Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Two More Interesting Boise Finds

There were a couple other species I found at tye last place I stayed in Boise that I forgot to share.

First off, I found three Rhadine sp., under wooden boards on the ground in scrubland habitat, normally near Reticulitermes hesperus colonies. I've never seen this genus before, and with how leggy and fast they are, along with their unique body shape, I initially mistook them for the large Camponotus ants in the same area. 😂
I submitted pictures of them to Bugguide, and they were tentatively ID'd by an expert as Rhadine jejuna, so I shall refer to them as Rhadine cf. jejuna until further notice.

I found three, though sadly one has passed away now, so I'm down to two. I've been keeping them in a well ventilated deli cup with an inch or so of coco fiber as the substrate, with bark hides and leaf litter for cover. I'm keeping them at room temps and have half the enclosure humid, the rest dry. Been feeding them dog food and also have some live Compsodes in there for them to snack on if they want to. IDK if they'll breed in that setup, they'll probably need a different substrate to do so.

Anyways, here are some pics of one of the little weirdos:

Cool right? Even if I don't breed them, it's an awesome find IMO.

Lastly, I found half a dozen soil centipedes, Geophilomorpha sp., a group that is very numerous and found across the world. However, a lot of common backyard species only max out at an inch or two, and some are adventives. Whereas these seem to reach at least three inches, and were only found in scrubland habitat fairly far removed from the nearby neighborhood (and in said neighborhood, smaller, differently colored Geophilomorpha species were the dominant ones). So who knows, this one may very well be native, and it's certainly the largest soil centipede species I've come across.

I've got them housed in a moderately ventilated deli cup with a few inches of coconut fiber as the substrate, with leaf litter and such on top as hides. I'm keeping them at room temps, pretty humid, and am feeding them a variety of prekilled inverts, some smaller live ones, and dog food and fruits. These centipedes tend to scavenge a lot so I'm just offering them everything lol, and so far they've been doing well. 😁 I am also keeping them communally, since soil centipedes often do well in communal setups so long as there's enough space and food.

Here are some pics of one of them:

We'll see what comes of this, hopefully I'm successful with them since this is a group of centipedes that really interests me. Some of the tropical species can get 10 inches or so in length, and there's a small species in France that even glows in the dark! So I would love to delve into this group more in the future. 😊

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

Monday, May 30, 2022

May's Ups & Downs

Got some ups and downs that happened this month that I figured I'd post here before June, in between more positive posts. 😄

Let's start with some sad springtail updates. So first off, my Willowsia nigromaculata have become thoroughly infested with Willowsia sp. "Kota Kinabalu"... Which is very unfortunate. I honestly don't know that I'll be able to salvage enough of the nigromaculata to establish a colony again, but I'll do my best.

Secondly, my black Isotomidae from Boise just never took off, and I can't collect them again, so that project is dead in the water. 😢

Thirdly, my Orchesella cincta colony has all but collapsed, mainly due to predatory mites. I then moved my remaining individuals to a smaller deli cup, but didn't give them enough airflow, so despite them doing OK initially and breeding in that setup, one over watering was all it took to bring their numbers back down to half a dozen mixed sizes.

Next up, a more positive update. One of my Gromphadorhina portentosa "LLE Mahogany" females gave birth to a good sized litter! 😁 Said babies are doing quite well and have molted to L2 already.

Weirdly one of the larger females aborted her entire ooth shortly afterwards, and I'm not sure why... 🤔 But in any case most of the females seem super gravid and will probably give birth soon as well, so no big loss there (already they give birth to so many babies per brood! 😅).

Now for another sour update, this time about one of my darklings... Unfortunately I've completely failed with Doyenellus cisteloides. 😭 

I gave them a coconut fiber substrate, which the females did eagerly lay in, and I got lots of tiny larvae from them. However, the larvae died very shortly after hatching, and I'm pretty sure they actually needed a rotten wood substrate to survive... Mixing in a bit of rotten wood into the top layer of coconut fiber after I realized this was not enough, and all the offspring sadly perished. Not only that, but all the adults died off too, seemingly of natural causes (I'm pretty sure Helopini live rather short adult lives in general). So, quite a bad mistake on my part, but at least I know better for working with this tribe in the future. 🙁

Another downer update, though not as irreparable as the former. My Nocticola sp. "Malaysia" colony crashed... Because the Coecobrya sp. "Tropical Pink" (ex. Sinella curviseta) that got into their bin outcompeted and essentially wiped them OUT. 🙃 So that's fun. Thankfully there were still some Nocticola in there, so I've isolated them to start a new culture. But yeah it's gonna take a little while to get them going again, and now I have to be diligent not to let springtail populations get too high for them. The joys of roach keeping lol.

But I think that does it for the misc May updates I have that don't warrant pictures being taken. So, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed and learned from this post, stay safe, and I'll see y'all next time! 😉

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Golden Showers & Honky Tonky-wa Roaches

Roachcrossing April Package Series Pt. 4/5
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For the first time ever, I've got Dubia roaches! 😃 But these aren't your run of the mill Dubia, rather these are Kyle's new Blaptica dubia "Golden Shower" strain! 🤣 Seriously though, he's not named them officially yet, the "Golden Shower" moniker is one JungKai Wang made for them in jest, and now several of us tease Kyle by calling them that... It'll be hilarious if that's the name that sticks though. 😂

Anyways, Kyle sent me a group of nymphs, including a subadult pair. Sadly though, the subadults both died seemingly in premolt, not exactly sure why considering all the smaller nymphs have molted several times in my care now with no issues... Perhaps the subadults we're just stressed from shipping?

I've got my surviving nymphs housed in a well ventilated gallon container with an inch or so of coconut fiber as the substrate. I'm keeping a quarter of the enclosure humid, the rest bone dry, at around 75-80F°. I'm feeding them dog food and fruits.

Here are some pics of the nymphs:

Quit an attractive dubia morph! Hopefully I'll see adults soon, fingers crossed, definitely want to help keep these going in culture! 😁

As for the last roach Kyle sent me, I'm finally trying again with the old hobby stock of Arenivaga tonkawa (from San Antonio, TX). I think this is my third attempt with this species, and this time Kyle sent me a good group of nymphs (lots of which were subadults that have since matured) and a sexed pair of adults.

I'm keeping them in a small, well ventilated enclosure with an inch or so of used Gyna substrate (old degraded coconut fiber) as their substrate, with leaf litter on top. I'm keeping half the enclosure humid, half dry, and have them at around 75-80F°. I've already gotten ooths from them, so this time things seem to be going well. If I get offspring from them then I'll have finally passed my main hurdle with this species, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! 🤞😅

Here are a few pics of them:

Adult female

Adult male

Hopefully I can get these breeding well for me, failing with this species twice has been a personal source of shame for me, since I typically do well with western Arenivaga spp., so hopefully I can overcome this obstacle and reclaim some of my pride with keeping this species. 😂

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

Saturday, May 28, 2022

A Bioluminescent Spring!

Well, I had 15 Pyrophorus noctilucus holdback larvae from 2020's breeding success, and I've actually had quite a few people asking me for this species again in the past year or so. So, I decided to try prematurely pupating larvae on purpose, since stunted adults still produce the same amount of offspring as larger ones, and their offspring still can reach full size if cared for properly. This is because I'm not line breeding the adults for small size genetically, rather I'm stressing them out enough as larvae to force them to feel they need to pupate. If left in perfect conditions these now stunted individuals would have grown to quite a large size). 

I'd come to the conclusion based on past experiences that a sudden rise in heat is what induces larvae of this species to pupate prematurely... So I isolated half of them into a warm area in my collection (rather than the room temps I'd been keeping them at), and waited. However, to my surprise, none of them pupated, but rather I had some larvae from the COOL group start pupating... 🤔😂 
Now, those larvae I was keeping "cool" had actually been kept around 70-74F°, but I then moved them to an even cooler spot in the mid to high 60s for some reason or another. After that a couple of them started pupating. Then, seeing that none of my larvae from the warm group were pupating, I moved those back to the cool area along with the others, and not too long after I did that, two of the ones that were previously being kept warm started making pupal cells too.

SO, I think the premature pupation DOES have to do with temperature fluctuations, but rather than temperature rises doing it, I actually think a temperature DROP is what causes them to pupate prematurely. Same difference TBH, larvae being kept cool, subjected to higher heat for a few days or so at a time only to be dropped back down to cooler temps can obviously induce pupation. So a temperature rise can be partially responsible lol, it's just that if you kept them warm consistently from there on out, they're gonna just keep on growing to full size. 😂 

Anyways, as far as mature individuals go I've got three adults now, plus two pre-pupal larvae. Should definitely be enough to get another generation going this year, and be able to distribute them to interested parties somewhat soon. 😁

Anyways, here are some pictures of my new adults:

Man I love this species, really hope I can get more from this genus in the future!

Next up, updates on my US Native Pyrophorini. I've got a total of 14 holdbacks of Deilelater physoderus, and most of the larvae are quite large now. Two of them pupated slightly prematurely, they're a decent size for this species but not completely full grown, however by some miraculous stroke of luck they ended up being a sexed pair. 😂 So that's pretty awesome, the female has already exhibited egg laying behavior and I will likelihood start seeing larvae pop up in the next month or so. 

Here are some pictures of a large larva, and the new adult pair:


Adult female

Adult female glowing

Adult male

Adult male glowing

So glad these are doing well for me, and I hope to make CB larvae of this species publicly available for the first time ever soon! 😁

Compared to my other Pyrophorini, my Deilelater cf. atlanticus are doing rather poorly... I've got 7 larvae left, I've had a couple odd die offs and I'm not sure why. On top of this their growth seems to have halted despite consistent feedings, and overall they just don't seem to be thriving. Their growth rates are a bit staggered too, so I'll be lucky to get a pair to mature out of these IMO... I think part of this may have to do with them preferring live/prekilled invert prey to dog food. So, I'm offering them Teneb larvae from here on out, we'll see how they do.

Lastly, an update on my Ignelater haveniensis. I've not been feeding these very consistently, so their growth has been rather slow. However I'm changing that now, and so far at least half of them have already reached or are near the inch long mark already. 😄 I've got 16 larvae total, with one more possibly living in one of my springtail/slime mold jars (don't ask lol). 

Here are some pics of a couple of the larger larvae, I was actually able to get a picture and video of one of them glowing too:

Larva glowing

I love how even larval Pyrophorini can glow, supposedly eggs can too but I will NEVER catch that on camera or probably even see it in person lol. 😂

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