Wednesday, April 6, 2022

A Couple New Darklings!

Alan Spring 2022 Package Series Pt. 2/3
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One of the more interesting new Tenebs I've gotten this year have to be these metallic copper-green Doyenellus cisteloides "Bartram Trail, AL" that Alan sent me. These are the first members of the Helopini I've ever kept, and a good practice species for me, since they're quite closely related to one of my most wanted US Tenebrionidae, Tarpela micans. 😁 Ideally these Doyenellus should have the same care as Tarpela, so hopefully I can crack the code to breeding them with ease!

I've got my several adult pairs housed in a well ventilated enclosure with an inch or so of coconut fiber as the substrate. They have vertically slanted bark hides, and I'm keeping them humid and at around 75F°. I'm offering dog food, apple slices and banana (they seem to greatly prefer the latter).

Here are some pictures of the adults:



Pretty sure I've seen one of the females ovipositing already, so with any luck I'll start seeing larvae soon! Hopefully they're easy enough to rear! 😁

Alan also sent me some Zophobas atratus larvae, but these aren't your run of the mill hobby stock Zophobas, these are from a wild strain collected from the Sugarloaf Key, FL. The Zophobas established in far southern FL appear to be distinct from the hobby line of Z.atratus, and were probably introduced down there from a completely different locale than the hobby feeder stock comes from, perhaps in a shipment of plants/produce many many years ago, before we even used superworms commonly as feeders.

These FL Zophobas have much more noticable elytral striations, and perhaps slightly broader pronotum margins. The larvae of this strain also appear to be a bit paler than hobby stock superworms, the patterning might be a tad different too.
According to Tenebrionidae taxonomist Andrew Johnston, these are almost certainly Z.atratus, just a different locality and phenotype than the feeder hobby stock we're all used to seeing in culture. I think these are pretty interesting and it'll be nice to have another phenotype of Z.atratus in culture, hopefully these will catch on in the hobby among enthusiasts and not be immediately bastardized and mixed with the old hobby stock. 😅🙃

I've got my larvae in a well ventilated enclosure with an inch or so of coconut fiber, half of it kept humid, the other half dry. I'm feeding them dog food and carrots, and keeping them at around 75F°.

Here are a few pics of some larvae:

Looking forward to rearing up some adults and seeing how unique they look in person! 🙂

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

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