Thursday, October 29, 2020

My New Carabus nemoralis!

Last week, as I was out looking for bugs next to a recently drained riverbed, just a couple minutes from my house, I found a sexed pair of the European Carabus nemoralis! 😃 I've actually caught and kept a pair of this species before, from much further north in Idaho (before I had even started blogging), I had no idea they would range this far south in ID.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to breed them back then, but I wasn't exactly trying my best, nor did I have the best of knowledge when it came to breeding Carabids, (admittedly I still don't, I find Carabids quite tricky to breed consistently), so here's hoping this attempt will go a little better! Honestly, if I can rear a single captive produced larva to adulthood, I'll be happy. 😅

The male has bronze colored elytra, and a clear purple sheen to his pronotum. The female has a slight bronze-ish sheen to her elytra, as well as a slight purple sheen to her pronotum, but she is definitely less metallic and colorful overall and appears black except in bright light (this is not the case with the male). The male also has enlarged tarsal pads on his two front legs, whereas the female doesn't. This coupled with the fact that he's thinner and a bit shorter than the female made sexing them easy.

Anyways, I've got mine set up in a moderately ventilated gallon container with almost two inches of moist substrate, which is a mix of coconut fiber and old Gyna capucina substrate (which I've been re-using for a lot of my beetles), and some small bark pieces for hides. 
However, the coconut fiber was from my old Mantis religiosa enclosure (yes, I released her and the two ooths she laid not too long ago, to make room for more long term acquisitions), and apparently had some grain mites in it, which then all seemed to attach themselves to my Carabus pair... 😑 A blunder on my part, but I've tossed in springtails and predatory mites to the enclosure, so the grain mites should be gone soon. 
I also threw in some Trichorhina tomentosa (dwarf white isopods), because isopods and/or isopod frass seem to help get certain Carabidae females to oviposit for whatever reason...
For food I'm using pre-killed Eleodes obscura sulcipennis larvae, which they seem to eat no problem.

I've got them set up in an area where they are exposed to daylight, so that they will experience a somewhat proper photoperiod, as changes in the photoperiod likely help let them know when to oviposit, and I suspect the female will start doing so in the Spring. I will also be keeping them in the low 60s all winter, so they'll experience a temperature spike when Spring comes as well, (seasonal changes are very important for breeding a lot of Carabids). 

Here are some pictures of the lovely (temporarily grain mite covered 🙃) pair:



Very pretty beetles, and a decent size too, hopefully I can get some larvae from them come Spring! 😁

Anyways, that's gonna do it for today, thanks for reading, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, if you're in the USA please VOTE, and I'll see you all in the next post! 😉

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