Sunday, January 23, 2022

Asbolus mexicanus Larvae!

Well it's been a while, but I've finally started to figure out how to care for Asbolus mexicanus mexicanus larvae and eggs. They need nearly bone dry conditions, with just a tiny bit of substrate that's slightly moist to retreat to. This is in direct contrast to Cryptoglossa muricata larvae which like higher humidity, (though they can't tolerate soaking wet substrate for even short periods of time). I killed quite a few A.m.mexicanus eggs and larvae by isolating them and keeping them too humid... But now that I've corrected this mistake, I have half a dozen larvae of various stages growing well for me, and the adults have kept randomly laying eggs throughout the year. 🙂

I actually dumped the contents of one of the deli cups I had isolated an Asbolus egg in earlier this year into my Triorophus sp. "Fort Stockton, TX" enclosure months ago, since I dug through the sand and didn't see the Asbolus egg or larva, and assumed it died. Apparently it was still alive though, because I found a half grown A.m.mexicanus larva in my Triorophus container last week... 😂 I was wondering where the last few large Triorophus larvae I had in there went, I thought they'd just died randomly... But nope, this Asbolus probably ate them. 🙃 Oh well, I reared quite a few Triorophus to adulthood regardless, and as a side note, I'm now finding F2 Triorophus larvae in the substrate! 😁

Anyways, here are some pics of an Asbolus mexicanus mexicanus larva, (specifically the stowaway I found in my Triorophus setup):

Hopefully I can rear a decent amount of these to adulthood, would be nice to get a good colony of them going. 😄 Now if only I could figure out how to get Asbolus laevis to oviposit...

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

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Back From the Brink: Rhabdoblatta rustica!

Well, just a short while ago it seemed like all hope was lost for Rhabdoblatta rustica (formerly misidentified as R.formosana) in the hobby, they're only really in culture here in the US, and everyone I knew of who had this species (as well as everyone they knew), had horrible culture crashes due to a myriad of reasons. Kyle from Roachcrossing was the last person with a potentially viable population; three hopefully mated females, but alas two of those females died without producing a brood, and things were looking bleak, with all hope resting on that one female.

As Kyle was lamenting about this bad news on one of his recent livestreams, I decided to put out some posts on some Facebook groups asking if anyone still had a culture of this species. And lo and behold, I got a tip that one vendor, Paul's Pills, still had a colony of this species and was selling them! I immediately messaged Paul, who was quick to write back and confirm that he did indeed have a healthy culture of Rhabdoblatta rustica! And more importantly, was selling them for a great price! 😁 I quickly spread the word on the Livestream and to my friends who'd be interested in them, and I'm sure Paul probably had some of the best Rhabdoblatta sales ever as a result of being the LAST hobbyist with a healthy culture left... 😂

So now, I'm sure you know where this is going... I bought myself a group of 20 nymphs, and I am once again keeping Rhabdoblatta rustica! (if only to help keep them in culture! 😅). These did well for me in the past, and despite multiple crashes, I was always able to get them back up and running. So hopefully I'll have similar luck this go around, and maybe spread them around a bit more in the hobby as well. 😄

I've got them set up in a moderately ventilated gallon container with some slightly used Ancaudellia substrate at the bottom (which is mostly just aged sawdust), with paper towel rolls and leaf litter hides on top. I am keeping them humid and warm (75-80F°). For food I'll offer dog food and fruits. I've put in some Pogonognathellus dubius springtails as cleaners, as a sort of test run to see how that species fares in roach enclosures. Out of the 20 nymphs, only two were subadults, the rest were small and medium nymphs. But that subadult pair ended up being a male and female, and they've just matured, so breeding can commence! 😃

Here are some pictures of the sexed pair that just matured:

Adult male

Adult female

Adult pair

Been a while since I've seen this species, but dang are they pretty! 😍 Hopefully I'll be able to breed them with little issue! 😄 Props to Paul's Pills for keeping this species going this whole time! Glad to be able to get a group of this species again, some of you may not know this, but the roach in the picture that serves as the backdrop for this blog is in fact a freshly molted adult Rhabdoblatta rustica. ☺️

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

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Miscellaneous Winter Updates

Let's start off with kind of a bittersweet Plectoptera poeyi update here. Despite doing well initially, the survival rate of the later instars proved to be rather poor, and I lost quite a few due to springtail stress as well I think, as well as a possible lack of ventilation. I moved them to a new setup but am down to two adult females and an adult male, literally the EXACT number and sex ratio I started this colony with, weird... 😕 

I had a third adult female, but lost her stupidly due to putting her in a catch cup with a little glob of silicone grease at the bottom... She ran into said blob and despite me spraying her off she did not recover, completely lost control of her hind legs and died. 😭 Sucks because she was gravid AF at the time too. Oh well, lesson learned, I will not be using silicone grease in empty catch cups anymore.

At least the other two females have been laying pretty prolifically, I do not think I'll be selling from this next generation at all though, not with the big die offs I had. Here's hoping I get F2 babies to begin with, and can make it to F3 too... 🤞
Also, I never updated y'all on this, but my lone female Blatta orientalis nymph matured months ago! She's laid a couple ooths too, so we'll see if I can induce parthenogenesis in this female and get her to make viable ooths with female clones of herself inside! 🤞😁 Might all just be duds that never develop though, in fact that is the more probable outcome.

Anyways, here are some pics of her:

Pretty cool looking for a "pest" roach, hopefully I can get her to miraculously become parthenogenetic, we'll see I guess! 😅

I am happy to announce that I got a few of my Eleodes spinipes macrura to pupate successfully, with more isolated and pre-pupal already. 😁
I isolated large larvae in decently ventilated 4 oz deli cups filled with a sand and coco fiber substrate mix, which some larvae burrowed down into to make pupal cells, but others just scratched out bottoms of their cells near the tops of the container and let the limited airspace above the substrate act as the roof of their cells.

Here are some pics of one of the first pupae:

My current pupation setup.
Fingers crossed for high pupal survival rates, and for some good sized adults! 😁

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! 😉