Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Amazing Spring Idaho Finds!

Well, I'm PLANNING on this being my last year living here in Idaho, however while collecting in Boise this April, I found some awesome inverts, including a couple that were on my "Idaho Find Bucket List". 😄 Either due to dumb luck or fate, my last year here in Idaho will probably be among the best in terms of inverts I found and collected. 😂

First off, I found not one, not two, but NINE Scolopendra polymorpha! 😃 Well, I should probably put "Scolopendra polymorpha" in quotes, since a revision of the North American Scolopendra based on phylogenetic analysis will be coming out soon, and apparently the Idaho population and some northern California populations will no longer be considered the same species as true S.polymorpha (and may not even belong in Scolopendra). In any case, the population here in ID is quite blue compared to more southern strains, and they're quite stunning in person. 🥰 I found a very small juvenile here nearly ten years ago, but accidentally smashed it while collecting it, and never found another one... Until now. 

Oddly, I mostly found them under VERY small rocks, in scrubland habitat. A lot of these rocks were lying beside rabbit burrows, and most of the centipedes had to curl up a bit to even fit underneath the rocks. Yet, I found almost none of them underneath larger rocks.

I've got them housed in deli cups with thin layers of coconut fiber and sand mixed as the substrate. Keeping them at room temps, and am keeping them semi-humid. Been feeding them random live and prekilled inverts, they don't seem to be very picky at all.

Here are some pictures of the first one I found:

Pictures just don't do them justice, they're so blue in person! 😍 These are also still juveniles though, only a couple inches long at the most currently, think they've still got quite a bit of growing to do before they're sexually mature.

Secondly, I found TEN Ammopelmatus sp. Jerusalem crickets!!! 😁 I knew these occured in my area of Idaho, but after a decade of living here and searching for them, I've never seen even a trace of them! Again, I curiously found these mostly under rather small rocks, along the sides of rabbit burrow mounds. Though I did find a few under large rocks far away from any rabbit burrows as well.

I believe I found 3-4 females and 5-6 males, all of which are nymphs. Sadly, most of the males are quite a bit ahead of the females in terms of growth, so syncing them up for breeding may be a pain... This will be my third attempt at breeding this genus I REALLY hope I'm successful this time. 😅 Pretty sure I just need to use a clay/coco fiber mix, maybe with a bit of sand mixed in for the females to oviposit in, and I'll finally have worked out all the kinks to breeding these... But, we'll see.

I've got them all housed in moderately ventilated deli cups with 1-2 inches of coco fiber as the substrate, and am keeping them humid at room temperature. For food I'm offering dog food and live/prekilled inverts.

Here are some pics of one:

These are very much your stereotypical Jerusalem crickets in terms of coloration, I don't know how big they'll get, but I doubt they'll be quite as large as the species from "Long Beach, CA" I kept in the past. Still, definitely awesome to have finally found some myself, and hopefully I can finally breed this genus, and then get to work on culturing the more pretty species. 😁

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! 😉

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