Saturday, January 30, 2021

Bantua sp. "Namibia" & Deilelater physoderus Updates!

So, over the past few months, the cotton springtails (Entomobrya unostrigata) in my Bantua sp. "Namibia" enclosure have been steadily breeding and breeding and breeding, and with the ambient humidity drop during late fall/winter, they've really taken off. Unfortunately it recently got to the point where some of the bark pieces in the more humid areas of the bin were literally coated in their eggs, and the springtails themselves coated every hide and were rapidly swarming food in the enclosure... Additionally, the bottom of the enclosure was littered with months worth of Bantua sheds and frass.

None of this bodes well for the roaches, and their reproduction has been pretty minimal as of late as a result of these stressors, so I've just re-vamped the enclosure, replaced the substrate, washed the bin, washed and sterilized all bark hides to eliminate most springtails from them, etc.. I then put the Bantua back in, with a small amount of cotton springtails and some predatory mites too. After all, having no springtails at all would be an invitation for grain mites to take over, which are worse, at least with these cotton springtails it takes quite a while for them to reach pest numbers, especially if I have predatory mites in there hampering their breeding progress.
I also added more ventilation to their bin, just 'cause, can never have too much ventilation for Perisphaerinae! 😄 Lots of plump females in there right now, as well as some recently matured ones, so I'm expecting some new broods here soon.

Anyways, since I had all my Bantua isolated into an empty container for a little bit while I was renovating their enclosure, I decided to get some pictures of them. Here they are:

So now that their enclosure has been revamped, they should get to making more babies ASAP, there are probably more adult females in there than any other life stage, and lots of adult males too, so hopefully I get a nice population boom after this! 🤞😁 I think I've been overselling from my colony, I should really give them a generation or two with no cullings so they can really fill out their current bin. But hey, it's nice seeing all these people in the US working with this species now, so it's been worth it, even if my colony growth has been sorta slow as a result. 😅

The Deilelater physoderus substrate Alan Jeon sent me has been producing lots of larvae, I have 29 isolated so far, and there are more tiny ones in the substrate still that I have yet to isolate. Most of the ones I've isolated have been growing quite well, but a couple have barely grown at all since I isolated them, despite having identical setups. So there are some staggered growth rates happening there, kinda weird. 

Anyways, I finally got around to getting some pictures of one of my larger small larvae, probably the first pictures of Deilelater physoderus larvae in existence! 😄 Also, I got a couple blurry pics of a tiny larva glowing! Pyrophorini larvae can glow from behind their heads when sufficiently disturbed, but I usually only see it happen with small larvae, and I've never captured it on camera before! 

Cool right? They look pretty similar to the Deilelater cf. atlanticus "Ocala, FL" and Pyrophorus noctilucus larvae I have, which is to be expected I suppose. So far the survival rate of isolated larvae has been 100% for me, as it has been for those two species as well, so that's nice! 

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

Friday, January 29, 2021

US Blatticulture Taxonomy PSA: Rhabdoblatta formosana = R.rustica

Thanks to Chih-Ting Hsu, we now have taxonomist confirmation that the "Rhabdoblatta formosana" in US culture (and I believe some people in Europe still have this stock as well) are actually Rhabdoblatta rustica. The stock supposedly originates from Taiwan, though the exact locality is unknown.

Both species can be found in Taiwan, with R.formosana being found on Taiwan Island (and Ryukyu Japan), whilst R.rustica are found on both Lanyu Island and Ludao Island (as well as the Philippines), but apparently R.rustica are often misidentified as formosana for some reason. The subgenital plates of the two species are different though, and after sending him pictures provided by Kyle Kandillian, Chih-Ting has confirmed that the "formosana" in culture are actually rustica. So, time to change your labels people! 😅

Also, the common name should probably be changed to "Rustic leaf roach" or something like that, "Taiwanese leaf roach" should be reserved for REAL formosana, if/when those ever enter culture.

I don't have this species anymore, (too annoying to culture long term, what with the frequent overpopulation and filth buildup related colony crashes Epilamprinae are prone to), but I'm glad to see that despite their finicky nature, they've managed to persist in US Blatticulture for years now, probably because they often bounce back quickly after a culture crash once their old setup is cleaned out and re-done. 

Anyways, thought I'd let y'all know, figured I should probably make a post about this change, you know, considering it's an image of a freshly molted R.rustica that is the background of this blog and all... 😂 Hope you found it informative, take care!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Hemithyrsocera vittata Adult!!!

I've now got an adult female Hemithyrsocera vittata! 😁 And it looks like I've got a subadult male about to molt soon, so I'll shortly have a sexed adult pair, WOOHOO!!! 😃 

I was getting a little worried, to me it looked like the growth rates were quite staggered, and ventrally the nymphs all looked like females. But it turns out males are noticeably smaller than females and thus mature at a smaller size, so other than one small nymph that's far behind all the others in development, they seem to be growing at even rates. And for some reason, their ventral segments, which are jet black, are all bordered in white lines EXCEPT for the last couple segments on the male nymphs... Which makes it look like they've got one big last ventral segment, like the females. Upon closer examination under a bright light, you can see the two small last ventral segments of the male nymphs, but at a glance they just look like smaller female nymphs, so I was worried initially that I only had females.

Thankfully that's not the case though, and now that I have a confirmed pair, the breeding and reintroduction of this species into US Blatticulture shall soon commence, once that male matures! 😁

Here are some pictures of my adult female:

Such a stunning species! 😍 And bigger than I thought they'd be, this female is about as big, and perhaps even slightly bulkier than the Pseudomops septentrionalis I used to keep. Almost twice as big as my Hemithyrsocera palliata adults I'd say, (speaking of which, been finding hatchlings in my palliata container, woo-hoo!).

In addition to my adult female and subadult male, I have two pre-subs that also look like a pair to me, and that one small nymph that doesn't seem to want to grow any more. Unfortunately it seems I lost around three nymphs shortly after acquiring them, I know one mismolted, don't know what happened to the others though, must have just been too weak from the trip over here... But it seems I lucked out with what survived, hopefully I can get these beauties established in US Blatticulture! 🤞😃

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Bummer Beetle Updates

Let's start off with my Carabus nemoralis... Unfortunately, the one larva I found died shortly after I isolated it, I'm not 100% sure why, but I think pre-killed mealworms may not be an adequate food source for larvae of this species, they may actually need caterpillars. 😟 Either that, or it needed a winter diapause or something, IDK. 

Additionally, both my WC adults have hunkered down and appear to hibernating, with no signs of interest in food or in making more offspring. Honestly, I'm just not feeling it anymore with this species, after failing so bad with the few offspring I got, and me and Carabids don't go together so well historically... So I think I'm just gonna release the adults back where I found them, they'll probably be better off that way. 

Secondly, sadly my female Nyctoporis carinata has passed away, and I didn't get any larvae from her... 😔 I only saw her lay a single egg, on top of the substrate in the driest part of the enclosure, and when I tried to move said egg to the moist area of the enclosure (since even desert Teneb eggs can rarely tolerate bone dry conditions for long, though coniontises tells me Nyctoporis are an exception), it essentially disintegrated to the touch. I think she was near the end of her life cycle by the time she was sent to me, and laid most of the eggs she had left in her in the care of coniontises.

Oh well, was interesting finally seeing an adult of this species in person nonetheless, sucks that I wasn't able to get any offspring from her, but I don't think there was much I could have done TBH. Was a neat little project nonetheless, and I appreciate that coniontises sent her to me in the first place. 😄

Lastly, the first of my Cerenopus concolor adults has died, and a couple others have lost tarsi. I guess I got unlucky and got some older adults, either that, or the adults of this species just don't live that long. Or I guess my husbandry could be incorrect, but I don't know what I'd be doing wrong that would kill these adults prematurely. 🤔 
So far no signs of reproduction from these, which I kinda expected, I don't think any of the WC Tenebs I got after Summer are going to reproduce until Spring, that's kind of the norm I think. Even my CB Conibius and Blapstinus stopped breeding in late Fall. Once Spring hits, whatever Tenebs I've still got by then should start breeding again, really hoping the rest of my Ceronopus, my Asbolus, Iphthiminus, and Trogloderus make it until then.

Not the happiest post, but you know I gotta make these, can't have the good updates without the bad, they go hand in hand in this hobby. 🤷‍♂️ Anyways, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Uncommon Hisser Updates

First off, let's start with my Gromphadorhina sp. "Unidentified". All my nymphs are doing well and have put on some good size, and one of my largest nymphs has started developing coloration similar to that of adults of this species, with the characteristic pale markings along the abdominal margins! 😁 Most of the other nymphs are just black or black with red undertones on the abdomen, so it's nice to see one with coloration more similar to the adults of this strain, (which I love so much). 

Here are some pictures of the nymph in question:

Such a neat, subtle patterning, I really can't wait to see some adults in person! 😁
Now, for my Elliptorhina davidi... Unfortunately, I'm sad to say that one of my two female nymphs passed away, out of the blue. 😔 Seems like one of the random deaths people often experience with this species, because my remaining pair seem to be doing just fine, and the setup should be to their liking, so there is probably not much that could have been done to prevent this...
Here's the poor thing, just so you can see how far along she was in development, note that weird dark spot on her ventral abdomen, I wonder if she got some weird sort of gut infection?

Sad, but not completely unexpected, I knew this species was a finicky one. 

However, it's not all bad news, as my other davidi female molted recently, and honestly I think she and my male might be adults now! 😃 She has changed significantly in coloration, and almost looks teneral, except she's been this way for like a week now. Additionally, she seems broader than she used to be, and that's not just her being flat because she molted recently. Lastly, she's also noticeably larger than my male, which I've realized must be an adult, because his last ventral segment changed in his latest molt, and has that little notch on one side that's characteristic of adult male Blaberids, (I don't know the exact term for it, but I think it's got something to do with mating). It's normal for females to be larger than males in this species, so I do think they're both mature now, so yay, hopefully they get to breeding soon! 😁🤞

Here are some pictures of my (hopefully) adult pair:

Adult(?) female

Adult (and very well fed) male

If I'm right and my female is mature, then it should only be a matter of time until she gives birth, fingers crossed she and the male continue to do well for me, and won't die off prematurely like that one female nymph did... I feel a lot better for some reason knowing mine are adults, as I feel like the random die offs with this species affect nymphs more than adults. 😅 Hopefully I'm right about that as well.
Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉