Monday, February 1, 2021

Growing Giants

So, my Eleodes obscura sulcipennis larvae are starting to get pretty big, some of them are longer than their parents already, and so will probably pupate within the next couple months. Unfortunately though, it seems that the larvae of this species don't get along so well as they get larger, and they've been cannibalizing like crazy lately, despite having ample moisture and protein available. They're essentially ignoring their chick feed and instead chowing down on their molting cagemates... Whereas the few large larvae that I had isolated from the main enclosure into their own deli cups in an attempt to rear some really large individuals up a couple months ago have been doing great, and are still eating chick feed with no issue. 

So it seems that I'll likely need to start isolating more larvae asap, just to keep them alive, pretty annoying for an Eleodes, (especially such a prolific one). But oh well, this way I'll at least mostly get large adults I'm sure, since neither crowding nor food competition won't be an issue, both of which tend to stunt CB Eleodes

Anyways, here are some pictures of a large larva:

Looks smaller in the photos than it does in real life, it's the largest Eleodes larva I've ever seen, though still not quite the mass of some Zophobas atratus larvae I've reared. Fingers crossed I'm able to rear a good amount to adulthood, and hopefully they'll be big hefty adults too! 😄

One of my Macropanesthia rhinoceros nymphs has finally molted! 😁 Of the two nymphs I have, this one's been consistently fatter than the other and seems to be eating a lot more, which made me a little worried for the other, smaller nymph, but that one has finally started gaining some weight as well, so hopefully it'll molt somewhat soon too! 
Initially I was keeping these probably in the 65-67F° range, which was a bit too low I think, I've since bumped it up to 70-72F° or so, and they seem to be faring better ever since then. I saw that Peter's nymphs from the same brood were already molting to the next instar on his instagram (L5 I believe), so I knew mine were probably being kept too cool to develop at a decent speed. The bump in temperature seems to have gotten that one nymph to molt after a couple weeks, and the smaller one has been gaining weight in that time as well. 

I also removed some of the substrate from their enclosure a month ago, the substrate is only 3-4 mm deep now, usually when they're hiding under the cardboard in their enclosure they're resting on the bare plastic bottom. I've been misting the enclosure often, never letting it dry out too much, so it's not been an issue, and this nymph molted perfectly fine as a result! Once the other nymph molts, it should be safe for me to slightly increase substrate depth by a few mms again. 

Here are some pictures of my L5 beauty, both teneral and fully hardened! 😃


One day later, hardened.

Such an amazing species, I really love their bulky, primitive look! 😍 Hopefully the other nymph molts soon, I'm so glad this one molted with no deformities! 😅 I'll definitely be sure to keep you all updated on these cuties! 

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

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