Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Christmas Zombie Roaches (Pt. 3)

1/18/18 - 1/23/18
No changes.

My large nymph has molted successfully, only one more to go! 🙂 He's looking pretty good, I love the slight iridescent sheen that the nymphs have!

Large nymph several hours after molt

1/25/18 - 1/28/18
No changes.

My tiny nymph has finally molted, and has done so successfully! 😁 It's antennae still look screwed up, but the tarsi it was missing have all grown back, so hopefully the antennae will too after another molt. Now all three have molted, and seem to be doing well, I think I can officially declare that they are in the clear!!! (Knock on wood).

Tiny nymph a couple hours after molting.

1/30/18 - 1/31/18
No changes.

So, now that all three of them seem to be in relatively good shape, I think this will be the last post in the "Christmas Zombie Roaches" series, I'll give updates on them in the future like I have with the rest of my inverts, in more basic posts!

Well, that's gonna do it for today everyone, thanks for reading, will see you all next time! 😉

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Anallacta Hatchlings & Pystalla Eggs!!!

YES, guess what I found in my Anallacta methanoides enclosure a couple of days ago? That's right, HATCHLINGS!!! 😁 So happy to have bred this species successfully, once more ooths hatch and the nymphs go through a few more instars, I will begin distributing this species to US breeders!

Here are a few pictures of one of the nymphs:

So adorable! 😊

More great news, my Pystalla horrida adults are still doing great, and eating well! I placed them in an enclosure with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber for a couple days, checked on them today, and found 21 dark brown eggs buried in the substrate! 😃

I had tried just putting a deli cup filled with substrate in their main enclosure, (which has a bare floor to prevent their prey from hiding), but they seemed to be unable to find the substrate easily. So I'm just going to move them back and forth between their feeding enclosure and their new egg laying enclosure every few days, seems like the best plan right now.

I've taken the 21 eggs I found and put them in a deli cup with a very thin layer of moist coconut fiber. Here are some pictures of them:

With any luck, I will start seeing nymphs in a few weeks!

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sad Porcellio bolivari News, & Arenivaga Updates

Well, unfortunately my last female Porcellio bolivari died, and it's probably because of another stupid mistake of mine. 😢

A few days after removing all the males from the main enclosure, when I was sure she was OK, I put my smallest male back in with her. About a week later, I noticed she was actually gravid, so I quickly took the male out of her enclosure. Everything was looking fine, but for reasons too complicated to get into here, (let's just say it had something to do with my mite eradication process), I ended up placing her enclosure under two others, previously I had it on top of a stack of cages.

A couple days later I found her up against the enclosure wall, sluggish, half of her legs had stopped working, and her eggs never developed enough for her to give birth to any offspring. A few hours later, she was dead. I think placing her cage under two others covered the ventilation on the lid, so even though she had cross ventilation, she must have suffocated. At least, that's the only reason she would die that I can think of, it's the only thing that changed in the past few days leading up to her death, and she seemed perfectly healthy until that point.

So, I've managed to kill ALL of my P.bolivari females due to stupid mistakes, I'm pretty furious at myself. 😡 At least my males are still alive, I'm going to try and acquire a few more females this Spring, and will try again to breed this beautiful species. This time I won't be making the same mistakes I did before, that's for sure!

My Arenivaga tonkawa culture seems to have hit a little snag, my adult males are all dead, but my females still haven't laid any ooths at all. Additionally, I found a subadult male dead, and full of fungus. I think this is from a lack of adequate ventilation, as Arenivaga seem to be highly susceptible to fungal infections when ventilation is low. So, I moved my females to a new enclosure with lots more ventilation, and hopefully that will fix things.

I also added a little more substrate and ventilation to my Arenivaga floridensis "White" enclosure, as my female doesn't seem to have produced any oothecae yet. None of them have succumbed to fungal infections, but I feel like adding more ventilation may help matters, we'll see. I'm also going to try keeping them more moist, since they seem to hang out in the moist half of the enclosure the most.

Lastly, while I was at it, I added some more ventilation to my Arenivaga sp. "Algodones Dunes" enclosure, as they really didn't have a lot of ventilation. While doing so, I snapped a couple pictures of one of the females, here they are:

Well, that's it for this post, thanks for reading everyone, will see you all next time! 😉

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Christmas Zombie Roaches! (Pt. 2)

In case you missed it, see Part 1 here.

No changes.

The large nymph dragged a piece of apple over to it's preferred hiding place and was nibbling on it, was quite an amusing sight! 😊

1/6/18 - 1/7/18
No changes.

The tiny nymph in "pre-molt" ate some cat food, so maybe it's not as close to molting as I thought... In any case, it's encouraging that it's feeding now, like the other two nymphs.

The tiny nymph is looking very elongated now, like it's about to burst... So maybe now it's in pre-molt?

Tiny nymph in pre-molt(?)

Large nymph

1/10/18 - 1/15/18
No changes.

The small lively nymph has molted successfully, which surprised me, since I didn't think it was all that close to molting. In any case, it seems to be very healthy, and I'd say it's in the clear now for sure! Now we'll just have to see if the other two molt...

Small nymph hours after molting

No changes.

I think I'll end this post here on a high note, hope everyone enjoyed, will let you all know what happens to the other two nymphs in the next installment of "Christmas Zombie Roaches"! 😜

Thursday, January 11, 2018

UGH, MITES!!!! & an Alobates pensylvanica Update

My collection is experiencing a small mite crisis, there is this small, round, red mite species that seems similar to grain mites in habits, but more damaging to my small Ectobiid species than any mite I have previously encountered. 😩 I am not exactly sure where they came from, I'm thinking they came in with my Dorylaea orini though, as I saw them in their enclosure first.

So, I've had to carefully re-house the infested species, and throw out their old enclosures too, as the mites seem pretty resistant to my sterilization methods. Luckily, I think I've nipped this problem in the bud, they aren't in many of my enclosures, and only seem to do well when there is a buildup of leftover food and/or a lack of a thriving springtail colony. Hopefully once I've finished cleaning out the last enclosures, the mites will be gone for good.

The species that were infested with these mites are Dorylaea orini, (which I've moved to a larger enclosure now), Cariblatta minima, Alobates pensylvanicus, Therea olegrandjeani, Balta notulata, and a pair of Oniscus asellus. The only cultures I still have to de-mite are my T.olegrandjeani, and B.notulata.

Speaking of Alobates pensylvanica, I suppose I may as well give you all an update on them. A couple of months ago I rehoused them to a larger enclosure, thinking the larvae would appreciate it, and the adults would lay more eggs, (all of the egg clutches they produced had started to mold over in their old setup). However, the new enclosure had a lot more ventilation than their previous one, and I underestimated how fast the substrate would dry out.

So, within a few days the enclosure got really dry, and most of the larvae died off. I re-hydrated the substrate, but that didn't seem to help all that much, and the adults didn't seem inclined to lay any more eggs either. So, I moved the adults back to a smaller enclosure, with moist substrate and less ventilation. I dug through the big enclosure and only found one larva unfortunately, which I moved to a small deli cup with crushed rotten wood as the substrate.

The adults are looking pretty ragged now, and I'm not sure that I'll be able to successfully rear the larva up to adulthood, so it looks like I've failed at breeding this species. 😢 Oh well, maybe I'll try again one day, we'll see! At least now I know that this species hates dryness, at least as larvae, and adults like to lay eggs in crevices, like in between bark pieces, or in between the enclosure walls and the substrate.

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

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Lanxoblatta Pictures, a Pystalla Update & More Panchlora Babies!

My Lanxoblatta rudis are doing OK, my adult female still hasn't given birth to any nymphs though, and on closer inspection doesn't even look that plump. I fear I'm keeping them too cool. However, the gestation period for this species is supposedly very long, and gravid females apparently don't look that plump anyway, so I'm probably just overreacting.

Anyway, I was able to get some pictures of my adult female the other day in some more natural lighting, here she is:

Will keep you all updated on their progress!

Unfortunately, the deformed Pystalla horrida adult died the other day. I tried tong feeding it live, about to die, or pre-killed prey, and for some reason, despite readily grabbing them with it's normal front leg, it seems completely unable to pierce prey with it's rostrum. The rostrum appeared to be perfectly formed, not blunt or anything, not sure why it couldn't properly stab any sort of prey items. Anyway, this caused it to die of starvation, despite my best efforts.

The other five adults are doing great though, and are eating the Pycnoscelus nigra I offer them regularly! I just took out any uneaten roaches and placed a deli cup with substrate in their main enclosure the other day, will see if they lay any eggs, (I have four females and one male I think, so I they should give me at least a few eggs... 😛).

Lastly my Panchlora sp. "Costa Rica Yellow" colony has produced another litter of nymphs, which is great, I definitely have more than enough offspring to keep the colony going now! 😁

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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Christmas Zombie Roaches! (Pt. 1)

Hey guys, I hope everyone had a great holiday season, mine got off to bit of a rocky start, but it looks like my luck is changing for the better! Here's the whole story about my new "zombie roaches"! 😛

My mom decided to surprise me this Christmas and ordered 4 small Simandoa conserfariam nymphs from Peter Clausen at Bugsincyberspace! Peter ended up sending 8, including a couple larger nymphs from his personal collection, which was very generous of him! 😃 Unfortunately though, the roaches arrived completely motionless, presumably dead, so my mom called me in to check on them and confirm they were actually dead. At first I thought they may just need to warm up a little bit, but after keeping them warm for a couple hours, none of them showed signs of reviving. So it seemed they were really dead, end of story, I left their deli cup in my bug closet for the night though, just in case.

This morning I took a look into their enclosure and found that some of them weren't in the same places they were the day before, a closer examination showed that some of the nymphs were twitching erratically, slowly moving themselves around the deli cup. They didn't seem to have any real control of their limbs or antennae though, and were acting exactly like decapitated roaches do, so I thought they were still dead, and that their secondary nervous system must have kicked in at the last minute. Still, just to be safe, I moved them to a deli cup with actual substrate in it, and placed it next to my heat cable, and left them alone.

Today, one of the largest nymphs, (a male), can run around the deli cup at a decent speed, and the other large nymph, (a female, which looked like she was about to molt), is twitching a lot. Two smaller nymphs are also moving around somewhat erratically in a sluggish manner, the other four small nymphs weren't moving at all though.

Active male nymph

Female nymph in pre-molt

Now the active large nymph can run, clean it's antennae, and even climb smooth surfaces! I moved it to a more permanent enclosure with food, and placed the two small active nymphs in with it, as they also seemed rather lively. The large nymph in premolt looks like it's about to burst out of it's skin, but I'm starting to doubt it has the energy to molt properly. The other four nymphs still aren't moving, and I threw one out as it had started to reek of death.

Christmas eve, and not much has changed, the large active nymph won't eat yet, and the large individual in premolt doesn't seem like it's going to break out of it's skin, I highly doubt it will survive. 😞 The two small nymphs are becoming more and more active, but the other three are still completely motionless.

Christmas day, nothing has changed with the two large nymphs, the two lively small nymphs are becoming even more active, and look pretty healthy. None are eating though... I threw out two of the small motionless nymphs, as they started reeking of death, however the third is starting to twitch now.

The large nymph in premolt keeps rolling onto it's back, and the small twitching nymph is becoming slightly more active. The two lively small nymphs have started climbing the walls of their enclosure like their larger cage-mate, none of them are eating though, I've added some apple pieces in an attempt to get them to feed, it's supposed to be one of their favorites.

No changes.

The small, sluggish nymph has started climbing the deli cup walls, though it still appears sluggish, I decide to put it in with the other more "lively" nymphs, which still aren't eating BTW... That large nymph in premolt still hasn't molted yet.

Not much has changed for most of the nymphs, but the large individual that's in pre-molt has stopped twitching and moving about.

Well, the large individual in pre-molt is dead, and is starting to smell horrible, so I threw her out. Additionally, one of my small active nymphs became very sluggish, then immobile, then was half-eaten and killed by one of it's brethren, none of which are eating any of the conventional food I have in their enclosure BTW! So that sucks...

New Year's Eve, no big changes. I put some cat food in there, and it looks like they took a few bites of it, but my large nymph is still really skinny, and the really small, kind of sluggish nymph certainly can't eat anything, (and is staying near the top of the cage, I think it may try to molt soon), so the only one that could have eaten it is probably the small active nymph. I'm still not getting my hopes up, since it seems like they are slowly dropping like flies...

No big changes, they do seem to really like the cat food though...

My large nymph is finally gaining some weight, so it's definitely been eating! The small active nymph also seems pretty plump and active, the tiny one in pre-molt is still hanging around the top of the enclosure.

So far so good, no big changes, the large male nymph is picking up more weight, the small active nymph seems to be doing great, and the tiny nymph in pre-molt still hasn't made any progress.

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, as it's getting really long, will be sure to keep you all updated on their status! 😉 Will probably put out a part two to this post sometime next week!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Arenivaga bolliana Rehouse, Horrible Porcellio News & More

Happy New Year's everyone! 😀

Well, I finally rehoused my Arenivaga bolliana colony last week! I now have them housed in a gallon container with lots of ventilation, for the substrate I am using coconut fiber, which I am keeping dry, except for the very back, which I am keeping rather moist. They have lots of dead leaves on top of the substrate for food, as well as a food bowl with chick feed in it.

Here is a picture of their new enclosure:

Hopefully they'll enjoy their new habitat, and breed well in it! 😃

Also, forgot to write this in a previous post, but I found another newborn litter of babies in my Corydidarum pygmaea enclosure on December the 26th. This generation is breeding way faster than their predecessors, high ventilation = lots of babies and a short gestation period! 😁 Also, some of my females are boring into that rotten log I put in there, which is really cool!

Sadly, the New Year got off to a really bad start for my Porcellio bolivari, today I checked on their enclosure, only to find that TWO of my three females were dead, one of which was very gravid!!! 😩 It's my own dang fault too, I'm pretty sure the males (who are all fine), stressed out my females with mating attempts, which is exactly what happened to my Porcellio silvestrii at the beginning of this year.

I actually had planned to isolate the females as soon as I saw them getting gravid, but then I saw how well they were doing, and decided against disturbing them. I figured worst case scenario, one female would die at first, at which point I could separate the remaining two. But nope, because of my hesitation, now I'm left with just one small female, who I really hope is in good health. 😟

I've removed all of the males from the main enclosure, and will introduce one of them once I know she's OK. I did the same thing with my last female P.silvestrii, and now I have a couple dozen of them, so HOPEFULLY I can save my colony, we'll see... What a stupid mistake I've made!

Speaking of Spanish isopod woes, it seems I won't be breeding my Porcellio ornatus "South", as I sexed them last week, and they are all females. 😢 One died a month ago, but they were all mature at that time, so since none of my females are currently gravid, I'm gonna assume that one was a female as well. Maybe I'll get a male from a trade or something later on, but for now, it does not look like I'll be breeding this species.

Oh well, that does it for this post, hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next time!