Saturday, January 30, 2021

Bantua sp. "Namibia" & Deilelater physoderus Updates!

So, over the past few months, the cotton springtails (Entomobrya unostrigata) in my Bantua sp. "Namibia" enclosure have been steadily breeding and breeding and breeding, and with the ambient humidity drop during late fall/winter, they've really taken off. Unfortunately it recently got to the point where some of the bark pieces in the more humid areas of the bin were literally coated in their eggs, and the springtails themselves coated every hide and were rapidly swarming food in the enclosure... Additionally, the bottom of the enclosure was littered with months worth of Bantua sheds and frass.

None of this bodes well for the roaches, and their reproduction has been pretty minimal as of late as a result of these stressors, so I've just re-vamped the enclosure, replaced the substrate, washed the bin, washed and sterilized all bark hides to eliminate most springtails from them, etc.. I then put the Bantua back in, with a small amount of cotton springtails and some predatory mites too. After all, having no springtails at all would be an invitation for grain mites to take over, which are worse, at least with these cotton springtails it takes quite a while for them to reach pest numbers, especially if I have predatory mites in there hampering their breeding progress.
I also added more ventilation to their bin, just 'cause, can never have too much ventilation for Perisphaerinae! 😄 Lots of plump females in there right now, as well as some recently matured ones, so I'm expecting some new broods here soon.

Anyways, since I had all my Bantua isolated into an empty container for a little bit while I was renovating their enclosure, I decided to get some pictures of them. Here they are:

So now that their enclosure has been revamped, they should get to making more babies ASAP, there are probably more adult females in there than any other life stage, and lots of adult males too, so hopefully I get a nice population boom after this! 🤞😁 I think I've been overselling from my colony, I should really give them a generation or two with no cullings so they can really fill out their current bin. But hey, it's nice seeing all these people in the US working with this species now, so it's been worth it, even if my colony growth has been sorta slow as a result. 😅

The Deilelater physoderus substrate Alan Jeon sent me has been producing lots of larvae, I have 29 isolated so far, and there are more tiny ones in the substrate still that I have yet to isolate. Most of the ones I've isolated have been growing quite well, but a couple have barely grown at all since I isolated them, despite having identical setups. So there are some staggered growth rates happening there, kinda weird. 

Anyways, I finally got around to getting some pictures of one of my larger small larvae, probably the first pictures of Deilelater physoderus larvae in existence! 😄 Also, I got a couple blurry pics of a tiny larva glowing! Pyrophorini larvae can glow from behind their heads when sufficiently disturbed, but I usually only see it happen with small larvae, and I've never captured it on camera before! 

Cool right? They look pretty similar to the Deilelater cf. atlanticus "Ocala, FL" and Pyrophorus noctilucus larvae I have, which is to be expected I suppose. So far the survival rate of isolated larvae has been 100% for me, as it has been for those two species as well, so that's nice! 

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, I hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

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