Monday, September 28, 2020

A Phortioeca Preview!

That's right, we now have Phortioeca sp. "Ecuador" in the US hobby! 😁 I've just collaborated with two of the most prominent members of US Blatticulture to get these beauties into the US, and I'm glad to say it was a success! 
Now, these individuals are all going to those two respective hobbyists, but once they breed theirs I will be getting a culture of this species as well, so this is a little preview of what's to come in the future! 😄

Here are some pictures of the medium nymphs of this beautiful new species:






Very pretty right? Adults are awesome looking too, see this picture here of what appears to be the same species as this one.
I'm looking forward to seeing these beauties become established in US Blatticulture, and I can't wait to get to keep some myself next year! 😁

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

Sunday, September 27, 2020

A Couple Small Teneb Updates

First off, my Eleodes obscura sulcipennis larvae are all growing well, looks like they're gonna be mature soon! 😁 Here are some pictures of the larvae:





I'm looking forward to hopefully rearing some large adults up here soon! 😄
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Sadly, two of my Iphthiminus serratus larvae have died, leaving me with only three large larvae... I'm afraid I didn't keep their deli cups dark enough, and so only the three larvae with substrate that went all the way up to the lids of their deli cups were able to eat the chick feed I offered them, as their enclosures were darker. The other two had slightly more shallow substrate with almost a CM between the substrate and the lids, and they were the ones who weren't eating their chick feed. 
This also seems to suggest that rotten wood alone is not enough to sustain them, they do require protein of some sort to grow and develop. 

Oh well, this sucks, but hopefully I can rear these three survivors up successfully...
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Lastly, on a brighter note, the first of the Eleodes (Blapylis) sp. pupae emerged weeks ago, here are some pictures of a CB adult, still soft and teneral, but fully darkened:




This species is doing well, hopefully I'll have lots more adults soon and can get the next generation up and running! 

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

Friday, September 25, 2020

Pink Roach Pictures

Just had one of my female Gyna capucina nymphs mature, hopefully more will mature here shortly. 
I decided to take some pictures of one of the males, as well as this new female, here they are:

Adult male




Adult female










This female came out really pink looking, and these are the best pictures of this species I think I've gotten so far! Really hope they breed for me soon, I need a couple good litters to get the colony back to it's former shape. 

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Princisia Conundrum...

Unfortunately, the purity of my Princisia vanwaerbeki "Big" culture has become quite questionable... I've been waiting on my subadult male to mature, and he finally has, but unfortunately his coloration is abnormal for adults of pure stock...

Here are some pictures of him as a subadult:







Now, I was hoping that he'd display more vibrant abdominal coloration as an adult, as is typical of this species, (see my "key" here), but unfortunately, that was not the case:








As you can see, the yellow abdominal border, while technically present, is so thin it's practically nonexistent... 😕 In fact, the second and third abdominal segments seem to lack the border entirely. But, he does have the proper pronotum shape for Princisia, with the pronotum shape being quite variable in hybrid stock. However, that feature is again, variable in hybrid stock, so I'd need a larger sample of males from this strain to determine if the pronotum shape is consistent or not. 

Here are a few pictures of my adult female, who has normal, pure coloration:




So, I am seriously doubting the purity of this strain now. One one hand, the adult female and my other subadult female have completely normal coloration for pure bred P.vanwaerbeki "Big", but on the other hand, the male lacks the normal, proper abdominal coloration. However, this strain is very finicky and slow breeding like pure Princisia are supposed to be, hybrids are typically much hardier, and the male does have the proper pronotum structure that pure bred Princisia have... So I don't know. 

I'm gonna have to wait see what the adult males of the next generation look like, if they all have the proper pronotum shape then they may very well be pure Princisia, and this individual just had abberant coloration. However if even the females of the next generation and more of the males have abberant coloration, and the males have variable pronotum shapes, then this strain is definitely hybrid stock. I'm already leaning towards them probably being hybrid stock with this latest revelation. 😐

Also, one last thing I would like to note, I have this pre-subadult female that has weird coloration, which in itself isn't that unusual, but she has also been stuck at this instar for an abnormally long time, and refuses to fatten up and molt... I suspect she's going to die, don't know why, but she suddenly decided to stop growing. 





Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, kind of a downer, because if these aren't pure, then there probably aren't any pure Princisia vanwaerbeki "Big" left in the US hobby. Oh well, guess you can't win them all! 

Well, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

Monday, September 21, 2020

My New Praying Mantis!

Well, it happened, I got my first pet praying mantis! 😄 An adult female Mantis religiosa! This species is the OG, standard mantis species, introduced from Europe, and honestly not a species I ever thought I'd be keeping. But when I found this girl and brought her home for pictures, I fell in love with her disposition and intelligence for an invertebrate... So I kept her. 😅 I found this female underneath a piece of wood on the ground, where she had just finished laying an ootheca.

Mantids are similar to roaches in many aspects, they share a lot of morphological features, they lay their eggs in oothecae, and used to be the the same group as Blattodea. There's even a whole family of mantids known as "bark mantids" that are flattened and very similar in appearance and behavior as some bark dwelling roaches. 
Unlike most roaches though, mantids are predatory, and they are good predators at that! The one thing I like least about the predatory inverts I've kept is they all seem to have crappy eyesight, and hunt by feeling their prey. Sometimes they take forever to size them up, and don't like the feel of certain prey item types... But mantids are visual predators with excellent eyesight, and feeding this female has been exceptionally easy and fun to watch, she isn't too picky about prey shape or type either, so long as it moves, she's interested. 

I have her set up in a gallon jar with some sticks for her to perch on, though she spends a lot of time up on the lid, which I hot glued some cork tile pieces to, so she can grip it better. The jar is well ventilated, and there is a thin layer of coconut fiber at the bottom, which I'm keeping humid. I'm feeding her mostly Eleodes spp. larvae, which she eats with ease. 

Here are some pictures of her:










Such a cool invertebrate, keeping her has reinforced my wishes to keep one or two of the rarer, exotic genera in the hobby, hopefully I'll be able to bring these hopes into fruition within the next year or so...
As for this female, I'll probably keep her until she passes away, and likely will put any oothecae she lays outside, as I'm not quite set up to care for baby mantids at the moment, and besides, I think the oothecae of this species require a diapause to hatch, so kind of annoying. 

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