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! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment