Friday, May 19, 2017

Drymaplaneta & a Couple of Tenebrionid Updates

Well, I am now down to 7 Drymaplaneta semivitta nymphs, so in a last ditch attempt to save these guys, I have completely redesigned their enclosure to mimic the setup shown on this blog here. The owner of that blog, Komatsu, has been breeding Drymaplaneta successfully for years, so I'm hoping that by mimicking his setup, mine will thrive and breed as well.

Honestly, I think the major problem with my previous setup is that I was keeping them way too humid. I think they actually like things really dry, with just one small area of the enclosure moist, or just a water bowl for moisture. Most other people suggest that high humidity is vital to their survival, yet those breeders never got theirs to survive for more than a few generations. I think they just need really dry conditions and good ventilation. So I probably didn't have to mimic the above setup as closely as I did, but I figured better safe than sorry!

Here are some pictures of the new enclosure:

















As you can see, I did make a few adjustments to the design of this enclosure compared to the one in Cic.net. First off, I added some dead leaves to the bottom of the enclosure, to make it seem a little more natural, and to give them even more hiding spaces.

Also, I changed up the food bowel a bit. Komatsu uses rat food pellets to feed his roaches, apparently they last a long time in an enclosure, as from what I can tell, it looks like he puts a whole bunch of pellets in a large food bowl, fills it to the top, and then leaves it there for months. Cat/dog food doesn't last that long in an enclosure though, I don't think it would work the same, but if I just put one piece of food at the bottom of the deli cup, they may have a difficult time finding it.

I wanted to keep the food and water bowls level so I could use that little plastic-mesh-bridge thing, so instead of just putting a small milk cap in the corner of the enclosure, I filled a deli cup with foam, then cut a hole in the middle of the foam and put a milk cap inside of it, and put food in that. So now the food will be on the top, level with the water bowel. 🙂

Here is a picture of one of the nymphs:













Hopefully they'll do better in this new setup, I really think that they will like it a lot better than their previous enclosure, if only because of the dryer humidity levels. We'll see...
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I just realized I have never posted about my Superworms, Zophobas morio, even though I've had them for years! They are pretty cool Tenebrionids, underrated in my opinion.

I have a small colony right now, I kept them on coconut fiber before, but now it's mostly just frass. They don't seem to lay many eggs, (possibly because the substrate is mostly frass), but there are always enough larvae to keep the colony going. I use them as feeders, mainly the pre-pupae or pupae, for beetles, centipedes, and my rose haired tarantula.

Anyway, last month while digging around in the enclosure for larvae to pupate, I found a HUGE larvae in there, much larger than any other I had seen. I isolated it for pupation, and it matured recently into quite a large adult! I took some pictures of it compared to one of it's normal sized brethren, here they are:






















The difference in size of just the heads is quite impressive in my opinion! Just thought I'd share this with you guys, I've never reared one quite this large before! 😀
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Lastly, last week I caught a small Tenebrionid that was crawling on my ceiling, I had never seen the species before, so I decided to keep it, I have it housed in a small container with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, I am keeping one half moist and one half dry, and am feeding it cat food. Don't know if it's a female or not, would be nice to get some offspring though!

I posted pictures on Bugguide, so far no one has identified it just yet, one member suggested that it may be a mealworm, but at just a little over 5mm, that's impossible. Anyway, here are some pictures of the little thing:




















Hopefully I'll get a definite ID soon, I heavily suspect that it is Cynaeus angustus, the larger flour beetle.

Anyway, that's gonna do it for today, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, will see you all next time! 🙂

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