Saturday, March 4, 2017

Hanging On by a Thread...

Well, as you guys may know, I am down to one female Arenivaga tonkawa. I have been pretty confused as to what age she is, when I got her I thought she was an adult due to her size, however after several months of never seeing her lay a single ooth, fertile or otherwise, I assumed that she was still a nymph. 

However, today after checking on her, I found that she was beginning to laying an ooth! I have no idea whether it's fertile or not, she has not molted once in my care so I got her as an adult, so there is a chance she had already mated when I got her. However, I still have no idea why she has not laid any oothecae before now, even if she has not mated, she should still lay infertile oothecae like most roaches do. 

I have noticed that my adult female has not laid any ooths at all in the few months she's been mature though, so perhaps Arenivaga females do not lay infertile oothecae like other roaches do, maybe to conserve more resources. But if this ootheca is fertile, I still don't know why she has not laid any other ooths prior to this one, I have searched through the substrate and have not found any oothecae at all, maybe I need to look closer...

Anyway, here are some pictures of the female laying the ootheca!

Hopefully this oothecae turns out to be fertile, would be nice to get babies out of this species without having to buy more!

My Dorylaea orini adults are starting to die off, and most of the oothecae have turned out to be infertile, even some of the good looking ones. :( I have taken out the last 5 oothecae that look fairly healthy, there is a good chance that they are all duds, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that some may hatch! 

Here is a picture of the oothecae:

I really hope at least one ooth hatches, I really wanted this species to do well for me, they are very beautiful!

Unfortunately it seems my Rhabdoblatta formosana colony is crashing, NONE of my adults are reproducing, they keep aborting their oothecae, I even separated a few individuals to their own, new enclosure, and still no luck. I'm pretty sure it's the large numbers of Alphitobius diaperinus and Porcellio scaber that are stressing them out, so this week I will be completely cleaning out their cage of all other invertebrates and replacing the substrate and decor in a last-ditch effort to save my culture, though I'm not too optimistic that it will change anything.

Anyway, here are some pictures of a nice looking female, if my colony crashes these may be the last pictures you guys see of this species on my blog. :(

Hopefully I can get things to turn around for these guys, will be sure to keep you all posted!

It's been a while since I posted about my Melanolestes picipes, mainly because I have failed miserably at breeding them. :( My nymphs all matured, however they were extremely aggressive to each other, and when I tried pairing them up to mate, the females would often eat the males, except for one savage male that ended up killing all but one of my females. I paired those two together, and they seemed to do well with each other for a couple weeks, then the male died. 

Unfortunately I never saw any mating activity, and my female has not laid a single egg, so it seems once she dies, this species will be gone from my collection. 

Here are some pictures I took of her today, she had lived a surprisingly long time, possibly because she has not had to deal with the stress of reproducing.

Well, it was certainly fun keeping these guys, sucks that I wasn't able to get another generation out of them, but I'm still glad I got the chance to keep these neat critters nonetheless. Later this year I may try keeping some larger, more easily cultured assassin bugs, so I'm looking forward to that! :)

Lastly, and what is perhaps the biggest tragedy to happen in my collection recently, all but one of my Jerusalem cricket eggs have molded over and died. This last egg looks really plump and healthy, however even if it hatches, I will not be able to breed it. :( Surprisingly, my female, Ripper, is still alive, really amazed at her longevity!

This was a breeding project that I was really hoping would end in a success, however it seems it was just not meant to be. Maybe I'll try again one day, at least now I have more experience in mating JCs, and know a lot more about their care needs than I used to! 

Well I hope you guys enjoyed this somber post, usually I only like to post about my successes, but I do want to post about all my experiences breeding invertebrates on this blog, both the good and the bad, so here we are. Anyways, will see you guys soon, hope you all have a great day/night! :)


  1. That really sucks, would have been amazing if you could have bred the Jerusalem crickets, hopefully next time around will yield better results. Wow, I wouldn't have expected that you'd be on the brink of losing your R.formosana colony, especially considering how well they were doing at one point. Anyway, best of luck with hanging on to the roaches, would be very unfortunate to have to acquire them again.
    I agree a lot with your closing statement, I feel that's a job of mine as well, to not only post about my successes, but also about the failures. I think that's part of any good blog and gives completeness to it.

    1. Yeah, I'm pretty bummed about that, maybe next time around I'll be successful. Well I have like over 100 adult Rhabdoblatta ATM, they were doing great until this point, now they just won't reproduce at all! Thanks, hopefully thing will start turning around for some of the roach species soon! :)

      Yeah, my sentiments exactly. If I only posted about my successes, then the blog would very incomplete, with loose ends everywhere, posting about both your good and bad experience gives the blog more balance.