Saturday, May 23, 2020

New Darklings from ShapesInNature!!!

I just got five individuals of a very interesting Tenebrionid from Jesse Greene of ShapesInNature, allow me to introduce yet another Tenebrionid to my collection, Iphthiminus serratus! 😁

These beetles are in the tribe Cnodalonini, same as Alobates and Coelocnemis, two other genera I've kept in the past. In fact, I've technically kept this species in the past too, way back in 2014 I found and collected a single adult, which lived only for a few months, but at the time I was rather inexperienced, and was keeping it in far from optimal conditions... Unfortunately I've not been out in that area since then, and thus haven't seen this species in years!

My goal here is to try and breed these beauties, I suspect they'll be somewhat similar in husbandry and thus probably as difficult to breed as Alobates, however when I kept those, I really didn't take great care of their larvae TBH, and looking back I'm almost positive I lost a great deal of them due to cannibalism, (as Alobates larvae are supposedly at least partially predatory on other beetle larvae in the wild). With the Iphthiminus, if I'm successful in getting them to oviposit, I'll try separating some of the larvae for rearing, I'll keep them consistently humid, and I'll also try offering them Eleodes larvae for food.

This species is associated with rotting pine wood in the wild, and not only was I able to find some pine bark, but I also found some rotten wood out in the field I've been bugging in lately, which after soaking and microwaving to sterilize, I can definitely say is pine of some sort... However, it is very heavily rotted, so I've mixed in some good quality rotten oak wood and flake soil as well, so there is at least some nutritional value in the substrate for the larvae, (if they actually eat any wood...). I also threw some rotted pine needles on top of the substrate, really trying to trick the beetles into thinking they're in a pine forest here so they'll oviposit for me... 😂

I'll be feeding adults chick feed and fruits, as they apparently quite like both. Yes, I have actually observed them chowing down on chick feed, I have photographic proof! This comes as a bit of a surprise to me, since Alobates were a lot more picky and didn't seem to like grain based foods. I guess my Coelocnemis liked grain based foods a lot though, so I shouldn't be too surprised...

Also, in addition to the awesome beetles, Jesse also threw in some beautiful stickers, (which he sells on his website). His artwork is so good and anatomically correct, I wish I could draw invertebrates (or any animal for that matter) half as good as he can! 😄 The stickers are so high quality too, I've stuck one to the jacket of my tablet which I'm writing this post on right now, I'm in love with the design! 😍

Here are some pictures of the beetles, and their enclosure, and the sticker on my tablet because I have to! 😂

See, I wasn't lying!

The enclosure.

Cute little Asbolus sticker from ShapesInNature!!!

Beautiful beetles, I never realized this before, but their pronotum margins are actually jagged, and I'm pretty sure asymmetrical as well, so weird! Really hope I can breed them successfully, I don't believe anyone's ever actually done so yet! 😄
Big thanks to Jesse Greene for both the Iphthiminus and the stickers, I love both and the latter were a very pleasant surprise!

Well, that's gonna do it for today's post, hope you all enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay distanced, and I'll see you in the next post! 😉

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