Wednesday, November 30, 2016

RIP Chorisoneura texensis

Unfortunately it's official, all my Chorisoneura texensis have died off, looks like my lucky streak with this species ran out. :( Hopefully I'll eventually be able to obtain more and breed them successfully, at least now I know not to house them in with large species of springtails.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Some Roach Updates & a Venus Flytrap Update

A few days ago I checked on my Polyphaga saussurei enclosure, and saw my adult female carrying an oothecae around!! I'm so happy to finally be getting oothecae from this species, now I'll just have to wait another 7 months until they start hatching!

Here are some pictures of the oothecae:
























I really love this species, and I can't wait to see some hatchlings in the enclosure! :)
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My Cariblatta minima have been doing really well, and I got tons of offspring from my original adults, which are starting to mature now. However I have not really been able to get any pictures of them since they all love hanging out on the lid, which is a shame. I was able to get a couple of of half decent pictures of the nymphs through the feeding hole in their cage, no such luck with the adults however.

Here are the pictures of the nymphs:

















And here is their enclosure:





















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Another one of my Blata notulata nymphs has matured, and my other adult has darkened in color a little bit, so I took some more pictures of them, which I'll share here:


















I really like this species, I find the ornate markings on the adults very attractive!
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My Parcoblatta divisa nymphs are growing at quite staggered rates, some are still very small, and others have matured already! I have at least one mature pair of adults, and I took this opportunity to take some pictures of an adult male, turns out I never photographed my original male when he matured!

Anyway, here are some pictures of my sexed pair:

















As you can see, the male is quite the attractive creature! Looks like this species is rather easy to keep and breed. :)
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My Parcoblatta uhleriana are growing at a much more even rate, most of them are getting pretty close to maturity, in fact I found an adult male in the enclosure the other day!

Here are some pictures of the nymphs:





















Even after seeing Parcoblatta zebra in person, this species remains my favorite, I love the red bands on the posterior of the nymphs, and their "hunched" appearance.
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I put my Venus flytrap into hibernation a couple of weeks ago, before doing so I took some pictures of it. It grew really well this year and produced some really big traps, along with a lot of really tiny ones too. Hopefully it'll grow great next year too!

Anyway, here are those pictures:






















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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

First, let's start with the good. My Paranauphoeta discoidalis have been doing great, most of my nymphs seem to be subadults or pre-subs, and my original female is in fact alive, I saw her in the enclosure a couple of days after my last post about this species. Soon I'll have a lot more adults, which is very exciting, this species seems to be quite hardy and rather fast growing. :)

Here are some pictures I took of some nymphs and my adult female:



















This is such a pretty species, I'm so glad they are doing well for me. :)
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Now for the bad. My last female Panchlora sp. "White" seems to be dying, and she didn't ever give me more offspring. :( I have about a dozen nymphs in the enclosure from one litter, which should be enough to keep the colony going, but I'm quite disappointed in the low production rates of my females, my other one died without giving me any offspring and this one only gave birth once.

Hopefully my nymphs will be more hardy than their parents were, I'm hoping that they were just stressed or possibly damaged from the long transit to my home rather than stressed from some aspect of my husbandry.
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And finally, the ugly. My Chorisoneura texensis colony is on the brink of extinction. My adults had died off quite some time ago, but not before leaving plenty of oothecae. After a few weeks the oothecae had begun to hatch, which was exciting. However, all the hatchling nymphs were disappearing for some reason. There was some condensation on the sides of the container and I saw that a few nymphs had actually drowned in them, so I wiped the sides down and stopped misting the cage so much. That did not fix the problem though, the nymphs were still dying.

I soon realized the problem while feeding my culture though, the nymphs were being out-competed by the giant tropical springtails in the cage, Sinella curviseta. I had introduced the springtails to their enclosure as a clean up crew, however their population had skyrocketed, entering the thousands. As soon as food was chucked in the food dish in the enclosure, the springtails would swarm it, and the poor, timid little Chorisoneura nymphs didn't even attempt to push through the springtails to get to their food.

Now for most roach species, a big population of these springtails wouldn't be a problem, as most other roach species in the hobby are big enough to kinda scare the springtails away from the food. But the Chorisoneura nymphs are very small when freshly hatched, about 1 mm long, while a mature Sinella curviseta can be almost 4 mm long! When your clean up crew gets bigger than the roaches they are housed with, you can run into some problems.

So I went through the enclosure and grabbed the few healthy oothecae I could find and put them into a new enclosure with less humidity and without any springtails and kept my fingers crossed. After a few days some of the oothecae hatched! :) Unfortunately, some nymphs died due to unknown causes, and a couple got tangled up in some food mold and died shortly after. I may only have a couple nymphs left, and I don't know if they'll even make it to adulthood, so it looks like I may lose my culture of this species. :( These were the pride and joy of my collection, because even though they are small and rather plain looking compared to the above species for example, they were the only species of roach that I've bred that no one else has successfully.

Hopefully I can acquire more next year and try breeding them again, this time without any springtails in the enclosure. Let this serve as a warning to you guys, don't use large, prolific springtails like Sinella curviseta as clean up crews for really small species of roaches like Chorisoneura, you may regret it!

Well, thank you guys for reading this post, I'll see you all next time! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Some Roach Updates & a Neat Find!

Just found a rather large ootheca in my Arenivaga bolliana enclosure, and I thought I'd post some pictures of it, there's not that many pictures of Arenivaga ootheca online.















Hopefully I'll soon see babies in the enclosure, I'm so glad to finally be breeding this species after wanting them for years! :)
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One of my Balta notulata matured today, which is great, really hope some of the others will follow soon! 

Here are some pictures I took of it: (The eyes look red cause of the flash, they are actually black):





















I love the ornate markings on the pronotum, can't wait until they start breeding!
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My Blaberus sp. "Venezuela" female matured a little while ago, and I realized I have not taken any pictures of her yet, which is crazy considering how nice looking she is! She's got red pronotum markings, which I love, the red pronotum color form of this species is my favorite, I wonder if it could be isolated or if it's just random?

Anway, here are some pictures of her:















Hopefully it'll only be a couple of months before she gives birth, this may be my favorite Blaberus species in the hobby!
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My Dorylaea orini have been doing OK, the females seem to be getting old as the ootheca they have been producing the last couple of weeks are small and very weird looking. I'm still waiting on the good looking oothecae to hatch, it probably won't be long now. 

Here are some pictures I took of them today:





And some of the oothecae:


















Can't wait to see some hatchlings, this species is very beautiful!
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The other day while I was doing maintenance in my Pycnoscelus surinamensis enclosure I came across something really rare and interesting, a mature male! This species, which reproduces exclusively by parthenogenesis, very rarely produces males, which are sterile and unable to mate with the females. Finding a male surinam roach is very rare, so I was very surprised to see this guy at the top of the substrate. 

Here are some pictures of him:























As you can see, male surinam roaches are much more slender than the females, and have longer wings that cover the whole abdomen. I'm really glad I was able to photograph this guy, It'll probably be a long time until I see another one. 
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A couple of days ago my mom found a rather large female katydid, (Microcentrum rhombifolium), on the sidewalk, which she caught for me. :) I ended up letting her go since I'm not interested in keeping insects that feed on living plants, but I did take some pictures of her before I released her. 

Here she is:






















It was very cool seeing this amazing leaf mimic in person, and I'm glad I was able to photograph her. :)

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