Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Snakefly Larva & Bantua Updates!

The snakefly larva (Agulla sp.) has been doing well on a diet of pre-killed Eleodes larvae, and has molted once already! 😁 Judging by how fat it is now, I'm assuming it'll molt here again soon. I actually have no idea how big a fully grown larva is, so I really don't know when it'll be mature...

Anyway, here are some pictures of the little chonk, after it molted and ate a meal:

It has gained a slightly red undertone, I wonder if, like some mantids, it's color will change a little with each molt, trying to match the coloration of the coconut fiber in it's enclosure? As the larvae outside are all the same color as the bark and wood I find them under... 🤔

Now, for an update on my Bantua sp. "Namibia". The colony has been doing OK, all the nymphs from previous litters have been doing well and most are mature now... But it's been around 3 months now since the last litter was born, and I know many of my females were overdue for giving birth back then, so what gives? 😕

Well, turns out the substrate was getting a little dirty in there, littered with sheds, frass, and a few dead males. The springtail numbers were getting a little higher than normal too, and both of these issues are known to stress Perisphaerinae females out, and can get them to put off giving birth until the issues have been fixed. So, a few days ago I took the roaches out, took out the old substrate and washed the tub, replaced all the substrate with some fresh coconut fiber, rearranged some hides here and there, and put the roaches back. Hopefully revamping the enclosure, plus the significant rise in temperatures in my bedroom this Summer will get the females popping out litters here in no time!

I was able to get a rough headcount while rehousing them, and I have a lot more than I thought I did, around 12 adult males, 30+ adult females, and then like 10 nymphs in various stages of growth. NONE of my original females have died yet or even look old BTW, so it would appear my guesstimate of a year plus lifespan for adult females was correct! 😁

I also saw one or two females extruding and rotating their oothecae, so that gives me hope that I'll see babies here soon! 😄 The males also did not seem to mind that I was tearing the enclosure apart, and were trying to mate with females, even when they were on pieces of bark that I was holding and plucking other individuals off of! 😂 One male actually succeeded in hooking up with a female on a piece of bark I was holding, wish I had a camera handy so I could have snapped a photo of this species mating, it's kinda rare to see this behavior in roaches, compared to other, less secretive inverts like beetles at least.

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

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