can rule out the baby food, since my females started laying ooths before I fed them any, (but I still have been and will continue to feed them the baby food, since a varied diet is probably better anyway), I think it either has something to do with me slightly increasing the humidity in their enclosure, or with the change in seasonal temperatures here.

Anyway, here is a picture of the ootheca:















Hopefully there are many more where that came from!
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It's been a while since I last posted about my Panchlora sp. "Speckled", let me catch you guys up to speed on how they've been doing! My two original females passed away rather prematurely, only producing less than a dozen offspring total, sound familiar anyone? I think Panchlora adults must be REALLY sensitive to shipping trips longer than a couple days.

However those offspring have grown very quickly, and I already have a few adult males and at least one adult female already! Hopefully these adults will live longer and reproduce more than my original adults did, I'm pretty sure they will, if they don't then I am quite clearly doing something wrong...

Anyway, I took some pictures of my adult female today, in the sunlight, hoping to better show the true colors of the females of this species on camera, unfortunately I still feel like I didn't really capture the colors just right, she looks rather yellowish in some of the pictures, while she really is more of a very pale, translucent greenish color. Maybe it's just me though, IDK...

Here are the best pictures I could get:






















If all goes well, I will likely have dozens of little nymphs within the next month or two! 😊
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My Panchlora sp. "White" are doing OK, my oldest female still hasn't given birth yet, but at the same time, the move to the new enclosure seems to be doing her some good, and she has constructed a little chamber under a bark slab, so she will have some babies before she dies off. The adult male I housed with her passed away though, which is to be expected, since they are very short lived as adults compared to the females.

As for the other two pairs, I did end up splitting them up into their own containers, one pair per, just to be safe. The female that just recently matured is doing well, and will have a mate soon, as the subadult male she is with looks like he's going to molt within a few days!

I took some pictures of the younger female today, here they are:



















Not the best photos I've taken of this species, I like taking pictures of them on bark rather than coconut fiber, since the latter tends to give them a reddish sheen in photographs, but whatever! 😛 I really hope my females end up producing some nice, big litters of nymphs for me, this is one of my personal favorite roach species!

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Eleodes osculans Adults & New Oniscus asellus Morphs!

My Eleodes osculans larvae have all pupated and eclosed, all at around the same time. I only had 2-3 casualties out of two dozen individuals, due to complications when pupating, so overall these have proven very easy to rear! 

The adult have this curious habit of "clumping" together in large numbers, it's both very odd and strangely adorable! 😊 Here are some pictures of this clumping behavior:

 













I'm really loving this species so far, with any luck they'll produce some larvae for me, which I'll likely put up for sale once they reach a reasonable size, since I'm sure I'll have way more than I'll need for my own breeding! 😄
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Two new morphs have popped up in my main Oniscus asellus colony recently, both of which look rather cool and will hopefully be easy to isolate! 

First off, I have two of these unusually dark individuals, their white skirting seems to be almost completely absent, and their whole bodies are a dark brown color with some yellow and white mottling. I've isolated them to a small container with moist coconut fiber as the substrate and dead leaves for hides/food. I will likely upgrade their enclosure size soon.

Here are some pictures of them:



















And then, I found two light yellowish small juveniles, this is the morph I'm the most excited about. Unfortunately, one of the two individuals seems to have disappeared, I couldn't find it in it's cage yesterday, it may have been eaten by the other individual, or it may have died of some other cause. It could also just be hiding really well, we'll see. 

Luckily my remaining individual seems to be doing very well, and it has gotten big enough for me to say that it's current coloration is likely permanent or very close to the permanent coloration. Here are some pictures of the remaining individual:
















Now, unless more pop up in my main colony, it's more than likely that I'm gonna have to breed these morphs with normal O.asellus to get offspring, and hope that some of the resulting offspring share the same traits as their special looking parents. Some more may still pop up in my main colony though, I'll be checking that container pretty often in search of new morphs!

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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Re-housings, Setup Changes, & a Drymaplaneta Ootheca!

Hey guys, it's been a while since I last posted, it's been quite hectic over here, so I haven't had as much time as I usually do to blog and stuff. There have been a few developments in my collection since I last posted, so let's discuss some of them! 🙂

First of all, I have rehoused my Arenivaga floridensis "White" to a slightly larger enclosure than they were in, due to a bit of antennae nipping with my adult males. Hopefully now that they are in a slightly larger container, the antennae nipping will stop. My two largest female nymphs look like they are subadults now, which is great, hopefully they'll mature soon, there are certainly a lot of adult males in there for them to mate with!
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The other day I checked up on my Drymaplaneta semivitta enclosure, and found that there was a small oothecae that had been laid on one of the eggcartons in the enclosure! 😮 Unfortunately the ooth is very small, so I personally doubt it's fertile, but after discussing with Kyle Kandilian for a bit, he said that the oothecae may be a "practice ooth", that the females lay before really cranking more oothecae out, so maybe many more ooths will follow!

Here are some pictures of the oothecae, (sorry for the poor lighting):


















He also suggested that I feed baby food to them, as this sometimes helps roaches in dire situations that need urgent care, (how exactly, I have no clue), so I got some Pumpkin Banana baby food the other day and am going to be feeding it to my Drymaplaneta for a while, to see if it helps them breed or not.
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My Lucihormetica grossei and subcincta refuse to give birth for some reason, I asked around and apparently I'm not the only one having this problem with Lucihormetica at the moment. I've rehoused my L.subcincta to a larger enclosure and added an inch or two of more substrate, as well as more dead leaves on top, and I added a few more inches of substrate to my L.grossei setup too, since the substrate in their cage was a little shallow. I also added some more ventilation to both containers. Hopefully this will help get them to breed, we will see!
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Unfortunately, my Panchlora sp. "White" adult female seems to be getting old and may die off soon, and she STILL has not given me any offspring! 😩 I have taken her and the last adult male from the main enclosure and put them in a 24 oz plastic container with an inch or so of fresh coconut fiber, with bark pieces for hides. I am keeping the enclosure moist, and will feed them as normal, (chick feed and fruits). This comes after advice from Kyle, he said that he sometimes moves species that aren't doing particularly well for him to smaller enclosures, it's a trick he uses that apparently works well to help some finicky species breed better, (again, how exactly, I'm not sure).

I also dug around the main enclosure to see what other individuals I have left, and I found one very freshly molted adult female, a subadult female, and two subadult males. I have also rehoused them all to a 24 oz container, with fresh coconut fiber and bark pieces and dead leaves for hides, just to be on the safe side. I may actually split them up later and put each pair in their own containers.

Hopefully these changes will help to get these guys breeding properly, this species is so fussy compared to the other Panchlora in the hobby!
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Lastly, I have some Pyrophorus noctilucus news! My adult female(s?) have produced a lot of larvae so far, more than I anticipated, which is great! 😁 Some of the larvae are starting to reach a good size now, and by good size, I mean about 5 mm long! So I have started separating larvae that are either close to the surface or right under the bark hides in the enclosure. So far I have separated three, as I am now out of empty, small deli cups lol! I will be buying more this week, so that I can separate more larvae, before they start developing their predatory tendencies...

Also, I rehoused that large larvae I was talking about recently, though I may actually have to rehouse it again, since it's current enclosure might be too shallow... Anyway, I took some pictures of it as I was setting up it's new enclosure, I even got a couple side by side pictures of it next to some mature Tenebrio molitor larvae for a size comparison!

Here are those pictures:





Now Kiss!!!





















I can't wait to see just how big these larvae will get, and I am so happy that the little larvae my adults produced are doing well! 😊

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The "For Sale" Page is Back!

As some of you may know, my family was in the process of moving, trying to find a new place, and so I've had to put a halt on both buying and selling bugs lately. Well, my move got postponed, (to when exactly, has yet to be determined), so I'm able to start selling bugs again! 🙂 (Haven't gotten the "all clear" to start taking in any new invertebrates yet though, as things are still a little uncertain).

So, the For Sale page is back up now, (with an updated TOS section), and I've got some cool stuff up for sale, including a few rare species I only have a few groups of, so get 'em while you can! 😉

Well that's all I've got to say for today, nothing particularly exciting has gone on in my collection as of late. Will see you all next time!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

More Roach & Pyrophorus Updates (A Rather Long Post)

First of all, both my Deropeltis sp. "Jinka", and Eurycotis improcera have started to lay oothecae! 😁 The Deropeltis ooths are really large, and very well hidden in the grooves of their bark hides, the Eurycotis ooths are smaller, and they didn't do as good of a job at making the oothecae hard to find. I am so glad that these two species have started laying oothecae for me, hopefully they all hatch out with no problems!
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My Anallacta methanoides nymphs are doing very well, and growing nicely! 🙂 The nymphs are really starting to darken up now, and they are looking very beautiful!

Here are some pictures of them:















I really can't wait until they start maturing! 😊
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Well guys, I did it. I freaking did it! I FINALLY got not one, but several Arenivaga tonkawa males to mature without dying first! 😆 Most of the nymphs Kyle sent me ended up being males actually, which is a little unlucky, but thankfully there is at least one female in the bunch, and she just matured as well, so it looks like I'll be getting offspring from them soon!

I think the key to my success this time around is that I put them in a much smaller container than I previously tried keeping my two pairs in, it is well known that many species in this genus do best when kept in relatively small containers. Many Arenivaga species normally utilize small spaces like rodent burrows as their homes in the wild, so it makes sense that they would prefer more confined areas in captivity as well. I also gave them a larger moist area this time around, about half of the enclosure really, which seems to be working nicely for my other Arenivaga species as well.

Here are a few pictures of one of the males:
















Let's hope my female starts laying fertile oothecae soon!
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It seems like only half of the Dorylaea orini oothecae I received from Sebastien hatched, the rest look like duds. That's OK with me though, since I still have a couple dozen nymphs, which should be more than enough to get a colony established! 😄 Some of the nymphs are starting to develop the characteristic stripes that the older nymphs of this species sport, check it out!






















The nymphs of this species are so pretty, can't wait until they get bigger!
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My Gyna caffrorum are doing OK, got lots of nymphs running around, and a LOT of adult males... like there is a VERY unbalanced number of males in there compared to females, which is apparently normal for this species.

Anyway, enjoy these pictures of several males swarming a piece of banana:




















Banana seems to be the preferred fruit of Gyna in my experience, nothing else elicits such a great feeding response.
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Lastly, but certainly not least, one of the two remaining Pyrophorus noctilucus larvae I bought from Gil Wizen just molted and HOLY COW, it's huge! It has definitely surpassed the size my original three larvae were when they pupated prematurely, which is great, it certainly seems like I've got the larval husbandry down now! This larva isn't even mature yet, it still has several molts left to go until it is ready to pupate properly. According to Gil, the larvae of this species can get as thick as a thumb! 😮 Now that is something I have to see for myself!

Anyway, here are a couple pictures I took of it today, I only wish I had taken some better ones that more accurately portray it's size:



















It could probably take down a full grown superworm with little difficulty, I'm going to try feeding it some mature Eleodes hispilabris larvae, (which are a little smaller than superworms are), and see if it'll accept prey that large. Would definitely be more efficient than tossing in three or four yellow mealworms in with it.

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