Saturday, November 21, 2020

Hello Hyporhicnoda!!!

Magnificent Beasts Package Series Pt. 2/6
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There are some roaches that stay in US culture for a while, maybe a few years or so, but still remain very scarce and often die out. The Blaberid genus Hyporhicnoda has been one such type of roach, there was one species, Hyporhicnoda litomorpha "Panama", that was around for a couple years, they were sent to a few different US Blatticulturists, but those are sadly on the brink of hobby extinction. 😞
There are two other Hyporhicnoda strains being bred sporadically by European hobbyists, Hyporhicnoda sp. "reflexa" and Hyporhicnoda sp. "reflexa - Venezuela", both are very similar to each other, and have yet to be formerly identified beyond genus, (they're certainly not actual H.reflexa, as I've mentioned in a previous post). Brandon Maines has actually been working with these two strains for a year or so now, but unfortunately they've not been doing so hot for him, they are known to be rather finicky for whatever reason. He only had a few females of both strains left, and due to their steady decline and his overall lack of interest in working with them any further, he decided to send them to me to see if they'd do any better in my care. I don't know that they will, but I'll give it my all and see what happens! 🤞 Thankfully he says all the adult females should have been exposed to males and thus mated at one point, so it's just a matter of getting them to give birth now! 

These two Hyporhicnoda strains are very slow growing, slow breeding roaches, and they can be tricky to breed long term, with colonies often seeming to do well at first, before slowly petering out. Adult males are fully winged, with females being wingless. Hopefully I can get mine established, and get them into the hands of more US Blatticulturists!
I've got three (or four, I already forget) adult females of the Hyporhicnoda sp. "reflexa" strain, and two adult females and one subadult female of the Hyporhicnoda sp. "reflexa - Venezuela" strain. One of the adult "Venezuela" females looks a bit worse for wear, so there's really only one healthy looking, hopefully gravid female of that species. The sp. "relfexa" with no locality info all look pretty good, one of the females has lost a tarsus, but that's it. 

I've got my two Hyporhicnoda species set up in moderately ventilated containers with a few inches of compressed, moist coconut fiber, with some rotten wood chunks and bark pieces buried as well, and leaf litter on top. These roaches burrow a lot, but according to Nicolas Rousseaux of the Cafarnarium, vertical bark hides are appreciated by adults, particularly adult females, which may climb up them and emit breeding pheromones when ready to mate. As such, I've offered them some vertically slanted bark hides for this purpose. I'm keeping them on a humidity gradient, half the enclosure humid, half dry, with temps around 75-80F°. I'll be feeding them chick feed, artificial pollen, and fruits, along with the rotten wood and leaf litter in their enclosure. 

Here are some pictures of the adult females, starting with the Hyporhicnoda sp. "reflexa" (no locality):

And now the Hyporhicnoda sp. "reflexa - Venezuela":

They're rather plain looking at first glance, but I think they have a very neat, primitive look about them. I'll keep you all updated on how they do, there's a good chance they'll just crash completely with how few are left, but I'll be keeping my fingers heavily crossed! 😅

Anyway, that's going to be it for this post, but never fear, more roachy content is on the way, we've only just scratched the surface of this package! 😁 Thanks for reading everyone, hope you enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😄

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