Monday, December 13, 2021

Happy Philoscia Accident!

Well, this is interesting! 😄 So back in October, when Nikki sent me those Sclerobunus nondimorphicus harvestmen from WA, there were some small stowaway fauna that got sent in the same deli cup as them. These included a small red globular springtail species that was shortly wiped out by a new predatory mite species, lots of fungus gnats, and a single Philoscia muscorum isopod. 

Now, I wasn't even really sure if said Philoscia was a male or female, and it certainly didn't look gravid, so I didn't even mention it in the post or add it to my species list, and left it in with the harvestmen for a couple weeks. However, I got paranoid that the isopod would disrupt the harvestmen or potentially eat any eggs they produced, so I then threw it in with my small Cubaris sp. "Panda King" culture, which was in a small 16 oz container. 

The Panda Kings have been breeding well, so I just rehoused them to a larger, moderately ventilated half gallon enclosure, with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, and some new bark hides. Lots of leaf litter for food, plus I feed them dog food as their supplemental diet. I keep them quite humid, and cool (68-73F°). Of course, the Philoscia was moved with them, and the reason I'm outlining all those conditions for the Cubaris is because just the other day, I lifted one of the bark hides in their enclosure to find the lone Philoscia sitting over a clutch of it's own mancae! 😁

I'm surprised, not only because I wasn't expecting this single individual to be a mated female, but because this species is notorious for being difficult to keep alive, let alone breed. Only a few people have gotten them past F2, and from what I can tell, it seems to just be a matter of keeping conditions consistently humid and cool, no higher than 74F° on the regular. Sudden heat waves may wipe cultures out, and some speculate that a dispause might be needed for optimal yearly production (though I'm skeptical of this personally). Yet despite all this, I bred mine accidentally. 😂 I guess when it comes to breeding small, obscure invert species, I still got it. 😎

Here are some pics of these cuties:

Mature female


This is quite the neat accomplishment, hopefully mine continue to do well and actually make it to F2, which is evidently the real challenge. 🤞😅 For now, they officially get a place on my "Cultured Species List". 😄

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

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