Saturday, September 16, 2017

More Roach & Pyrophorus Updates (A Rather Long Post)

First of all, both my Deropeltis sp. "Jinka", and Eurycotis improcera have started to lay oothecae! 😁 The Deropeltis ooths are really large, and very well hidden in the grooves of their bark hides, the Eurycotis ooths are smaller, and they didn't do as good of a job at making the oothecae hard to find. I am so glad that these two species have started laying oothecae for me, hopefully they all hatch out with no problems!

My Anallacta methanoides nymphs are doing very well, and growing nicely! 🙂 The nymphs are really starting to darken up now, and they are looking very beautiful!

Here are some pictures of them:

I really can't wait until they start maturing! 😊

Well guys, I did it. I freaking did it! I FINALLY got not one, but several Arenivaga tonkawa males to mature without dying first! 😆 Most of the nymphs Kyle sent me ended up being males actually, which is a little unlucky, but thankfully there is at least one female in the bunch, and she just matured as well, so it looks like I'll be getting offspring from them soon!

I think the key to my success this time around is that I put them in a much smaller container than I previously tried keeping my two pairs in, it is well known that many species in this genus do best when kept in relatively small containers. Many Arenivaga species normally utilize small spaces like rodent burrows as their homes in the wild, so it makes sense that they would prefer more confined areas in captivity as well. I also gave them a larger moist area this time around, about half of the enclosure really, which seems to be working nicely for my other Arenivaga species as well.

Here are a few pictures of one of the males:

Let's hope my female starts laying fertile oothecae soon!

It seems like only half of the Dorylaea orini oothecae I received from Sebastien hatched, the rest look like duds. That's OK with me though, since I still have a couple dozen nymphs, which should be more than enough to get a colony established! 😄 Some of the nymphs are starting to develop the characteristic stripes that the older nymphs of this species sport, check it out!

The nymphs of this species are so pretty, can't wait until they get bigger!

My Gyna caffrorum are doing OK, got lots of nymphs running around, and a LOT of adult males... like there is a VERY unbalanced number of males in there compared to females, which is apparently normal for this species.

Anyway, enjoy these pictures of several males swarming a piece of banana:

Banana seems to be the preferred fruit of Gyna in my experience, nothing else elicits such a great feeding response.

Lastly, but certainly not least, one of the two remaining Pyrophorus noctilucus larvae I bought from Gil Wizen just molted and HOLY COW, it's huge! It has definitely surpassed the size my original three larvae were when they pupated prematurely, which is great, it certainly seems like I've got the larval husbandry down now! This larva isn't even mature yet, it still has several molts left to go until it is ready to pupate properly. According to Gil, the larvae of this species can get as thick as a thumb! 😮 Now that is something I have to see for myself!

Anyway, here are a couple pictures I took of it today, I only wish I had taken some better ones that more accurately portray it's size:

It could probably take down a full grown superworm with little difficulty, I'm going to try feeding it some mature Eleodes hispilabris larvae, (which are a little smaller than superworms are), and see if it'll accept prey that large. Would definitely be more efficient than tossing in three or four yellow mealworms in with it.

Anyway, that is going to do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed it, will see you all next time! 😉


  1. Congrats. Why would an Arenivaga do better in a small cage? It's just a smaller version of a big cage.

    I have had a small success with scouting out footspinners for you. Last night, I was out Coniontis hunting and came across a translucent, wingless individual walking on the ground between lawn and flowerpot row. Nothing was under the flowerpots, but since it is wingless there are surely more in the area.

    1. My guess is because a smaller enclosure makes it much easier for them to find food? I don't know that for sure, but I do know that you get better results when they are kept in smaller enclosures, at least until the population density gets too high.

      Nice, good to know! :) Weird, I would have thought they would have set up tubes underneath the flower pots. Perhaps in your front lawn, try checking the areas between the lawn and the concrete of the sidewalk, (assuming the grass in your lawn meets the sidewalk, and that you have a lawn...), I have a feeling some could be hiding there, just a thought.

      That kind of crevice area often turns up a variety of invertebrates like isopods, earwigs, wolf spiders and large springtails for me, maybe foot spinners would deem it a nice place to construct their tunnels, especially up against the concrete.

    2. Your assumptions are correct.

      Yes, the crevice area does have many inverts, and like minds think alike.

      However, it seems to be dominated by pillbugs, which lounge around casually on the surface and do not even try to burrow. I may find footspinners there, but most of the arthropods present are very common ones.

    3. Dang, isopods also seem to be the dominant critters in that type of habitat here in my neighborhood, followed by slugs, was hoping things would be different where you live.