Friday, December 31, 2021

Goodbye 2021!!!

Well, happy New Year's Eve everyone! 😁 2021 has been a hectic year for me, but also probably the year with the most collection growth in a long while! I have over 100 species of inverts now, which is almost the species count I had back in my prime in 2018, before I left the hobby. 😅 I've reacquired several species I'd previously kept and longed to keep again, but I also have a ton of new species I've never worked with before!

I've also helped introduce and establish several awesome species into the US hobby this year, hopefully next year I'll be able to keep that up, and keep the species in my current collection thriving as well! 😄 I've had some losses from my collection this year of course, but all in all my successes are currently outweighing the losses, which is what matters in the end. 

Blog wise, I've also spent the last month or so going back and reformatting all my older posts, because a lot of them looked really horrible on mobile, with a lot of unnecessary space underneath images due to them not being centered, the images themselves were smaller, and the lines of dashes I used to used as "topic dividers" within posts rather than the "<hr>" command I use now looked sloppy on mobile devices as well. Now all my older posts should look much more  organized and eye pleasing. ☺️

I hope 2022 brings me LOTS of new bugs, more successes with breeding the species I work with, and new growth for the US invertebrate breeding hobby as a whole! I wish you and yours well this year, hopefully it'll be a little less chaotic than this year was, generally speaking. 😅 Stay happy, stay healthy, and keep on bugging! As always, I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

-Tristan, AKA Invertebrate Dude, Hisserdude, and TJ Ombrelle.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Two New Giant Springtails!!!

I'm actually getting into springtails in a way I haven't in a long time now, and hope to be able to obtain several large and/or pretty species of predatory mite resistant springtail species this year! 😁 There to help feed my rekindled interest in Collembola is enthusiast Ryne Pavy (AKA @ryneboi on IG), who I've recently done a trade with in exchange for two large species of springtails!

Let's start off with my new "Giant Belted Springtails", Orchesella cincta. These beauties are supposedly quite easy to rear, though they need lots of airflow to do well, and get caught in condensation easily. There is some debate as to their preferred humidity requirements, but I'm erring on the side of higher humidity, due to their decent airflow and my abysmal air humidity.

I've got my dozen or so in a decently ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of potting/top soil (which they were shipped with) as their substrate, and sphagnum moss and bark hides on top. I'm keeping them humid and cool (68-73F°), and feeding them dog food, chick feed, etc., as well as mold technically (since I'm not removing uneaten leftovers).

Here are some pictures of one of the larger specimens:

The largest individuals in my culture seem to be the same size, if not a bit smaller than my Tomocerus minor, so a large springtail for sure, and they may still have some growing to do. Hopefully they'll breed well for me!

Next up we have the larger of the two, the "Giant Silver Bullet Springtail", Pogonognathellus dubius. These may not be as colorful as the O.cincta, but they are in fact bigger than my Tomocerus minor, not by that much, but definitely a bit longer and bulkier. They may not be full grown yet though, so we'll see if the size disparity gets even more noticable over time.

I've got my 15 or so in a nearly identical setup to my O.cincta, but I'm keeping them more humid since this species enjoys higher humidity (they are still well ventilated though). 

Here are some pics of one of my larger individuals:

One cute this about this species is it's ability to curl it's long antennae up, something I've not noticed in any of the other springtails I keep (perhaps because none of their antennae are as long as the ones on these P.dubius). Fingers crossed these breed for me, supposedly they are quite the prolific and hardy species!

Anyways, that's it for this post, big thanks to Ryne for this trade, looking forward to seeing what other springtails he introduces to culture! 😄 Thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all soon! 😉

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Dipteretrum Adults & Disappointing Hormetica/Cubaris News...

Well, while I stated in my recent post about this species that none of my females seemed close to maturing, either I missed a large female nymph, or they grow super fast, because I now have an adult female Dipteretrum hanstroemi! 😁 

The females of this species are way prettier than I thought, with beautiful red tones on their thoracic segments, with little ornate black markings overlaying the red. They also sport jet black abdomens, and stripey legs. Overall, quite a pretty species as adults! 😍

Here are some pics, both of the adult female alone, and her side by side with a male for comparison:

Adult female

Adult pair

The sexual dimorphism is strong in this species! 😂 Hopefully I'll be seeing babies in there soon!

BTW, I noticed several of the individuals in my colony had issues with their antennae. It's almost like they would lose all strength halfway down their antennae, and so they'd look all bent all the time. No entomophagous fungi or anything growing on them though, and the roaches seem perfectly healthy otherwise. But after doing some research I found that weak/short antennae is a common problem with this species in captivity.
Alan Jeon tells me this is actually humidity related, if humidity is too high they get these antennae problem. I already knew this species liked it quite dry, and mine always hand out in the driest parts of their enclosure. Guess I just need to dry it out more for them, which should be easy. Then hopefully that antennae issue will go away.

Now to the bad news... it is with a heavy heart that I announce both my Hormetica strumosa females have died, before giving birth to any offspring. 😭 Not quite sure what happened, they just got old and battered looking, and just never gave birth... All that's left is one of my males, who's looking like he'll kick the bucket any day now. This species might require rotten wood substrate to do well in captivity, perhaps more specific temps as well, not sure. In any case, this really sucks, hopefully my few friends in the US who have been breeding this species continue to have success and get them established here in the hobby. 🤞

Lastly, for some reason I found my sole Cubaris sp. "Surat Thani - Orange Tiger" female and all her mancae dead in their enclosure... I get the feeling they may need dryer or at least more well ventilated conditions than I offered them, and may have been stressed by the mold blooms in their enclosure due to all the new bark I put in there. Additionally, the female may also have been stressed by having two males twice her size in the enclosure with her, perhaps they were constantly trying to mate with her, as a result of her being the only female in that enclosure. 🤷 What a shame, as this was the Cubaris/Nesodillo species I was most excited about having in my collection. Oh well, hopefully I'll get them again one day, at the very least all my other Cubaris/Nesodillo spp. are doing well. 🙂

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see everyone next time! 😉

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The Newest Hobby Gyna, cf. sculpturata!

Magnificent Beasts 2021 Package Series Pt. 5/7
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Finally, I have the newest Gyna species to enter culture, Gyna cf. sculpturata, the "Rosy Pink Roach"! 😁 I have now kept every hobby Gyna species there is, so let's hope some new ones enter culture soon! 😂

These beauties get just as big, if not slightly bigger than Gyna capucina, and are also a beautiful shade of pink, though much lighter than capucina. They are thankfully one of the easiest Gyna species to breed, and aren't picky at all about humidity and such. 

I've got my dozen or so mixed individuals in a moderately ventilated gallon container with a little over an inch or so of coconut fiber as the substrate. I've got some bark and leaf litter on top of the substrate, and am keeping them fairly humid and warm (75-85F°). I'm feeding them dog food and fresh fruits.

Here are some pictures of them:

Large nymph

Adult female

Hopefully they'll do well for me, this species is way prettier in person than in pictures... However they're also INSANE, the adults are super skittish and fast as hell, I actually lost my first adult female and she escaped for about an hour before I found her in a completely different room... 😂 Definitely little speed demons, and even the females are decent fliers.

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