Sunday, July 31, 2022

Adult Harlequins, Baby Symploce & More!

Got some neat updates to share to wrap up the month, so let's dive in! ๐Ÿ˜„ First off, my Neostylopyga rhombifolia have started maturing, and man are they pretty! ๐Ÿ˜ The males have a reddish coloration to their abdomens, whereas the females are black, and both have ornate creamy "Harlequin" markings all over. A very pretty species, shame they aren't more commonly kept!

Here are some pictures of an adult pair:



Really hope this Chinese hobby strain will breed well for me, I'll keep y'all posted on them for sure!

Next up, an update on my Symploce morsei "Key Largo, FL"... I've got babies!!! ๐Ÿ˜ It took the ooths quite a while to hatch, and I was starting to get worried, but now there's a steady stream of newly hatched nymphs coming in. So I've officially succeeded in breeding this species!

Here are a few pictures of the cuties:

Hopefully they'll continue to do well for me, will probably be able to offer them up for sale to fellow Ectobiid enthusiasts soon! ๐Ÿ˜„

In even more positive Ectobiid news, I've started getting Plectoptera poeyi babies already! And boy are there a lot, I should have NO issues starting a colony of these again. ๐Ÿ˜„

Now, this update has been a LONG time coming... I've finally produced my first CB Asbolus mexicanus mexicanus adult! ๐Ÿ˜ And there should be more where this one came from, using clay in their substrate mix has really improved pupal cell stability, and I've got quite a few larvae sitting in pupal cells now. ๐Ÿคž

Here are some pictures of my first adult:

Teneral darklings are so pretty IMO, love the burnt orange coloration on them. ๐Ÿงก Hopefully there will be many more adults where this one came from!

Lastly but not leastly, due to personal issues Chandra Orr is trimming her collection a bit, and has entrusted me with her last 9 Perisphaerus pygmaeus females, and a small nymph. I've still got around 15 females of my own, plus a brood of small/medium nymphs that were born in February. Chandra is unsure if all of her females were mated, but once one of my small male nymphs matures (probably in a couple months) they'll get fertilized for sure. ๐Ÿ˜„

It's been a rocky road for my colony for the past year, with VERY little reproduction going on. However, I now think I've just been keeping them too humid, and am currently trying to keep them drier like my P.punctatus (which are thriving). So far mine are looking good and quite a few of my females are gravid looking, so fingers crossed they start popping out broods soon... And this addition of 9 more females should really help in the long run as well! ๐Ÿคž

Here are a few pics of some of the new females:

Fingers crossed my now buffed up colony starts breeding soon, this species can be quite prolific, but they need the conditions to be perfect. Big thanks to Chandra for sending me these gals, I'll try and do her proud! ๐Ÿ˜„

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

Thursday, July 28, 2022

New Beetles & Isopods!

Got a few new inverts from my friends this month that I figured I'd group all together in this post. ๐Ÿ˜„

First off, Kyle from Roachcrossing sent me a special package, he went out and caught some fireflies for me! ๐Ÿ˜ Namely a group of Photinus pyralis, and a female of a small Photinus species probably in the marginella/curtatus species complex. Sadly, all female fireflies and some of the males were DOA, however the pyralis females DID lay eggs in transit, which still look viable, so I'm currently incubating them in the moist paper towels they were laid in, and hope to have a decent starter group of larvae to work with. ๐Ÿคž

I've always wanted to work with fireflies, they're so neat, and y'all know I love my bioluminescent inverts. ๐Ÿ˜„ Before now I've never even seen bioluminescent fireflies before, just the diurnal non-glowing species here in Idaho, so watching these glow has been a treat! ๐Ÿฅฐ

Technically they shouldn't be too hard to breed, but I've long been thrown off by the fact that larval fireflies mostly feed on snails and earthworms, which aren't the easiest food source to acquire where I live. However, I've come across anecdotal evidence from other hobbyists that larvae of at least some Lampyridae will feed on dog food in captivity, and I also found a picture of a Photuris larva eating a millipede on Bugguide, so they may be more opportunistic than I had thought. I'll try a variety of prekilled insects as well as dog food and see if they feed on any of that.

As for the adult males that survived, I've been offering them apple slices (which I've observed them feeding from). They seem to be doing nicely in their well ventilated, 32 oz deli cup with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber as the substrate. They'll only live a few weeks most likely, but watching them glow up at night is so cool. ๐Ÿ˜

Here are some pictures of a couple of the live males, plus a comparison photo of a dead male and female:

Live Photinus pyralis males

Male P.pyralis Left, Female P.pyralis Right.
Note that the bioluminescent organ on the female is much smaller than the one on the male. The adult size isn't indicative of sex, as one of the other female pyralis that came in this group was smaller than most of the males.

Fingers crossed that my eggs hatch, would be amazing to start breeding fireflies in captivity! ๐Ÿ˜ Lots of awesome and weird looking species/genera here in the US, would love to start introducing more Lampyridae into culture!

Kyle also sent me a few Tenebs that he caught on the grounds of University of Michigan, which ended up being Xylopinus saperdoides. Sadly this species is in the tribe Cnodalonini, which are a huge pain in the butt to breed. ๐Ÿ™ƒ Not only do they require rotten wood for oviposition and for the larvae to feed on, but Cnodalonini larvae tend to also be quite cannibalistic and photosensitive, and are overall not very fun to rear.
So TBH I'm not even gonna try breeding the Xylopinus this year, but next year if they're still alive I may give them a proper breeding setup. Right now I'm just focused on trying to get my Iphthiminus to breed, I'm only gonna work on breeding one Cnodalonini at a time. ๐Ÿ˜…

Right now I've got my small group of adults in a well ventilated deli cup with some vertically slanted bark hides, and a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, which I'm keeping humid. I'm feeding them dog food and apples, and am keeping them at room temperature.

Here are some pics of them:

Neat little species for sure, too bad it's in a tribe that is a pain to breed. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I also got a small package from my buddy Brandon of Magnificent Beasts, containing these absolutely adorable isopods, Cristarmadillidium muricatum! ๐Ÿ˜ These cuties are a relatively small, pale species of "roly-poly" type isopod, and are covered in small spines. They're kinda new to the US hobby right now, but will probably become relatively common in the next year or two I think. They're easy to keep and prolific as well, which is always nice. ๐Ÿ˜„

I've got my 8-9 half grown individuals set up in a well ventilated deli cup with a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, with some leaf litter, bark pieces and sphagnum moss on top. I'm keeping them humid and at room temperature, and am offering dog food as the supplemental diet.

Here are some photos of the cuties:

I actually think one or two of them may be gravid already, so I might be getting babies soon! ๐Ÿ˜ Fingers crossed these do well for me, such a cute little species!

Last but not least, there were two Pyrophorus noctilucus adults and one large larva in Brandon's package too, which our friend Alan Jeon sent to Brandon to send to me, since they weren't doing that well for Alan.

The larva was a bit skinny looking on arrival (may have just molted recently), but has since plumped up and eaten a bunch in my care and is looking fine. ๐Ÿ˜
I'm not exactly sure what happened to Alan's two adults, as they're both missing most of their legs and some segments from their remaining legs as if they were super old or something... But they're very clearly still young and active, since old adults lose their shiny luster as they age, and can't glow very brightly either. Whereas these adults are quite active, still glow well and overall look pretty young, other than the missing leg parts. In any case I think they'll still be useful for my breeding group, especially if they happen to be females (since males kinda gotta be able to run fast to catch up with mates lol), and I'll be pampering them for sure. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Well, that's gonna do it for this post, big thanks to Alan, Brandon and Kyle for all these bugs! ๐Ÿ˜„ Hopefully everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! ๐Ÿ˜‰