Thursday, July 22, 2021

New Darklings from Fort Stockton, TX! (Pt. 1)

Thanks to my friend Gabe Shaheen (AKA outdoorsansuch on IG), I have received several new species of Texas Tenebrionids to try and breed! 😁 The two species we'll be covering today are technically species I've bred before, but are different subspecies/forms than the types native to Idaho.

Let's start off with the Eleodes obscura glabriuscula I got! Gabe sent two sexed pairs of these beasties, and man are they big! While I have worked with E.o.sulcipennis before, and have failed to breed them twice now, the ones found here in ID need a winter diapause as large larvae, hence my most recent failure. Whereas these south Texas E.o.glabriuscula should not need any sort of diapause, and thus should be easier, in theory... There still is the chance that pupae will have a low survival rate due to intolerance of excess humidity in their pupal cells, but hopefully the die off won't be that severe if I care for them right...

The difference between this subspecies and sulcipennis is that sulcipennis have fairly deep grooves in their elytra, whereas these glabriuscula merely have irregular lines of fine, shallow pits on their elytra. glabriuscula are also much more glossy in appearance than sulcipennis are. This is the dominant subspecies in west Texas, and they seem to get just as big, if not bigger than their northern sulcipennis cousins. 

I've got my two pairs set up in a well ventilated container with a substrate mix of sand and coconut fiber an inch or so deep. I am keeping one third of the enclosure humid, the rest dry. There are some bark pieces and cardboard rolls on top for them to climb on and hide under. For food I'll be offering dog food and maybe fruit every now and then.

Here are some pictures of a pair:



Very impressive darklings, E.obscura is one of my favorite Eleodes, really hope I can breed this subspecies successfully! 😃
Now on to my new Eleodes hispilabris, specifically the "South Texas Race", formerly known as "forma nupta". This form of E.hispilabris is much different than the "Pacific Northwest Race" (formerly known as "forma laevis") here in Idaho, and in pretty much the same way that the E.o.glabriuscula are different from the E.o.sulcipennis. The "PNW Race" I find here in Idaho have shallow but obvious grooves running down the length of their elytra, whereas the "South Texas Race" have lines of fine pitting going down their elytra. The "South Texas Race" is also far glossier in appearance than the "PNW Race", and a bit bigger too.

What I'm most excited about though is the fact that this is one of the races/localities that throws out the odd adult with a red stripe going down the suture of their elytra!!! I've long been jealous of the hispilabris in other states that regularly produce such individuals, I have seen dozens and dozens of WC and CB E.hispilabris from Idaho, and they've all been jet black. But a couple of the females in my "South Texas Race" group have dull, but noticeable red stripes going down their backs! 😍 Hopefully the offspring of this group continue to produce such individuals, I may try to isolate a true breeding "red-back" morph of this species in the future when I have more space to do so, (don't know if that's possible, but I'll try).

I've got my group of 10 or so adults set up in a well ventilated container with a substrate mix of sand and coconut fiber an inch or so deep. I am keeping one third of the enclosure moist, the rest dry. There are some long fibered sphagnum moss pieces and and cardboard rolls on top for them to climb on and hide under. For food I'll be offering dog food.

Here are some pictures of these new additions!

Female with red stripe

Fingers crossed these are just as easy to breed as the "PNW Race" of E.hispilabris, that would be awesome! 😄

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, but stay tuned for part two coming up in a couple days! Thanks for reading, hope you all enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you next time! 😉

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Micro Teneb Updates

My Conibius cf. seriatus are really taking off, they had stopped breeding last year around Fall, which I took to mean they needed a diapause. So I kept them in the high 60s, and kept them dark through the winter. When Spring came I bumped up the temps and gave them a longer photoperiod (which seems to be a lot less important than the temps), and they started breeding rapidly. 

Some pics of some CB adults clumped under various hides:

Glad these little guys are doing so well for me, makes me want to try other members of this genus out! 😁 I actually am offering these up to the public now, they are quite easy to rear and have some potential as occasional micro-feeders, more than anything they are cute and pretty for a desert Teneb though, and cultures make neat little pets.
Now to my Blapstinus sp... Mine aren't breeding as prolifically as the Conibius, but they are still doing better for me than ever before, and there's over a dozen CB adults in the colony right now. They also needed a mild diapause, I put them through the same regimen as my Conibius, and they too started breeding in the Spring. 
Hopefully I'll be able to build up the colony a bit more over the Summer and maybe even have enough to spread some around in the hobby, we'll see!

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

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Arenivaga flordensis Sync-Up Issues...

Well, unfortunately it isn't looking so good for my Arenivaga floridensis "Lake Placid" (White Form). Despite keeping them cool, my males are all growing very fast, with two subadult males and one adult male remaining. Whilst the largest of my females only looks to be subadult, maybe even pre-sub... Unless the females pick up the pace I'm not going to be able to mate even one of them, which sucks since I'm apparently the last person working with this particular strain. 😟

I'll do the best I can, but I am not getting my hopes up. In any case, here are some pics of my adult male:

The situation kinda sucks, and is a common problem with this species as a whole. None of the floridensis strains seem to have stuck around in culture for long as a result, which is a bit frustrating. Hopefully I can somehow manage to sync up at least one pair and get another generation going.

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

Friday, July 16, 2021

Tiny Slender Rove Beetle!

The other day my sister found this little beetle crawling around on our hotel floor, which I instantly recognized as a rove beetle in the tribe Xantholinini, a species I'd kept before but never identified. In addition to deciding to try and keep this species again, I got some pictures and submitted them to Bugguide, where V Belov tentatively identified them as a Xantholinus sp. (of which there are three adventive species found in the US).

I have mine set up in a 2 oz container with a moist substrate mix of spent Panesthia substrate and coconut fiber, about a CM deep. On top of that I have little bark pieces, chunks of rotten wood and some pieces of long-fibered sphagnum moss on top. I'll be offering chick feed, pre-killed Compsodes, live Nocticola nymphs and springtails as food. 
I kept this species several years ago, that time I had two adults and kept them communally. I think they did OK for months, but didn't seem to breed at all, and I actually forget what I fed them, (I assume I used pre-killed mealworms). Would be nice if this time I had a gravid female, and could rear the larvae somehow!

Here are some pics of her:

I really like the long, slender build of this genus, a lot of roves are more bulky, but these ones are super slender, even their heads are a thin oval shaped! Hopefully I can get offspring from this one if it's female, but at the very least it will make an interesting captive. It's too bad they are so small (7-8 mm), because they are really really neat looking IMO. 😄

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