Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Success With Eleodes nigrina, & a Hemipteran Mystery!

I did it, I got Eleodes nigrina larvae!!! 😁 Found an L1 larva at the bottom of the enclosure yesterday, along with some fresh new eggs. So far this species seems pretty easy to breed in captivity!

Again, taking pictures through the bottom of the enclosure, not the best quality pics, but they were never going to be since this is a tiny 3mm Eleodes grub we're talking about here. 😅

So now I've just gotta rear these cuties to adulthood now, which hopefully won't be too hard at all!

Now for something a little more intriguing, my sister found a group of interesting looking eggs on top of a mound of dirt near a construction site, I can only assume they were laid by a confused adult bug after one of our recent rains, because they are a little dimpled and obviously were supposed to be laid somewhere more consistently humid. And yes, when I say bug, I mean it, these eggs appear to be those of a true bug, order Hemiptera. I'm guessing a type of stink bug, they look quite similar to these eggs on Bugguide ID'd as Chlorochroa ligata, (not that I'm saying that's what species I have, but I am confident these are indeed some type of stink bug). 

Here are my eggs:

Pretty right? I've decided to try and keep them alive until they hatch, after which I'll more than likely release them, as I'm not too interested in breeding shield bugs, especially since these probably aren't a predatory species.

Well, that's gonna do it for today guys, I hope you all enjoyed! Might be getting some neat new additions here in May, we'll see, so stay tuned for future posts! Take care, stay distanced, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Eleodes nigrina Eggs!

Well, about 3-4 days ago I went on another quick bug hunt outside, and was able to find another Eleodes nigrina female, as well as another female Eleodes sp. (subgenus Blapylis). Now that's great news by itself, but when I went to go put the new E.nigrina female in with the one I caught a little while back, I looked at the bottom of the enclosure and saw an egg up against the plastic! 😁 
So it appears my first female has been busy, and I can assure you that where there's one Eleodes egg, there are many more, however said eggs are around 1 mm long, so they're very hard to find except when laid against the glass. 

I did snap a couple pictures of the egg, it's kinda hard to take decent pictures through the plastic so this is the best I could do, but figured I should document each life major stage if possible considering I don't think anyone's bred this species before, (or if they have, I don't think they've published pictures of all life stages):

Tenebrionid eggs can sometimes be difficult to discern from random pale granules of substrate in enclosures, but healthy eggs tend to be perfectly spherical or oval, no jagged edges, and are typically glossy in texture. Egg color can range from bright white to yellow, often slightly transparent. Substrate often sticks to eggs, and thus when sifting through substrate, unless the species lays large eggs, you're unlikely to spot them unless they are laid right up against the sides or bottom of the enclosure.

Anyways, hopefully these Eleodes nigrina eggs will hatch here soon, I am looking forward to rearing the larvae up to adulthood! 😄

Well, that's gonna do it for today's post, thank you for reading, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay distanced, and I'll see you next post! 😉

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Even More Bantua!

It would appear that I had yet another Bantua sp. "Namibia" birth a few days ago, (around the 14th)! 😁 These guys are chugging along and doing quite wonderfully!

Thought I'd take the opportunity to get some pictures of the new first instars!

My colony has been binge eating banana lately... 😅

Such cute little things, and they grow so fast! 😄 I'm so happy this species has been doing well for me, there was a point in time where the future of this species in culture was looking quite precarious indeed, however those doubts have been dashed as the number of people keeping them has risen as of late! I hope to see many more African Perisphaerinae species established in the hobby in a similar manner in the years to come! 😁 

Well, that's gonna do it for this shorter post, I hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay distanced, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

Thursday, April 16, 2020

A Couple of Nice Finds! Pt. 2

So today I went back to the spot I collected in a few days ago, as I realized if my female Eleodes nigrina and E.obscura were recently matured females, just starting to come to the surface, they may not have been mated... Luckily, I quickly found a male of each! (Two male nigrina actually, but I only collected one).

Here are some pictures of the Eleodes obscura mating behavior, the male got right to work! 😂

I may release both males in a week or so, they can be slightly annoying to females and impede their oviposition progress, I just need to make sure my females have been fertilized, then the males can go back to whatever they were doing before I caught them. 😛

Interestingly, both the obscura and nigrina females have eaten a LOT already, the obscura female alone ate more chick feed than my entire Bantua sp. "Namibia" colony does in the same amount of time... And I've got a few dozen of those! I hope this means they're stocking up on food for egg production, we will see! 😁

While collecting the obscura and nigrina females a few days ago, I also found a male Eleodes sp. (subgenus Blapylis), a cute little species I've bred before, but since it was a male, it was kinda useless to me at that moment. Today, while finding the obscura and nigrina males, I found a female subgenus Blapylis... 😂 Hopefully she's been mated, if not, looks like I'll have to go digging for a male... Again. 😅

Got her set up in a little, well ventilated Tupperware with coconut fiber as the substrate, will keep a corner of the substrate humid, the rest bone dry, and offer chick feed for food. This species is very easy to breed, not picky at all, and I may have use for them as feeders in the future, as their full grown larvae are almost Tenebrio molitor sized...

Hopefully she'll do as well for me as this species has done in the past, haven't seen any of these for a couple years now, had no idea they were right under my nose! 😀

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay distanced, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A Couple of Nice Finds!

So yesterday I went out looking for some interesting bugs in the field behind my house, before it's completely razed down to the ground for more houses... At first I wasn't finding anything interesting, but there was a pile of old wooden planks on the ground next to a badger burrow. Objects like this on the ground make for perfect cover for a wide variety of invertebrates, and given the size of the planks, I was hoping some larger genera like Eleodes might be hiding under them... Well, I was right! 😁
I found two Eleodes species, one adult female of each to be exact. We'll cover the larger of the two here first; a female Eleodes obscura!

Now I found males of this species near my house last year, but didn't see any females. This year I've lucked out and found an adult female, hopefully mated, (if I see any males I'll nab one though, unless the female has already oviposited fertile eggs by then).

I've had a group of this species before, but never got my females to oviposit, (all larvae in their enclosure somehow ended up being E.hispilabris larvae). That could have been for any number of reasons, but I suspect they didn't like plain coconut fiber much for oviposition, probably need some sand mixed in... They also had poor ventilation in their enclosure though, which may have caused problems as well, (they didn't live all that long come to think of it).
So I'll try plain coconut fiber again for a couple weeks, and if I see no signs of oviposition, I'll get some sand and give her a good 50/50 mix, which would probably get her ovipositing.

Here are some pictures of her, she's a fairly small female, but this species can get really big and really heavy, hoping to rear up some monster sized individuals myself!

Hopefully she does well and lays some eggs for me! 😄

Now, for the individual I'm most excited about, I was lucky enough to actually find an adult female Eleodes nigrina! 😁 I've only seen two males of this species before, never an adult female! This species is quite uncommon here, so I'm hoping this female is both mated, and will prove easy to get to oviposit, I've never bred a species from this particular subgenus before! (Eleodes subgenus Metablapylis).

I'll set her up on a standard coconut fiber substrate, and add sand if she refuses to oviposit, (this is my general strategy for breeding Eleodes, usually works well).

Here are some pictures of her:

Quite excited to breed this species, hopefully I can do so successfully! 😀

Well, that's gonna be it for this post everyone, I hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay distanced, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Invertebrate Club of Southern California April Meeting

Hello everyone, I just wanted to let those of you in the ICSC know that I will be a guest speaker on the April Skype meeting, which will take place at 10:00-11:30 AM (PT), on the 18th. Thanks to Arthroverts for having me on, I look forward to answering questions and talking inverts! 😁 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Another Bantua Birth!!!

Well, I anticipated that I'd have another wave of Bantua births in late April to early May, but apparently one female couldn't wait! 😁

Found some newborns in the enclosure tonight, presumably from one female, interestingly they were a little variable in size, some appeared to be the same size as L1 nymphs from previous litters, but some were notably smaller, I'd say only two thirds the size of the normal nymphs, (but fully developed and everything).

I assume this means females really do give birth to more nymphs in their second litters than in their first, with larger litters containing smaller nymphs... Which is a little odd TBH, but then again, the Perisphaerinae specialize in being odd. 😄

I am a little worried that some of the smaller nymphs may actually be able to fit through a FEW of the ventilation holes I've poked... 🙃 But honestly they seem mostly inclined to hide during their first instar, and even the smallest nymphs will be too big to escape through any of the ventilation holes in their next molt, which will probably happen within a week. And only very few of the holes might be big enough for them to escape from, so I'm not too worried about it. 😛

I'm just happy to finally get some good news this month, between the coronavirus pandemic, me slicing up my finger while doing dishes and having to get stitches, and then developing a case of pancreatitis a couple days later, this first week of April has been ROUGH for me... But this good news makes it all the more bearable! 😅

Well, that does it for this post, no photos, sorry, my finger is still healing and it would be quite difficult to take pictures ATM... Hope you all enjoyed this post, take care, stay distanced, and I'll see you next time! 😉