Thursday, June 8, 2017

Meracantha & Alobates Eggs!!!

Well, I was checking up on my Meracantha contracta enclosure last week, and I went to take out the old cat food in there that had started to mold, and when I lifted it up off the substrate, I ended pulling some coconut fiber up along with the food, and I noticed some small, white, spherical objects in it... YUP, eggs, nice, healthy Tenebrionid eggs! 😁

I looked around the enclosure and found many others in different areas, some have even been laid up against the enclosure wall, my female has been a busy girl! Now I just gotta hope they'll hatch and that the larvae won't be too hard to rear!

I didn't get any pictures of them, didn't want to dig any up and disturb them, but will keep you guys updated on their development, and will try to get some pictures of the larvae if/when the eggs hatch!
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A few days ago I went to go do enclosure maintenance on my Alobates pensylvanica cage, take out their old food and replace it, (they only seem to like cat food BTW, they haven't touched the mealworm pupae I offered them), mist them, and check up on the beetles themselves. So I went and lifted up the largest bark slab in the enclosure, which was placed on top of the substrate and a patch of sphagnum moss, and was very surprised to find a good sized cluster of eggs had been laid on the underside of the bark, as well as on top of the moss the bark was resting on! 😄

I was definitely not expecting them to lay their eggs directly on the bark, I thought they would lay them inside of the actual substrate, but really, it makes way more sense that they would lay them on the bark. This species is normally found under bark on dead trees, in between the bark and the actual wood, so that has to be where they lay their eggs in the wild, instead of chewing into the wood and depositing the eggs there. Once the larvae hatch, then they burrow into the wood. So that's probably why they didn't lay the eggs in the substrate, like most other darkling beetles I've kept.

Here are a couple pictures of the main egg cluster:

















Really can't wait until the eggs hatch, hopefully the larvae aren't too difficult to rear! If they are truly predatory, I may end up having to separate them and keep them each in their own deli cups, would be nice if they just ate wood and cat food though, and not each other.

Well, that's gonna do it for today folks, I hope you enjoyed this post, will see you all next time! 😉

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