Monday, June 24, 2024

Seattle Micro-pods, Katydid Growth & More!

Last month I vistited Seattle for the first time! It was a fantastic trip, and while we spent most of the time in the city, we did have time to visit one natural area; Schmitz Preserve Park. The difference in biome compared to where I live in Idaho could not be more astronomical, so lush and green and rainy, ferns and moss everywhere, and an array of interesting fauna! Didn't find much worth bringing back unfortunately, though I did aquire one interesting species (that I'll get to in a bit). 

Here are some pictures of the park first, and some of my finds there as well:

cf. Arion sp.

My FIRST ever Salamander find: Plethodon vehiculum

Omus dejeanii
Now I also found and collected a group of these small, surface active isopods, (though they may have been surface active because it was actively raining at the time). Nathan Jones has identified them tentatively as something in the Trichoniscus pusillus species complex.

I've got mine in a minimally ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber, flake soil, sand and sphagnum moss mix at the bottom, topped with leaf litter and some chunks of rotten wood from where I collected them. Keeping them moist (pretty much wet), at room temperature and am offering dog food on occasion. It seems they're doing OK and breeding, though it's hard to tell exactly how well they're doing on account of their small size and secretive nature.

Here are some pictures of the little cuties:

Hopefully these establish well for me, fingers crossed! Whether they do or not though, I had a wonderful time in Seattle, and hope to visit again. 😊 

Next up, I've completely forgotten to update y'all on my Copiphora sp. "Tarapoto, Peru". Of the 20+ eggs I received, only 7 hatched, and two of those hatchlings were rather sickly and did not last long. The remainder have done very well though, and looks like I've got a 2.3 group. 😁 Most are subadults or presubs now, and I'm expecting one of my females to mature any day now! 

They've been feeding well on prekilled superworms and apple slices. I've been rearing them in 16 and 32 oz deli cups, with mesh lids. Keeping them humid, at around 75F°, and am feeding them once a week.

Here are some pictures of my largest subadult female:

Beautiful and seemingly easy to rear species, hopefully breeding will be just as easy! 🤞 

My Dysdera crocata group seems to be doing OK, and I see at least one male and female pair that seems to be mature now, so fingers crossed I get babies soon! 

Here are some pictures of a suspected female after feeding on an Armadillidium maculatum:

She's looking super chunky, so I'm hoping she's already gravid. 😄

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

Friday, June 21, 2024

Trade for Texas Inverts!

A month or so ago I did a trade with Derek Rodriguez, and he sent me an awesome assortment of native TX inverts!

First off, and what I was mainly trading for initially, he sent me a good group of a Cheliferidae sp. from Ector County, TX. These are somewhat similar to Chelifer cancroides, but are more rotund (females especially), so not sure what they are TBH.

I've got mine housed in a moderately ventilated enclosure with a thin layer of coconut fiber substrate, topped in sphagnum moss and bark pieces. I'm keeping half the substrate humid, the other half dry, have them at around 75-80F°, and am feeding them springtails. They are breeding already and seem to be doing well, so hopefully I will have a colony established very soon!

Here are some pictures of a pair:

Female carrying eggs


Nice little species, really trying to get into more obscure Arachnida this year. 😀

Next up, he sent me a few pairs of Toltecolus kerrensis, a US native Spirobolid millipede, that has never really entered the hobby before (but Derek says he's collected and kept them in the past, and even got offspring from them).

I've got mine set up in a moderately ventilated enclosure with the bottom layer being mostly sand, clay, with a little flake soil mixed in. On top of that I've got a layer of flake soil with only a little sand mixed in, topped with leaf litter. I'm keeping half the enclosure humid, the other half dry. Keeping them at around 75F°.
They don't seem to eat much wood (which makes sense, considering Derek says there's basically no trees in their natural habitat), they mostly seem to eat protein (in my case, dog food), fruits, and a little bit of leaf litter as well. 

Here are some pictures of them:

Very nice, robust millipedes, hopefully I can get them to breed. 🤞

On the topic of Myriapods, let's continue with another TX native he sent me, the diminutive but pretty Arthrorhabdus pygmaeus. These remind me of small, weird looking Scolopendra polymorpha at a glance, and are seldom collected or kept in captivity. So far care seems to be pretty standard, and the two he sent me are getting along just fine in a communal setup. 

I've got them in a well ventilated enclosure with a few inches of a sand and coco fiber mix, topped with some bark pieces and sphagnum moss. I'm keeping them fairly humid, but allowing the top of the substrate to dry out between waterings, and have them at around 75F°. I'm offering live Compsodes and Nocticola as feeders, and also throw in some fruit and cut up superworm bits occasionally as well.

Here are pictures of the cuties:

A very neat little species, which Derek has told me he'll try and collect more of, so I can seriously attempt a breeding project with these. 😊

Now these are actually probably a species I already have (but I'll take another locality LOL), a group of Triorophus from Ector County, TX. Probably the same species as my "Fort Stockton, TX" Triorophus, but you never know with the really understudied Tenebs like these. 😄

I've got them set up in a well ventilated enclosure with an inch and a half or so of sand at the bottom, topped with some cardboard rolls for hides. I'm keeping one third of the substrate humid, the rest dry, have them at around 75-80F°, and am offering dog food as the staple diet.

I didn't bother getting pictures, since they look the same as the Ft. Stockton locality, hopefully they'll breed as well for me as that line did too.

He also sent a group of Arenivaga tonkawa "Ector County, TX", from his own breeding colony. This is actually a new line of this species for the hobby, we previously only had the "San Antonio" line in culture. These are much darker than that locality, throwing out more dark brown and red females, though males look much the same. 

I've got them in a typical Arenivaga setup, a well ventilated enclosure with an inch or so of coconut fiber substrate, topped with leaf litter. Keeping one half humid, the rest dry, have them at around 75-80F°, and am offering dog food as the staple diet.

Here are some pictures of the adults:

A very nice locality to have, they're already laying ooths prolifically, so I'm sure I'll have tons in no time. 😀

Lastly, he sent me a culture of Ceratophysella sp. "Lilac - Yellow Albino". This is the first ever isolated morph of a springtail species, originally isolated by Ryne Pavy, that's become quite popular in culture. 

Here are a couple photos of them:

Cute and vibrantly colored, and hardy to boot! I can see why they have taken off in popularity!

Anyways, that does it for this post, huge thanks to Derek for an awesome trade! Hope everyone enjoyed, I'll see you all next time! 😉