Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Closing Out 2019!

As this year comes to a close, I'd like to thank all my viewers who read and comment here, your support is much appreciated! 😁 This Spring marked my return to the hobby, and while I have started somewhat small, I'm hoping to scale things up a bit in Spring 2020 with some promising new additions I'm working on acquiring! πŸ˜„ In the meantime though I've evidently been able to breed Gyna capucina, and also produced the first litter of Bantua sp. "Namibia" babies in the US! (Hopefully many more litters will follow soon).

2019 wasn't without some losses, my 14 year old cat, Sophie, died in March, which was a devastating loss for me and my family. 😒 I've struggled a bit with anxiety and depression this year as well, which has been a pain as well, but I'm hoping 2020 will have more amazing ups than devastating downs, and will start a new era for this blog with fresh new species, new additions to the hobby as a whole, and more blog posts! πŸ˜…

So here's to 2020, may it bring lots of joy, peace, and invertebrates to us all! πŸŽ‰πŸ˜πŸŽ‰ Thanks so much for reading, have a wonderful New Year's, I'll see you all in the next post! πŸ˜‰


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Gyna, the Bantua, & the Unfortunate...

First, let's start with the good news... Whilst digging around in my Gyna capucina colony the past few weeks, I've noticed that since the move, most of the tiny nymphs in the enclosure have molted several times, with most of the nymphs being a quarter to half grown already. There have been no nymph deaths that I know of either as of late. This was the plan, and it seems to be going smoothly. 😁

However, while digging through my enclosure a couple days ago, I found what appeared to be a first, MAYBE second instar nymph. Now I'm preeety sure all my tiny nymphs that were that size have grown significantly by now, and I'd be very surprised if there were any that young still in the enclosure from the batch of individuals I received from my friend... SO I think it's relatively safe to assume this nymph came from one of my adult females, so I'm pretty sure I've successfully bred G.capucina! πŸ˜„

I have no idea how many babies my females have produced, since the colony I received is quite large and nymphs are surprisingly hard to find in the new enclosure, (despite the substrate being almost liquid with movement in some spots), but I'm pretty dang sure at least one of them has given birth now, hopefully to a sizable litter! πŸ™‚

In other news, food is disappearing very rapidly now, with fruits (namely apple) being their favorites so far, artificial pollen second, chick feed third. The dead leaves have basically gone untouched, and they seem to be doing fine on a substrate predominantly made up of fine coconut fiber, so a chunky substrate does not seem necessary for these despite some reports.
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So unfortunately, a little over a week ago while doing maintenance on my Bantua sp. "Namibia" I saw a sad sight, one of my females had a prolapse... 😭 Prolapses in roaches never seem to be husbandry related, just random flukes for the most part, so I'm not too worried about my setup or anything, but it is a bummer and a heavy loss for a starter colony...
She'll either die soon, or just never reproduce again, time will tell... I did notice one particularly flat looking female in my enclosure a couple days ago, so she may have retracted her prolapse already, (or it dried up and fell off), either that or another female aborted an ooth, but I didn't see any aborted ooths in the enclosure at the time...

In happier news though, all six of the nymphs from that first litter are subadults or pre-subs now... πŸ˜„ They grow SO fast, I swear they'll all be mature by the time my other females pop! πŸ˜‚ I can't help but wonder if that flat female I saw the other day was a freshly matured individual from this litter, however I don't think so, since she didn't have the thin waxy coating freshly mature females usually do.

I did end up rearranging their enclosure just a little bit, I removed one of the forked branches in the enclosure, (which makes maintenance a lot easier, and they don't seem to miss it too much), added a couple small cardboard rolls for them to hide in, and propped the horizontal bark slabs up against them, so they're all a little vertically slanted now. I'm hoping this will provide more useable cover for them, and I'll be keeping the area with the slightly slanted bark slabs a little more humid than the drier parts of the enclosure. The large nymphs especially seem to like this area now. πŸ™‚

Also, while doing maintenance a couple days ago, I was adding some banana slices to the enclosure and noticed an adult male perched on one of the taller branches in the enclosure, just chilling. So I decided to smear a little banana on my finger and offer it to him, and he ate it right up! 😊

Here he is in the act:
















It was quite a fun little experience, I love hand feeding roaches, and this species is chill enough even as adult males to be hand fed, which is awesome! Really hoping my remaining healthy females pop soon, they're due any day now! πŸ˜€
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Now let's get to the unfortunate news... So evidently that Opatroides punctulatus adult I caught was male, as I've not been able to find a single larva in the deli cup, either that or conditions aren't optimal for reproduction, however I kinda doubt that TBH... Whatever sex it may be, it's quite healthy still at the very least. πŸ˜…

Additionally, I'm not even sure if my Lepidocnemeplatia sericea are still alive, all I know is there definitely aren't larvae in the enclosure. 😐 So again, either I got two males, or conditions aren't optimal for reproduction, which is very possible, Pimellinae are the weirdos of the Teneb world and often very difficult to breed...

So basically these two Teneb projects seem to have hit a dead end, which is unfortunate, but to be honest I wasn't really getting my hopes up with either species on account of the low numbers I started out with, so I'm not all that disappointed.


Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, happy holidays, I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Still Waiting on Bantua Babies...

As the title suggests, I'm still waiting on more Bantua sp. "Namibia" babies, pretty sure the females all started gestating their broods from scratch when I added more ventilation, so by my calculations most of them SHOULD be due to give birth by Christmas, (what a wonderful Christmas that'd be right? 😁)... Patience is key with Perisphaerinae, hopefully mine will pay off, as it's quickly waning and giving way to worry... I did see some of my females using those cork hides I made them recently, so fingers crossed!🀞

In any case, the five nymphs I did get from my first brood are doing splendidly, all of them are very healthy and roughly half grown already! I wasn't really expecting them to be this fast growing, it's a pleasant surprise, and at least it would appear that my setup seems to be working quite well for them, I just screwed up their ventilation levels at first... πŸ˜…

Anyways, here are some pictures of the fast growing nymphs:
























Such cuties, unfortunately it can be a little difficult to get pictures of them, as they are fast runners and my camera lense seems not to want to focus properly on their waxy exoskeletons... πŸ™ƒ
I may rearrange their enclosure a tad in the coming months, they hardly seem to use the horizontal bark slabs in their enclosure, so I'm thinking of arranging them differently, maybe more vertically in an attempt to maximize the amount of spaces they'll actually use and hide in, but I haven't decided yet.

Anyways, I think that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoyed, and I'll see you all in the next post! πŸ˜‰

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Rosie Eats, & a Random Plant Update!

Well, I hardly ever take pictures of Rosie, my Grammostola porteri female I've had for about a decade now, but I fed her recently and decided to snap a few pictures of her in action! πŸ˜„

Her she is chowing down on an unfortunate cricket:






















The most annoying thing about this species is that they often go through long fasts, so I never know when she'll eat or not... This feeding was the first time in a couple months that she had taken food, and the week afterwards I bought her another cricket, which she then refused to eat... 😐 Such is the way of a tarantula keeper I guess... πŸ˜…
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And now, for something  I rarely talk about on my blog... PLANTS! πŸ˜‚ Specifically, my Sempervivum arachnoideum. I've had a pot of these for over 6 years now, but over time the pot has gotten quite crowded, the soil has slowly turned into a mass of roots, and this year the plants started dying off slowly, as they weren't getting enough water...

Well last month I removed the last remaining plants from the clay pot they were in, and moved them to a new, plastic pot with a mix of Miracle Grow Houseplant Soil and Miracle Grow Succulent, Palm & Cacti Soil. Usually I just use the latter for my succulents, but this species seems to prefer more moisture than my other cacti and succulents, so I figured this mix plus the plastic pot would work nicely for them, (besides, I needed their clay pot empty for a new addition I'll be getting soon...).

It's been a month now, and most of the plants have taken VERY nicely to the mixture, despite the fact their roots had started to rot and needed to be cut back a bit, all but one of them look good as new and are growing nicely! 😁

Here's the ONE individual that still looks sickly, like they all did a short while ago:



















And here are the rest of them!


















So all but one appear to be healthy again, I'll take those odds any day! 😁 Hopefully that last one recovers, I'll do what I can for it, if not though I do have a cutting of this species growing in one of my other succulent pots, which I may move to this one to fill in that spot, (though eventually these plants will produce offshoots of their own, so the pot will fill up eventually anyways, one way or another...).
Anyways, just a little repotting/rescue story I felt like sharing, since I have a shortage of actual invertebrate related content to release right now... Besides, this species is actually called the "Cobweb Hen and Chicks", so I thought it fit along nicely with pics of Rosie eating... πŸ˜…

Anyhow, I think that's gonna do it for this post, I hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Paranauphoeta discoidalis = Paranauphoeta rufipes... Really!

Apparently now this blog is just a PSA site for taxonomy changes and such in Blatticulture... I'm OK with this. πŸ˜…

So apparently, Paranauphoeta discoidalis has been a synonym of Paranauphoeta rufipes for at least 30 years now... As you can see on the Cockroach Species File, discoidalis is listed as a synonym for rufipes, and a quick search shows that "P.discoidalis" hasn't been in literature for quite some time... Indeed, our hobby "P.discoidalis" match Paranauphoeta rufipes perfectly, and were collected within their natural range, (our stock came from the Tamrau Mountains, Indonesia, to be exact), so that would appear to be the correct ID, but how they were labeled with the name that's been a synonym for rufipes for 30 years is a mystery to me...

In any case, anyone still keeping "Paranauphoeta discoidalis" should now change their labels to Paranauphoeta rufipes, as that is the current name for this species! πŸ˜„

Unfortunately, as a side note, it would appear that the species has all but died out in the US hobby, with only a couple small colonies still remaining in the EU and Russia... Hopefully they'll be re-introduced to the US hobby one day, as they are quite a beautiful species, and I'd love to keep them again one day! (Note to self, NEVER use unsterilized leaf litter again, as that's what ended up dooming my old colony, damn protein hungry Trichoderma...).

Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Rehouse & A Re-do!

So, a couple weeks ago, I started finding dead, half grown to large Gyna capucina nymphs in my enclosure. 😞 There did not seem to be any real cause, and the rest of the individuals in my colony seemed perfectly healthy, but I did notice that the nymphs were growing at staggered rates, with only a dozen or so medium nymphs in the enclosure, and the rest were all tiny, 3rd instar or so nymphs. The 5-6 dead nymphs were all found at various stages of growth, in different areas of the enclosure, some very plump, others flat as if freshly molted...

In case you all didn't know, Gyna capucina and some of the other Gyna spp. seem to spend a lot of time in the first couple instars, then suddenly go through big growth spurts, growing rapidly and then slow down again once they near maturity. Additionally, I've noticed that my capucina nymphs appear to almost exclusively stay within the "semi-humid" areas of the enclosure bordering the moist and dry areas of the substrate, while adult males like the bone dry areas best, and females stay in the more humid areas. This means that the large bone dry area and the most humid areas of the enclosure went largely unused by the largest population of individuals in the container, the nymphs.

So putting all this info together, I've determined that the most likely cause of the random larger nymph deaths was overcrowding, because they were short on space that they'd actually use, and it seems the smallest nymphs have been put on a "waiting line" to start growing, while a dozen or so are allowed to grow out more... Since competition for space was high, I'm assuming the larger nymphs bullied and attacked each other to the point of death in an attempt to create more space.

So, you wanna know what I did? I moved my entire colony to a 20 qt. gasket box, decked out with around four inches of substrate (just plain old coconut fiber), as opposed to the one inch layer they had before, and I'm using a vertical humidity gradient this time, which should give the nymphs a lot more substrate at their preffered humidity levels. The enclosure also has some more driftwood for the adults to climb around on, and I've arranged the bark slabs in a more vertical fashion too. Overall it should be their new, permanent home, and should solve this crowding problem. 😁

As a side note, during the move I found my two adult females, which looked pretty healthy, one subadult female, several adult males, some subadult males, and at least like 50 nymphs of varying sizes... It's hard to tell just how many there are, because most of them are tiny AF, and I can't really tell if any of them are offspring from my females, or just the ones that Seb sent me... Oh well, there's a ton of them, and they all look healthy, so that's all that matters, and with all these adults and subadults and this new enclosure I'm sure they'll be breeding well for me soon if they aren't already! πŸ˜„

Here's some pictures of that subadult female and the new enclosure:








The new 20 qt. enclosure.


























Also, one last thing, the cotton springtails are really thriving in the G.capucina setup now, and are doing well as cleaners! Additionally they do seem a lot less pesky than Sinella curviseta, which is a relief! πŸ˜…

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on any interesting new developments regarding these pink bois, hopefully the nymph deaths are done with, and more nymphs are on the way! 😁
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Haven't seen one of these two topic posts in a while eh?

Well my Bantua sp. "Namibia" females still aren't giving birth, but I think that's because they are "catching up" now that they've got so much more airflow, (I did add even more ventilation since my last post about them BTW), and are just starting to gestate larger broods, as at least one of the females is EXTREMELY thicc right now, and most of the others are getting thicker too! πŸ˜„ So at least things are headed in the right direction again... Also those nymphs I got from that one small litter have all molted at least three times already, and are doing fantastic!

Anyhoo, I noticed that my females that look like they're going to pop and the one that actually did seem to spend most of their time in between the horizontal bark slabs lying on the substrate next to the moist area... I'm using a heat cable to heat them so it's warmest on the floor of the enclosure as well. Additionally, based on what Seb and another friend have told me, while it's not NECCESARY, they do seem to like boring into rotten logs and such to create brooding chambers, much like Perisphaerus pygmaeus. They actually don't eat the wood, and in fact leave little sawdust piles outside their chambers.

Since my bark isn't especially curly, and I've got no rotten logs, I've made them some makeshift "houses" out of cork tile and hot glue, to kind of replicate that brooding chamber feel. I've also added little "moisture chambers" filled with wet coconut fiber that are attached to the little pods, and the walls which connect them have small holes poked through them so that the moisture can spread to the entire brooding chamber... So they'll have humid retreats even in the drier parts of the enclosure.
It's kind of a hard concept to explain, if they actually end up using them I'll take pics of them so you'll get a better idea of what they look like, but anyways I'm HOPING some of the females may start using them to gestate in, as they are humid, dark retreats which are on the ground and thus quite warm, and the space inside should be nice and cozy for them. To make them fit I had to re-do the enclosure, and I moved the bark in there around to create better spots for the females, so hopefully all this will aid in their gestations greatly.

I'll also probably be keeping them slightly more humid, and will both increase the size of the moist area in their enclosure and lightly mist the entire enclosure every feeding day, (which will probably evaporate completely within a few hours), since the added ventilation is drying things out much faster.

Here's a picture of a random adult male for your patience:
















So hopefully all my females start plumping up even more soon, utilize the hides I've made them, and FINALLY start giving birth to large litters consistently... We'll see, I've basically done all I physically can at this point with the materials available to me, hopefully my work will pay off! πŸ˜…

Well, that's gonna do it for this post guys, thank you all for reading, take care, and I'll see y'all next time! πŸ˜‰

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hormetica apolinari = strumosa... Sorta...

So some of you lot may remember when I kept the beautiful "Hormetica apolinari" from Ecuador that Gil Wizen collected a couple years ago. However, it appears that ID is incorrect, H.apolinari has only ever been recorded from Colombia as far as I know, and the type specimen has completely different coloration compared to the "apolinari" collected by Gil.

I first noticed this in February, when a European breeder, Ferry Pribik, was showing off some new Colombian Hormetica species he was breeding, one of which looked almost exactly like the type specimen of apolinari, (and they likely are apolinari, as the range matches too). I pointed this out to Gil, citing the differences in coloration, which he then attributed to locality coloration variability, and maintained that his Ecuadorian stock was still apolinari.
(It is worth noting that the tegmina length on Ferry's Colombian apolinari lookalikes appear shorter than that of the type specimen, however I personally attribute this to the fact that the type specimen is dried up and the abdomen is shriveled, it would likely extend quite a bit more past the wings if it were alive).

However, a new paper on the group was just released, see here. It describes a new genus, Quadrihormetica, (which in my opinion should just be a subgenus of Lucihormetica, but that's besides the point), and a new Lucihormetica species, but ALSO features a redescription of the Ecuadorian species Hormetica strumosa... After looking at the specimens shown in the paper of H.strumosa, and reading the distribution info, I was positive that H.strumosa must be the true identity of the "apolinari" Gil brought into the hobby.

After bringing up the matter with Gil in a PM, and showing him the images, description, etc., he also agrees that H.strumosa does appear to be the correct ID, the overall coloration and patterning (as variable as it may be) of H.strumosa is pretty much a perfect match for Gil's stock, and the fact that these are found in Ecuador makes a lot more sense too, (seeing as the true H.apolinari may very well be a Colombian endemic species).

So now, to everyone still breeding this species, you know what to do! πŸ˜‰ Change your labels before it's too late, especially since there does appear to be a true Hormetica apolinari strain in the EU... And we don't want any more confusion!

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this post, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for an upcoming update on one of my roach colonies, (plus maybe a new addition?). 😁

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Opatroides punctulatus Update

Just a short update on my suspected Opatroides, in a private conversation with Tenebrionidae expert and taxonomist Andrew Johnston, I asked him if he could confirm or deny my tentative ID of this specimen. He did indeed confirm that this was Opatroides punctulatus, and that while he'd heard that they'd been found as far north as Oregon, he wasn't aware of any prior sightings in Idaho... They're definitely here though! πŸ˜‚

As for the breeding side of things, I can't say for sure, but I THINK I saw a larva in the deli cup while doing maintenance today, but it was just a flash, and digging through the substrate for a couple minutes only turned up the (healthy) adult... Guess I'll just have to wait a bit longer to see if I do indeed have larvae.

Also, on an unrelated note, I've just started posting more regularly on my Instagram account, so if y'all wanna follow me there, simply click on the IG logo located at the top right corner of the blog! πŸ˜‰

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading everyone, I'll see you all next time!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Interesting Introduced Invert in Idaho...

Well, at least I THINK it's an introduced species, the images I submitted to Bugguide have yet to be properly identified...

Anyways, a week ago while going on a walk, I turned over a wooden plank on the ground and found a small, black Tenebrionid. At first glance I thought it was a tiny Coniontis adult, but upon further inspection I realized it was some other genus I'd never seen before... So of course I collected it, and did some research. πŸ˜„

It looked very similar to Blapstinus in appearance, but was too big to be any of the species common here, and wasn't as hairy either. After searching thouroughly through Bugguide, I'm pretty sure the only candidate is Opatroides punctulatus, a species native to the Mediterranean and Asia that was introduced to the US somewhat recently. 😯 They've been found in California and Nevada, and if my beetle really is O.punctulatus, then they've apparently reached Idaho... Interestingly enough though, they don't appear to be grain pests, preferring habitats similar to those of Blapstinus spp., (to which they are closely related).

For now I've placed this individual in a small, well ventilated deli cup with coconut fiber as the substrate, over a CM thick. There are a couple eggcrate pieces for hides, and one small area is kept moist, the rest is bone dry. I'll be offering chick feed as the main diet. Hopefully it's a gravid female, as I haven't been able to find any more...

Here are some pics:



























If I get a confirmation or correction to my ID, I'll be sure to let you all know, if this is Opatroides though, then this may mark the first recorded sighting of them in Idaho... They don't seem that common yet, and hopefully it stays that way, as I personally find our native Tenebrionid fauna much more interesting!

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Tiny Tunneling Tenebs...

One year ago, when my family moved into our new house, I noticed that there were a lot of small inverts getting in, most of which were simply attracted to our lights. I noticed several individuals of a neat Tenebrionid species I'd only seen once or twice before, but since I was leaving the hobby at the time, I of course didn't collect any... Since then I've been kicking myself for that decision, but now that it's Fall again, it looks like they've become active in my area and are once again flying to lights.

I've already caught one adult, and hope to find some more, ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, the very tiny, but very unique, Lepidocnemeplatia sericea! 😁























It's a very weird Teneb, one that's heavily adapted to a life underground, specifically in very fine, loose soil/sand. They appear to be pretty uncommon here, though maybe I have overlooked them, they are quite tiny little things after all... In any case, I would love to attempt breeding these little cuties, as it is yet another US Teneb with little to no life cycle documentation, (that I know of). If you'd like to see clearer pics of this species, look no further than bugguide, they are only 2-3 mm long and hard to pick up on my camera unfortunately.

Right now I have mine housed in a 2 oz deli cup with about a CM of fine coconut fiber, with a couple larger chunks and a dead leaf bit mixed in. I'm keeping one small area moist, and the rest bone dry. The cup has decent ventilation, and I'll be offering chick feed up as food. Hopefully I can breed these little cuties, I'll be sure to keep you all updated on them! πŸ˜„

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, hope you guys enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Friday, September 27, 2019

Great Gyna Growth!

So far my Gyna capucina are doing splendidly, I found a SECOND adult female in my enclosure not too long ago, and a subadult female as well, so hopefully the mature males in there will get them all fertilized in time before dying off, so far they still seem active and virile. πŸ™‚

Additionally, the tons of tiny nymphs I received along with the larger ones have started going through a growth spurt, so it probably won't be too long before I've got to rehouse these beauties! 😁 They are going through food pretty quickly now too, fruits and artificial pollen are being absolutely gobbled up, which is a good sign of growth!

Here are some pics of a couple nymphs, which have just gotten big enough to photograph easily:
























With any luck, my adults will produce nymphs of their own soon, and within a year the small nymphs I already have should be mature too! I'll be sure to keep you all posted on any other interesting updates regarding this species! 😁

Well that's gonna do it for this post, hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Bittersweet Bantua Birth...

As the title clearly suggests, today's post is a bit bittersweet, on the one hand I am very excited to announce that for the first time ever, Bantua sp. "Namibia" babies have been born in the US! 😁 On the other hand, unfortunately the litter was smaller than expected, as an apparent result of a slight husbandry screw-up... 😞 But let's backtrack a little and explain this all more in depth.

While I was doing maintenance on my small collection a few days ago, (the 22nd, to be exact), I noticed one of my adult males had passed away, (presumably due to old age). This made me realize that it had been quite a while since my females had matured, and I was concerned that there were no babies yet. So that afternoon I added some more ventilation to their enclosure, which was the only thing I could think of to speed up reproduction, (I already had started heating them artificially 24/7 due to the cool weather we've been having).

Well I kid you not, the NEXT DAY I went and checked on them, and I spotted one of the females down at the bottom of the enclosure, hiding among the horizontal bark slabs near the moist corner. I noticed something scurry over her, and to my great joy I realized it was a baby Bantua! πŸ˜„ She was in a difficult to reach area of the enclosure, but after spying on her for a bit I saw at least two more nymphs hanging out with her. They were much larger than I expected, and quite healthy looking too! I assumed there were a dozen or two more hiding in the bark with her, and decided to leave them be for a day before trying to photograph them.

Well the next morning, I decided to dig through the enclosure properly to get a better headcount of the new nymphs, and photograph them of course. I checked to see if any were hiding in the vertically slanted bark hides with the majority of the adults, I saw none there.
So then I started removing the branches in the enclosure, checking all their nooks and crannies for nymphs, I found none on them. Then I went about removing the top two pieces of bark lying on the ground, no nymphs in sight...
Finally I got to the piece where I had seen the female and her nymphs hiding under, and lifted it up... I saw the female, quite flat and deflated as expected, and one, two, three, four... four healthy nymphs next to her... 😐 I checked the surrounding small bark pieces, and found a fifth, sort of deformed looking nymph that I suspect won't last long. I dug around the leaf litter, wood chunks, everything, I SCOURED the enclosure looking for the 1-2 dozen nymphs I was expecting, but found nothing, not even an aborted ooth with half the nymphs lying around dead and underdeveloped as one might expect from this kind of scenario.

It appears this female literally gave birth to five nymphs, and that's it, that's ALL she had in her... Which is not normal for this species. I believe this was a result of substandard ventilation, and when I added more, it kind of shocked her into finally giving birth to the few nymphs she had developed with the limited airflow she was given. So I've added even more ventilation now, a whole buttload more, and have increased the size of their moist area, as that seems to be where the new nymphs are hanging out the most.
So this was kind of a bummer, but at least all but one of the nymphs are perfectly healthy, and I have about six more gravid females that will now hopefully give birth to bigger litters, not to mention some healthy adult males are still alive too.

Anyways, here are some pictures of one of the new little cuties:
















Adorable right? 😊 With any luck, this little one and it's three healthy siblings will grow nicely, and who knows, maybe that fourth, deformed looking nymph will surprise me and molt fine too!

While this was certainly a bittersweet experience for me, they say you learn more from your mistakes than your successes, and now I know that this species is just as picky about ventilation levels as their close relatives Perisphaerus and (most) Pseudoglomeris! And with any luck, the changes I've made to their setup will guarantee that my other females will give birth to bigger, healthier litters in the near future! πŸ˜ƒ And when they do, I'll be sure to let you guys know! 😜

Well, that's gonna do it for today's post, I hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Goodbye Apsena! :)

Hey guys, hope all is well with you! πŸ™‚ I just wanted to write this post explaining what happened to my Apsena sp. "Kuna" colony, because as a few of you may have noticed, they are no longer listed on my "Current Species List".

I was never really planning on keeping these beetles long term, I just wanted to see if they could be bred in captivity easily, (they definitely can), and wanted to get photos of larvae and pupae for science, as no one's ever bred this genus as far as I know, nor were there any photos of larvae or pupae in existence.

Well, I've accomplished all my goals with this species, and after rearing a few to adulthood I was planning on releasing them all back where I found them, but it turns out a few keepers wanted to continue on with breeding them, so I ended up splitting the colony in half and sending them to two US Teneb breeders, one of which is the author of the awesome blog, All About Arthropods, which I highly suggest you check out if you haven't already! 😁

So yeah, I am no longer breeding this species, but I did successfully rear around 50 adults, which is impressive considering I started the colony with half a dozen adults in late April/May... Definitely a fast growing, prolific and hardy species, which I hope will persist in the hobby for quite some time to come, thanks to the breeders I've sent them to!

Well that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, and I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Small Bantua Update

My Bantua sp. "Namibia" are still doing well, no babies yet, though I'm expecting some any day now!🀞Most of my nymphs have matured at this point, with only 2-3 small nymphs remaining. Before they all mature though, I wanted to get some pictures of one of the nymphs fully covered in their waxy secretion, which appears to be unique to this genus. Well I'm happy to say that a week or two ago, I did just that! πŸ˜„

Here are a couple pictures of a subadult male, covered in the waxy secretion:













I think that male actually matured a couple days after that photoshoot, so I got those pics just in time! 😁 I'll be sure to keep y'all updated on any big changes with this species, fingers crossed my next post about them will be showing off some babies! 😊

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope you all enjoyed this little update, thanks for reading, I'll see you all in the next post! πŸ˜‰