Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Bioluminescent Deilelater!!!

Finally, we've got a couple US Native Pyrophorini species in the hobby! 😁 Thanks to my buddy Alan Jeon, I have acquired two new species of Deilelater

Let's start with the 9 Deilelater sp. "Ocala, FL" he sent me. Alan collected the adults in FL earlier this year, and thankfully, while they were short lived, they laid some eggs in the setup he gave them. The larvae hatched after a few weeks, and now a couple months later, he's passed 9 of them on to me to help get them established in culture, which I'm confident I'll be able to do, given my positive experience in breeding the closely related Pyrophorus.

The adults of this small species have proven much more fragile than those of Pyrophorus, not only do they have a much thinner exoskeleton that can easily be cracked when collecting them, but they also seem to be very intolerant of even the slightest neglect. Thankfully the larvae are similar to those of Pyrophorus, and have proved rather hardy and easy to rear up, (most Elateridae larvae are like tanks if cared for properly).

I'll be keeping the larvae very similarly to those of Pyrophorus, in deli cups filled with a little crushed rotten wood/flake soil mix at the bottom, topped off with coconut fiber, kept humid and relatively warm. I'll feed them crushed chick feed for now, offer Tenebrionid larvae as they get bigger, and will offer course be keeping larvae separately, as they're almost certainly cannibalistic like Pyrophorus larvae, (and most Elaterids in general).

Here are some pictures of one of the little things:






Looking forward to seeing them grow up, will be cool to compare them to Pyrophorus larvae and see if there are any noticeable morphological differences. 
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But wait, there's more! Alan also collected a bunch of Deilelater physoderus adults from George West, TX last month, (which were noticeably larger than the FL species he collected), and has sent me a container full of rotten sawdust that he was keeping some in! I quickly searched around in it and found a couple TINY hatchling larvae, so it would appear they definitely bred for him! 😄

I'll be keeping the larvae similar to my other Pyrophorini, once they're big enough to isolate. For now they're too small to get pictures of, so here's just a picture of their current container:


So glad to have not one, but TWO US native headlamp click beetles in culture now, they may be more finicky and far smaller than Pyrophorus, but I'm really looking forward to rearing them and getting them established in the hobby nonetheless! 😄

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! 😉

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