Sunday, December 25, 2022

My New Blue Death Feigning Beetles!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! 😁 Today I've got a new acquisition to show off, three pairs of Blue Death Feigning Beetles, Asbolus verrucosus from author of Bring On The Bugs Joshua Campos! πŸ˜„ These are one of the most iconic US native darklings in existence, very popular in the hobby, and yet I've literally never seen them in person or kept them before. πŸ˜‚ I gotta say, I like them a lot, their glaucous coating is a very light blue, and I love their bumpy elytra.

Now, Joshua is currently going through the process of getting rid of every last possible trace of entomophagous Trichoderma infested inverts from his collection, and apparently these Asbolus were the last two go. He's not POSITIVE they're infected, they just might be, and apparently haven't been breeding for him (lack of reproduction can be a symptom of Trichoderma infection). But rather than kill them outright, he sent them to me to see if I can possibly cure them and get them breeding, in exchange for larvae if I do succeed. 😊

Luckily, curing Trichoderma infections isn't all that complicated, however most inverts simply can't handle the process, as it involves being kept well ventilated and completely bone dry, with only fruits for food/moisture for 2-3 weeks. Trichoderma is a protein hungry mold, so no protein rich food sources should be offered for a couple weeks during this time. Now, most roaches and many more fragile/frail darkling species wouldn't be able to handle this, even as adults. But BDFBs are made for these kinds of conditions, so I am confident they'll survive this treatment (which they are currently undergoing BTW), and that after it's done they'll be fungus free. Hopefully once I actually get them moved into a proper container with substrate, I'll get some eggs and larvae from them. πŸ˜€

Anyways, here are some pictures of a few of the adults:

Big thanks to Joshua for entrusting me with these iconic darklings, I'll do my best to ensure they're cured of any possible Trichoderma infections they may have, and hope to produce lots of larvae from them in the near future!

Well, that does it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed and is having a great holiday season! Stay safe, and I'll see y'all next time! πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Better Chalcolepidius Larvae Pics, & Gyna capucina Update

Well, I decided to get some better pictures of one of my Chalcolepidius webbii larvae, since decent photos of the larvae of this species are essentially non-existent online... So I don't want those crappy phone pics of mine from a few posts ago to be the only ones available to the public. πŸ˜‚

Here are some more well lit, decent pictures one one of my largest larvae:

Still got lots of growing to do, but so far so good in terms of growth and health. 😁

My next generation of Gyna capucina has started to mature out, which is awesome, hoping for more good broods this generation! 😊

Here are some pictures of one of the new females:

Looking good! πŸ˜„ Only a matter of time until I have a huge colony hopefully! 🀞

Well, that does it for this short post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Monday, December 19, 2022

Eumesosoma Babies!!! (& Panesthia Pics)

Well, I've officially bred Eumesosoma cf. roeweri! 😁 The babies have started hatching out from the first egg clutches, and the adults are STILL laying more eggs BTW. πŸ˜… Will hopefully have dozens upon dozens of these black velvet harvestmen babies soon, that is if they aren't super cannibalistic... Which so far, with ample dog food, fruits and springtails available, they don't seem to be. They hatch out at a whopping 1mm in body length, so like, half the size of Vonones hatchlings. πŸ˜‚

Here are some pictures of the wee babes:

Many of them are plumping up and will likely molt to second instar soon. Looking forward to watching them grow, and hope to spread them around in the hobby to interested parties soon! 😊

Just for the heck of it, I took some pictures of a couple of my larger Panesthia angustipennis angustipennis "Sabah, Malaysia - Gold Winged Form" nymphs the other day. The variation in nymph pattering is rather interesting IMO.

Here they are:

What lovely looking nymphs, I really can't wait to see adults in person! 😍

Also, small updates but notable nonetheless, as of a couple weeks ago, I have babies in my Cariblatta lutea and Neoblattella detersa colonies already. That was pretty fast. πŸ˜„

Well, that does it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Rochaina peruana (Former Paratropes) Oothecae!!!

This year has been a big win for Nyctiborinae in the hobby, not only has a Nyctibora species been discovered living in AZ (which I have two ooths of), but now, a former Paratropes sp., Rochaina peruana, has entered the US hobby in the form of three oothecae as well! 😊

Now, the reason I say former Paratropes species, is because thanks to a revision to the genus done last year by Julio Cesar Estrada-Álvarez, there is only ONE valid Paratropes species, P.lycoides, which honestly looks absolutely nothing like most of the other "Paratropes" species... However since it was the first of them to be described under that genus, the name Paratropes applies to lycoides, and lycoides only. Most of the other species in the genus were moved to a new genus, Rochaina, named after the taxonomist Dr. Isolda Rocha e Silva-Albuquerque (additionally, three species, P.otunensis, P.pensa, and P.seabrai were moved to Eunyctibora, and another, P.heydeniana, was actually a species of Phoraspis).

Anyways, compare this Paratropes lycoides:

To this, now Rochaina from Peru (almost certainly R.peruana):

©Geoff Gallice
Pretty clear the two should be different genera right? πŸ˜‚

Anyways, now that that's all out of the way, let's dive into these, the newest Nyctiborinae addition to the US hobby, and perhaps one of my most wanted genera to work with, ever! My buddy Junior bought three ooths of Rochaina peruana, and generously let me keep one of them! 😁 So now we've got two members of the US roach hobby working on incubating ooths of this species, which is a lengthy process, takes around 6 months for them to incubate on average! πŸ˜… Additionally, the oothecae of Nyctiborinae like very high ambient humidity, but don't like to touch wet substrate themselves, sorta similar to mantis oothecae. Not the easiest ooths to work with, however the difficulty and long incubation will be well worth the wait IMO, considering just how pretty Rochaina adults are. 😍

Two of the ooths have arrived, and will both go to Junior after the holiday shipping rush, the last ooth (which I'll get to keep) will hopefully arrive next month. In the meantime, I've placed the two oothecae in an incubation container, set up the same as the Nyctibora ooths, a well ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber at the bottom. There's a layer of crumpled up paper towels on top of that, which is what the ooths are sitting on. I'm aiming for high air humidity, and low surface humidity for them all, and will mist them lightly every few days. Keeping them at around 77-85F°. 

Here are some pictures of the two oothecae:

Very neat looking oothecae for sure, now let's hope in 6 months or so from now, at least one of us will get babies of this magnificent species hatching out. πŸ˜…πŸ€ž

Well, that does it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Misc Beetle Updates

Well, my Alaus lusciosus larvae have grown a TON in the past few months, it seems they can actually go from hatchling to adult well within a year, IF fed large amounts of food, consistently. The nice thing too, is that even if you're lax in feeding, it doesn't actually seem to make them mature at a smaller size, they just take FOREVER to grow. πŸ˜… But yeah my largest larvae were maybe just under an inch a couple of months ago, then I ramped up feeding, and my largest are over 3 inches. 😳

One larva has pupated already, with another seemingly following suite. There are some slightly staggered growth rates between them but I'm pretty sure I'll get the majority of adults fairly synced up for sure.

Here are some pictures of my largest larva:

So big! 😲 And bit the tweezers I picked it up with something fierce, I have no doubt a bite from one of these would hurt a LOT (and almost certainly bleed...). πŸ˜…

My Chalcolepidius webbii larvae are growing super well, they seem to be just the same as Alaus, as long as you're consistent with feedings and make sure to feed them large quantities of food (which they absolutely gorge themselves on), they'll grow rapidly compared to other Elaterids. Some of mine are nearing an inch already. 😁

Here are a couple "meh" quality phone pics of a larva, because I'm too lazy to get actual good ones apparently:

Looking forward to watching these grow big like the Alaus! 😊

My Eleodes spinipes macrura culture is doing well, and I've reared up some more adults recently, including a very nice, big adult male (which seem to be awfully few and far between compared to females). 😁

Here are some phone pics (again) of the teneral adult male, plus a couple photos of a recently matured (but darkened) adult female:

Teneral male


These are such a joy to work with, unlike the majority of larger Eleodes (which have proven a pain to breed in comparison). 😊 Definitely one of the best new additions to the darkling hobby in a long time IMO.

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