Thursday, October 8, 2020

My New Myrmecoblatta wheeleri!!!

Man, it's just been back to back posts lately hasn't it? 😂 I've just gotten some exciting new additions to my collection courtesy of my good friend Alan Jeon, but perhaps the most exciting are these adorable little Myrmecoblatta wheeleri! 😁 He caught them himself, in Camponotus ant colonies in FL. They're very tiny little things, Corydiids closely related to Compsodes, however this species have proven more difficult to culture than C.schwarzi.

Thanks to the observations of Brandon Maines, it seems like this species eats various mold types, and may need them as part of their diet, as when the mold blooms in Brandon's old Myrmecoblatta enclosure died out, the roaches did too, and it seems like the roaches themselves were cleaning up the mold from the enclosure. However, Alan Jeon insists they'll also eat dog food and algae wafers, so perhaps they are just generalists that enjoy feeding on molds, like Compsodes schwarzi. This species may prove somewhat difficult to culture, but hopefully not impossible, we'll see. 

Alan sent me two adult males, one subadult male, one adult female and one subadult female. I've got them set up in a minimally ventilated deli cup with a cm or so of moist coconut fiber mixed with roach frass, (my old Gyna capucina substrate), and some bark chips and small cork tile structures for them to hide in. 
For food I'll be offering basic roach chow like chick feed, fruits, maybe even artificial pollen, but also, mold. To achieve this, not only will I let the "normal" foods in their enclosure rot, but I'll also be microwaving bark chips every few days and place them in the enclosure. Freshly sterilized bark molds over pretty quickly, and should provide the roaches with food. Should they not lay any ooths on said bark, I'll nuke them again in a few days when the roaches have fed on all the mold, and rinse and repeat. 

I'll be keeping this species at room temps, since they don't seem to like it too warm, and I'll also be keeping them far away from the rest of my collection, to try and avoid any predatory mites or pests from my main collection getting into their enclosure, as being microfauna themselves, other microfauna may severely stress out and outcompete Myrmecoblatta wheeleri

Here are some pictures of these rarely seen, fragile little roaches:

Adult male


Adult and subadult males

Adult pair

Adult female


Adult and subadult females


Subadult female


Subadult male

Their enclosure


So adorable right? 😁 Males look like mini Hemiblabera, and females are just like little circular Compsodes.
I'll be sure to keep you all updated on them, there is a good chance I'll fail to breed these, as no one has ever reared captive produced nymphs to adulthood. But I will certainly do my best to culture this species, of that you can be sure! 

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, but stay tuned for more upcoming posts regarding the other species I got in this package from Alan! 😁 Stay safe, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and I'll see you all soon! 😉

4 comments:

  1. It's hard to tell their size. Can you post a photo of one next to a penny, for instance?
    Thanks,
    Grandma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that they're in their enclosure, I'm not gonna be bothering them for photos any time soon, given how fragile they are, but the adults are 4-5mm long, very tiny.

      Delete
    2. My apologies. I'm Joshua Campos's grandma and got confused thinking "Invertebrate Dude" was him when I saw the bugs. Maybe he shared your post. What can I say? I'm old! LOL

      Delete
    3. Haha no problem, I am friends with Joshua, nice to meet you! 😄

      Delete