Sunday, July 30, 2017

Drymaplaneta & Panchlora Updates!

I am happy to announce that all of my Drymaplaneta semivitta have matured! 😊 (with the exception of one small stunted nymph that is way behind all my other individuals in terms of growth). I have three females, and surprisingly, two males! I thought I only had one male left, but it seems I was wrong!

The adult males in particular are very cool looking, because while the females have normal hind legs, the males have legs with large, flattened areas on them, which almost makes them look like they are wearing boots or something! 

For example, here are some pictures of one of my males:

As you can see, the hind legs are quite unusual looking! Anyway, now that my males are mature, the females should start laying some fertile oothecae soon, which is great! BTW, I still have not added any substrate to the enclosure yet, I have some substrate that I am preparing for them right now, next week it should be completely bone dry!

My male Panchlora sp. "White" nymphs are starting to mature now, and my largest female should also mature really soon! I never realized just how big this species was for a Panchlora until I got some of the other species, the males alone are giant compared to those of Panchlora sp. "Speckled" or "Costa Rica Yellow" for example!

Here are some pictures of a couple of my males:

This species is so freaking beautiful, here's hoping I'll be able to get another generation going! 😀

My Panchlora sp. "Costa Rica Yellow" are finally starting to mature, I've got adults of both sexes now. They are very pretty looking, and a lot brighter in person than in most photos I've seen!

Here are pictures of my largest female:

With any luck, I should have offspring from this species soon, I am very glad I got a group of these, they are a lot better looking than I thought they would be! 😄

Anyway, that's gonna be it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all soon! 😉

Friday, July 28, 2017

Alobates Larvae & Some New Darkling Beetles!

So, my Alobates pensylvanicus eggs hatched over a month ago into lots of tiny grubby larvae, (June 13th to be exact), I never really announced it! They were too small to get good pictures of or handle, and they soon dispersed into the substrate. I dug around the enclosure the other day and found a few of the larvae, most of them were near one corner of the enclosure, and there were less than I was expecting there to be. Granted, I didn't actually dig around the entire cage, and there are lots of bigger chunks of rotten wood that they could have bored into and hid in.

Still, I am a little paranoid about cannibalism, since larvae of this species are supposedly carnivorous, and the larvae seemed to be growing at rather staggered rates, (which suggests that some larvae could have eaten each other and grown bigger, while others hid instead and were just preying on small prey like fungus gnat maggots), so I separated the largest larva I could find and put it in it's own deli cup, and offered it live and pre-killed tiny mealworms. 

Surprisingly, it didn't eat either the live or dead mealworms, and just burrowed into one of the large pieces of rotten wood in the deli cup. It didn't even go for any of the chick feed I offered it, and it doesn't seem like the larvae in my main enclosure like that stuff much either, so far the only thing they really seem to eat is rotten wood.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the large larva I found:

Also, the adults have laid two more clutches of eggs, both are in between the sides of the enclosure and the substrate, and are right up against the enclosure in plain view. So it seems they are not as specific in their egg laying habits as I once thought. 😕

A couple days ago I went out on a little collecting trip to a little stretch of scrubland near me, something I rarely do nowadays. I collected three species of darkling beetles, two of which I've never seen in person before! 😁

I collected three of these medium sized Eleodes, one was walking across a dirt path, and the other two were under large clods of dug up, dead grass. They look very similar to E.subnites, however I'm not sure that species ranges this far north, these are definitely something in the subgenus Promus though, I'm sure of it. Pretty sure all three of mine are females, so with any luck I'll get larvae from them soon!

I have them housed in a gallon sized plastic container with some coconut fiber as the substrate and some dead leaf litter on top. I will be keeping the enclosure dry with one moist corner. I am currently feeding them chick feed. 

Here are some pictures of one of the adults:

I'm surprised I've never seen this species alive before, the area I collected them was very close to an area I camped at frequently in 2014, I found lots of Tenebrionid species at that time, but never saw any of these. I did find a dead Eleodes there that looked a lot like one of these, it was a lot smaller and thinner though, must have been a male, (or a different species).

I also found this small Tenebrionid under a dirt clod, I'm thinking it's something along the lines of Metoponium, but I could be wrong. I've never seen one of these before, I submitted some photos of it (and the above Eleodes) to Bugguide, hopefully one of the experts there will be able to identify them! 😃

I am keeping it in a small plastic container with some coconut fiber as the substrate, and some dead leaf litter on top. I will be keeping the substrate dry with a moist corner. For the diet I will use mostly chick feed, in addition to the dead leaves. 

Here are a couple pictures of the little thing:

I am really hoping it just happens to be a gravid female, I seem to have incredible luck with finding gravid female Tenebrionids where I live, so we'll see! 

I also caught two adult Coniontis sp, one was found by my mom walking across a dirt path, the other I found under a grass clod. They seem to be the same species I've bred in the past, (which I collected in an area very close to where I caught these two), happy to have some again! 🙂 They are quite a bit smaller than the species I have from CA, still a very welcome addition to my collection though! I have them in the same container as the unknown Teneb above, with any luck one of them will be a female, and I'll get eggs soon! 

Well, that's gonna do it for today, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next post! 😉

Sunday, July 23, 2017

My New Edrotes ventricosus!!!

The other day I received 8 new Edrotes ventricosus from Cody Will as part of a trade we did, these small darkling beetles are very rotund in shape, and are covered in hair, they are basically one of the cutest little Tenebrionids in existence!!! 😊 Not only are they cute looking, but they also emit a series of adorable raspy squeaks when handled!

I found one of these here in Idaho a few years ago, this species seems to be pretty rare in ID though, I visited the same area I found the first specimen at many times, and I was unable to find any more. According to Cody, these particular individuals were collected at the East Cactus plain wilderness study area near Bouse, AZ.

This species supposedly feeds on the leaves of several different plants as adults, (mostly native grasses), among other things, however, in captivity they seem to take the normal darkling beetle fare of dog/cat food pretty well. I will be offering them more veggies than I normally offer my darkling beetles though, we will see how they like carrots, and maybe kale too. Mostly I'll be feeding them chick feed though.

I am currently keeping them in a small/medium sized container with a coconut fiber and sand mixture for the substrate, and some moss Cody shipped them in for hiding under. I also placed some dead leaf litter on top of the substrate, in the hopes that it will help induce oviposition. I'll be keeping most of the enclosure dry, with one moist corner.

Breeding species in the subfamily Pimeliinae can be a hit and miss, some species, like Coelus, Coniontis, are easy to breed. Others, like Eusattus, many Stenomorpha species, and the commonly kept Asbolus and Cryptoglossa, are very difficult to breed. So I really don't know what to expect from these Edrotes, I'm hoping they won't be too difficult though.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the little cuties:

I will keep you guys updated on these, would be great to get this species in culture, I'm sure they would become popular among Tenebrionid enthusiasts! 😁

Anyway, that's gonna do it for today, I hope you all enjoyed, will see you guys next post! 🙂

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pyrophorus noctilucus Adult Emerged!!

My Pyrophorus noctilucus adult has emerged, and while it is tiny for this species, (only 20 mm), it is beautiful!! 😁 It glows very brightly, and the brightness varies depending upon how disturbed it is. While resting, the two spots on the pronotum don't light up at all. However, when it is more active, either while foraging around, or especially when it is held or touched at all, then it really lights up! While the most obvious glowing areas are the two spots on the pronotum that glow a bright green light, there is also a spot on it's abdomen that glows orange light, I think on the ventral side, I've only seen it light up when the beetle is in flight though.

I have moved it to a medium sized plastic container with rotten sawdust and wood chunks as the substrate, with bark pieces for hides. I will be feeding it banana and apple pieces. Hopefully it will live for several months, two more adults are on the way, as my other two large larvae have pupated prematurely as well, would be fantastic if I end up with individuals of both genders!

Here are some pictures of the adult:

This thing has huge beady eyes, so freaking cute, I love it!!! 😍

Here's a video I took of it as well, you can really see it glowing here:

I am thrilled to have an adult of this species in my collection, seeing it glow in person is so amazing, pictures or videos really don't do it justice!! 😃

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed! I will be getting some new beetles soon, so stay tuned for the next post! Anyway, thanks for reading, will see you all soon! 😉

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eurycotis, Meracantha & Panchlora Updates!!

My Eurycotis improcera nymphs are growing nicely, I think I'll have adults in a couple months or so, very excited!! I took some pictures of a few of the nymphs the other day, and they are better than the pics I've previously taken of this species, so I thought I'd share them here. 🙂

You can really see the nice coloration of the nymphs in these pictures, I love their striped legs!

In a recent post, I said that I thought only had one female Panchlora sp. "White' left, and that the rest were males. Well I'm happy to say that I was wrong, after digging around the enclosure and sexing the nymphs properly, I found out that two of the "male" nymphs I had were actually females that were one or two molts behind my other female. 😁

And that folks, is why no one should ever sex roach nymphs based of size alone! (which is what I was doing, since they all seemed to be growing at the same rate, and my other female is quite a bit larger than the other two, it was a novice move on my part). Anyway, I feel a lot better about the future of this species in my collection now, I can't wait until they all mature!

So, I suppose I never actually said anything here on the blog, but the eggs that my Meracantha contracta female laid all hatched, and I've got quite a few larvae now! 😊 They have been growing, slowly but surely, and now some of them have gotten to the size where I can take some pictures of them!

Here are some pictures of one of the larger larvae:

Surprisingly, they are doing pretty well on a substrate of just coconut fiber with a little bit of leaf litter mixed in, (which they don't seem to eat as fast as other Tenebrionids I've kept). I thought the larvae of this species would need rotten wood in their diet to survive and grow, and was prepared to move them to a rotten wood substrate should they start dying off, but so far it doesn't seem to be a necessity for them! Of course that could change as they get older, they are still rather small right now, so we'll see...

Anyway, that is going to do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next time! 😉

Monday, July 17, 2017

Collection Culling

So a couple of months ago I wrote about some stress issues I was having, particularly about how I wanted to get rid of all the species I had that I didn't really love, well, over the past couple of months I have been doing so, and today I finally got rid of the last of them.

I gave away my Rhabdoblatta formosana months ago to Kyle Kandilian and another friend, hopefully they'll do well with them, and I traded and sold off my Ergaula capucina and Therea regularis to Cody Will last month.

Today I sold off all my African bullet roaches, Blaberus atropos "Florida", Byrsotria fumigata, Parcobatta fulvescens, Parcoblatta virginica, Pycnoscelus femapterus, Pycnoscelus surinamensis, Pycnoscelus sp. "Thailand", and Therea petiveriana to someone locally, so now I've completely decluttered my collection, and only have species that I truly love and have an interest in!! 😁 (Except for some of the essential feeder species I have that I need for some of my other invertebrates, like superworms and mealworms, that I could kinda care less about).

Feels great to have finally done this, now I have more room for new species that I will really love! 😊 Here's hoping the rest of this year holds lots of new exciting acquisitions for me!

Anyway, that's gonna do it for this post, just thought I'd let you guys know what happened to all of these species in my collection, since I was offering many of them for sale here on the blog and on various other bug sites not too long ago! Thanks for reading everybody, hope you all enjoyed, will see you guys next time! 😉

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hanging on by A Thread... Again

So, unfortunately one of my Drymaplaneta females died, I'm not 100% sure why, but it seems like she wedged herself under a cage decoration and got crushed when the decoration in question shifted; since there is no substrate in their enclosure, everything in there shifts every time I move the enclosure. I have two more adult females though, and two more subadult females, so I'm not too worried about that, but it still sucks to lose one. 😞 I have decided that I'll add a layer of bone dry substrate to the bottom of the enclosure, to stop this from ever happening again. As long as it's kept dry, they should be fine.

The real thing I'm worried about is that I only have ONE subadult male, all my other individuals are females, (save one nymph that I haven't sexed yet, it's pretty small and seems to be stunted). I really hope nothing unlucky happens to him, because if he dies before mating, I can kiss my culture goodbye. Honestly, I probably don't have anything to worry about, once I add some dry substrate to the enclosure the shifting decor shouldn't be a problem, and other than that they are doing very well in my care. I've started colonies with single sexed pairs before, so it should be fine, but taking into consideration my overall experience keeping this species so far, I can't help but be a little anxious...

My Panchlora sp. "White" culture is also in a precarious spot, more so than my Drymaplaneta colony. It looks like I only have one female nymph, the rest are all males... 😟 I had at least two before, but for some reason my other one died as a subadult. I also lost two small nymphs early on due to unknown reasons, so it's not that surprising that I ended up with only one female. Still, there are like 5 or so males, it's quite an uneven sex ratio.

I've had an unsettling amount of random deaths with my nymphs, so I'm very scared I may lose this female too. Even if she matures successfully though, I'm gonna have to take most of the males out so they don't stress her out too much, and then there's the hassle of trying to get her to give birth. Hopefully she'll be more inclined to breed than her parents, since she hasn't had to go through any shipping stress. Still, it's entirely possible she may only have one litter like her mother, in which case I'm gonna have to go through this all again, with no real culture growth until my next generation matures, and who knows how many of those nymphs will survive?

All in all it's a pretty crappy situation, I just really hope she survives and reproduces for me, the most important thing is that I don't lose my culture, I've spent a lot of money, time and resources trying to breed this species, if I lose them I will be devastated! 😭 Fingers crossed I get lucky with these!!

And lastly, it looks my female Chorisoneura texensis has died, after laying only three oothecae. In addition, it seems that most of those resulting nymphs died off fairly quickly, possibly due to me keeping them too humid, or perhaps this strain isn't as hardy as the one I previously had, (I'm guessing it's the humidity issue). I have at least four nymphs left, might not have any more than that, however I'm not sure if the third oothecae ever hatched, as she laid it out of sight, so it's possible that I may have a few more nymphs on the way.

Unfortunately, in addition to all of that, it seems like they have a minor grain mite infestation in their food bowl. Overall, I'm fairly confident that I won't have any more nymphs by the end of this month, and even if they make it to adulthood, I only have about four, so chances are they may all be the same sex. But who knows, I've had cultures come back from worse, take my Balta notulata for example, perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised by my remaining individuals! 🙂

Anyway, that's it for today, sorry for this bummer post, (with no pictures! 😧), this was kind of a way for me to vent, I really hope these cultures bounce back, that would make me really happy! Well, thanks for reading everybody, will see you all next time! 😉

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My New Arenivaga floridensis From Alan!!

I bought a dozen Arenivaga floridensis "White" from my good old friend Alan Jeon, he just went on a trip to Florida this month and collected these beauties in Lake Placid. I ordered a dozen, and he sent me about 20, so a nice over count! 😁 This is by far the prettiest Arenivaga I've ever seen, pictures just don't do them justice! 

I am keeping them in a small plastic container with coconut fiber as the substrate, and decaying hardwood leaf litter on top. I am going to be keeping the lower layers of the substrate moist, and the upper layers dry, (maybe not bone dry though, as it seems this species may prefer slightly higher moisture levels than other Arenivaga in the hobby). In addition to the dead leaves, I will be feeding them chick feed. 

The females of this species apparently get quite large according to Alan, about 2/3 the size of A.bolliana females! That, combined with their striking colors, makes them my favorite Arenivaga species in my collection! 😊 There is also a darker, black color form of this species, I may end up adding some to my collection one day if these ones do well for me.

Anyway, here are some pictures of mine:

For some reason this species has not been established in culture, despite entering collections multiple times, I'm not exactly sure why. Hopefully I'll be able to breed this beautiful Arenivaga, would be great to get these into more keepers' hands, they are such pretty little sand roaches!

Anyway, that's going to do it for today, I hope everyone enjoyed this post, will see you all next time! 🙂