Friday, July 31, 2020

Pyrophorus Hatchling Pictures

Holy cow there's a lot of larvae in my Pyrophorus enclosure ATM, I've started burying some chick feed in there for them just in case they get a little protein hungry! 😅 They also seem to be growing faster than they did last time I bred them, I think because the room they are in right now is probably a full 10-15 degrees hotter than my old bug closet.

Here are some pictures I took of some of the larvae through the sides of their enclosure, easy to do now that there's so many of them:

This breeding project is looking great so far, July has been a very successful month for my collection, really hope August brings even more successes and new additions my way! 😁

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Myrmecophilus Babies!!!

My Myrmecophilus cf. manni ant crickets bred for me!!! 😁 This marks a first for the hobby, I know several people who've attempted to culture species in this genus, but none were able to keep them alive long. Not only have mine all been doing pretty well, with no die offs as far as I can tell, but I just found hatchlings in their jar today! 😊

Unfortunately, I'm still not 100% sure what it is that they're eating, but I do find them on or near the apple slices and chick feed I offer them fairly often, I stopped feeding them artificial pollen about a month ago, and didn't see any changes after doing so. The substrate contains some rotten wood materials, which they could be nibbling on, but I'm unsure if that's a necessity or not. I'll have to experiment more in the future once my culture is big enough to split into two...

Might be worth noting that I've been keeping them on the cool side, trying to keep them from temps higher than 75F°, which I fear could be harmful to them since they spend their lives inside ant colonies where it's somewhat cool... Could be fine keeping them warmer though, suppose I'll experiment with that in the future too.

Anyways, here are some pictures, first of an adult, then of a hatchling, and finally one of their current setup. Unfortunately I was only able to get ventral shots of the hatchling against the side of the jar, I tried but I could not get a dorsal shot to save my life... 😂

Adult male, with small silver springtail to the left for scale.

The little baby! 😍

The enclosure.

I'm very glad I was able to breed these cuties, hopefully I can rear them up and get a sizeable colony established here soon! Definitely doesn't seem like they need ants to survive or breed, which is awesome! 😄

Well, that's gonna do it for this post everyone, thanks for reading, hope you all enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you next time! 😉

Monday, July 27, 2020

Conibius & Eleodes Updates!

Good news, I ended up finding 8 more Conibius cf. seriatus adults over the course of two days, after a week of searching! 😄 They seem to be associated with ant nests, as I found a couple under a board on the ground next to some ant queens that were in the process of creating a new colony, and found a bunch more the next day under a wooden pole that had an ant colony underneath it.

Now wanna know the best part? I found all those individuals on the 22nd and 23rd, and then, one day later, on the 24th, I found hatchlings in their enclosure... 😂 Evidently the one individual I had caught over a week ago was a female, and apparently the eggs of this species only take around a week to hatch! So I didn't even need to collect any more! 🤣 Oh well, at least I should get a pretty stable colony going now with all the individuals I collected, and I now know that it's easy to get this species to oviposit!

Here are some pictures of the larvae I took earlier today:

Cute little things, now hopefully they'll be easy to rear! 😊
I'm not exaggerating when I say I've probably got nearly two hundred larvae in my Eleodes obscura sulcipennis enclosure... Apparently females lay a LOT of eggs when the substrate is to their liking, and I had collected quite a few females. 😅

They are growing well, and now that they've picked up some size I thought I'd snap some pictures of them:

They're still around 2 cm long, so they've got a ways to go in terms of growth still! Note the one super pale, freshly molted individual.
But yeah if any of you want some, be sure to check out the For Sale page, I'm seriously overrun with this particular species, so if you order some you can expect a decent amount of freebies... 😂

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Friday, July 24, 2020

Iphthiminus serratus Larvae!

You read the title right, I found larvae in my Iphthiminus serratus enclosure! 😁 I may be the first to get offspring from this species in captivity, which is pretty exciting!

Unfortunately though, despite frequent checkups, the larvae somehow managed to evade detection until the largest were nearly half grown... And I was right about them being cannibalistic like Alobates, as I only found a total of five larvae, evenly spaced from each other in the enclosure... So note to self, as far as this species goes, don't wait until you see larvae up against the glass/plastic to dig around looking for them, because they are very secretive, and by then they may be half grown. 🙃

Anyways, I've isolated the five larvae I've found and put them in 2 oz deli cups with a rotten oak substrate, (which they'll hopefully eat, if not I'll have to sterilize more of the pine wood for them). I'll be offering chick feed and small, probably crushed Eleodes larvae for protein. Hope they'll do well for me! 😄

Here are some pictures of a few of the larger larvae:

They look exactly like Alobates larvae, which shouldn't really surprise me, but for some reason I was expecting them to be more sclerotized, like Coelocnemis larvae are. Hopefully I'll have better luck with them than with my old Alobates larvae, they do seem to be less picky about food, and I'm pretty sure they've been eating some of the chick feed I offer the adults, which now that I think of it, has been disappearing at an abnormal rate lately. 🤔

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, Hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Pyrophorus & Ceuthophilus Hatchlings!

Yup, found hatchlings in my Pyrophorus noctilucus enclosure today, hooray!!! 😁 I know now by watching my adults that at least three of them are females, as I've seen three of them all ovipositing at once, so out of five adults I'm pretty happy with this sex ratio, should get a lot of offspring hopefully! 😄

Unfortunately said hatchlings are waaaay too small to get pictures of, only a couple mm long and kinda fragile at this stage, so that's not happening for a little while... 😂 But I wanted to share this with you all nonetheless, as I am quite stoked and looking forward to dispersing this species in the US hobby once again! 😊
Also, kind of a delayed update, but my Ceuthophilus agassizii started hatching out a week or two ago, and apparently the Leucocoprinus mycelium in their enclosure has done little to prevent them from hatching. 😄 So I'll probably just leave it and let it run it's course until it inevitably dies off, the crickets sure don't seem to mind. Though I may have to move them to something bigger anyways to accommodate the growing population...

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

More Neat Finds!

Last week I found two very interesting invertebrate species out in the field, which I'm going to share with you here in this post! 😁

Let's start off with the more recent find, while looking under wooden boards in search of Tenebrionids, I saw several elongate, lightning fast inverts zooming away from the light. I thought they were centipedes at first, but upon closer inspection, I realized they were actually snakefly larvae, (Agulla sp.).
I've actually showcased an adult snakefly on my blog years ago, unfortunately while the individual in question was a female, she didn't last long and never laid any eggs, I suspect she was already a bit old when I caught her.

This time, I'll try my luck at rearing a larva up to maturity, I really don't have much interest in breeding these, so I only collected one of the larvae I saw, just to see if I can rear it up. I have it set up in a 2 oz deli cup with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber, and a flat piece of eggcrate to hide under. They are predatory, so I've been offering Trichorhina tomentosa and pre-killed Eleodes larvae. Hasn't eaten the isopods yet, but is happily accepting the Eleodes larvae.

Here are some photos of the little bugger, these things are very speedy and do NOT stay still, so these were the best pictures I could get:

A very interesting looking invertebrate, both as larvae and as adults, hopefully I can rear this one up to maturity successfully, it looks like it must be at least half grown by now already.
Now, for the more interesting find (in my opinion), this time found under thin wooden boards and old cardboard on top of piles of rotted grain in the old remains of an animal pen of some sort... Pseudoscorpions!!! 😄
These diminutive arachnids resemble tiny scorpions, but without a stinger. They are widespread throughout the world, and some species are even found indoors feeding on booklice, silverfish, and other small household "pest" invertebrates. Most stay outdoors though, under debris on the ground, under bark on dead trees, and underground. They'll often hitch rides from habitat to habitat by grabbing on to much larger, flying invertebrates like beetles, often hiding under their elytra or clinging to their legs.

I've seen these little guys once or twice in my life, but never in numbers high enough to attempt breeding. I've always wanted to get a culture going though, as I've always thought they may have some potential as use for biological control within invertebrate colonies, (feeding on mites and excess springtails in roach colonies for example). This time I found around 8 though, so you can bet I'll try and get a colony set up! 😊
Unfortunately, it turns out they climb smooth surfaces pretty well, so that coupled with their tiny size makes me think they won't be too practical for use in larger invertebrate enclosures, where they could easily escape through larger ventilation holes or slip through gaps in the lids... But it'll still be fun to culture them, if only to have a use for excess springtails. 😛

I have them setup in a small deli cup with an airtight lid and pinholes for ventilation, with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber at the bottom, and lots of corrugated cardboard for hides. For food I've offered cotton springtails, which they seem to like.

Here are some pictures of one individual:

I have absolutely NO idea what species they are, Pseudoscorpions don't appear to be that well studied, or at the very least their taxonomists don't frequent sources like Bugguide... I believe mine are something in the superfamily Cheliferoidea, but that's as far as I can get on my own. They might be the cosmopolitan Chelifer cancroides, but I really don't know... Whatever they are, I hope they'll do well for me! 😂
EDIT: I've asked around and it would appear mine are most likely C.cancroides, good to know! 😄 Not a US native, but still interesting nonetheless.

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Princisia Update

It's been a little while since I posted about roaches hasn't it? 😂 Well thankfully I have a roachy update for you guys, this time on my Princisia vanwaerbeki "Big". They are doing quite well, all five nymphs are growing fast and have molted several times, and I believe one of my females is now a subadult! 😁 As such she has started developing adult coloration, though I believe it'll be more vibrant once she's actually mature.

Here are some pictures of her:

I can't wait to see what she'll look like when mature, and I'm excited to see some adult males too! 😁 Fingers crossed they keep on doing well for me and I can breed these beauties! (and hopefully confirm their purity once they all mature).

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this update, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe out there, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉