Saturday, December 9, 2023

Metallic Perisphaerus Take #2!!!

Well, here we go again, I just acquired a new strain of metallic Perisphaerus, specifically Perisphaerus cf. flavipes "CCNR, Singapore". While the typical black species in thus genus can pose issues of their own, they tend to be a lot more straightforward and easy to breed and rear than the metallic species are. This is likely due to the different ecological niches they have, black species tend to spend more time under bark and may be found lower to the ground, VS the much more arboreal and out in the open habits of the metallic spp., which are most commonly found out on foliage.

My last attempt with metallic Perisphaerus was with Perisphaerus sp. "Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia", and while the beginning seemed rather promising, I ultimately failed to get any offspring produced to maturity, save one male that died while still a teneral adult. In retrospect, that species may have been a nectar specialist, as their heads were very very narrow. These cf. flavipes also have narrow heads, but not as thin as those of the sp. "Kota Kinabalu", so I'm hoping they will be more generalized in their diet. I also think an excessive amount of ventilation and thus sharp drop in air humidity wasn't to the liking of the sp. "Kota Kinabalu", and in fact seems to be a problem across most of the Perisphaerinae I'm keeping.

I've got my two adult females, one adult male, and three female nymphs housed in a moderately ventilated enclosure, with a thin layer of coconut fiber substrate, which I'm keeping one half moist, the other half sort of dry. I'm offering dog food, artificial pollen, fresh fruits, and a nectar substitute for the diet... really covering all my bases lol. 😅 The temperature is 75-80F°. So far they seem to be doing OK, though not plumping up as much as I'd hope they would (though perhaps this species is naturally less rotund in the abdomen).

Here are some pictures of this beautiful species, they are a metallic copper/green in person, but it's quite hard for me to capture this on camera:




I really hope I can establish a healthy colony of this species, fingers very crossed! 🤞

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

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Hot Roach Summer!

Along with the beetles and crickets from last post, I also got several new species of roaches from Kyle this Summer!

First off, I'm happy to add Simandoa conserfarium (the Extinct in the Wild Cockroach) to my collection once again! Last time I had this species, I didn't keep them long enough to breed them, as I left the hobby not too long after I reared my first one to adulthood. Happy to have this beautiful species in my collection once again!

I'm keeping them in a well ventilated container with an inch or so of coconut fiber as the substrate, which I'm keeping humid. They've got lots of cardboard rolls for hides, and I'm keeping them at around 80-85F°. For food I'm offering dog food and fruits.

Here are some pictures of one of my adult females:

Such a lovely species, and reaches a decent size too. Quite a shame that they are likely extinct in the wild, but at least they live on in captive culture for now. 

Next up, he sent me a group of Arenivaga spp. "Amado, AZ". That's right, spp. plural, this locality he collected has two species mixed in. One is larger and paler in coloration, the other is smaller but darker. Reminds me very much so of the two species from the "DOT Rest Area, AZ" locality Alan, and may in fact be the same two species as these lol. 
With the "Amado", I found only a single pair of the larger light species in the group, the rest of the 15-20 individuals are all the dark species. Sadly, the male light individual died before mating with the female, so I'll need to get more of that strain, though from looking at adults of both sexes I think the light species from this locality is A.erratica.

Anyways, I have my breeding group the unidentified dark species housed in a well ventilated enclosure with an inch or so of coconut fiber substrate, one third kept most, the rest bone dry. I'm offering leaf litter and dog food as the staple diet, and have them at 75-85F°.

Here are pictures of a pair of the dark species, and the lone adult female of the

sp. "Amado - Dark" Female

sp. "Amado - Dark" Male

sp. "Amado - Dark" Pair

cf. erratica "Amado" Female

Hopefully I'll be able to get some more nymphs of the cf. erratica soon, but on the bright side I've got lots of ooths already from the dark species. 😀

I got some Paranauphoeta formosana nymphs off of him, since my previous culture petered out (perhaps due to pesticide poisoning, but I'm not really sure). In any case, hopefully this new group will do better, they've already all matured, and some of the females are plumping up, so fingers crossed! 🤞

I also got some Gyna bisannulata nymphs, all of which have matured since I got them, and one of the females even gave birth to a big litter, maybe a month or so after maturing. 😯 So, well on my way to establishing a colony of that species, after failing pretty hard with them last time.

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

Friday, December 1, 2023

Helleria brevicornis Care Video with Aquarimax!

Rus of Aquarimax and I went and filmed a collaborative care guide video for Helleria brevicornis. It just dropped this morning, be sure to check it out on his channel below! 😊 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

New Darklings and Crickets!

Got some goodies from Roachcrossing a couple months ago, including some neat darklings and a cricket species I'll cover in this post. 😃

First off, a species I've been wanting for a while,, Embaphion depressum! This is a small species for this genus, with a less exaggerated "Pie-dish" shape to them than in the other species in culture. I really love how these look personally, and so far they seem to be doing well for me. 😀

I have them set up in a well ventilated shoebox, with a couple inches of a coconut fiber and sand mix for the substrate, a third of which I'm keeping humid, the rest dry. I'm keeping them at around 75F°, and offering dog food as the staple diet.

Here are some pics of the cuties:

They've already started producing larvae and some next generation adults, hopefully they'll grow into a large colony in no time. 😊

Next up, Kyle sent a sexed pair of a large species of Eleodes eschscholtzi from "Mount Hopkins, AZ"... or at least, it was supposed to be A pair of that species. However I was a bit suspicious from the get go, and thanks to further research and the ID skills of Andrew Johnston, we know that the male is indeed Eleodes eschscholtzi. The males of this species have a rather pronounced elytral mucro, whereas the females have a more rounded out appearance, which makes sexing super easy. Females of that species also have a prefemoral spine, which females of most Eleodes spp. don't have, but some subgenus Eleodes species like armata and apparently eschscholtzi do.

That brings us to the disappointing news though... I had suspected it since I first saw her, but after further research and discussion with Andrew, we have come to the conclusion that said Female is of a different species. Something in Eleodes, subgenus Xysta, probably E.longicollis. Even worse, she seems to be unmated, I've seen her lay eggs but none of them have ever hatched. So, this pair of two species is completely useless. 🤣 

Here are some pictures of the two of them:

Male E.eschscholtzi

Female Eleodes (Xysta) sp.

Interesting mishap lol, hopefully Kyle's actual E.eschscholtzi females will start laying some more eggs soon, so I can get some larvae off him in the future.🤞 

Now for two smaller Eleodes spp., let's start with the Eleodes dissimilis "Paradise, AZ". This species seems to be a pretty easy to breed one, as I've already got dozens of larvae from mine, some of which are getting quite large already.

I have mine set up in a well ventilated gallon shoebox, with an inch or two of coconut fiber substrate. I'm keeping a third of the enclosure humid, the rest bone dry, and am feeding dog food as the staple diet. The temperature is about 75-80F°.

Here are some pictures of an adult pair:

Male #1

Male #2

Female #1 (a bit more rotund than usual, likely stunted)

Female #2 (more normal morphology)

Male #2 and Female #2

Nothing too crazy in terms of morphology, just a neat little species that appears to be rather hardy. 😀

And secondly in terms of smaller Eleodes, we have these Eleodes extricata "El Prado, NM". This locality has a very compact build, with deeper elytral pitting than my "Hildale, UT" strain. These too appear to be easy breeders, as I've already got dozens of offspring from them.

Same as the above species, I have mine set up in a well ventilated gallon shoebox, with an inch or two of coconut fiber substrate. I'm keeping a third of the enclosure humid, the rest bone dry, and am feeding dog food as the staple diet. The temperature is about 75-80F°.

Some pics of an adult pair:



Looking forward to rearing more of these up and getting a big colony established, so that I may share this species with other interested keepers. 😊

Lastly for this post, I figure I'd cover the Gryllus sp. "Fort Morgan, AL" culture Kyle sent me. This fairly large field cricket species is also fairly colorful for North American members of it's genus, and fast growing too, with no egg diapause needed.

I sent pictures of an adult male, and audio of one chirping to taxonomist David Weissman, who said they fit within what's currently considered to be Gryllus firmus. However, there are at least two genetically distinct populations of "firmus", one in TX, and one in FL. I'll send him adults from my next generation of this AL strain, as it would be good intermediate material between those two populations (and could be genetically distinct from both of them as well). It's likely G.firmus will get broken up into two or more species in the future, but for now, Gryllus cf. firmus is a solid ID for this "Fort Morgan, AL" strain.

Anyways, the nymphs Kyle sent me all matured and have bred already, producing a few dozen of their own nymphs.
I took too long in rehousing them to a larger enclosure sadly, and I'm pretty sure as a result the adult females all died prematurely, though again, they still left a decent amount of eggs behind. The resulting offspring seem to be mildly cannibalistic, or the adult males enjoy chowing down on them, as the survival rate seems to not be the best. But, I definitely have more than enough to get a culture established, still have nymphs hatching out even now, and I rehoused them to a 5 gallon tub with more hides, so fingers crossed for a huge baby boom next generation. 🤞😅

Anyways, their current enclosure is, as I'd mentioned, a 5 gallon bin, moderately ventilated, with an inch or so of coconut fiber as the substrate. I'm keeping them humid, and at around 75F°, and offering dog food and fresh fruits as the staple diet.

Here are some pictures of an adult male, sadly I wasn't able to photograph the females before they kicked it. And, as I mentioned previously, I did get a good recording of a male chirping for ID purposes, which you can hear here.

A very handsome species of Gryllus for sure, hopefully they'll establish well in my care. I'd love to work with more members of this genus, annoyingly most northern spp. and strains require a diapause either as nymphs or as eggs, whereas this AL species doesn't appear to have that requirement. But, if I happen to find some Gryllus here in ID while I look for bugs in the Spring, I suppose I'll grab them anyways. 😂 

Well, that does it for this post, big thanks to Andrew Johnston for IDing the Eleodes spp., and to David Weissman for IDing the Gryllus. Thanks to all my viewers for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, and I'll see you all next time! 😉