Friday, September 30, 2016

Jerusalem Cricket, Coelus ciliatus & Centipede Updates

Well, my largest Jersalem cricket female, Swirl, ate her mate, Jiminy. I found what was left of his body on top of the substrate in their her enclosure. She had been hunkered down in her burrow for most of the week I left them in with each other, and when she surfaced and found the male she probably freaked out and killed him. I'm hoping he got to mate before she did so, but chances are she may have killed him before he had the chance.

I separated Tiny and Sam after finding Jiminy dead, as Tiny is my last male. Hopefully Tiny mated with Sam, the few times I saw them interact they seemed scared by each other, but hopefully they mated when I was not looking. He and Sam were removed from their cages and put in a larger enclosure for mating, and thus had not established territories, but I put Jiminy in Swirl's enclosure that she had already been in for a while. I think had I removed Swirl and put her in unfamiliar territory along with Jiminy, she may not have killed him. Instead, I put Jiminy in her territory, and I think as soon as she saw him she probably freaked out and attacked him.
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My Scolopendra polymorpha "Rio Grand", Tirek, has finally surfaced after a long fast, he has been in a burrow at the bottom of his cage for several weeks now. I fed him a Parcoblatta americana nymph, and an adult female Parcoblatta lata that was dying. He's fattened up a bit, but still looks a little skinny. I don't think he even molted the whole time he was in hiding. Hopefully he will stay active and eat a bit more, would love for him to start growing.

Here are a couple of pictures I snapped of him yesterday:





















Centipedes are such amazing creatures, and this species is a very pretty one! Can't wait until he reaches full size, he should get pretty big when full grown!
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A few weeks ago I separated a couple of Coelus ciliatus larva for pupation, I put them in small deli cups filled with almost an inch of a moist, compressed sand and coconut fiber mixture. I waited for them to build pupal cells at the bottom of the enclosure, like most darkling beetle larva do, but they never did. I wondered if the larvae had died or were still digging around in search of a suitable pupation spot.

I had almost given up on them, so yesterday I put about ten more larva in containers for pupation, hoping they'd have better luck. However, today while inspecting my collection, I noticed that two freshly eclosed beetles were on the surface of the of the substrate in the both the deli cups!
I have moved them to a container full of dry sand, with some dead leaves and a piece of cat food in the cage for food and shelter. I'll be keeping them in there for a week or so, until their exoskeletons have hardened.

Here are some pictures of them:





















I am very happy that I've reared these to adulthood, however I am a little upset that I was not able to get any pictures of the pupae. I'll need to be more diligent with the other larvae I attempt to pupate, and dig them up after a while to find a pupa. Once I do I will have captured every important part of this species' life cycle on camera!

Well, that's gonna be it for this post, I hope you guys enjoyed, and I'll see you all next time! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Embaphion, Eusattus and Paranauphoeta Updates!

My Embaphion muricatum are doing well, I was able to rear most of the larva I bought into adults, and now the larva that my adults produced are already ready to pupate! This species has a pretty fast development rate, almost comparable to the growth rates of Tenebrio molitor!

Here are some pictures of the adults:






















This is such a neat species of darkling beetle, and very easy to rear. Hopefully this species will continue to do well in my care! :)
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On the other end of the spectrum, my Eusattus muricatus larva have not been doing all that great, apparently this species has a poor larval survival rate in captivity, the amount of larva in the cage compared to the amount of eggs laid is disappointingly small.

Still, the larva that are alive seem to be healthy, and they are already quite large, a little over two times as long as the adults. They may be close to pupating, I will let them be for a few more weeks and then try to isolate a few of the larva for pupation.

Here are some pictures of a large larva:















I really hope there will be enough larva to create a few adult pairs, already the number of larva alive seems to be less than the number of adults I started with, which is not a good sign.
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My female Paranauphoeta discoidalis seems to have died , as I could not find her anywhere in the enclosure. However, she left me with 20 beautiful nymphs, which is more than enough to sustain the population!

Here are some pictures of the cuties:





















They are growing much faster than I suspected they would, which is a pleasant surprise. This species is really pretty throughout it's whole lifespan, and I am very happy to have some in my collection!

Annyway, that's all for this post, hope you guys enjoyed, and I'll see you all next time! :)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Some Roach Updates & a Short Pasimachus Update

My African bullet roaches have been doing very well, and there are a whole bunch of nymphs in the enclosure, much more than I thought there were! 

Here are some pictures:
Nymphs



















Male


















I'm really glad these have been doing well, the nymphs seem to be growing fast, hopefully in a few months they will start to mature!
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My Arenivaga bolliana may all be mature now, the two males are mature and my large female is definitely mature, my other female just molted and is much smaller, but she looks mature to me. Time will tell I suppose.

Here are some pictures of them all!

Males



















Female (May be mature)













Mature female











As you can see in the last picture, my mature female is constructing an ootheca! I'm very happy that this species is doing well in my care, and I can't wait to see tiny hatchlings in the cage!
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So unfortunately, none of my Pasimachus ever laid any eggs, or if they did they ate the resulting larva. My guess is that I may have gotten them too late in the year and they had already laid their eggs before I got them, or that I don't have any females. However, they all seem very healthy, and they will probably go into hibernation pretty soon, so next year if I have any females, I should be get some eggs from them!

Here are a couple pictures of one of them:



















Really hoping I'll get some eggs from them next year, would love to try and rear the larva to adulthood!

Also, just wanted to let you guys know that I have quite a few roaches and some other invertebrates available for sale right now, so go check it out!

Well, that's gonna do it for today, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I'll see you all next time! :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Polyphaga Updates!

My Polyphaga saussurei have been doing very well, and turns out they are much closer to adulthood than I anticipated. In fact, it would seem that one of them may have matured already!

Here are a couple pictures of the (probably) mature female:














Hopefully if it is mature, she will start laying some oothecae! Can't wait to have some babies of this gigantic Polyphaga species!
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My Polyphaga aegyptiaca have been doing good too, however, no oothecae have hatched as of yet. The females sure have been cranking out those eggcases though, there are TONS of them in the substrate! My male matured last month, but I never got around to photographing him until now.

Here are some pictures of them:

Female
















Male




















Hopefully some of their oothecae will be hatching soon, I will be sure to let you guys know when they do!

Well, that's gonna be it for today, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I'll see you all next time! :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Melanolestes picipes & Stenopelmatus sp Updates!

I currently have 7 Melanolestes picipes left, I lost a few nymphs due to some mismolts and inexplicable die offs, but 7 nymphs from a single pair of adults does not seem bad to me. :)

One male and one female have matured, and they are in a breeding enclosure right now. I have three more male nymphs an two more female nymphs, the males are all subadults and the females look like pre-subs to me.

Here are some pictures of the lovely couple:

Male

















Female




















Hopefully another generation will be coming soon, keeping these little assassins has been a really cool experience, and I hope that I will be able to culture them for many generations to come. :)
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Now, I got some big news on my Stenopelmatus sp, my two males and two more of my females have matured!

Jiminy, my largest male, matured very recently. I said in an older post that he matured and I did try to mate him with my female, nothing ended up happening however, and as it turns out, he was a subadult at the time, not mature yet. He was quite big and I guessed he was mature due to his size, however I know he is mature now due to the presence of two tiny, black hooks on the end of his abdomen, in between the two cerci.

Here are some pictures of him and the hooks:

Jiminy


















Genital hooks















As you can clearly see, there are two small hooks, each one next to his cerci, which apparently aid in grasping the female while mating, and are only found on mature males.

Tiny also matured into a male, he is much smaller than Jiminy, which is apparently a good thing when it comes to mating for Jerusalem crickets.
Here is a picture of him as well as a shot of his genital hooks:

Tiny















As for the females, both Sam and Gap have matured. Apparently the only way to tell when a female matures is that the tip of their ovipositors darken a little bit, and (in this species at least), they develop dark markings on their face near their mandibles, reminiscent of war paint. Size is not a good indicator, as the adults can vary wildly in size depending on how much nutrients they get as a nymph.

Unfortunately Mangle did die, he tried to molt but got stuck in his old skin and was unable to free himself. Sadly he was too tangled up in his old skin to be saved, and I had to put him down. Rest in peace Mangle. :(

I have put Jiminy in Swirl's cage once again, hopefully this time I will see some mating action and finally see if I can get a female Jerusalem cricket to oviposit a clutch of eggs in captivity. I also paired Tiny and Sam together, hopefully they'll mate as well.

Here is Jiminy and Swirl's enclosure:











And here is Tiny and Sam's enclosure, (you can see Sam in both pics):
















Hopefully all goes well, will be sure to keep you guys updated on these amazing Orthopterans!

Well that's it for today, hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I'll see you all next time! :)