Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Brandon's Ballin' Box!

A few months ago I got in a big old box of bugs from Brandon Maines at Magnificent Beasts, mostly stuff I've previously had and either failed with, and some stuff I still have but wanted booster groups of just to be safe. Namely these species:

Blattidae sp. "Philippines"
Cariblatta lutea "Brooksville"
Cristarmadillidium muricatum
Eublaberus marajoara
Eurycotis opaca "Jaruco"
Princisia vanwaerebeki "Black & White"
Pseudoglomeris tarsalis 
Troglodillo sp. "Green Spot"
Therea bernhardti
Therea regularis

Plus, both Brandon and Junior Marquez sent me the very last of their failing Pseudoglomeris aerea colonies. I had sent the last of mine to Brandon earlier this year to see if they'd do better for him, unfortunately they did not... and Junior's weren't much better off. So, all in all I've got one adult male, one subadult female and two presub females... I think the three big parts of my previous failure with this species were:

  1. Too much ventilation in their enclosure considering how low my ambient air humidity is. This caused dehydration, but keeping the enclosure more humid caused their bark and too much of the substrate to become moist to the touch, which these loath. Ideally you want high air humidity and low surface moisture with this species, so limiting my ventilation a bit more in the future will be necessary to work with this species. 
  2. Improper hide choices also likely stressed my colony out, I used too flat of bark hides, without enough nooks and crannies for nymphs to hide and feel safe in. This time I'm using cork bark for hides, which seems to be the best hide choice for Perisphaerinae in general.
  3. Poor temperature control, especially in the Summer. I think I let my culture get too warm last Spring/early Summer, due to space constraints in my last place of living. Now that I've moved into a new house though, I should have no issues keeping them at the proper temps year round.
Taking all these issues into consideration, I'm hoping I can salvage this colony, and keep this species going in culture. 🤞 

Now, onto the few species he sent me that I've actually never kept before! First off, we have Ergaula cf. silphoides "Hobby Stock". Formerly labeled as "Ergaula pilosa", as we covered in a previous post, this species is not true E.pilosa, and is most likely E.silphoides (with the previously rumored locality data for this stock of "Malaysia" likely being inaccurate). But I wanted to see in person to confirm this suspicion, especially since I've struggled to find photos that very clearly show the morphological features I'm looking for.

Anyways, I've got then set up in a well ventilated enclosure with an inch or two of coconut fiber substrate, which I'm keeping two thirds humid, one third dry. I'm feeding them dog food and leaf litter for the staple diet, and am keeping them at 75-85F°.

Here are some pics of the fuzzy nymphs:

Here's hoping for adults within the next several months. 🙂

He also sent some Anthrenus sp. larvae from his former home in Osceola Mills, PA. Initially he thought they were Dermestes lardarius larvae, which I was quite excited to keep, but on arrival I was instantly able to tell they were not Dermestes larvae, but rather Anthrenus instead. No idea which species it is, but nevertheless, happy to now have two different strains (and hopefully two different species) of this genus in my collection now.

Here are some pictures:

Hopefully they'll mature soon and establish a colony with little difficulty. 😃

And lastly, he sent some Porcellionides cf. virgatus "Miami, FL", which is in the same species complex of "Porcellionides" as the sp. "Big Pine Key" and "Everglades" strains. I think there's only two other strain of this Florida complex in culture that I don't yet have, so I'm getting closer to having them all. 😂 These "Miami" are actually prettier than I thought they were, definitely a strain that looks better in person than in photos.

As with the other two lines of this complex I keep, I have this Miami strain in a well ventilated enclosure with an inch or so of coconut fiber substrate, topped with bark hides and leaf litter. I'm keeping most of the enclosure humid, and at around 75-80F°. In addition to the leaf litter they are being offered dog food for their diet.

Here are some pictures of them:

Definitely a neat isopod with some variable coloration, hopefully they'll breed as well for me as the "BPK" and "Everglades" lines have!

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

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