Friday, July 15, 2022

Paranauphoeta Babies, Helleria Mancae, & Darkling Pupae!

Well, one of the Paranauphoeta formosana females I got from Brandon at Magnificent Beasts a couple weeks ago has already given birth to around a dozen nymphs! 😁 She and the other female still look quite plump too, so I'm sure more babies are on the way!

Speaking of Magnificent Beasts, Brandon's got the business up and running again, so if y'all wanna support him and buy some roaches and/or other inverts from him, please do! 😄 Be sure to follow the FB page, he's got one of the largest roach collections in the US, with a great selection of both common and rare pet and feeder species, some of which no one else besides him has available in the US at the moment. 😉 Be sure to give him some love and welcome him back to the bug hobby biz!

Next up, a couple weeks ago I was surprised to find some mancae scattered around my Helleria brevicornis setup! 😊 Wasn't really expecting my individuals to start breeding yet, and I'm ecstatic obviously! I found the mancae by accident while digging around the substrate, adding some fresh white rot wood to the mix. There's not that many, which is to be expected, but I've seen at least four so far.
The founding individuals of my starter culture all seem to be doing well, except for one that I found dead on the surface of the substrate a little while back... But the rest seem healthy, have been molting rather consistently, and obviously are breeding now too. 😄

Here are some pics of one of the mancae:

Absolutely adorable. 🥰 And oddly very bumpy, whereas the larger immatures/adults are fairly smooth in texture. Hopefully more babies are on the way, and these ones grow well for me!

Next up, a few darkling updates. 

First off, two of my Nyctoporis carinata have pupated! 😁 And now that I know what the mature size of the larvae is, I've isolated 10 more for pupation.

Here are some pics of one of the pupae, (taken from my phone, so meh quality):

Pretty standard looking for a Teneb pupa, funny considering how odd the larvae and adults look. 

Next up, two of my Zophobas atratus "Sugarloaf Key, FL" larvae have pupated as well, and I have two others isolated for pupation too.

Here's another crappy phone picture of one of the Zophobas pupae:

Glad these are finally maturing, can't wait to see adults of this "wild type" strain in person! 😀

Lastly, after half a dozen failed pupation attempts, I FINALLY have a pupa of Absolus m. mexicanus! 😁 

In the past, on a pure sand substrate (which is what I've been rearing the larvae on), the mature larvae would make pupal cells, but as soon as I bumped the heat up for them to start developing properly, the sand would dry out and the pupal cells would collapse. However, keeping the sand more humid so it'd keep it's shape proved a bad idea too, because the required humidity to do so was too much for the Asbolus, and they'd just die in their pupal cells and rot away.
The answer to this dilemma proved quite simple; just add a little clay to the lower layers of the substrate. The sand/clay mix proved stable enough for my larvae to make pupal cells without the substrate needing to be soaking wet, which allowed for my first ever Asbolus pupa to be produced! 😄

Additionally, I got some advice from the only person to rear this species to adulthood, Alan Jeon. He told me he just put his mature larvae on a raw sawdust substrate to pupate in... So, I threw one of my mature larvae in a deli cup filled with chewed up wood from my Ancaudellia hamifera bin (as close as I can get to sawdust ATM). It's surprisingly made a pupal cell already, I've moved it to a heated area, we'll see if it pupates successfully in those conditions. Theoretically it should be fine, if it decided to make a pupal cell then it has no issues with the substrate, and that wood dust doesn't need to be soaking wet to hold it's shape either, so the larva/pupa shouldn't rot. 🤔

Alrighty, well that does it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉


  1. Do nyctoporis require specialized substrate or care to breed/pupate or is it pretty similar to other desert teneva?

    1. I'm finding that adults definitely seem to prefer a sandier substrate for consistent oviposition. But larvae will develop and pupate in even straight coco coir.