Thursday, October 27, 2016

Some Cockroach, Isopod and Jerusalem Cricket Updates

My Arenivaga bolliana have been doing OK, unfortunately I lost one of my males due to dehydration, I have really overestimated how dry of an enclosure Arenivaga need, apparently they like conditions a little more moist than what I've been providing them. I have tweaked the enclosures of all my Arenivaga species and have more moist substrate in the cage, hopefully I will have no more problems when it comes to hydration.

Here are a couple of pictures of my large female:



















Hopefully I'll be seeing hatchlings in a few months! :)
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It's been a while since I posted about my Balta notulata nymphs, they have been growing quite slowly compared to other Ectobiids I've kept, but they are definitely growing, and they all seem healthy.

Here are some pictures of them:
















Can't wait to start seeing adults, some of my nymphs look like they are getting quite close to maturity!
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My Corydidarum pygmaea females have yet to produce any nymphs, and I'm getting a little concerned. I have been keeping them at room temperature, (which in my room is usually about 75F), however now that it's starting to get a little chilly I've put a heat cable under their enclosure, I hope that will help induce them to give birth. They almost always have apple available, so lack of fruit is definitely not the culprit, nor is the presence of predatory mites, which Orin McMonigle states can stress them out enough that they'll refuse to give birth.

I changed their cage up today in an attempt to make it feel more natural, and added some bark pieces to the cage to replace the half a toilet paper roll that was their hide before, which they never used. Hopefully they'll like the change of decor, and maybe it'll even get them to give birth!

Here are some pictures of the girls:


















And their new and improved enclosure:
















I really hope I'll get some babies from them soon, I really love this unique species of cockroach!
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My last Panchlora sp. "White" female still seems to be doing good, she has not given birth yet though. The nymphs I have are doing pretty well, and some of them have started molting into the second instar, which is great. They don't seem terribly inclined to burrow, which I find curious, there is a fungus that has taken a hold of the cage that will eventually turn the substrate into one solid mass, however if they start burrowing soon then they should stir the substrate up enough that the fungus will eventually die off, if not I'll have to replace the substrate and sterilize the cage.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the enclosure, which I have not really shown off at all:
















As you can see there are a ton of springtails in the cage, (Sinella curviseta), which have done a good job at keeping mold down, (unfortunately they are no good at keeping the yellow fungus which turns the substrate into one solid mat at bay).
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The dalmatian Oniscus asellus are doing great, shortly after finding the original three I found a fourth in my regular O.asellus colony, which I put in with the other dalmatians. They have reproduced already, and I think that some of the babies may be dalmatians too! I'll know for certain when they get a little bigger.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the older individuals:
















Beautiful, am I right?! :)

My Porcellio scaber "Pied", have not been doing as well, and by that I mean none of their offspring have shown any white coloration, and some of the individuals that were originally white have lost their special coloration! I only have one pied individual left it seems, hopefully some of the normal looking offspring carry the gene for the pied coloration, otherwise it looks like this color morph will become extinct really soon. :(

Here are a couple pictures of my last pied individual:




















Hopefully things change soon, I really like this color morph.
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Unfortunately, my male Jerusalem cricket, Jiminy, has died. :( He was only able to mate with two females successfully, I tried mating him with another recently but he was unable to deposit a spermatophore after he almost aligned his genital hooks four times, he seemed to be tired so I let separated them and let him rest, sure enough he died less than a week later.

I assume that getting bit on the back did cause some damage to him, and it probably severely shortened his lifespan. Hopefully I'll be able to get the two females he mated with to lay some eggs.
















Rest in peace Jiminy, hopefully your legacy will live on through your offspring, if I can get the females to oviposit that is.

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

Another Successful Coelus Eclosion!

My Coelus ciliatus pupa that I showed off a couple of posts ago has eclosed! I've had some pretty mixed results with trying to pupate these guys, some larva pupate quite readily while others don't even bother digging down into the substrate and die on the surface, or die molting into a pupa.

I was able to get some pictures of this specimen while it was still teneral, here they are:


































Here it is next to it's pupal skin:


Hopefully more of my larva will pupate successfully, I really want to establish a captive population of this species in captivity. I still have surviving adults from my wild caught batch, and they just started laying eggs again, which is nice, these guys seem much more hardier than the closely related Eusattus in captivity.

Anyways that's gonna do it for today, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, see you all soon! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Jerusalem Cricket, Polyphaga saussurei & a Couple Centipede Updates

A couple days ago, the 13th to be exact, I put my male Jerusalem cricket, Tiny, in with another female, Sam. Now I had him in an enclosure with her for almost a week a little while back but saw no breeding activity, so just to make sure I put them both in my breeding enclosure to ensure that the male fertilized her. It was a success, and the male was able to leave a spermatophore for the female.

Here are some images of the mating:






















Now, according to David Weissman, the leading expert on Stenopelmatidae, part of the spermatophore dries out and sticks to the female for a 3-4 days, serving as both a physical and olfactory barrier against other males that would try to mate with her. However, just 45 minutes after this mating, I checked on the female and saw no spermatophore. It seems that she most likely dislodged the remnants of it when she tried burrowing into the substrate. Luckily it seems that this should not have any impact on her fertility, as when I told David of this he said he suspected my female was definitely fertilized.

Hopefully I will be able to mate my male with my other females and try to get some eggs out of them!
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My Polyphaga saussurei have been doing pretty good, not much has changed with them since my last post about them, just wanted to share some more pictures I took of my adult today.





















Can't wait for her to start laying some oothecae! :)
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My Rhysida sp. "Purple" has been doing pretty good, I have been feeding it fairly often, though not as often as I could be, and it still has not molted. I will be feeding it a little more frequently, as I feel it should have molted in my care by now. It seems to readily accept Parcoblatta americana nymphs and adult males, which I have plenty of.

Here are a few pictures of it:
















I am also going to be power feeding my Scolopendra polymorpha, as it has been pretty active on the surface lately and seems relentlessly hungry. No matter how much I feed the sucker I have not noticed any weight gain so far, just today I fed it a large superworm pupa, then when it finished I fed it a superworm pre-pupa, which it eagerly attacked.

Here are some pics of it eating the pre-pupa:














Hopefully I'll start seeing some growth in my centipedes soon!

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I'll see you all next time! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Coelus ciliatus Pupa!

Well, that pre-pupa I posted a picture of a few posts ago had a bad molt and died before pupating successfully, however I dug into another container in hopes of finding a pupa, and low and behold, there was a pupa in the container. :)





















The pupa of Coelus apparently look very similar to those of Coniontis, which makes sense since they are very closely related. Other than that one pre-pupa that died while molting, I have had two other deaths while trying to pupate larva, and the older larvae in the breeding enclosure have been dying recently, so I really have to try pupating more larva before they expire.

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I'll see you all soon! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Jerusalem Cricket Breeding Update

So, there have been quite few developments in the Jerusalem cricket breeding front, some bad and some good.

So, I set up a breeding container for my Jerusalem crickets since leaving them in with each other does not seem like a safe option. The container is a fairly large, shallow plastic container with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber at the bottom. I moved my male, Tiny, and one of my females, Gap, into the enclosure about a week ago, and after a while of them bumping into each other and instantly running away, he was finally able to grab on to her and start the mating process.

The mating process involves the male Jerusalem cricket grabbing onto a female aggressively until she rolls on her side and surrenders to him, then he bites her hind tibia and aligns himself with the female so that his back is facing her belly, then using the small hooks in between his cerci to grapple on to her, he extends his phallic lobes to deposit his spermatophore.

However, when Tiny grabbed on to his mate, he started biting her belly, when he was supposed to be biting her hind tibia. I mistook this for a sign of aggression when it's really him just being stupid and trying to locate her tibia, and separated them immediately. I then let them try to mate again, however she was less accepting of him the second time and when he tried grabbing on to her she bit him on the back, drawing blood. I quickly separated them and put them back in their enclosures, I thought it was the end for Tiny. However, after a few days his wound scabbed up and he seemed to be acting normal and eating.

Here are some pictures of his wound a few hours after getting bit:
















It looks much better now, so a couple days ago I tried putting him in with a different female, Ripper. When he grabbed on to her and started biting her belly I just let him do his thing, turns out he was just trying to locate her tibia, and was not biting her hard enough to pierce her exoskeleton.

You can see some of the mating process here:



















After about half an hour of him biting her belly then biting her tibia then losing his grip and biting her belly again, he finally aligned himself properly and was able to deposit his spermatophore, as you can see below.



















Part of the spermatophore apparently stays attached to the female's rear for a few days, preventing any other males from mating with her. I did not see anything like the remnants of a spermatophore attached to Sam, the female I left Tiny in with for a week, so I do not think he mated with her. He did definitely fertilize this female though, so I'm hoping she'll lay some eggs!

Male Jerusalem crickets apparently have a one day refractory period where they are unwilling to mate, so I will leave him alone for a few days to let him rest up before trying to mate him with the other females, I have four girls that need to be fertilized before laying eggs!

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