Friday, April 29, 2022

New Hobby Springtails!

Lots of springtail updates to discuss, so let's hop to it! 😄

First off, unfortunately I failed with establishing a culture of Entomobrya multifasciata. This is because, somehow when I collected them, I apparently also caught a couple Willowsia nigromaculata, which breed first and rapidly outcompeted the Entomobrya. I had thought they were simply denuded E.multifasciata at first, but apparently they were an entirely different species, one that was better suited to the setup I was using apparently... 😅 So, while this sucks for the Entomobrya, I do at least have a new springtail species period, one that was not actually being cultured by anyone else that I know of.

They seem to prefer decent ventilation, with a humidity gradient erring towards the drier side. Essentially they seem well suited to arid or at least semi-arid setups, similar to Entomobrya unostrigata. This seems to be a common theme with Willowsia, both W.buski and my cf. Willowsia "Kota Kinabalu" do well in those kinds of relatively low humidity levels.

Anyways, here are some pictures of the little intruders, and one of the remaining E.multifasciata in that culture:

Willowsia nigromaculata

Entomobrya multifasciata
E.multifasciata (L), W.nigromaculata (R)
Definitely a clear difference between the two, with the Willowsia being more silvery and shiny. Can't believe the Willowsia exploded so much from just a couple individuals. But hey, still a new hobby springtail species, so yay I guess? 😂

On a related note, I did in fact go out and collect some more Entomobrya multifasciata, and also removed the two remaining individuals in the now Willowsia dominated setup and threw them into a fresh setup with the new ones. So hopefully I can actually get a clean culture of those going soon. 😅 

On another side note, in the same spot I found the new batch of E.multifasciata I also collected some brightly purple Lepidocyrtus, that I'll be referring to as Lepidocyrtus sp. "Violet" from here on out. Only found three this time but I'll be on the lookout for more, hopefully I can establish a culture of them. No pics ATM, but hopefully once they breed or I collect more I'll get around to getting some pics of a good group of them.

Next up, I've been exploring some relatively undisturbed (for now) scrubland habitat in Boise, Idaho for the past couple weeks, which has turned up some very exciting finds for me, (which I'll talk about more in a future post).
While I say undisturbed, there are accumulations or random junk here and there, and in one little patch of land there were a bunch of old, broken lengths of PVC piping. One of the pipes was broken in half and the bottom had been partially buried and filled with dirt. Swarming the walls on the inside of that pipe, and some of the lichen/moss covered rocks nearby was a tiny, black springtail species, which Frans Janssens identified as something in Isotomidae. I'll be referring to them as Isotomidae sp. "Black" from here on out. I obviously got my pooter out and suck up a whole bunch, so hopefully I'll get a culture established of these little cuties and spread them around to other hobbyists. 😄

I've got them set up in a well ventilated deli cup with a thin layer of coconut fiber mixed with crushed leaf litter at the bottom for substrate. Keeping them with a roughly 50/50 humidity gradient, and am using pieces of cardboard for hides. For food I'm sprinkling in pollen, chick feed and dog food crumbs.

Here are the best pictures of them I could get, these things are only a mm or so in length, very very small and hard for me to get decent pics of:

They look a bit grey in these photos because of the flash, but in person they are a dark, matte black. Very interesting little species, that I hope does well for me! Would be lovely to get an ID for them one day! 😄

Lastly, for years I've had a tiny Poduromorpha species in my collection, one that I think a lot of roach hobbyists have, (at least, certainly a lot of hobbyists who've dealt with Roachcrossing in the past, since they're one of the major distributors of this species in the hobby). They're currently known as Poduromorpha sp. "Tiny Blue", and seem to prefer nearly stagnant, quite humid conditions in organically rich substrate.

Anyways, I myself have started offering them for sale in limited quantities, as they're having population blooms in several of my Pyrophorini larvae cups. But I don't like putting stuff up on my for sale page without pictures... So I took the best pics of a clump of this species that I could, and figure I'll share them in this post, because why not? 😂

Here are the little cuties:

They kinda resemble nearly microscopic velvet worms IMO, pretty cute. 🥰 They're the same size or smaller than Lepidocyrtus sp. "Small Silver", so about a mm or so in length fully grown.

Well, that's gonna do it for this post! I've got SO many new additions to post about, but have been super lazy with taking and editing pictures lately, and haven't had a lot of motivation lately period. Trying to get back to posting more, so hopefully you'll get to see some of the new species I've gotten soon! 😅
As always thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Monday, April 11, 2022

Vonones Set Completion, & Big PP Isopods

Alan Spring 2022 Package Series Pt. 3/3
««« Previous post in series

Once again, Alan's collected me some awesome new harvestmen, I now have the second US Vonones species, Vonones sayi from Bibb County Glades, AL. Once again though, it's a single pair, so we'll see if I get lucky again with them being a sexed pair, like the V.ornata "Ocala, FL" Alan sent me previously (their culture is booming BTW!).

I've got them set up in a minimally ventilated container with a layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, with leaf litter, moss and a corkboard hide for cover. They've got some live Compsodes in there for possible food, and I'm also offering dog food and fruits. Keeping them at around 74F°, and quite humid.

Now for some pictures... My camera did NOT want to focus on it:

Not the best pics but hopefully y'all got the point. Happy to have both US native Vonones species, hopefully I'll establish a colony of these sayi no problem if they are indeed a sexed pair! 😁 🤞

Last but not least, these are probably the coolest inverts I got in this package from Alan. Behold, the US native, probably undescribed Porcellionides sp. "Big Pine Key, FL"! 😁 These beauties were collected by Alan a while ago, and thank God he established a culture of them, because sadly the area they were collected from has since been control burned... It's unknown where any still survive on Big Pine Key... 😢 This is why getting species into captive culture and keeping them established via captive breeding can be so important, oftentimes we lose species of invertebrates (and other fauna and flora) before we even know they exist...

I've got my dozen or so housed in a very well ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate. I've got bark on top for hides, and leaf litter for food. I'm keeping most of the enclosure dry, with a moist corner with some damp moss for moisture. I'm keeping them at around 74-76F°. Apparently this species does best kept like Spanish Porcellio spp.. Hopefully I'm on the right track, one of the gravid ones Alan sent already gave birth and the babies have been doing great so far! 😄

Here are some pictures of my group, it's quite a polymorphic species and the color variation is insane! But first, a look at how Alan labeled their deli cup...

Alan can give anyone some serious PP envy... PP standing for "Pine Porcellio" obvs, what did you think I meant? 🤔 😂

Even that last individual with no yellow on it looks pretty, and the high yellow ones? Prettiest isopods in the hobby IMO! 😍 Hopefully these do well for me and do great in the hobby in general, since now that this specific locality at least may have been wiped out from the wild by the fire, we need as many people succeeding with these as possible!

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this series of posts, thanks so much Alan Jeon for sending me these awesome new species! 😁 And thank y'all for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

Saturday, April 9, 2022

April Rare Roach Updates!

Lots has happened recently with some of my rarer/uncommon roaches, so get ready for another update dump post! (with lots of pictures). 😅

First off (and perhaps most excitingly), two of my Eucorydia linglong nymphs have matured, one female and one male! 😁 The other two subadults aren't far behind, and will likely mature soon! Apparently giving them a mild diapause (low to mid 60s F°) was a good idea, as soon as I heated them back up last month they started eating a bit more and their development kick-started.

The adults of this species are way prettier than E.yasumatsui IMO (and can get almost twice as large), their thorax and upper tegmina are a metallic green, the tips of their wings and even abdomens being metallic blue. Their tegmina are covered in patches of silvery white hairs, and they have some gorgeous orange banding on their abdomens too (plus orange spots on the edges of the tegmina). Overall a stunning species! 😍

Here are some pictures, my camera doesn't pick up their colors the best under flash, so I got some pics of the female under indirect daylight too:

Adult female in dim, but natural lighting

Adult female under flash

Adult male under flash

I already observed the two of them courting and doing a sort of dance on the lid of their enclosure, so I'm sure I'll be getting offspring soon! 😁

Speaking of which, thought I'd mention that several weeks ago I found hatchlings in my Eucorydia yasumatsui setup! So despite botching their setup initially, I still successfully bred them, WOOHOO! 🎉😂 Now hopefully they grow well for me!

Next up, my Hormetica sp. "Colombia" male nymphs have been maturing en masse, and boy are they pretty! 😁 Interestingly they seem a lot less hostile towards each other than males of H.strumosa or even L.grossei so far... hopefully it stays that way.

Here are some pics of them:

It's very odd just how closely their pronotum markings resemble the "glowspots" on Lucihormetica! But they definitely are just markings, not protrusions of any sort. I really don't feel the two should be different genera TBH, but whatever, that's a topic for another day, and a less exhausted Invertebrate Dude. 😅

My Princisia vanwaerebeki "Androhamana" have been growing very well and most have molted at least twice for me by now. Some of the larger nymphs have started gaining coloration similar to the adults, and OH BABY do they look good! 😍 Definitely my favorite hissers period after seeing this coloration in person, pictures do not do them justice, and they should be even more spectacular as adults! 😁

Here are some photos and a short video of one of the nymphs:

Such a pretty locale, really hope they'll become well established in culture! 😁

Some of the males in my Gyna lurida "Yellow" setup have started maturing, and so far seem OK in terms of coloration. I believe these are about as yellow as males of this strain can get, though I could be wrong.

This is actually like, the least pretty male in the culture, but alas I didn't feel like digging one of the other ones out:

He's still a looker IMO, though females of this strain definitely outshine the males. 😅 Speaking of which, one of the females in this colony is a subadult now, so it shouldn't be too long until I start seeing some breeding action in there!

Last, but definitely not least, the larger of my two Macropanesthia rhinoceros females molted again, and she's looking so good! 😊 She may be a pre-sub or even subadult by now, so my hunt for a male nymph/young adult male shall now commence... 😂

Here she is in all her chonky glory:

It's incredible just how much size they put on with each molt, I can't wait to see adults of this mammoth species in person! 😃

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! 😉