Sunday, September 26, 2021

Plectoptera Hatchlings!

Well, I've got Plectoptera poeyi hatchlings! 😁 Actually found the first ones on the 11th, and I've had several more oothecae hatch out so far. The first instars are less than 1 mm long, almost have the length and definitely half the mass of an L1 Hemithyrsocera palliata. They actually look exactly like L1 Chorisoneura texensis to me, just smaller, which makes sense considering how similar the ooths of this species are to C.texensis ooths, and to an extent even the adults are similar to those of Chorisoneura. As they age though they get rounder and gain white spots on their abdominal margins as well as some darker spots too.

The survival rate in the first and maybe second instars is kinda low, however several of mine have already molted to L3-L4, so it seems the culture as a whole is doing OK for me so far! 😅 I rehoused them to a better container that actually has a feeding port in it, since the nymphs of this species LOVE to hang around on the underside of the lid, and all climb up to the top if the enclosure is disturbed even slightly... While rehousing them I counted at least 20 nymphs, plus my females are still alive and laying ooths, so I will hopefully still have a decent amount to work with this generation despite the low early instar survival rates.

Alan Jeon told me that supposedly, due to their size they really suck at finding food when younger and that he had low survival rates with his as a result, however I have made sure to place lots of food in various places in the enclosure, so I am not sure if that is the case with mine. After all, all the nymphs in my enclosure do seem to be pretty well fed and plump. Honestly it may have been the high number of springtails in their old enclosure that caused some of the deaths, (yet another reason I wanted to rehouse them).

Anyways, after much struggle, here are some pics of an L2 nymph... These tiny things are quite skittish, and VERY good climbers:

Not the best pics, but I am surprised my camera was able to pick them up at all! 😄 

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Dwarf Princisia Male (A Result of Stunting)

Introducing Tiny Tim, possibly the world's smallest mature male Princisia vanwaerebeki! 😂 This is what happens when you keep a whole litter or two of hisser nymphs crowded with limited hide options and food availability from a young age... Whoops. 

None of the other males in the colony are THIS small, most are at least double his size, same goes for all the females. Tim is a little over an inch long, and despite his size and minor male morphology, still has a shallow pronotum notch on the anterior margins of his pronotum, and decent coloration too... So even HE looks pure for all intents and purposes LOL, which kinda gives me hope about my colony as a whole. 😄

Here are some pictures of Tiny Tim next to his father, who is kind of a major male (or at least a good sized one):

Funny right??? 😆 He makes me chuckle every time I see him, he's just so small compared to the rest of the adults in the culture. I have rectified the space issue BTW by giving them a bunch more surface area and am also selling from the colony which in turn frees up more space. I'm also feeding them larger quantities of food, boy do they eat a LOT! As a result I'm seeing the remaining nymphs in there growing to rather large sizes. 😄

Just thought I'd show this oddity off, thanks for reading this post, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Forbidden Alaus Love & Huckleberry Darkling Beetle Pictures

Well, I made a mistake... I thought all my Alaus were females, and since my A.zunianus was clearly not mated, I threw her in with the lusciosus to save space... Welp, turns out either the zunianus is a male, or one of the lusciosus is (still don't know TBH), because I found them hooked up shortly afterwards... 😓 However, it took them about a week to disconnect, they seemingly could not separate despite obviously trying.
On the plus side, that may be evidence that these two species can not actually hybridize, so I might not have to worry about hybrid offspring. Because apparently their genitalia are not all that compatible and got "jammed" so to speak, came close to being fatal TBH considering how long they were connected, doubt they could have defecated properly under those conditions.

Here are some pics of the nearly fatal union:

They are still eating and seem active, and I've obviously made sure to isolate the two to their own breeding container now in case they can actually create hybrid offspring... But yeeeeaaaahhh, this was a disaster, not only did I learn I can't sex Alaus for shit, but this also reaffirms that keeping two species in the same genus that don't have overlapping ranges in the wild is always just a bad idea, what a stupid mistake I made... 🙃 Guess we will find out soon if A.zunianus and A.lusciosus can create hybrid offspring...

On a more positive note, the Triorophus/Trimytis larvae are doing well, growing pretty fast and are apparently definitely communal, which is great since it's always a hit or miss with Pimeliinae in that regard... 😅 
All the adults of both species have now developed their full waxy coatings (which had been rubbed off during shipping), an adaptation to desert life that many Tenebs have that prevents them from losing excessive body moisture in dry conditions. I gotta say the Triorophus in particular look like little blueberries, in fact I think that should be the common name for this genus (or at least this species), "Huckleberry Darklings"! 😁 I'd have preferred "Blueberry", but that moniker is sometimes used by people for Asbolus verrucosus... 🙄

Here are some pics of the little huckleberries and the Trimytis:


Triorophus and Trimytis


Both species are so cute, I'm really excited to see which species the larvae belong to (a mix of both would be awesome, but I'm fine with one or the other too).

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

Friday, September 10, 2021

Gyna bisannulata Male, Plectoptera Ooths, & Another Ancaudellia Birth!

Lots of awesome updates to cover in this post, and I'm trying out a new dividing format for different subjects in posts using html, should make things look a little more organized. 😄

Anyways, let's start out with my Gyna bisannulata culture. 🙂 So far all the nymphs are doing good and growing well, some faster than other LOL. None of my female nymphs seem close to maturing, but one male nymph decided to grow super fast and mature already! 😃 So while he is useless for breeding, and SUPER small (even for this species I'm pretty sure), I at least finally get to see an adult of this species in person! And I gotta say, I am impressed! 😍

Here are some pictures of the handsome devil:

Such a nicely patterned species, really looking forward to seeing some adult females in person!

Now this is a bit of a delayed update, but on the 2nd of this month, I did a checkup on my Ancaudellia hamifera, and discovered yet another brood (or two?) of nymphs had been born, this time numbering at least 8 nymphs. 😁 Also, the first brood (which contained around 6 nymphs) is doing great, and growing well too! No pics this time, my bad, but just figured I'd note this second brood, and let ya'll know they are doing well!

Last but not least, a small update on my Plectoptera poeyi. So far all three adults are still alive and well, and the females seem to be laying two ooths a week, I'm up to 8-9 ooths at least, and they are still producing more! 😄

Their ooths look quite similar to Chorisoneura oothecae and are similarly affixed to bark and leaf litter near the top of their enclosure (none are affixed directly to the enclosure walls though, something Chorisoneura love doing). As a result of my enclosure for them being well ventilated though, some of their ooths laid on bark near the lid of their enclosure were drying out and dimpling. I quickly moved them to a more humid location in the enclosure though, and just the next day all the oothecae were plump and hydrated again, phew! 😅

Anyways, here are a few pics of some oothecae:

With any luck I will have hatchlings in the next couple of weeks or so, fingers crossed! 😀

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