Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Closing Out 2019!

As this year comes to a close, I'd like to thank all my viewers who read and comment here, your support is much appreciated! 😁 This Spring marked my return to the hobby, and while I have started somewhat small, I'm hoping to scale things up a bit in Spring 2020 with some promising new additions I'm working on acquiring! 😄 In the meantime though I've evidently been able to breed Gyna capucina, and also produced the first litter of Bantua sp. "Namibia" babies in the US! (Hopefully many more litters will follow soon).

2019 wasn't without some losses, my 14 year old cat, Sophie, died in March, which was a devastating loss for me and my family. 😢 I've struggled a bit with anxiety and depression this year as well, which has been a pain as well, but I'm hoping 2020 will have more amazing ups than devastating downs, and will start a new era for this blog with fresh new species, new additions to the hobby as a whole, and more blog posts! 😅

So here's to 2020, may it bring lots of joy, peace, and invertebrates to us all! 🎉😁🎉 Thanks so much for reading, have a wonderful New Year's, I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Gyna, the Bantua, & the Unfortunate...

First, let's start with the good news... Whilst digging around in my Gyna capucina colony the past few weeks, I've noticed that since the move, most of the tiny nymphs in the enclosure have molted several times, with most of the nymphs being a quarter to half grown already. There have been no nymph deaths that I know of either as of late. This was the plan, and it seems to be going smoothly. 😁

However, while digging through my enclosure a couple days ago, I found what appeared to be a first, MAYBE second instar nymph. Now I'm preeety sure all my tiny nymphs that were that size have grown significantly by now, and I'd be very surprised if there were any that young still in the enclosure from the batch of individuals I received from my friend... SO I think it's relatively safe to assume this nymph came from one of my adult females, so I'm pretty sure I've successfully bred G.capucina! 😄

I have no idea how many babies my females have produced, since the colony I received is quite large and nymphs are surprisingly hard to find in the new enclosure, (despite the substrate being almost liquid with movement in some spots), but I'm pretty dang sure at least one of them has given birth now, hopefully to a sizable litter! 🙂

In other news, food is disappearing very rapidly now, with fruits (namely apple) being their favorites so far, artificial pollen second, chick feed third. The dead leaves have basically gone untouched, and they seem to be doing fine on a substrate predominantly made up of fine coconut fiber, so a chunky substrate does not seem necessary for these despite some reports.
So unfortunately, a little over a week ago while doing maintenance on my Bantua sp. "Namibia" I saw a sad sight, one of my females had a prolapse... 😭 Prolapses in roaches never seem to be husbandry related, just random flukes for the most part, so I'm not too worried about my setup or anything, but it is a bummer and a heavy loss for a starter colony...
She'll either die soon, or just never reproduce again, time will tell... I did notice one particularly flat looking female in my enclosure a couple days ago, so she may have retracted her prolapse already, (or it dried up and fell off), either that or another female aborted an ooth, but I didn't see any aborted ooths in the enclosure at the time...

In happier news though, all six of the nymphs from that first litter are subadults or pre-subs now... 😄 They grow SO fast, I swear they'll all be mature by the time my other females pop! 😂 I can't help but wonder if that flat female I saw the other day was a freshly matured individual from this litter, however I don't think so, since she didn't have the thin waxy coating freshly mature females usually do.

I did end up rearranging their enclosure just a little bit, I removed one of the forked branches in the enclosure, (which makes maintenance a lot easier, and they don't seem to miss it too much), added a couple small cardboard rolls for them to hide in, and propped the horizontal bark slabs up against them, so they're all a little vertically slanted now. I'm hoping this will provide more useable cover for them, and I'll be keeping the area with the slightly slanted bark slabs a little more humid than the drier parts of the enclosure. The large nymphs especially seem to like this area now. 🙂

Also, while doing maintenance a couple days ago, I was adding some banana slices to the enclosure and noticed an adult male perched on one of the taller branches in the enclosure, just chilling. So I decided to smear a little banana on my finger and offer it to him, and he ate it right up! 😊

Here he is in the act:

It was quite a fun little experience, I love hand feeding roaches, and this species is chill enough even as adult males to be hand fed, which is awesome! Really hoping my remaining healthy females pop soon, they're due any day now! 😀
Now let's get to the unfortunate news... So evidently that Opatroides punctulatus adult I caught was male, as I've not been able to find a single larva in the deli cup, either that or conditions aren't optimal for reproduction, however I kinda doubt that TBH... Whatever sex it may be, it's quite healthy still at the very least. 😅

Additionally, I'm not even sure if my Lepidocnemeplatia sericea are still alive, all I know is there definitely aren't larvae in the enclosure. 😐 So again, either I got two males, or conditions aren't optimal for reproduction, which is very possible, Pimellinae are the weirdos of the Teneb world and often very difficult to breed...

So basically these two Teneb projects seem to have hit a dead end, which is unfortunate, but to be honest I wasn't really getting my hopes up with either species on account of the low numbers I started out with, so I'm not all that disappointed.

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, happy holidays, I'll see you all next time! 😉