Thursday, March 31, 2022

A Birthday Gift from Ty!

Well, earlier this month Ty of Ty Dye Exotics offered to send me a box as a birthday gift, so I went through his list and picked out a couple goodies! 😄

Firstly I got a group of 15 Anallacta methanoides from him, since my previous group from Kyle isn't doing so hot and oddly refuse to lay me any ooths... 🤔 Granted, I put them in the same gallon jar I housed my Hemithyrsocera vittata and Balta notulata in, both of which crashed in that container... So either there's something seriously wrong in that setup like a pathogen or something that has persisted despite several cleanings, OR it's just cursed...
Anyways, I moved the old Anallacta group to a new setup and finally threw out the cursed jar... But just in case I decided to get another group from Ty this time, and am housing them in a separate container from my older group. Hopefully they'll do well for me this go around!

Secondly, I finally decided to see for myself what the entity known as the "Black Tiger Hisser" is in the US hobby. 😅 Ty got some from Kyle of Roachcrossing last year, so his are the old, "Pure" (or at least untainted for the last decade or so) stock.

Supposedly these are a black morph isolated from the US "Tiger" hisser stock usually labeled as "Gromphadorhina grandidieri", (though they are far more likely a form of Princisia vanwaerebeki IMO). However, from pictures I've seen, I actually think this black stain is just a G.portentosa (or more likely "portentosa" mutt) line... Some of the mature males I've seen online don't seem to have the anterior pronotum notch that all true "Tiger" hisser males would have... In which case these shouldn't be called "Black Tigers", nor should any other black hisser line in the hobby... That being said, I can only tell so much from pictures, so I finally got a group of this species to see in person what they truly are.

I've got mine housed in a well ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate. They've got bark for hides, I'm keeping half the enclosure humid, the other half dry, and they're being kept at around 75-85F°. I'm offering dog food, fruits and veggies for food.

Here are some pictures of the nymphs:

These look very much like just dark Gromphadorhina portentosa in terms of coloration and morphology, if I remember correctly the true "Tiger" hisser nymphs I reared were more broad in morphology. Again though, time will tell, once I get a good sample of adult males I should easily be able to determine whether they're from the pure "Tiger" hisser line or not.

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks again Ty for the present! 😁 Hope y'all enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see everyone next time! 😉

PS: If you're interested in my thoughts on "Black Tiger" hissers in general, see my older post on the subject:

And for my more recent suspicion as to the identification of pure "Tiger" hissers in general (Gromphadorhina VS Princisia) see my post:

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Isopod Updates

Lots of little isopod updates to touch on, again no pics, I've been busy taking pics of new additions this week and just can't be bothered to get pics of stuff I already have ATM... 😆

First off, I got a bunch of big broods from my Armadillidium gestroi and A.klugii. Those two are doing great for me, I also got a small brood from my A.werneri, and have more gravid females looking ready to pop, but for some reason they seem much less prolific and more picky than the other two.

Also, side note on the A.klugii, while they were sent to me as the "Montenegro" strain, a lot of the adults that popped up look like the "Dubrovnik" line or a mix of the two, so that's very likely what they are, a mixed "hobby line" of two or more klugii locales. Bit disappointing, but hopefully I'll be able to source pure "Montenegro" line klugii one day.
Sadly, two of my female Porcellio expansus died, both as they were super gravid. I think I kept them with too little ventilation, and they kicked it as a result (gravid isopod females seem the most sensitive to stuffy air)... I have one female left, which doesn't look gravid in the slightest, I might chuck her and a male in my Paranauphoeta lyrata bin, since this species apparently breeds very well when housed with Paranauphoeta. Overall, not a happy update, but there's aat least a bit of hope left.

My Porcellio hoffmanseggi have been doing very well, and I've gotten at least two broods from them so far. The babies grow pretty dang fast, and I do wish I'd have taken pictures of second instars, they look so chonky and weird for a Porcellio! 😂 Looking forward to having a big thriving culture of these giants!

Now for perhaps the saddest isopod related news here today... My Alloniscus perconvexus colony has completely died out. 😢 I'm honestly not 100% sure what happened, they did well for me initially, but were growing slow as all heck, and eventually just fizzled out. I think I may have over done it with the salinity TBH... Oh well, hopefully I can try with them again eventually.

Thankfully, in happier news, my Nesodillo arcangelii "Shiro Utsuri" have given birth to several broods, and by far are doing the best out of all my "Cubaris" type isopods. I just upgraded them to a gallon shoebox to accommodate the culture growth, and as y'all may have noticed, I added them to my For Sale List (with one of the best price rates for them out there that I've seen). 😉 Very happy these have been preforming well for me!

My Philoscia muscorum female has been going to town, so far I've gotten a total of three broods from her! I heard someone was saying something about females of this species only giving birth once in their lives... This is most certainly not the case, as I only started with a single female, who retained enough sperm from a wild mating to produce three broods for me, and may even produce a fourth before she dies! 😄

The offspring from the first brood are already nearing what should be sexual maturity, and the second brood babies aren't too far behind. I started keeping them a bit warmer, and so far they don't seem to mind the heat. It would seem really the main thing that's important for this species is very consistent humidity.
I also added this species to my FS list, and as far as I know, this may be the first time CB individuals have been offered in the US hobby? 🤔

Lastly, my Cubaris sp. "Rubber Ducky - Blond-ish" have thankfully given birth to a few broods. 😁 I did make a bit of a blunder a couple months ago though, and I dropped their setup a solid several feet... The lid opened in the fall and everything, it was nasty. So I ended up losing a few adults and small mancae as a result due to stress/injury. 😥

However they seem to be rebounding slowly but surely, especially since I dropped the humidity on one side of their setup and gave them more ventilation. They really do seem to like a humidity gradient, contrary to what I thought. Oh well, lesson learned, and their population is slowly growing, despite my learning curve mistakes. 

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

Friday, March 25, 2022

Gromphadorhina portentosa... With Locality Info!?

Nicoluc Shipment Pt 6/6
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That's right, we're finishing this series of posts off with a classic, but with a twist... Everyone's familiar with the classic Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Gromphadorhina portentosa, however none of the old hobby stocks have actual locality data, and most have been hybridized by now with the exception of a few lines. However, in a certain insectarium in Belgium, they apparently kept and maintained a pure line of G.portentosa (probably imported fairly recently compared to the older stocks in the US hobby), from "Masoala, Madagascar". Seeing as that institution kept the locality data and likely never introduced stock from other bloodlines, this strain should be pure, and since they've entered the pet trade and have been kept and distributed by a few hobbyists who are also particular in keeping lines pure, I've now got another line of pure G.portentosa to work with, that's probably from a different locale than any US hobby portentosa! 😁

I've got my 15 or so nymphs housed in a well ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate. I'm using bark, paper towel rolls and eggcrate for hides, with leaf litter for additional cover/food. I'm keeping one third of the enclosure humid, the rest dry, and am keeping them at around 75-85F°. For food I'm offering dog food, fruits and veggies.

Here are some pics of a couple nymphs:

Quite dark compared to nymphs of the pure US strains, this is a variable species in the wild and this strain is probably a bit more variable in coloration than the stocks in the US (which have probably been line bred accidentally for certain, more consistent coloration over the many decades they've been in culture). I'm looking forward to seeing adults in person and documenting the extent of their color variation. 😁
Hopefully these will breed well for me, so that the US hobby will have yet another pure strain of G.portentosa in culture, with locality data to boot!

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Misc March Updates

A pictureless update post, lots of stuff happening in the collection this month, I'll try to sum some of the more significant updates up in this post! 🙂

First off, my Vonones ornata "Ocala, FL" are doing fantastic, and all five babies from the first wave of offspring are growing well and look more like mini adults now. 😁 In addition to this, the second wave of offspring has started hatching out, and I've found at least 11 new babies in the adults' setup (which is now a gallon container). So happy this species is breeding well for me, can't wait until I have a nice big colony established! 😄
In other great news, my one Margattea sp. "Macao" female matured a month or so ago, has been and still is laying ooths, and I've already got my first set of hatchlings! 😁 I'm well on my way to finally establishing a good colony of this species, and should hopefully get them established in the US hobby soon!
Now for some quite unfortunate news... My male Pseudacanthops lobipes died, without successfully mating with my female... 😭 For some reason, he started getting really weak, at first I thought he was dehydrated or hungry, but after misting him and watching him drink, and feeding him, he showed no signs of improvement. When he did die, it almost looked like he had a prolapse or something.

Not sure what did him in, one theory I had was potential pesticide poisoning, from walking on the walls of my bug closet one time when he flew away from the female. I thought maybe the owners of this house previously sprayed insecticides inside, but I've had some roaches get out of their enclosures and crawl on the floor and walls too, and upon being captured and put back in their setups, none of them showed signs of poisoning... 🤔
It should be noted that he also had plenty of ventilation, so lack of airflow wasn't the issue here, like it was for my first adult female.

However, while this is very sad news, there is a sliver of hope for me here. The females of this species can supposedly produce at least one or two viable ooths via emergency parthenogenesis before they die. The amount of offspring per ooth would be minimal compared to fertilized ooths, and the offspring will of course all be female clones of the mother.
Additionally, since it's emergency parthenogenesis in a species that normally breeds via sexual reproduction, said parthenogenesis will likely only last a generation. Meaning that if the offspring produced via parthenogenesis mature and aren't mated, they won't be able to reproduce via parthenogenesis themselves, they'll absolutely need males to mate with. But, I'd at least have another generation of females to work with, and hope I can find plenty of males for them in the future. Either that or push my luck and hope I can beat the odds and create a stable, multigenerational parthenogenetic strain (as has inadvertently been done in certain roaches like Polyphaga saussurei and P.obscura).

Back to happy news, just last week, I finally found babies in my Balta vilis setup! 😁 They're breeding much better for me than they have in the past, looking forward to hopefully spreading them around in the hobby here in the US soon!

In other Ectobiid related news, found hatchlings in my Euthlastoblatta diaphana enclosure a month ago, and man are these things prolific! 😅 I've already put them up on my For Sale page, and am hoping they'll catch on, as they are quite pretty Ectobiids and a good gateway species into the more finicky ones IMO.

Lastly, some nice springtail news, found babies in my Isotoma viridis cup a couple weeks ago, and they've been growing very fast! They're such adorable little springtails, glad they're breeding well for me! 😁

Well, that does it for this post, next post we'll wrap up the Nicoluc Shipment series, and after that I've got more updates and exciting new additions to show off, so stay tuned! 😄 Thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Monday, March 21, 2022

Bringing Back Eurycotis sp. "Venezuela"!

Nicoluc Shipment Pt 5/6
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After a several year absence, I'm happy to report Eurycotis sp. "Venezuela" are back in the US hobby! 😁 This stock hails specifically from Isla de Margarita, and despite having been in culture for quite a while, has yet to get an ID beyond genus. Whatever they are, it's a slightly unforgiving species as far as I'm aware, and since they're small and not that colorful, a lack of interest pretty much killed them off here in the US years ago at one of the hobby low points... However, since interest in new roaches has picked up again here, these should hopefully stick around in the US hobby for years to come. 😁

This is the smallest hobby Eurycotis, and they seem to like it drier than a lot of the other Eurycotis species in culture. I've been told to keep only a small area of the enclosure humid, the rest dry. Other than that, offering plenty of hides, heat and good ventilation seems to be the way to go for this species. 

I've got my 15 or so individuals in a well ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate. For hides I'm using paper towel rolls, bark, eggcrate and leaf litter, and I'm keeping one third of the enclosure humid, the rest dry. I've been keeping them at 75-80F°, and am offering dog food and fruits as the staple diet. They really seem to love banana, though they've also eaten a fair bit of the apples and dog food I've offered them too.

Here are some pictures of an adult female:

Interestingly, these produce quite an odd defensive odor when disturbed, smells very chemically strong. Not the normal almond-cherry smell people say E.floridana produce.

Hopefully these will breed well for me, and I can get them established in the US hobby once more. The females have already started laying ooths for me, so that's a good start! 😁

BTW, while we're on the topic of Eurycotis, I do have some sad news regarding my Eurycotis opaca "Jaruco". Sadly, of the four nymphs I had, two have died, one male and one female. One large female nymph has matured months ago and has been thriving for me, but I have no mate for her... I have one small male nymph but he has stopped growing, looks pretty skinny and isn't eating much, so I suspect he's on his way out for whatever reason... Definitely a challenging species, and apparently after asking others for care advice, it would appear random nymph die offs aren't too uncommon with this species. 😐 So, I'll probably end up having to get more this spring. Oh well, can't be helped I guess, at least my one adult female is doing very well. I think this species actually likes it very humid and somewhat stuffy, and they don't seem to be huge fans of high heat either.

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! 😉

Saturday, March 19, 2022

A New Hormetica for the US Hobby!

Nicoluc Shipment Pt 4/6
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One of the more exciting things in this package is what's now the second Hormetica species to enter US culture, Hormetica sp. "Colombia"! 😁 These were collected a few years ago and have been circulating in the EU and Asian hobbies for a little while now, apparently they're rather easy to breed and seem to be on par in terms of husbandry and speed of breeding as Lucihormetica verrucosa.

They're not nearly as big as Hormetica strumosa, but I'm hoping the ease of care part will mean I'll actually be able to breed these with little issue... 😅 Just in case though, this is one species I'll sure to send out to a couple of friends who I know have good luck with Hormetica/Lucihormetica (one of which is Ty Randall, who is practically mass producing H.strumosa at this point, and has no issues breeding the three hobby Lucihormetica either).

I've got my dozen or so individuals (only 4 of which are females) housed in a moderately ventilated container with 4-5 inches of coconut fiber substrate, with some leaf litter on top. I'm keeping them humid, and at around 75F° for now. I'll be feeding them dog food, fruits and veggies.

Here are some pics of a large nymph and my only adult:

Large nymph

Adult female (probably molted in transit, hence why her wings are screwed up)

Hopefully some more will mature soon, this female is the only adult in the colony. Really wanna get some pics of some perfectly formed adult males and females. 😁

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see y'all soon! 😉

Thursday, March 17, 2022

In White Eyed Wonder!

Nicoluc Shipment Pt 3/6
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Reintroducing to US culture, Eupolyphaga sinensis "White Eye"! 😁 These beauties were isolated from the same old Eupolyphaga sinensis strain most people keep, and may have actually been isolated twice. These were present in the US hobby a few years back but died out rapidly due to a variety of random crashes keepers experienced (mostly it seems people didn't keep theirs ventilated enough initially). Thankfully some EU breeders were also maintaining a "White Eye" line though, and now that they're back in the US hobby, hopefully this time they'll stick around! It'd be great to have a "White Eye" strain of these cuties established in US culture! 😁

I've got my 15 or so individuals in a very well ventilated setup with about two inches of coconut fiber as the substrate, which I'm keeping pretty humid. They've got some leaf litter mixed into the top layer as well to nibble on. I'm keeping them at around 75-80F°, and feeding them dog food and fruits. 

Here are some pictures of them:

Adult female

Adult male's eyes

Most of the individuals I received were adult females, there was one adult male (who was sadly on death's door, but I got pics of his eyes before he passed), as well as a few small nymphs and several viable looking oothecae. Should get a culture started pretty quickly, and will hopefully be able to spread them around quite a bit in the US hobby soon as a result! 😁

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

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The Legend of Eublaberus: Marajoara's Mask

Nicoluc Shipment Pt 2/6
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Wait, no, that's wrong... The title was meant to say "New US Hobby Addition: Eublaberus marajoara", or something like that. Oh well, hopefully someone will appreciate the reference. 😆 But yeah, holy crap guys, we got a real treat, Eublaberus marajoara, the prettiest of the Eublaberus IMO, is now in US culture! And, they're the first member of this genus I've had the pleasure of keeping!

This particular stock originates from Brazil, though this species has a wide range in South America. They've been in culture for a couple years now in Europe and Asia, but this is the first time they've been present in the US hobby.
It would appear that care is the same as for other Eublaberus, though these may be a tad slower breeding than some of the other hobby species. That, coupled with the gorgeous appearance of the polymorphic adults means that these will probably remain as more of a "pet" species for a while. 😄

I've got my 17 or so small nymphs housed in a well ventilated enclosure with a couple inches of coconut fiber as the substrate, which I'm keeping pretty humid. I've got paper towel rolls on top as hides, as well as leaf litter for them to nibble on. I'm keeping them at around 80F° and offering dog food and fruits as their staple diet.

Here are some pictures of one of the nymphs:

Wait, no, that's wrong... My camera must have glitched... 🤔😜

Most other Eublaberus spp. have very glossy, shiny nymphs, however E.marajoara nymphs have a rough, matte textured exoskeleton that dirt easily adheres to, presumably for camouflage purposes. Very similar to the nymphs of Blaberus, Byrsotria, and Hemiblabera in that regard.

Can't wait to see adults in person, and hopefully get to establish them in the US hobby once and for all! 😁

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

Sunday, March 13, 2022

My Dream Hissers: Princisia vanwaerebeki "Androhamana"!!!

Nicoluc Shipment Pt 1/6
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Just in time for my birthday, I've received a package that was part of a trade which a couple good friends helped me out with. 😁 I got six new species/strains of roaches for the US hobby, and I'm gonna start off with the ones I'm the most excited about, my dream hissers, Princisia vanwaerebeki "Androhamana, Madagascar"! 😍

Now mine are just small nymphs ATM, but rest assured these will grow to be quite large, vibrantly colored hissers! This strain was somewhat recently imported from Androhamana, Madagascar, and is only being cultured by a select few... Meaning they're 100% pure Princisia! 😁 Even more exciting, unlike the "Big/Black" strain or "Tiger/Tricolor/Black & White" complex, this strain is pretty much identical to the holotype in terms of coloration and patterning (and indeed they were collected fairly close to where the holotype was).

Here's a picture of an adult male of this strain from my friend Nico, compared to the holotype male:

Basically identical, right? So we've essentially got "holotype form" Princisia in culture finally, after all these years! 😁

I've got my 20 small nymphs housed in a well ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate. I'm keeping a third of the enclosure humid, the rest dry. They've got bark, eggcrates, cardboard rolls and leaf litter for hides. I'm keeping them at around 80-85F°, and am feeding them dog food, fruits and veggies.

Here are some pictures of a few of my nymphs:

Very similar in coloration and morphology to my P.vanwaerebeki "Big/Black" nymphs (which also gives me hope that those are indeed pure). Here's hoping these will do well for me, and become well established in the US hobby! 😁

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, but stay tuned, lots more awesome species to showcase in this little series! 😉 Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time!