Monday, November 20, 2017

Pasimachus Pupa & a Gyna centurio Update!

So, my Pasimachus L3 larva was getting really fat and had ceased feeding, so I moved it back into a jar with a couple inches of moist, compressed sand and coconut fiber, and it dug right to the bottom and constructed a pupal cell. It's pupal cell was similar to those of Tenebrionidae and Elateridae pupal cells, just a space dug out of the substrate, no thick walls made of spit and fecal matter like rhino or stag beetles.

After about a week inside the pupal cell, it molted into a pupa! 😁 I left it in there for another week or so, then dug it out for pictures, since there are no actual pictures of Pasimachus pupae on the internet it seems, and I'm not actually sure if this life stage has been formally described for the genus!

I was surprised to find that the back and sides of the pupa were covered in thick, short, golden brown setae! I gently picked up the pupa by hand, and it felt so soft and fuzzy! 😊 Besides the setae, it looks just like I would expect a Pasimachus pupa to look like, and has that typical Carabidae pupa appearance. 

Here are some pictures of it:

Hopefully, like Tenebrionid pupae, it will be able to eclose properly in just a smooth, shallow depression I've made in a thin layer of moist substrate, rather than it's actual pupal cell, which I destroyed. If the pupal stage of Pasimachus was better documented, I would have left it alone, but I really wanted to get some pictures of it while it was in this rarely seen stage! Will let you all know when it ecloses! 

My adult Gyna centurio pair are STILL alive, I'm not all that surprised that the female is still kicking, but that male is a trooper! I'm really loving the longevity of this species, and the fact that they seem to spend a lot more time underground than my other Gyna species, even at night! Makes them a lot easier to check up on. My female has already produced a second litter of nymphs by the way, and may give birth to one more before she dies!

Here are a couple pictures I took of my female the other day:

The adults of this species are so stunning to see in person, I highly recommend this species to any cockroach enthusiast out there! 

Well, that is going to do it for today's post, I hope you guys and gals enjoyed it, will see you all soon! 😉


  1. Cutest pupa I’ve seen so far. The term is Latin for “doll”, they say

    Here are some thoughts regarding your previous post

    1. Why would half your Cariblattas die off in three days without food? I bet the mold was to blame. I normally take out the food before mold even appears. If food deprivation really was the culprit, shouldn’t they have eaten the old leaves or something in the absence of supplemental foods like fruit?

    2. Are you absolutely sure that nothing is wrong with the assassin cage? I suspect perches are not the issue; perhaps some dead roaches are rotting in a dark shelter, or they are all in pre-molting mode? Maybe give them some sugary water or fruit, as they may feed on it.


    1. I know, it's adorable! :D Ha, that is quite fitting, they are kinda like little creepy dolls!

      1. Because Ectobiids are notorious for needing to have food available at all times, or else they kick it! And no, they don't seem to feed on dead leaves in any capacity, they don't even really nibble on them like most roaches do to any sort of hide. The mold didn't kill them, it wasn't the long stringy mold, just a low growing puffy one, and their food always gets a little moldy by the time I replace it. The only thing that changed in that time period was a lack of food in their bowl, so that is almost certainly the culprit, I'd bet money on it.

      2. Well, obviously something is wrong with my assassin bug enclosures, since they aren't eating at all, I just think it has to do with needing a certain type of hide. Their enclosures aren't huge and have no substrate at all, so there definitely aren't any rotting roach bodies in there! ;) They COULD be in premolt, and that's what everyone keeps telling me, but they've been refusing food for a very long time now, and I don't think they ever ate enough to be ready to molt TBH...
      I may try offering them those, from what I can tell though, they only go after moving food items, they won't even take pre-killed invertebrate prey!

    2. @Invertebrate Dude, little creepy dolls that violently wiggled when disturbed. :p

      Have Parcoblatta been more hardy than other Ectobiids in your experience? I ask because you say your Cariblatta likely died of a lack of food, but I actually forgot to feed my P.pennsylvanica for two weeks without seemingly a single casualty.

      Sounds like your P.horrida are way more picky than my only current Reduviid, a sub-adult Reduvius personatus nymph. lol I can just toss in a lobster or red runner in there at any time (well, not counting the period when it went on a little hunger strike) , and it's always obliged to just let the roach come real close and then pounce! :D
      Hopefully you can find a solution to your problem though, from what I have seen with my personatus, they can go without feeding for weeks at a time and still be 100% fine. :)

    3. Well, if they were eating fine before and the hides were never changed, I'm pretty sure it isn't the hides. Maybe you should ask other Pystalla keepers about their animals.

      The fast starvation thing puzzles me, though. One of the black cf. Calosoma I kept lasted a week without food, and carabids are probably more active than Ectobiids.

      I also know AllAboutInsects has a teneral Scarites adult pic in his blog archives. Scarites and Pasimachus share the same subfamily, so asking him about it might help your pupa. Unfortunately, he says nothing about how he managed to suddenly obtain the specimen in that post.

      (I'm sure many, many entomophiles would eagerly cuddle plush giant Pasimachus pupae all night, if they existed)

    4. @AllAboutInsects: Yeah, still cute though! XD

      Yeah, Parcoblatta, and the rest of the subfamily Blattellinae seem to be pretty hardy, it's the other subfamilies like the Ectobiinae and Pseudophyllodromiinae that are so fragile.

      My Pystalla were so much easier to feed when they were younger, they'd eat anything that came close to them, even if it was roughly the same size as them. Now they are just so finicky. :/ Hopefully they'll feed soon...

      @AlexW: Well now that they are bigger they've outgrown their previous hides, they can't really swoop down on their prey, just hanging by their hind legs, like they used to do. So now I'm trying to find or create a new hide that WILL allow them to do that, so far nothing seems to be to their liking though. Oh I have, I've asked several keepers on FB about this, so far I've gotten no good answers, no one really knows what's going on.

      Some Ectobiids are very fragile man, and Carabids can go at least a couple weeks without food under the right conditions, especially if they were well fed up until that point. Cariblatta have short adult lifespans and are pretty active at night, and move extremely fast, so they probably go through a lot of energy rather quickly, and need food available at most times. They actually probably went without food for like 4 days, since food typically gets a little moldy in their enclosure the day before I feed them...

      He actually posted pictures of a Scarites pupa on Facebook a few days ago, and it looks like it was also on a a smoothened out stretch of moist substrate, so I'm fairly certain my Pasimachus should come out OK! (Barring any freak incidents).

      I would for sure cuddle a Pasimahcus pupa plushie lol, that would be adorable! :D

    5. @AllAboutInsects: Hisserdude has said in the past that Parcoblatta is easy. Remember that Blattella germanica is also an Ectobiid.

      I also solemnly swear that the Pasimachus pupa is not creepy

    6. @Invertebrate Dude: Nice to know, glad that my Parcoblatta will likely be fine if I forget to feed them again. ;)

      Well I'll keep my hopes up for you! :)

      That Scarites actually both molted into a pupa and eclosed on top of the moist coconut fiber/sand mix. :)

    7. @AlexW: It is a very cute pupa indeed, wish you could feel how fuzzy it's back is too! :D

      @AllAboutInsects: They should be OK with one or two missed feedings, however forgetting to keep them properly moist would be a lot more dangerous, most of the Parcoblatta don't do well in dry setups, (except for divisa, which likes things a little drier than other Parcoblatta).


      Good to know, hopefully the Pasimachus pupa should be fine then! :)

    8. I am quite convinced that your fasting assassins do not want better perches, though. Bugs in cyberspace has several Instagram videos of Pystalla adults eating prey, and the hemipterans were sitting on the ground. In one vid they took food straight from forceps.

      AAI, can we assume that Scarites are very easy to breed now? How high was the larval mortality rate?

    9. and a short additional note

      @InvertDude: How did you identify my “big” Coniontis so confidently on bugguide? There are plenty of lookalikes, and I believe “genus needs revision” = “taxonomic garbage heap”. I saw a few dichotomous keys online, but they seem to be for dead specimens.

    10. OMFG this is the THIRD time I'm writing this because blogger sucks and doesn't save unfinished comments if you accidentally click on something else...

      @AlexW: Well if it's not the perches, that what's making them refuse food? I tried tong feeding them once, they attacked the prey but didn't grab onto it, maybe my hand wasn't steady enough, I don't know...

      As for IDing the Coniontis, I don't know exactly how to explain it, but I know a Coniontis when I see one. They have a specific body shape, the pronotum especially is very distinctive. I know for a fact yours is indeed Coniontis, I'd bet my life on it!

      Also, the genus does need revision, but just because there may be some invalid species, ones that need to be split into two, and there are lots of undescribed species that need to be worked on.

    11. I lost this comment too

      Perhaps the Pystalla want more territorial room?

      My small cf. Coniontis is flatter and Blapstinus-like, but no blap in the guide has wrinkled elytra. If I can trust my eyes alone, the cf on my beetle would not be a cf. All visual evidence points to the small beetle being a Coniontis, including the “fat elaterid pronotum “. But how do you know that Coniontis is truly unique and distinctive enough to ID to genus without following a technical specimen key?

    12. Did my latest comment get lost in transit?

      Trust me, I get my comments dematerialized quite often, too

    13. Ooops, sorry, haven't checked the comments area in a few days!

      Eh, I doubt it, I have the Pystalla either in groups of two or all by themselves, and when kept together in pairs, I often find them huddled up together. And the ones kept by themselves still don't eat.

      Well admittedly, my Tenebrionid knowledge is restricted to species represented on Bugguide, but I think the only other US Teneb genus that would look similar enough to Coniontis that I would get the two confused is Conisattus, and even that genus has some rather easy to see defining characteristics that set them apart from Coniontis. All 4 US representative genera of the Tribe Coniontini are in the guide, and looking through every other family in the guide, there really aren't any genera that I could possibly mistake Coniontis for.

      Maybe there is a genus of Teneb that looks exactly like Coniontis that isn't represented in the guide yet, but I highly doubt it, something that looks that similar to Coniontis would probably be in the Tribe Coniontini, and from what I can tell, the guide is up to date in stating that there are only 4 genera from that Tribe in the US.

      My method of IDing things is rather unscientific, I don't use keys or anything, just visual observation, and thus there are a lot of things I could never ID to species or even genus, but when I am confident enough to give IDs (on Bugguide at least), I am usually correct, (and there are several experts that keep an eye on the Tenebrionids on BG that could be correcting me).

    14. Ah, it must be unique then. I will remain cautious when dealing with IDs, since I rely on general appearance as well. I guessed “dirty Tarpela “for a beetle and an expert confirmed me, so I have at least some confidence in identification.

      Don’t worry too much about apologiizing profusely. To be honest, I was quite relieved when you refused the footspinners trade.

    15. Yeah, Coniontis are rather distinctive looking for a Tenebrionid! Now if it's a species ID you are looking for, you're out of luck lol, because that genus is indeed in need of revision, and I've no idea how to tell most of the species apart! (Apparently the same is true for most of the BG experts too, as most of the Coniontis images there have only been IDed to genus).

      Always nice to make a tentative ID and have an expert confirm it! :)

      OK lol, whenever I apologize I usually do so profusely, just my personality. :p Glad to hear you weren't too upset by that, I felt quite bad about it!