Thursday, June 30, 2022

Interesting New Isopods & a Purple Soil Centipede

Magnificent Beasts 2022 Package Series Pt. 2/3
««« Previous post in series • Next post in series »»»

For this post, we got three non-roach inverts from Brandon's package to cover! 😁

Let's start off with one of the isopod species he sent, Armadillidium maculatum "Yellow". This is a color forms of A.maculatum, the "Zebra Roly-Poly", where instead of white stripes/spots on their backs, they've got yellow ones instead. An odd mutation for sure, but a really cool one! 😄

I've bred this species in the past, and care is pretty standard for Armadillidium. I've got my dozen or so set up in a moderately ventilated container with an inch or so of coconut fiber as the substrate, topped with leaf litter and bark hides. I'm keeping them semi-humid, and at room temps for now. I'll be offering dog food occasionally as their supplemental diet.

Here are some pics of them:

Definitely a pretty morph, and one I hope does well for me! 😁

Next up, he sent me 5 Cubaris sp. "Amber". These are very pretty isopods, I was skeptical of the pictures I've seen, but as usual these things are much prettier in person. 😍 The three largest are males, so I'm hoping at least one of the two smaller ones I haven't sexed yet are females.

I've got them set up in a well ventilated deli cup, with half an inch of used Macropanesthia substrate (so old coco fiber, bits of leaf litter and roach frass), and more leaf litter, spahgnum moss and bark hides piled on top. I'm keeping them humid, and at room temps. I'll be feeding them dog food as their supplemental diet.

Here are some pictures of one of the larger ones:

Such cuties, I really hope they'll breed for me! 😁🤞

Now, I saved the best for last. Brandon's been breeding these for a few years now, and while his colony growth has been exceedingly slow, their numbers are indeed growing... Introducing, the Giant Purple Soil Centipede, Titanophilus sp. "North Colombia"! 😁

Now, most readers here are probably familiar with soil centipedes, Geophilomorpha, as being very thin, wiry, small creatures only a few inches long at most. Most common species/genera are orange, yellow or red, and can be found in a variety of habitats ranging from forest leaf litter to under rocks in dry scrubland. They're usually exceedingly fragile, and it's not uncommon to tear them in half when attempting to collect them.

The tropical Titanophilus spp. break those norms, with some species reaching 10 inches or more in length, and range in coloration from black to purple. They're usually pretty chunky for soil centipedes as well, and while young ones can still be fragile, larger individuals can be handled gently with little danger of harming them. Despite their collosal size for a soil centipede, they still can't really pierce human skin, and don't even try biting when disturbed. Their venom is probably rather weak anyways, and in captivity at least they seem to mostly be scavengers.

They are communal and can be bred and reared together, so long as there is adequate space, deep enough substrate, and enough food to keep them happy. This makes them one of the easier to breed centipede genera, and it only takes them around a year, two years tops after hatching to reach sexual maturity, depending on the temperature and frequency of feeding. They spend most of their time underground but will come to the surface at night to feed, and it seems the best thing to offer them is prekilled, cut open invertebrates. They can't pierce the exoskeletons of most common feeder inverts, and so the prey must be cut open or smashed, with the guts exposed. When the centipedes find the prey they'll hollow it out, leaving the empty exoskeleton behind.

This particular Colombian species is pretty colorful, immatures are brown with translucent purple sides, undersides and appendages, but larger individuals turn purple all over, with their sides changing to brown apparently. Quite the pretty species, though their eyeless, chonky, smooth conical heads have caused me and Brandon to give them the silly moniker "Purple Peckerpedes™" as a little inside joke... 😂 Doubt that'll catch on as the official marketing name for these, but I mean... Look at them. 🙃🤣
These seem to max out at around 6-8 inches, though it's possible some massive specimens might get a bit longer than that with very diligent care and feeding.

Now, unfortunately when digging through his colony to find some to send to me, Brandon couldn't find all that many (mostly because they're fantastic hiders), so he only sent me one. However we're pretty confident it's female based on how chonky it is, and Brandon says this is about sexual maturity size, so she may be mated already, we'll see. 🤞😁 Of course, the next day after shipping my box out, he found several individuals roaming around his colony, including a young male... 🙃😂 So worst case scenario I should be able to get a male from him at a later date if need be, and his colony thankfully does seem stable ATM. 😄

I've got my gal, who I've named Mukade Chōrō (fellow weebs will know why) housed in a moderately ventilated container with a couple inches of compressed coconut fiber as the substrate, which I'm keeping humid. I'm offering prekilled, cut open inverts as food, and am keeping her at around 75-78F°. So far she's doing great and ate an entire half of an Eleodes hispilabris larvae the other day. 😊

Now, here are some pictures of my precious Mukade:

Can't wait until the purple coloration creeps to her back! 💜 Now, fingers super crossed she's mated and gravid, she may only be 3.5 inches or so in length, but she could in fact be sexually mature! 😁🤞 

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! 😉

No comments:

Post a Comment