Saturday, October 31, 2020

Dark Myrmecoblatta wheeleri Male!

That dark subadult Myrmecoblatta wheeleri male that I showed in my last post about this species has matured, and interestingly retained the dark coloration! 😍 Apparently according to Alan, a small percentage of individuals come out that color, similar to how dark males will sometimes pop up in Compsodes schwarzi colonies. Super cool, I really love this darker coloration, and hope to see more pop up in my colony as it takes off! 😁

I also think my subadult female may have matured too, as I think I see her shed skin in the enclosure, (which this species doesn't seem to eat), so that's great, hopefully she and my other adult female are gonna produce lots of oothecae! 🤞

Anyways, here are some pictures of that dark adult male:

So far this species seems to be doing OK for me, hard to tell if/what they're eating, as they are a rather flat species, and being so tiny I can't tell if there are actually little nibbles in their food. I also haven't found any oothecae yet, though I'm not exactly tearing apart their enclosure or anything. But they're all alive still, so that's gotta count for something! 😅

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay safe, if you're in the USA please VOTE, and I'll see everyone next time! 😉

Thursday, October 29, 2020

My New Carabus nemoralis!

Last week, as I was out looking for bugs next to a recently drained riverbed, just a couple minutes from my house, I found a sexed pair of the European Carabus nemoralis! 😃 I've actually caught and kept a pair of this species before, from much further north in Idaho (before I had even started blogging), I had no idea they would range this far south in ID.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to breed them back then, but I wasn't exactly trying my best, nor did I have the best of knowledge when it came to breeding Carabids, (admittedly I still don't, I find Carabids quite tricky to breed consistently), so here's hoping this attempt will go a little better! Honestly, if I can rear a single captive produced larva to adulthood, I'll be happy. 😅

The male has bronze colored elytra, and a clear purple sheen to his pronotum. The female has a slight bronze-ish sheen to her elytra, as well as a slight purple sheen to her pronotum, but she is definitely less metallic and colorful overall and appears black except in bright light (this is not the case with the male). The male also has enlarged tarsal pads on his two front legs, whereas the female doesn't. This coupled with the fact that he's thinner and a bit shorter than the female made sexing them easy.

Anyways, I've got mine set up in a moderately ventilated gallon container with almost two inches of moist substrate, which is a mix of coconut fiber and old Gyna capucina substrate (which I've been re-using for a lot of my beetles), and some small bark pieces for hides. 
However, the coconut fiber was from my old Mantis religiosa enclosure (yes, I released her and the two ooths she laid not too long ago, to make room for more long term acquisitions), and apparently had some grain mites in it, which then all seemed to attach themselves to my Carabus pair... 😑 A blunder on my part, but I've tossed in springtails and predatory mites to the enclosure, so the grain mites should be gone soon. 
I also threw in some Trichorhina tomentosa (dwarf white isopods), because isopods and/or isopod frass seem to help get certain Carabidae females to oviposit for whatever reason...
For food I'm using pre-killed Eleodes obscura sulcipennis larvae, which they seem to eat no problem.

I've got them set up in an area where they are exposed to daylight, so that they will experience a somewhat proper photoperiod, as changes in the photoperiod likely help let them know when to oviposit, and I suspect the female will start doing so in the Spring. I will also be keeping them in the low 60s all winter, so they'll experience a temperature spike when Spring comes as well, (seasonal changes are very important for breeding a lot of Carabids). 

Here are some pictures of the lovely (temporarily grain mite covered 🙃) pair:



Very pretty beetles, and a decent size too, hopefully I can get some larvae from them come Spring! 😁

Anyways, that's gonna do it for today, thanks for reading, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, if you're in the USA please VOTE, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My Cryptoglossa Darkened!

My CB adult Cryptoglossa muricata has finally completely darkened, so I can now display it's final coloration! 😁 

Here are some pictures, first when it was still a little teneral, and then in it's fully darkened form:

Teneral adult, 10/16/20

Slightly teneral adult, 10/17/20

Fully darkened, 23/10/20

Looking good! 😃 The other larva has finally pupated too BTW (did so on the 20th I think), so fingers crossed it matures successfully as well. 

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, if you're in the U.S.A. please VOTE, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pretty Pink Roach Male!

Well, the Gyna capucina are doing OK now, eating much more protein based foods than they used to now that I'm not using bowls, and they are eating fruit at a good pace too. At least two females have matured in the past couple weeks, and I see one or two subadult females with very puffy thoracic pads, so they'll be maturing here shortly... 
One of the three male subadults I moved to a smaller container (kept cooler than the main breeding tank) just matured, so perfect timing really, considering it seems all the adult males that were in the main colony a few weeks ago have died already.

Interestingly, this male came out with a lot of black mottling on it's wings, much more than I typically see in my males. It's quite attractive actually, in my opinion this is the best looking male I've ever reared. 

Here are some pictures of him:

I wonder if the cooler temperatures I'm keeping the males at had anything to do with the coloration of this one... Supposedly cooler temps can make Archimandrita tessellata adults come out with a much higher amount of black mottling on their tegmina (sometimes to the point where they're almost completely black), compared to those reared at warm temps, but I don't know if that theory was ever proven, or if it even applies to Gyna capucina.

In any case, it was nice seeing this male, now hopefully he does his job, mates with the females, and helps get my colony thriving again! 🤞

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading everyone, hope you enjoyed, stay safe, if you live in the U.S.A please VOTE, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Friday, October 16, 2020

Cryptoglossa Surprise!

Well, this is interesting. Back in August, I received 4 Tenebrionid larvae from a friend that were all labeled as a certain species, however, only two of them ended up being of that species. The other two were apparently larvae of Cryptoglossa muricata, and I may be the first, (or at least second if Dean Rider beat me) to rear larvae of this species to adulthood! And it was completely by accident! 😂 

So, this story all began on August 8th, when I received the larvae. I kept them in deli cups filled with sand, and a TINY bit of coconut fiber mixed in, with a vertical humidity gradient, and fed them leaf litter and chick feed. They were shipped in warm weather, which wasn't fatal to them thankfully, but approximately 10 days later, on the 18th or 19th, I noticed that the spike in temperatures had caused one of the larvae to construct a pupal cell, where it was going to pupate "prematurely"... A week after that, on the 26th, another one of the larvae followed suit and also made a pupal cell. 😐 I was a bit dismayed by the inevitable small size of these two larvae when they matured, as I was under the impression that they were larvae of a species that gets quite large, but hopeful that they'd at least mature successfully into healthy, albeit tiny adults. 

The first larva spent around 17 days in it's pupal cell before pupating on September 6th. It's worth noting that at this point, my bedroom (where I keep all my bugs), had started cooling down to room temps during the day, rather than the 80s/90s it was reaching during the day in midsummer. So the development of that pupa happened at room temps, though it did construct it's cell and enter it's pre-pupal stage when it was still rather warm in my room. 

Pupal cell and pre-pupal larva

The second larva was doing OK in it's pupal cell, but at some point, maybe a week after it constructed it, I accidentally caused it's pupal cell to partially collapse while watering it's deli cup, and so a few days after that, I dug that larva up and placed it in an artificial pupal cell of sorts. Much to my surprise, the seemingly immobile larva suddenly sprung to life and started burrowing quickly. Evidently, larvae of this species don't enter their completely immobile, pre-pupal stage until they've been in their pupal cells for quite some time... 
So the next day, September 20th or so, I decided to move it to a deli cup, where, instead of the pure sand I'd been keeping them on, I made the bottom inch of substrate a 50/50 mix of sand and coconut fiber. I thought that this would make it's future pupal cell stronger and more resistant to collapsing. However, the larva was seemingly unable or unwilling to use that medium to construct a pupal cell in. So, sometime last week, (forgot to note the date), I redid the deli cup one last time, changed it back to an all sand substrate, and low and behold, it's made a new pupal cell, which I'll do my best not to collapse this time. 😅

The second larva, shortly before making it's first pupal cell

Anyways, backtracking a little bit, that first larva to pupate on September 6th took around a month to develop, (perhaps because it was kept rather cool as a pupa), and finally eclosed on October 4th. I checked the deli cup it was in, and was startled to see it's pupal cell had completely collapsed. I dumped the contents out, happy and confused to find the adult beetle completely intact, but not at all the species I had thought it would be... I instead had an adult beetle of a species that had quite possibly never been reared before in captivity, and one I never actually thought I'd keep myself. Cryptoglossa muricata, one of the black death feigning beetles! 😮

Teneral adult, 10/4/20

Teneral adult, 10/13/20

The adults of this species seem to take FOREVER to fully harden and darken, which, considering their exoskeletons are SO hard and thick, makes sense that it'd take longer to harden than those of darklings with more thin, brittle exoskeletons, like some Eleodes spp. It's been 12 days, and this adult C.muricata has yet to darken fully, it's still a dark red color. I think it has been eating the chick feed I've offered it, so it's hardened enough to eat at least. 

BTW, shortly after realizing that these two larvae had actually been of Cryptoglossa, I did move my other larva into a much warmer spot, which will hopefully speed up it's pupation and get it developing quicker than it's sibling. 

Now, how did this mix-up happen? I honestly don't know, while the tank that my friend had been keeping her darklings in WAS a mixed tank, there were apparently never any Cryptoglossa adults in there, and so she thought all the larvae in there were from the other darkling species I had wanted... 😂 She still doesn't know how on earth any Cryptoglossa larvae could have gotten in that particular enclosure, but somehow they did, and since they look rather similar to the larvae of the other species in that enclosure, we were both none the wiser until this first larva matured. 🤣 An interesting experience nonetheless, and I hope I get lucky and end up with a sexed pair of this species, as now I'd like to rear larvae from egg to adulthood myself, so I can say I've successfully bred and reared at least one death feigning beetle species. 😜

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, I'll be sure to keep you all posted on my two individuals, hopefully this adult darkens soon so I can get some pictures of a fully darkened C.muricata! Thanks for reading everyone, take care, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Monday, October 12, 2020

My Two New Arenivaga!!!

And now, for the last of inverts Alan Jeon sent me, we've got two awesome species of Arenivaga! 😁

First, let's start with the Arenivaga floridensis "White"! (collected near Lake Placid, FL). He sent me around ten small nymphs of this beautiful little species, and as some of you may remember, I've actually kept this species before, (same color form too). Sadly, I left the hobby before mine actually started breeding, and I've kinda been regretting that... But thankfully Alan has my back, and I've now got a second shot at this species, this time I intend on keeping them until they breed! 😁.

I have them in my typical Arenivaga setup, a small, extremely well ventilated container with an inch or two of fine coconut fiber, with a horizontal humidity gradient, (one third of the substrate kept moist, the rest bone dry). As they get larger I may have to separate males from females and keep them at different temps to sync the pairs up, as males often mature and die much faster than females do, but for now I'm keeping them at around 75F° or so. They've got leaf litter in there to feed on, and I'll offer chick feed regularly as well. 

Here are some pictures of the nymphs:

Beautiful little things, hope they do well for me! 🙂

And now, for something I've never kept before, that's just entered culture, the rare, dark color form of Arenivaga bolliana! 😃 Alan collected these from Del Rio, TX, the dark color form for A.bolliana has only been sighted in a few locales. In these locales, males consistently mature a dark brown or blackish color, and almost look like little Polyphaga males! I believe females and nymphs look much the same as other bolliana locales. 

Alan sent me three oothecae, which I'll keep again in a standard Arenivaga setup, probably in the substrate bordering the humid side. Hopefully they'll hatch in the next month or two! 🤞

Here are a couple pics of an ootheca:

I'm looking forward to seeing some of those dark adult males in person, hopefully they'll do as well for me as my old, normal A.bolliana did, and I can establish a nice breeding colony! 😄

Anyways, that's it for new inverts from Alan, but rest assured, the flow of new species and new posts will be continuing, Fall 2020 is about to make up for the lack of acquisitions all year long! 😁 Thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉