Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Rarest Hisser...

Magnificent Beasts Package Series Pt. 6/6
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I saved the best (IMO) for last this order, this is the species I was looking forward to the most from this box! Introducing to the Invertebrate Dude collection what is perhaps the most consistently rare and uncommon hisser species in culture, the "Bumpy hisser" Elliptorhina davidi! ๐Ÿ˜ Brandon's bred this very finicky species quite successfully, and was able to send me a trio of nymphs, (one male, two females). I'm so looking forward to breeding this species myself, let's talk more about them and what makes them so unique and rare. 

This is a dwarf hisser, and adults max out at around 52 mms long. Nymphs and most adult females are covered in little tubercles dorsally, most hissers have at least a few tubercles, but these E.davidi take it to another level! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Adult males are usually rather smooth though apparently, at least on their abdomens. 
Nymphs have very striking, fiery coloration that differs between individuals and molts, and they're among the prettiest hissers as nymphs IMO! ๐Ÿ˜ Adults are pretty nice looking too I hear! 

Unfortunately though, all these pros aren't without their cons... For whatever reason, E.davidi are prone to massive, seemingly random colony crashes, which has made establishing them in culture a slow and tedious process, with starter colonies appearing on the market for a short while and then becoming unavailable for long stretches of time, as people's colonies boom and crash. ๐Ÿ˜” Sometimes nymphs die off randomly only a few at a time, other times adult females will die prematurely after a couple litters, and sometimes entire colonies just have massive die offs. Some blame overcrowding, others humidity requirements, and some think it's due to inbreeding, (though I'm always hesitant to blame problems on inbreeding in Blatticulture). Perhaps it's a combination of several small husbandry issues, in any case it's unclear why these crashes happen, but they do, and yet these roaches have persisted in culture for years, always remaining rare but never dying out completely. 

I'm hoping to establish a colony successfully and then disperse them in the US as much as possible to keep them firmly established here, hopefully they'll become a little more commonly kept in the years to come. ๐Ÿคž

I have my trio set up in a well ventilated 2 gallon container with a substrate of coconut fiber, and am using bark for hides. I'll be keeping half the enclosure humid, the other half dry, and will be keeping them at around 75-85F°. I'm feeding them chick feed, artificial pollen and fruits. 

Here are some pictures of my nymphs:

Female #1

Female #2


Such pretty nymphs right? ๐Ÿ˜ And look at those bumps!!! Can't wait until they mature, here's hoping they'll breed well for me! I will keep you all updated on their progress! 

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to Brandon Maines at Magnificent Beasts for all these amazing species, he's really been such a key player in US Blatticulture for the past couple years now, and here's hoping he'll continue to be for years to come! ๐Ÿ˜ Hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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