Saturday, September 9, 2017

Beetles, Cockroaches, Isopods, & Whipscorpion Updates!

Well, that Eleodes pupa I showed recently has just matured, and I was right in my assumption that these were Eleodes osculans! 😃

Here are some pictures of the somewhat freshly eclosed adult:

Another pupa eclosed recently as well, and I'm sure many more will follow! Mystery solved as to what species this batch of larvae were, now to see what my E.acuticaudus/E.grandicollis larvae turn into!

I am very happy to announce that one of my Ischnoptera deropeltiformis "Ruby Red" nymphs FINALLY matured into an adult female, it seems like they've been taking forever to grow, certainly longer than I expected! It was definitely worth it though, the female is a beauty, with her dark, blood red wings!

Here are some pictures of her:

It was very hard to take decent pictures of her, and I still don't feel like I've fully captured her coloration right, but these were the best photos I could get. Hopefully a male will mature soon, so I can start breeding these beauties! 😁

My Oniscus asellus "Mardi Gras Dalmatians" have been doing great, and have been breeding rather prolifically as well! I still am seeing a few normal offspring pop up every now and then, but by far the majority of the offspring they are producing are dalmatians!

Here are a few pictures I took last night of a group huddled together on a dead leaf:

I'm so glad this morph was pretty easy to isolate, the coloration seems to be quite variable between individuals, which is neat! I think a few different dalmatian morphs could possibly be isolated from this one strain, so I may do some experimenting in the future, we'll see!

My Mastigoproctus giganteus has been doing very well so far, he/she is really not picky when it comes to food, unlike some of my other predators! I've fed him/her Parcoblatta americana females, Eleodes hispilabris larvae, deformed Embaphion adults, and just the other day, a Panchlora sp. "White" male that was on death's door, I even got some pictures of him/her eating it!

Here they are:

As you can see, he/she's really fattened up since arriving at my door! I really love this species, hopefully mine will continue to do well for me for years to come! 😊

Well, that's going to do it for this post, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all soon! 😉

PS: Wow, I just checked, and this is my 300th blog post! 😮 Happy 300th post everybody, can't believe I've written this many, these past few years have really flown by! 😄


  1. "They are all so pretty" seems to have lost its essence due to overuse, but honey-colored sandroaches and glistening red wings truly deserve the phrase.

  2. Edit: I saw the words "deformed Embaphion adults". I wonder if the high rate of non-genetic deformities in captive beetles occurs in nature, with deformed insects being killed or eaten, or it is a husbandry issue. I know teneral insect wings are soft and can be dented easily, but in my Zophobas-keeping experience I have seen a hollow antenna, "balloonified" elytron, and other issues.

    1. Indeed, they really are quite beautiful! :)

      I get very few deformed Tenebrionid individuals nowadays, due to improved pupal setups, I still get them from time to time though, it usually seems to be either genetic issues, (wings that never expand at all, really tiny legs, etc.), or because the beetle molted incorrectly due to an improperly constructed or collapsed pupal cell, (bent or dented elytra for example). I don't know exactly what causes the "balloonified" elytra, but I have seen that once or twice, it's quite grotesque.

    2. Misshapen elytra can be caused by teneral softness, but things like hollow yellow antennae and tiny legs are not. I have seen such things multiple times in my Zophobas-keeping career, and they are far too common to be mutations.

      I have a strong suspicion that deformities of all kinds are caused by not just mismolts, but developmental issues related to improper husbandry (poorly fed larvae cannot properly grow when metamorphosing?).

    3. Yes, many injuries can be caused by teneral softness, which is why you have to be very careful with them when they are in that state. Sometimes if they molt on their backs, they get flattened wings or similar deformities.

      I rarely get deformed Zophobas, most of my adults come out fairly perfect, sometimes with the elytra split at the bottom, but otherwise perfect.

    4. Thanks for the info. I will now begin assuming that weird things like hollow antennae are caused by improper care as a larva, since my Zophobas did run into some major issues at the time.

    5. That is probably the case, seems rather reasonable.

  3. Congratulations on your 300th post...we will be following all your whip scorpion stuff for sure. We are newer at keeping our 2 little ones and are looking forward to seeing them with their little red 'boxing gloves' grow lol. They are such an interesting species!!!

    1. Thanks! :) This is the first Whipscorpion I've ever had, it's quite an entertaining and interesting invertebrate! Aww they sound cute, mine is quite large already, didn't get to see it with the bright red pedipalps! Hope yours do well for you!

  4. Speaking of molting deformities, I think that old beetles losing parts might have an environmental component as well. I told you that my Zophobas adults never lost parts when healthy, and my Cotinis and "small" Coniontis have not sustained easily-noticed damage yet, except for the wings of the former, which were already protruding abnormally (thus easily torn) when I found it.

    My long-dead "big" Coniontis did lose a few tarsi in the first few months or so, and then stopped losing them. The period it lost tarsi coincided with the period I manually buried it in the dirt, which could have caused limb injuries, but correlation does not imply causation.

    Surely, if a Zophobas can live its entire 8-month adult life without losing anything, it would be quite suspicious when an Eleodes or Coniontis, which are quite similar in body structure and lifespan, lose quite a few.

    1. I will say that I can't actually recall any of my Tenebrionids losing body parts just because of age, usually overcrowding is the culprit there, so you may be right on that when it comes to beetles. All of the Tenebs I can remember that died of old age and weren't overcrowded still had all of their tibiae.

      However, I can confirm that old roaches DO fall apart when they get older and for no apparent reason except for age. When I first started keeping roaches, I only kept a few males of various hisser species, usually two to three males per two gallon enclosure, they had plenty of room and hiding places and rarely had big fights, since there were no females to fight over.

      As they got old, they did end up falling apart slowly, first they couldn't climb anymore even with all their tibiae, then they started losing them here and there, antennae got shorter, the usual.

      Their care never changed, and they were in the same enclosures for years prior, so it wasn't poor husbandry that did it, nor territorial disputes like I explained above, rather just old age.

    2. Before all of my Zophobas adults were assassinated, they were quite crowded and still appeared to have all their parts. Previous adults only seemed to lose parts during the great dehydration? crisis; first I thought the tiny Calathus ruficollis was guilty, but after I removed it the trouble continued. I've noticed that weak and nearly-dead Zophobas stick to rough objects with their claws and cannot let go; either they ripped off their legs trying to free themselves or/and the other desperate beetles cannibalized their tarsi and antennae.

      I suspect that old roaches lose parts because they are senile and weak, and are less capable of avoiding damage when they move around. Here is a link showing that Carabus slowly starves to death from mandible damage, but is rejuvenated by soft macerated liver:

      Old, weak insects of all types will probably fare better and perhaps lose less parts when moved to gentle substrate and fed soft mushy food. I know my Coniontis is certainly getting the royal treatment when its mandibles wear down!

    3. Dehydration definitely leads to a lot of antennae and leg nipping, I've seen this in roaches and beetles. I highly doubt the Calathus was to blame, mine never seemed to be interested in anything but extremely slow moving or pre-killed prey, (seems to be the case with a lot of Carabids), I don't think it would have the gall to attack adult Zophobas. Other Zophobas adults and larvae would turn on each other though.

      I fed mine plenty of fruits to go with their cat food, so they did have access to soft foods. They were kept on coconut fiber, which is very soft and not abrasive, and they had toilet paper rolls for hides, which aren't as rough a surface as bark for example, so they had pretty cushy setups, and still fell apart little by little. I'm sure the same thing happens in the wild. Interested article BTW!

    4. There were no Zophobas larvae at the time, so adults probably ate each other's legs. Larvae will attack adults though.

      Also, fruits might not be soft enough; I assume a dull insect mandible is like a dull knife, so maybe only really soft things like wet vertebrate foods would be suitable.

    5. Yeah, the adults will turn on each other if dehydrated, starving, or overcrowded, and so will larvae.

      Well luckily unlike the Carabus beetles, roach mandibles don't actually seem to get dull enough to stop feeding even in old age. My hissers for example were eating just fine until they died, they weren't too skinny or anything.