Thursday, October 18, 2018

Goodbye (For the Foreseeable Future)

Hey guys and gals, it's been a while, hasn't it? Unfortunately I come bearing bad news, and that is that I have officially quit the hobby, and have no inverts left, (except for my pet rose hair tarantula, who I've had for too long to just give away). 😞

I tried just cutting my collection down to a few species, and that worked to help keep my anxiety and stuff down for a while, but over time I noticed that I had just lost my "spark", my passion for keeping invertebrates. I still love invertebrates, but I just want to observe them from a distance or in the wild now, I don't really enjoy keeping and breeding them myself anymore, not at the moment at least.

So, I've sold off everything in my collection, (except for the tarantula), and now without anything to post about, I suppose this blog will go into a permanent dormancy, unless I one day change my mind and come back to the hobby, (which is entirely possible).

Thanks so much to everyone who has followed this blog, I have appreciated your support throughout the years more than you can know! ☺ And again, thanks to all my hobby friends for always being there for me, you all have a special place in my heart!

There are a couple draft posts I made over the past few months that I never got around to publishing, which I'll post below this one for you all to read. I've also updated the Care Sheets page, with a new section for Panchlora sp. "White" and I updated some care information for a few others as well.

Well, I guess this is it, thank you all so much for reading, I hope you all continue to enjoy this hobby and use this blog as an information resource for many years to come, goodbye! ☺

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Panchlora sp. "White" Update!

[THIS IS A DRAFT POST FROM SEVERAL MONTHS AGO]

So, where we last left off, I had just added a new "roach hut" made of corkboard to my Panchlora sp. "White" enclosure. Well, I added another two, as they really seemed to love the first! 😄 One is vertically arranged like the first one, and the other is horizontally placed, buried under the substrate. The smaller nymphs especially seem poorly suited to burrowing, and prefer pre-made structures to hide in instead. The larger nymphs also share this preference, but I still see them burrowing from time to time, often from "roach-hut" to "roach-hut".

Unfortunately that female with the black ootheca cavity did die prematurely, I found her lying on the substrate with half of a very black, rotten ootheca sticking out of her. 😢 However, my other, healthy female produced a nice big litter of nymphs right before then, and died right after, (she was quite old in comparison to the sick female). So I do have quite a few nymphs now, should be around thirty all in all! 😀

Also, while experimenting with different foods, I noticed that this species really likes pre-killed mealworm pupae and larvae, almost more so than anything else I've fed them previously! 😮 It seems this species likes a lot of protein, so I started wondering whether they need pollen in their diet or not. See, pollen actually has a lot of protein in it, and I believe Panchlora adults have been seen visiting flowers in the wild... 

So, I decided to buy some artificial pollen online and feed it to my colony. I went with artificial pollen because I've heard some real pollen sources can be contaminated with pesticides, and the fake stuff was easier for me to find. Anyway, after testing with some less fragile species, I offered some of this artificial pollen to my Panchlora, and low and behold, they really seem to like it! 😃 I have yet to see if it increases nymph survival rates or reproduction success at all, time will tell. 

Kyle from Roachcrossing also suggested that this species may have lost it's gut flora sometime after being introduced to captivity, which could explain why they are doing so poorly in captivity now. Without gut flora, (the symbiotic bacteria that lives in their digestive tracts), they wouldn't be able to digest food properly. So, I added some Hemiblabera tenebricosa and Porcellio bolivari frass to my Panchlora enclosure as well, to try and help them regain some gut flora if they are truly lacking it. I can't tell if it's because of the rising number of nymphs, or the frass, but I have noticed an increased appetite in my colony, so perhaps it is working already. ☺

Anyway, some of my older nymphs are starting to mature now, I've got a few new adult males, and some females seem like they are subadults or at least pre-subs, so hopefully I'll have some new adult pairs soon! 😊

Here are some pictures of one of the males:















And some new shots of the enclosure:
















Hopefully the colony will continue it's rise in numbers, I am unfortunately the last person in the US with a breeding colony of this species now, I'd really like to change that soon! 😬

Well, thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoyed, will see you all next time! 😉

Oniscus asellus & Porcellio bolivari Updates!

[THIS IS A DRAFT POST FROM SEVERAL MONTHS AGO]

A few months ago, I noticed some weird individuals popping up in my Oniscus asellus "Mardi Gras Dalmatian" colony. After closer inspection, I noticed these specimens were almost completely patternless, with just some yellow flecks and a few dark "freckles" here and there, which were barely visible.

I found three of these individuals in total, and isolated them immediately. Sadly, one died randomly a few weeks after isolation, seemingly due to an overwatering issue. Luckily the remaining two are a male and a female, and both are doing great and should breed soon!

Here are a few pictures of them, mostly the largest individual:


























These pictures were taken shortly after isolation, since then they have grown quite a bit, and the larger individual has lost almost all of the dark "freckles" that were already barely visible. 😁 Hopefully I can isolate a pure white strain soon! (Well, white with some yellow splotches! 😛).
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In other Oniscus related news, I just completed a trade with Bo Syroney for 10 small Oniscus asellus "Maple Orange", and they have all arrived alive and well! 😄

I have them set up in a medium sized Tupperware with moderate ventilation, a thin, moist layer of Zilla "Jungle Mix" as the substrate, and some eggcrate pieces as hides. I also added a layer of dead oak leaves on top of the substrate, and am feeding them chick feed and carrot pieces as well.

My plan is to get a colony established of this color morph, and then I want to cross them with my Oniscus asellus "Mardi Gras Dalmatians" to create an orange dalmatian morph of sorts! 😍 This has been a dream of mine for a while now, I really hope I can do it! But if for some reason I can't, Bo will also be trying to do the same thing, so hopefully between the two of us we can isolate an orange dalmatian morph! (Like what has been done with Porcellio scaber).

Anyway, here is a picture of one of them:

















Fingers crossed they do well for me and I can cross them successfully with my O.asellus "MGD"!!! I will be sure to keep you all updated on them! 😉
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My Porcellio bolivari are doing pretty well, over the past few months I have managed to get two of my females to give birth, so I have a good amount of mancae now! 😃 Unfortunately two of my five females did die randomly though, and the male I originally had in with them was cannibalized upon shortly after introduction, so it hasn't been a complete success... 😕

Still, I've got mancae now, which are growing very well, and my remaining females are doing great, (as are the two males I have in isolation), so this breeding attempt is still going a lot better than the last one! 😊

Anyway, here are some pictures I took of my large males:


















And here are the little mancae!!! 😁






















Hopefully the colony continues this upward trend, I look forward to the day when I have a fully established colony of this beautiful species!

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