Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New Inverts from Alan!

Got a box with some awesome new invertebrates from Alan Jeon recently, a man who has truly become an enabler for my addiction to rare and obscure invertebrates. 🤣 

First off, let's start with Eastern Eyed Elaters, Alaus oculatus! I already have larvae of a PA locality, but Alan caught a pair in Hoover, AL, and I could not refuse taking them in. 😆 

I have my pair in a moderately ventilated gallon shoebox with a CM deep layer of coconut fiber substrate, topped with some bark pieces. I'm keeping the setup moist and at around 75F°, and offering fresh fruits to the adults. The female has been laying eggs nonstop, and I've now got tons of larvae (which are now being offered on my For Sale Page, so if anyone wants any, be sure to get them before I let the majority of them eat each other... 😅).

Here are some pictures of the adult female:

Such an iconic and pretty US native, and easy to breed as far as Elaterids go. 😄 

Next up, I finally have pillipedes! 😃 Namely a few individuals of Onomeris sp. "Hickory Dickory Park, AL", which will hopefully be a breeding group. These small obscure natives are very understudied, and it's likely there are several undescribed species and perhaps even genera here in the US.

I have mine in a minimally ventilated enclosure with a flake soil and rotten wood mixture for the substrate, topped with a little bit of leaf litter and some bark pieces. I'm keeping them at around 70-75F°, and the setup is kept consistently moist. I'm offering fruits and dog food on occasion as well.

Here are some pics of them:

Cute little species, hopefully they'll do well for me and breed! 🤞 

I've finally acquired a group of Cryptocercus, namely Cryptocercus cf. garciai "Cooper Creek, GA". This is my first time working with this genus, which is notoriously difficult to culture in captivity with any consistency.

I've got mine set up in a moderately ventilated 5 gallon tote, filled with a deep substrate of slightly aged sawdust mixed with a little old Panesthiinae substrate. I'm keeping them humid, at around 72F°, and am offering dog food and fruits on occasion.
It's my opinion that they'll likely require a winter diapause in order to induce adults to produce oothecae yearly, so that's what I plan on providing them with.

Here are some pictures of a couple adults and some nymphs:

So far they seem to be doing well for me, fingers crossed they'll actually breed!

Now these are a species that's been on my wishlist for years, the beautiful Porcellio succinctus! These are one of the rarest of the cultured Spanish Porcellio spp., seems they are slightly more picky about having a proper humidity gradient and good airflow compared to other members of the genus, and so have often crashed for most people that keep them. Alan's been having great success with them though, and the ones he sent me seem to be thriving as well!

I've got them housed in a well ventilated shoebox with a thin layer of coconut fiber substrate, topped with bark and leaf litter. I'm offering dog food and calcium carbonate for supplemental food, am keeping one third of the enclosure humid, the rest dry, and have them at around 75-80F°.

Here are some photos of the beauties:

I especially love that some juveniles have yellow spotting going down their backs, though this is oddly lost and reverts to white coloration when they mature. Hopefully these will breed well for me!

Lastely, I got a group of 6 Bishopella sp. "Tuscaloosa Boat Ramp, AL". A neat little Phalangodid genus that I have yet to work with, and it would appear they are more heat resistant than the other species in that subfamily I'm working with.

I've got them housed in a minimally ventilated enclosure with a couple inches of coconut fiber topped with bark chips, coco coir chunks and sphagnum moss. I'm keeping them moist, at around 70-75F°, and am feeding them primarily springtails.

Here are some pictures of the cuties:

Hopefully they'll do well for me and breed, would love to get these established in culture!

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

Saturday, May 11, 2024

My New Blood Puppies!

And by blood puppies, I mean Hirudinaria manillensis, Asian Buffalo Leeches, AKA Asian Medicinal Leeches. 😁 I got 5 hatchlings from Adi Yarrol, and yes, I am feeding them with my own blood. 😅
This species is one of the largest leeches in the world, with some full grown adults reaching over a foot in length. They are rather easy to care for as far as leeches go, so this plus their size has made them perhaps the most popular species in the pet leech hobby (and yes, there is a pet leech hobby 😆).

While they can be kept communally, for the sake of keeping track of growth for each individual, and to prevent other issues, I'm keeping all of mine separately, in minimally ventilated gallon containers filled with a couple inches of dechlorinated tap water (it has to be dechlorinated, otherwise they would die), each with a smaller container inside with a bunch of holes drilled into it, filled with sphagnum moss. This smaller container goes a bit above the waterline, and gives them a terrestrial (but still soaking wet) resting area. I've got Duckweed (Salvina minima) that Adi provided growing in their enclosures as well. I'm keeping them at around 75F°, and have fed them all once from myself.

The feeding process was pretty straightforward, some were hesitant to bite at first, and all of them would only bite hands or arms, never my legs (despite that being where I'd hoped they'd bite). The first one bit me on one of my fingers, which was pretty hilarious... 😂 Feeding for these hatchlings lasted about 15-30 minutes, pretty short. The bites each bled for a day or two at most, some had small raised bumps at the bite site, but others did not. Each of the leeches were placed in 16 oz deli cups after feeding with about a cm of water at the bottom, so called "poop jails" to let them excrete most of their waste over the next week or two, to prevent fouling the water in their larger enclosures.

Here are some pictures and a video of the little pups:

Leech #1

Leech #2

Leech #3

Leech #4

Leech #5 unfortunately did not get a photo shoot. 🤣 Overall feeding went very smoothly for all of them, and they've all already molted several times and grown pretty noticeably! Next round of feedings will not doubt take longer, and likely be more messy as well. 😅

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