Friday, December 10, 2021

A Gem of an Ectobiid!

Magnificent Beasts 2021 Package Series Pt 1/7 
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Once again, my buddy Brandon from Magnificent Beasts hooked me up with some awesome new roach species, which I'll be covering in several new posts! ๐Ÿ˜

Today we'll focus on a brand new Ectobiid species for me, Aglaopteryx gemma "Key Largo, FL", AKA the "Little Gem Roach"! ๐Ÿ˜„ This small species is very ornately marked as both nymphs and adults, and are supposedly quite prolific and easy to breed to boot! 

It was once thought that their oothecae needed a dry period, in which they would shrivel up, followed by a sharp increase in moisture that would cause them to rapidly plump up and then hatch. However, while that method technically does work, just keeping the ooths consistently humid works just as well, and is quite a bit easier IMO, not to mention less risky. ๐Ÿ˜… The former is an interesting method to keep in mind though, because it's quite possible some other Ectobiids may have such an environmental requirement to hatch, especially those from areas with more noticable rainy and dry seasons.

While this strain is of the normal wild phenotype, there is another wild color form known from the Archbold Biological Station, in Florida. Ectobiid collector pro Alan Jeon (who is also the original collector of this "Key Largo" strain) found and collected a beautiful red phenotype down there years ago, though sadly that culture perished and is lost from culture... Hopefully we can get them again one day, as they're quite stunning.

Anyways, I'm keeping my culture of a dozen or so individuals in a small well ventilated enclosure, with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate. I've offered bark for hides, and am keeping them humid and warm (75-80F°). For food I'll be offering dog food, fruits, and pollen/artificial pollen.

Here are some pictures of these tiny, but ornate beauties:

Adult male

Adult female

Such a pretty little species! ๐Ÿฅฐ Hopefully they'll do well for me, and hopefully they'll catch on in the hobby! While they may be small, and all life stages are great climbers, their hardiness plus their beauty makes them a great beginner's Ectobiid IMO. ๐Ÿ˜„

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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