Thursday, October 26, 2017

Rare Roach Updates!

Some of my Anallacta methanoides are finally starting to mature! 😁 These have taken a lot longer to grow than I thought they would, the last couple molts especially were rather far apart! Oddly enough, most of the adults are males right now, hopefully some more females will start maturing soon, I really want to breed this species and get them established in the US hobby once again.

Here are some pictures of the first adult to mature:

Let's hope the rest of the nymphs mature with no problems, and that I get a ton of offspring from them!
My Drymaplaneta semivitta are doing very well, I am up to at least five large oothecae now, (it was six, but they ate one of them recently for no reason). All of these large oothecae are nice and healthy looking, so with any luck I will have a ton of nymphs soon! Quite the comeback for my culture, which was on the verge of crashing completely! 😄

Here's a picture of a female in the process of laying yet another ootheca:

Hopefully I'll have some little nymphs running around the enclosure soon!
So, after quite a bit of effort on my part, and one complete enclosure change, I was able to get my old Panchlora sp. "White" female to give birth to a small litter of nymphs! 😃 I haven't gotten a total head count, since I really don't want to disturb them too much, but I'm guessing there are less than a dozen total.

Here are some (rather poor) pictures of the cuties:

The female that gave birth to this litter looks like she's gonna die of old age soon, so my hope for more nymphs lies on my other two females, let's hope I can get them to reproduce too!

I am thinking about making a really nice enclosure, with lots of bark, dead leaves and New Zealand sphagnum moss incorporated into it, dumping all of my remaining individuals inside of it and just hoping for the best. It would be smaller than the gallon enclosure I had them in originally, sort of in between that and the cages they are in now in terms of size.

It would also have feeding areas on both sides of the enclosure, just in case the reason they were doing poorly in their original enclosure was because they couldn't find food consistently. I will also try to keep Sinella curviseta springtails out of the enclosure, and will only inoculate the enclosure with the small silver springtails, and maybe some small white ant springtails too. But we'll see, we'll see...
One of my Ischnoptera deropeltiformis "Ruby Red" finally matured into an adult male, so now I have one adult pair! 😆 These things have taken FOREVER to grow, I was getting worried my female may die off before a male matured in time to mate with her! Luckily that was not the case, so hopefully they will mate and my female will lay lots of fertile ooths!

Here are some pictures of the male:

I like the way the males look even more than the females, since they have longer wings and more vibrant red coloration!
Lastly, I am happy to say that one of my Eurycotis lixa matured the other day, I am pretty sure it is a male! This species is pretty large when mature, and they actually don't seem that bad for handling, the male rarely bit me when I held it, and didn't seem terribly skittish! (whereas I can't get my Eurycotis improcera to stay still for half a second!).

Here are some pictures of the adult male:

Note the slightly flattened, dented in hind legs, similar to the males of Drymaplanetta. The other four nymphs are all subadults too, and all look very plump, so I am pretty sure they will all be mature within a couple weeks! Let's hope I can breed them successfully! 🙂

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

3 Years in a Garage, & Other Tenebrionid Updates...

Last week, I was digging around in my garage, looking for an old Ziplock bag of rotten wood I had collected over three years ago, to use in my Pyrophorus enclosures. I found the bag and opened it up, only to find that half of the wood was highly deteriorated, and seemed to have been turned into tiny frass pellets. I was quite confused, until I dug around a bit and found several Tenebrionidae larvae inside!!! 😮

Somehow these things survived in this Ziplock bag full of only rotten wood, in my poorly insulated garage for THREE YEARS!!! That's three hot summers, three freezing winters, conditions I wouldn't think anything except for maybe mites could survive in! That's what I call a hardy species!

They are Alleculinae larvae for sure, and since the wood they were collected in came from the same tree and was collected at the same time as my old Hymenorus sp culture, I'm guessing they are the same species. I will be moving them to a proper container soon with more rotten wood, which I will still keep in the garage during the winter, since the cold may be needed for proper development. Once springtime comes I will bring them indoors, I'm guessing several adults will emerge at around that time.

It was quite a pleasant surprise, I'm glad to be culturing this species once again! Unfortunately, this all means that I have less usable rotten wood than I thought, so I may need to get more...
Upon request, I'm giving you guys an update on my Edrotes ventricosus! 🙂 So far, nothing has changed, all of my adults are still alive, and they seem to be only eating chick feed. I haven't gotten any eggs from them yet, whether because my setup is wrong, or because they only lay eggs early in the year, I have no clue. No one has successfully bred this species before, so I have no idea what is needed to get females to oviposit.

A friend of mine is working with this species right now, and will be trying to feed them live wild oat grass, (Avena fatua), among other native plants that are commonly found in their wild habitat, so maybe he'll be able to breed them successfully, we will see!

Anyway, here are some pictures of my adults:

Will be sure to post an update on these guys if anything changes!
So, it looks like only one of my remaining Eusattus muricatus larvae made it to pupation, the other two died. Now I have two adults in total, and it seems like they are both the same sex, as I have not noticed any mating behavior, nor have I found any eggs in their enclosure. So it seems like I've reached a dead end with this cool little darkling beetles species. 😞

Anyway, here are a few pictures I took of one of the adults today:

Will be sure to post an update on these cuties if anything changes, but I highly doubt I'll be getting any offspring from them.
Many of my Eleodes tribulus larvae have been pupating lately, and my first CB adult just eclosed the other day, it's a male! I find it very satisfying to rear desert Tenebs to adulthood, I'm glad I was able to successfully breed and rear this species, I believe I am the first person to do so! 😊 (Not that these are particularly hard to breed, it's just that there aren't a whole lot of Tenebrionid breeders out there).

Here are a couple pictures of the teneral male:

Hopefully there will be many more adults where this one came from!

Well, that is going to do it for today's post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next time! 😉

Saturday, October 21, 2017

New Roaches From Cody Will & Gil Wizen!!!

This week I got some new, rare roach species from Cody Will (who just opened up an amazing new website, The Roach Lab), and Gil Wizen, (AKA Wizentrop on the Allpet Roaches Forum and Arachnoboards). I am very excited to add these new species to my collection, so without further ado, let's get to talking about them! 🙂

I made a trade with Cody Will for a group of his Balta vilis, the Small Tan Roach, I've been wanting this species for quite some time now, they seem to be even more uncommon in the US hobby than B.notulata for some reason, despite having similar care needs and growth rates.

I received about 10 individuals, mostly nymphs but a few adults too! I have them housed in a small plastic container with some pinholes poked in the lid, and a large hole melted into the side next to the food bowl, which I plug up with foam. There is about a centimeter or two of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, with bark slabs and dead leaves for hides, my normal Ectobiid setup. I will be feeding them mostly chick feed, with the occasional offering of fruits and veggies.

Here are some pictures of an adult:

I really love how these guys look, hopefully I'll be as successful in keeping this species as I have been with Balta notulata! 😁
I also got two amazing roach species new to culture from Gil Wizen, (Wizentrop), Hormetica apolinari and Lanxoblatta rudis!!! 😄 Both are very unique and awesome new additions to the hobby, hopefully I will succeed in breeding both of them!

Let's start with the Hormetica apolinari. The adults of this species are about the same size as Lucihormetica grossei, and look very similar, but are more colorful than that species, even though the males of Hormetica lack the "glowspots" that male Lucihormetica do. The males do have impressive horns, which they use to fight each other for territory and females, much like Madagascan hissing cockroaches do.

Fun fact about this genus, Hormetica used to include the "glowspot" roaches, (Lucihormetica subcinctaL.verrucosa, and several others). Eventually, all of the members of Hormetica that had the "glowspots", were moved to their own genus, Lucihormetica. So some could call the genus Hormetica "false glowspot roaches", but I think a unique common name that describes the impressive horns the genus was apparently named for would be better.

I got six medium sized nymphs, which I have housed in a medium sized plastic container with a couple inches of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, with one bark slab on top for them to hide under if they want, and a layer of leaf litter on top of the substrate as well. I will be feeding them chick feed, fruits and veggies.

Here are some pictures of one of the little cuties:

They are a very pretty species even as nymphs in my opinion, I can't wait until they mature! 😍

I also bought some Lanxoblatta rudis, a very flat roach species that is a member of the subfamily Zetoborinae, which is only represented by two other species in culture, (the somewhat commonly kept Schultesia lampyridiformis, and the similarly flat Schizopilia fissicollis, which is being bred by Nicolas Rousseaux at the Cafarnarium in Belgium). These roaches have adapted to live under bark in the wild, and are flat and cryptically colored enough that most predators either can't discern them from their surroundings, or simply can not pry them from the surface of the bark, since they lay flush with the surface of said bark.

They have rather specific care requirements, they of course require smooth bark hides, which must be positioned vertically, and they only seem to eat fruit in captivity, dog food and similar feeds aren't touched. They also need a humid environment, apparently don't like too much ventilation, and they don't like being crowded at all.

I ordered two sexed pairs of nymphs from Gil, but he actually sent me one sexed pair of nymphs and one sexed pair of adults, since he has mostly adults now! 😃 which I have housed in a temporary 6 inch tall container with a centimeter or so of moist coconut fiber as the substrate, (which they will almost never step foot on), and some smooth bark slabs for hides, with leaf litter scattered on top of the substrate. I will be feeding them mostly banana pieces and apple slices.

This is only a temporary setup, as Gil says that they should be housed in a container at least 10 inches tall, and probably a lot wider than my current enclosure, to avoid crowding. My four will be fine in this current setup, but I'll need to find a bigger enclosure for them once they start breeding. I wasn't able to find any suitable containers for them on this week's shopping trip, hopefully next week I'll have better luck! It's crazy how hard it is to find 10 inch tall containers that have a good airtight lid or that aren't insanely HUGE!!!

Anyway, here are some pictures of these amazing roaches:


Adult male

They are so unique, I don't have anything remotely similar to them in my collection, so I really look forward to keeping and hopefully breeding this species! 😊

Anyway, that is going to do it for today, I hope everyone enjoyed this post, see you all next time! 😉

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pasimachus L3 Larva & My Current Pyrophorus Larvae Setup

My Pasimachus sp. "Arizona" larva has molted to L3, and is still eating like a champ, fingers crossed it will pupate soon! 😄

I had moved it to a larger jar once it molted to L3, since I thought it would want more room to burrow around, but unfortunately it seems like it took the whole burrowing thing too far, and never found the food I offered it. Once I noticed it hadn't fed on anything for at least a week, I moved it back to it's little deli cup, and it resumed it's normal feeding activity.

So note to self, (and all you Carabidae keepers), don't house Pasimachus larvae in spacious containers with deep substrate, as they don't seem to have the ability to find food easily in such conditions.

Anyway, here are some pictures I snapped of it the other day, I want to be sure to photograph every phase of it's development that I can, including the pupal stage!

Will keep you all updated as to it's development!
So, I have been isolating any Pyrophorus noctilucus larvae from my main enclosure that come close to the surface of the substrate, since they are all starting to grow a bit now! I have twenty-three deli cups devoted to them at the moment, each of them filled with a centimeter or so of moist rotten wood. Twenty of the deli cups now have larvae in them, and it looks like there are still quite a few larvae in the main enclosure... So it looks like my adults have been really busy LOL!!!

I'll be keeping the larvae in these deli cups for several months, until they grow too big for them, and will be feeding them chick feed in addition to the rotten wood, until they are big enough to tackle some small Tenebrionid larvae. My cf. Cynaeus angustus and Tribolium sp. are probably gonna come in real handy for feeding these little guys!

Here is a picture of my current setup for the young Pyrophorus larvae:

As you can see, I've put all of the deli cups in one shoebox, so I can move them around more easily, as taking down each deli cup one by one off of the shelf they are stored on would be quite a pain!

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Drymaplaneta Oothecae & Panchlora Updates!!

A few days ago, I checked on my Drymaplaneta semivitta enclosure, and was ecstatic to discover that there was a nice, full sized ootheca under one of the bark pieces in there! 😁 I am so happy my females are now starting to lay normal oothecae, let's hope many more will follow!!

Additionally, the stunted nymph I had has started growing very rapidly, ever since my females started laying oothecae, and is now either a subadult or a presub, and it is a female, which is great! So obviously something has changed with my husbandry that is both getting my females to lay oothecae and my nymph to start growing again, but I have made SO MANY changes to their setup in order to get them to breed, that I'm not exactly sure what I did right!! 😕 

I can rule out the baby food, since my females started laying ooths before I fed them any, (but I still have been and will continue to feed them the baby food, since a varied diet is probably better anyway), I think it either has something to do with me slightly increasing the humidity in their enclosure, or with the change in seasonal temperatures here.

Anyway, here is a picture of the ootheca:

Hopefully there are many more where that came from!
It's been a while since I last posted about my Panchlora sp. "Speckled", let me catch you guys up to speed on how they've been doing! My two original females passed away rather prematurely, only producing less than a dozen offspring total, sound familiar anyone? I think Panchlora adults must be REALLY sensitive to shipping trips longer than a couple days.

However those offspring have grown very quickly, and I already have a few adult males and at least one adult female already! Hopefully these adults will live longer and reproduce more than my original adults did, I'm pretty sure they will, if they don't then I am quite clearly doing something wrong...

Anyway, I took some pictures of my adult female today, in the sunlight, hoping to better show the true colors of the females of this species on camera, unfortunately I still feel like I didn't really capture the colors just right, she looks rather yellowish in some of the pictures, while she really is more of a very pale, translucent greenish color. Maybe it's just me though, IDK...

Here are the best pictures I could get:

If all goes well, I will likely have dozens of little nymphs within the next month or two! 😊
My Panchlora sp. "White" are doing OK, my oldest female still hasn't given birth yet, but at the same time, the move to the new enclosure seems to be doing her some good, and she has constructed a little chamber under a bark slab, so she will have some babies before she dies off. The adult male I housed with her passed away though, which is to be expected, since they are very short lived as adults compared to the females.

As for the other two pairs, I did end up splitting them up into their own containers, one pair per, just to be safe. The female that just recently matured is doing well, and will have a mate soon, as the subadult male she is with looks like he's going to molt within a few days!

I took some pictures of the younger female today, here they are:

Not the best photos I've taken of this species, I like taking pictures of them on bark rather than coconut fiber, since the latter tends to give them a reddish sheen in photographs, but whatever! 😛 I really hope my females end up producing some nice, big litters of nymphs for me, this is one of my personal favorite roach species!

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