Thursday, August 31, 2017

The "Catching Up" Update (Very Long Post!)

Sorry it's been a while since I last posted, I've been a bit down lately, as some of you may know, I am in the process of moving, and that has put a complete halt on any new invertebrate acquisitions for me. I had to turn down an offer on a roach species I've been waiting to become available for several months now, and have had missed out on a couple of other neat sales as well. 😞 All of that, plus a couple of other things in my life have put me in a bit of a bad mood lately, so I haven't felt like blogging at all, despite the fact that there have been several new developments in my collection. This post is meant to help you all catch up on most of the stuff that's happened since my last post! 🙂

First of all, you know that female Arenivaga sp. "Algodones Dunes" that I thought was mature? Well, turns out she was a subadult, she molted a few days ago, and boy did her coloration change a LOT! She is now a dark red, kind of the same color that my Arenivaga cf. genitalis and Arenivaga sp. "Dell City" females usually are, but with almost no light markings, and dark, almost black edges to her thoracic pads and the bottom of her pronotum. Overall I find the coloration very attractive, I wish I had a male for her now more than ever!! 😩

Here are some pictures of her:

I don't know why, but it was really hard to get clear, crisp pictures of her, I really need to get a better camera one day!

Most of my Balta notulata have started maturing, these ones grew a lot faster than their parents! I'm gonna have a ton more soon, I ended up with a good amount of offspring from just one adult female, and now I have at least a dozen adult females, and more on the way! 😁 I wasn't able to get any good pictures of the adults, just wanted to let you all know how they are doing, and that my culture has really bounced back in full force!

My Deropeltis sp. "Jinka" are almost all mature now, including four of the males! The males of this species look amazing, so cool and sleek looking, and aren't very skittish either, so handling them is easy! The first male to mature, (the one pictured), has slightly ruffled wings, two of the other males came out with perfect wings, and the other molted in a bad spot, so he ended up with really messed up wings unfortunately.

Here are some pictures of the first male to mature:

Can't wait until the females start producing oothecae, hopefully these will breed well for me!

All of my Drymaplaneta semivitta are mature now! (save for one small, stunted nymph). However, I haven't been able to get the females to lay ANY oothecae at all! I've never had an egg laying cockroach just refuse to lay any ooths, so I'm really not sure what to do. 😕

Their enclosure has been changed up a little to help aid egg laying, I put a thin layer of coconut fiber at the bottom of the enclosure, and I replaced their water bowl with a moist corner of the enclosure, with some bark pieces there in case the females needed to lay their oothecae on bark for some reason. I also added even more ventilation to the enclosure, and placed it on top of a heat cable, but I'm probably going to remove the cable, since it doesn't seem to be helping at all, and my room is already very warm.

I also have varied their diet a lot, in addition to chick feed, I'm offering them cat food and fruits, so far it doesn't look like that's helped anything. A couple days ago, I removed one of the adult females and placed her in my Deropeltis sp. "Jinka" enclosure, to see if the higher air humidity in there would help induce egg laying, we'll see how that goes. I'm deathly afraid of raising the humidity in the actual Drymaplaneta enclosure, since that could end up wiping them all out.

Will keep you guys updated on them, hopefully I can get them to lay some oothecae before they get too old!

My Gyna lurida are doing very nicely, I have a lot of adults right now, and lots of tiny babies too! 😊 The other day I tossed a banana piece in their enclosure, and they went nuts for it! Normally it's a hassle taking the lid off of their container to do maintenance, but this time they all just gravitated to the banana instead of trying to climb out!

Here are a couple of pictures of them eating the banana:

I love these guys, they may seem rather plain looking, but there is just something about the coloration of the adults that I adore!

One of my Panchlora sp. "White" females matured a while ago, which is great! 😄 Unfortunately it doesn't seem like my other two female nymphs will mature in time for the males to mate with them, so the fate of my colony all comes down to this one female! Luckily she seems healthy, and I saw her rotating her ootheca the other day, (I kept looking at their enclosure to make sure she wasn't aborting it), so hopefully babies aren't too far off in the future. Let's hope she produces more offspring than the original adults I got!

Lastly, I have moved my Polyphaga saussurei adults (and the few nymphs in their enclosure) into a larger bin, which I'm hoping will stop any future nymphs from dying off prematurely. They certainly seem to be eating more of the chick feed I am offering them, which is great, that one subadult nymph I have still hasn't matured though, I think she's a goner.

Here are a couple pictures of their new setup:

By the way, the two test groups of nymphs that I am using to tell which supplemental food is better, cat food or chick feed, are both doing very well, they are growing at the same rates, no die offs so far, etc., so I think it's safe to say that the switch to chick feed is NOT the cause of the young nymph die off I have been experiencing. If rehousing my main culture does not help things out at all, I don't really know what else to do.

Well, that about sums up most of what has happened in my collection since I last posted, there are a couple of other things I haven't brought up, but I'll save those for the next post, since this one is already very long! BTW, I made all the "topic divider" lines in bold for this post, do you guys like it better like this, or do you prefer the old way better? Let me know! I'm also going to start writing scientific names in italic for now on, since I'm pretty sure that is the "proper" way to write down scientific names.

Anyway, that's it for today folks, I hope everyone enjoyed this post, will see you all soon, stay tuned for the next post! 😉

Monday, August 21, 2017

Click Beetles & Roaches

The last adult from my original Pyrophorus noctilucus trio has fully hardened and is now active!! 😁(Actually it emerged from it's pupal cell on the 18th, but it's just taken me this long to get around to posting about it). This last adult was the largest so far, at about 28 mm. Here's hoping I'll be getting some offspring from them soon!

I took photos of the two largest individuals next to my Alaus melanops, here they are:

And I also made a video of all three of my Pyrophorus adults together:

My other two Pyrophorus grubs are still doing well, I am having a few grain mite problems though, for some reason grain mites LOVE their enclosures, but leave my other Elaterid larvae deli cups alone. 😕

Gonna have to lower the amount of chick feed I give them and replace it with mealworms for a while, since there won't be as much leftovers with just mealworms, and the mites seem a little more attracted to old grain products than insect bodies.

My Arenivaga floridensis males are all starting to mature, unfortunately the pre-subadult females don't seem like they will mature in time for these males to mate with them. 😟 Oh well, there are plenty of other smaller nymphs, several of which are likely males, so I'll definitely have pairs matched up at one point.

Here are some pictures of one of the adult males:

The males of this morph look very nice! 😃 Can't wait until the females start maturing too!

My Eurycotis lixa are doing very nicely, and have grown quite a bit since I got them! (they are definitely slower growing than E.improcera though). They have all developed the jet black coloration that is characteristic of this species, they are quite beautiful now! 😍

Here are some pictures of them:

I am excited to see just how big they'll get, they are supposed to be quite a bit larger than E.improcera, which is one of the smallest Eurycotis species in the hobby.

Well, that's going to do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all soon! 😉

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sad Ectobiid Post...

Unfortunately I have some bad news on the Ectobiid front, in the words of Elton John; "it's sad, so sad, it's a sad sad situation".

All three of my Latiblattella lucifrons ooths molded over, I'm not quite sure why, but needless to say, I have failed miserably at breeding this species. 😭 I was so excited to have some in my collection, so I am super bummed that they didn't do well in my care. I'm pretty sure keeping them to moist was the main reason mine didn't reproduce well, but other factors may have been in play as well.

Also, I did a thorough examination of my Chorisoneura texensis enclosure, went through every hide, turns out I only have one nymph left. 😢 Not quite sure what I did wrong this time, I may have kept them too moist, but they had dry areas available, perhaps this AL strain isn't as easy to culture as the NC strain I once had?

I also gave the C.texensis way more hides than I did last time, and as a result they may not have been able to find the food I offered them. Another possibility is cannibalism, Alan Jeon said he had problems with nymphs attacking each other, maybe the AL strain of this species is more cannibalistic than the NC one?

In any case, I've failed with this species as well, which sucks, I was really hoping I'd have better luck with them, considering I had little trouble last time getting a colony set up with my NC strain.

Oh well, sometimes you have big successes in this hobby, sometimes you have failures, it's inevitable. Just wanted to let you all know what was going on with those two species.

That's going to do it for this post folks, thanks for reading, will see you all soon!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Offspring & Adults!

So, it seems Parcoblatta caudelli oothecae hatch pretty quickly, I've already got little nymphs of this species now! 😁 Very happy to have offspring of this unique Parcoblatta species, here are some pictures of them:

The adults are really freaking prolific too, I'm gonna have tons of these soon! Which is good, because the large nymphs/adults are actually the perfect sized prey to feed my picky rose hair tarantula, and the nymphs of this species don't climb or burrow, and it's not like she eats a lot, so these may be the ideal cricket-replacement for her...

Also, I mentioned a few posts ago that my female Gyna centurio gave birth, well I finally got around to getting some pictures of the babies, most of which are now in the second instar!

Here they are:

Hopefully I can rear them to adulthood with no problems! 😊

Now, I am very happy to announce that one of my Eurycotis improcera nymphs has molted into an adult female!! 😍 Man are the adults of this species beautiful! Pictures really don't do them justice, these are by far the nicest looking Eurycotis I have ever seen, I love the patterning on them!

Here are some pictures of the gal:

I really can't wait until more of them mature, hopefully they'll start breeding soon!

Turns out, one of my Deropeltis sp. "Jinka" nymphs has reached maturity as well, and it's also a female! 😃 When I went to grab her, she sprayed a defensive fluid at me, which is something the nymphs have never done to me! (yet...).

The defensive fluid of this species is actually rather volatile compared to those of say, Eleodes, or Mastigoproctus, and actually stains skin that comes into contact with it, as it actually burns through the outer layer of skin I believe. It doesn't hurt to get sprayed, but the discoloration of the skin lasts a few days, washing your hands with soap and water does nothing.

When she calmed down and I went to get pictures of her on my hand, she began trying to eat my fingers, just like the nymph in this post did, and I didn't even have chick feed dust on my hands! 😆 Deropeltis really find me delicious! 😋

Here are some pictures of her:

Note how in the first two pictures, you can see the defensive fluid on my middle finger in it's liquid form, then in the last two pictures, the liquid has evaporated/been wiped off, and the discoloration of the affected skin is clearly visible.

Can't wait until some of the males start maturing, will be sure to snap some picture of them once they do!

Well, that's gonna do it for today, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next post! 😉