Friday, September 16, 2016

Melanolestes picipes & Stenopelmatus sp Updates!

I currently have 7 Melanolestes picipes left, I lost a few nymphs due to some mismolts and inexplicable die offs, but 7 nymphs from a single pair of adults does not seem bad to me. :)

One male and one female have matured, and they are in a breeding enclosure right now. I have three more male nymphs an two more female nymphs, the males are all subadults and the females look like pre-subs to me.

Here are some pictures of the lovely couple:



Hopefully another generation will be coming soon, keeping these little assassins has been a really cool experience, and I hope that I will be able to culture them for many generations to come. :)

Now, I got some big news on my Stenopelmatus sp., my two males and two more of my females have matured!

Jiminy, my largest male, matured very recently. I said in an older post that he matured and I did try to mate him with my female, nothing ended up happening however, and as it turns out, he was a subadult at the time, not mature yet. He was quite big and I guessed he was mature due to his size, however I know he is mature now due to the presence of two tiny, black hooks on the end of his abdomen, in between the two cerci.

Here are some pictures of him and the hooks:


Genital hooks

As you can clearly see, there are two small hooks, each one next to his cerci, which apparently aid in grasping the female while mating, and are only found on mature males.

Tiny also matured into a male, he is much smaller than Jiminy, which is apparently a good thing when it comes to mating for Jerusalem crickets.
Here is a picture of him as well as a shot of his genital hooks:


As for the females, both Sam and Gap have matured. Apparently the only way to tell when a female matures is that the tip of their ovipositors darken a little bit, and (in this species at least), they develop dark markings on their face near their mandibles, reminiscent of war paint. Size is not a good indicator, as the adults can vary wildly in size depending on how much nutrients they get as a nymph.

Unfortunately Mangle did die, he tried to molt but got stuck in his old skin and was unable to free himself. Sadly he was too tangled up in his old skin to be saved, and I had to put him down. Rest in peace Mangle. :(

I have put Jiminy in Swirl's cage once again, hopefully this time I will see some mating action and finally see if I can get a female Jerusalem cricket to oviposit a clutch of eggs in captivity. I also paired Tiny and Sam together, hopefully they'll mate as well.

Here is Jiminy and Swirl's enclosure:

And here is Tiny and Sam's enclosure, (you can see Sam in both pics):

Hopefully all goes well, will be sure to keep you guys updated on these amazing Orthopterans!

Well that's it for today, hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I'll see you all next time! :)

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