Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Random Updates & New Bugs

My Yuukianura aphoruroides are doing swimmingly, despite the culture being contaminated with predatory mites and Poduromorpha sp. "Tiny Blue". The predatory mites seem not to be interested in the Yuukianaria, at least not enough to make a dent in their population. And the Poduromorpha also seem not to bother the Yuukianura, instead eating the more rotten foods that the Yuukianura already tend to ignore. So, the culture is thriving, and I've already set up another cup as a backup colony. 😃

Here are a couple crappy pics of a group swarming some food, along with lots of the sp. "Tiny Blue":

Such cute and vibrantly colored springtails, I'd like to get the Thailand Reds as well one day soon.

The Liposcelis sp. "TDE" I've isolated are breeding well, seems a very easy species to culture.

Finally got some pictures of them... though you can barely see the dang things. These are the best quality photos I could get of them, they're so fast and so tiny:

Definitely some neat little inverts, with good cleaner crew potential for drier setups.

Now for some rapidfire bad news... Unfortunately I killed all my Goliathus goliatus, they all made pupal cells, and one even made it to adulthood, but I kept them just a tad too humid during this stage, and that resulted in all of them dying as prepupal larvae, pupae, and even killed my one teneral adult. 😭  Apparently they don't tolerate excess humidity well at all, but I found it difficult to get their substrate to a properly compactable level without keeping it as humid as I did, semi-humid is a very difficult humidity level for me to maintain personally here in the high desert environment I live in. So, that's quite a bummer. I did snap some pics of my teneral adult through the hole I poked it's pupal cell, before it passed away, which I'll share here: 

Now for news that's perhaps even more frustrating, I accidentally killed my Titanophilus sp. "Colombia" by smashing part of her under the one piece of bark in her enclosure. 😟 This is particularly upsetting, since besides myself, literally only one other person keeps this species, AND she was doing fantastic for me up until this point (granted, she definitely wasn't mated, so I still needed to get a male from my buddy who's still got a small culture going before I had any hope of breeding this species). I'm quite angry at myself about this blunder, and in the future, should I ever acquire this species again, I will never use bark as a hide for them.

Unfortunately I've lost my cultures of Plectoptera poeyi, Margattea cf. bisignata, and Chorisoneura parishi. Thankfully, Kyle at Roachcrossing has a healthy colony of the former two, and should be able to send some back to me later this Fall. However, I don't know of anyone who has a good culture of the Chorisoneura... so those may be lost from culture now. 😞 

I just did a trade with my friend Junkai Wang, and now finally have TRUE Hemiblabera tenebricosa "Monroe County, FL". 😃 In case any of you aren't up to speed, the old hobby "tenebricosa" stock isn't actually tenebricosa, but is more likely H.roseni. The difference between those and these true H.tenebricosa are pretty obvious, and are outlined in my post about the issue here.

Care for these is pretty simple, I've got mine in a moderately ventilated setup with a couple inches of coco coir substrate topped with leaf litter, which I'm keeping humid.

Here are some pictures of the nymphs:

They're pretty colorful for Hemiblabera nymphs, really looking forward to seeing some adults!

I also got some Chalcolepidius smaragdinus from Kai, which were actually the main point of the trade. However, while he did mention they were damaged from being housed communally (this genus is quite territorial and adults will bite each other's legs off if kept communally, or at least particularly crowded), I was not prepared for just how bad they messed each other up. Simply moving from one end of the enclosure to another is a struggle for the 6 adults he sent me (1 male, 5 females), and most of their legs have been reduced to little stumps.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to get any eggs out of them whatsoever in their current state, it's a challenge even with perfectly mobile adults, as they seem rather picky about their oviposition spots. However, I just found two eggs in one of their setups the other day. Two eggs out of 5 females is pretty abysmal, but it's much better than nothing, which is honestly what I expected. So if I can get a total of 8-10 eggs somehow, then I'd honestly be stoked, as that would give me a breedable group to work with, and then i can try and do better with the next generation of CB adults. 🤞 

Even as damaged as their limbs are, they're still quite photogenic, so here are some pictures of the adults:

Such a beautiful species, would be amazing to get some larvae from them, so I've got my fingers crossed! 🤞

Also, big thanks to Ty from Ty Dye Exotics, he just sent me some Bantua robusta and Arenivaga sp. "Mt Ord", both of which I needed to restart my cultures of. 

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

Monday, August 28, 2023

Arenivaga from Alan!!!

Alan Jeon has sent me some goodies over the past couple of months, and boy oh boy am I excited about them! 😄 This post, we'll just focus on the multiple Arenivaga spp.

Let's start off with the Arenivaga sp. "Sunny Flat Campground, AZ". This species is beautiful, with really dark brown/black adult females that have some pale spotting, and adult males that have a lot of dark coloration and mottling on them as well.

He sent me around a dozen of these, which I've got housed in a small, well ventilated container with an inch of coconut fiber as the substrate, topped with leaf litter. I'm keeping a third of the setup humid, the rest dry, and they're kept at around 80-85F°. Feeding them dog food in addition to the leaf litter. 

Here are some pictures of an adult pair:




Really in love with this species, and the females are already pumping out ooths, so I should have offspring very soon! 🤞 

Next up, Arenivaga sp. "DOT Rest Area, AZ - Dark". This is one of two species collected from the DOT Rest Area by Alan, he initially sent me a single sexed pair of nymphs, but recently just sent me another box with more mixed sizes. The females are very similar to the above species in color, however the one adult male I've gotten is much paler with less mottling and different pronotum markings than the males of sp. "Sunny Flat Campground".

In typical Arenivaga fashion, I've got my starter culture housed in a small, well ventilated container with an inch of coconut fiber as the substrate, topped with leaf litter. I'm keeping a third of the setup humid, the rest dry, and they're kept at around 80-85F°. I'm offering dog food in addition to the leaf litter.

Here are some pics of a mature pair:



Very neat strain, hopefully these will do well for me!

Now we got Arenivaga sp. "DOT Rest Area, AZ - Light". These kinda look like A.tonkawa at first glance, but it's hard to say. They're bigger than the Dark species from the same locality, and as the strain name would suggest, lighter in color, with the nymphs being an orange color, and adult females being more dark red in appearance. 
Initially he sent me all large female nymphs, but in his most recent package to me he sent more mixed sizes and sexes, so should be able to start a colony up no problem.

I'm not gonna bother outlining the setups for these more basic Arenivaga spp. any further in this post since I keep them all the same. 🤣 

Here are some pictures of an adult female:

Nice little species, even if they do end up being tonkawa, they are at least prettier than the "San Antonio" strain we currently have in culture.

Next up, we have Arenivaga sp. "Peña Blanca - Small". There are two spp. from Peña Blanca in culture ATM, one is on the larger side for this genus and may be A.grata, the other one which we're talking about right now is more typically sized for Arenivaga, and the males kinda resemble A.hopkinsorum in patterning (but it's really, really hard to tell what species they are without genitalia dissection).
Now in the first box he sent me, Alan only sent me large male nymphs. However in the second box he sent more mixed sizes and sexes, AND in a box Kyle just sent me (more about that in an upcoming post), I also got a group of tiny nymphs. So, I'm well on my way to establishing a nice colony of this species LOL.

Here are some pictures of an adult pair:



Nice little species, hopefully I'll have a substantial colony of them soon!

Next up, Alan did send me a single adult female and three sub males of the "Peña Blanca". Now while the adult males have mottling on their wings unlike those of sp. "Mt Ord", the females of this strain are VERY similar to A.sp. "Mt Ord", and so may be the same species IMO. Which is a bit worrisome for me since I failed with my "Mt Ord", however I'll be trying those again soon, so why not also try my hand with this similar strain from Peña Blanca? 😅 

Here are some pictures of an adult pair:



Really cool strain, hopefully they'll breed well for me!

Alan also just collected a small group of Arenivaga sp. "Miller Canyon, AZ" nymphs. The nymphs have a nice mottled appearance, no clue what the adults look like LOL. I got what I think are two sexed pairs of nymphs to work with, so hopefully I can establish a colony. 🤞 

Here are some pictures of the nymphs:

Looking forward to getting adults from these!

Alan also sent me two adult female Arenivaga from "Mescalero Sands, NM". Now these I probably could keep on sand, but for now I'm just using coco fiber, and they've both laid ooths and seem to be doing fine on their current substrate. They have an oddly matte finish to their exoskeleton, and are quite red in color. I'll be interested to see what the mature males of this strain look like and see if I can't ID them.

Here are some pics of one of the females:

Hopefully they'll continue laying ooths, and I get a nice colony going!

Last, but not least, Alan sent me a group of Arenivaga floridensis "Lake Placid, FL - White Form". My last attempt to keep these ended pretty badly, but Alan's been having decent success with this species lately, and after copying his setup I can confidently say my nymphs are doing well, eating and growing, with more vigor than my last group did.

The setup for these is a bit different than for most of the other Arenivaga I keep; this species is found solely in sand dunes, and seems to really prefer a sand substrate. So I have mine on pure sand, riverbed sand I gathered myself to be exact (which I prefer to most commercially available sands, since those tend to be more abrasive and have sharper particles than the softer, more rounded particles of riverbed sand). The substrate is a couple inches deep, I'm keeping one third of the substrate humid, the rest dry. The substrate is topped with leaf litter, and the humid area also has some sphagnum moss on top for moisture retention. The enclosure is well ventilated, I'm keeping them at around 80-85F°, and am feeding them dog food and artificial pollen in addition to the leaf litter.

Here are some pictures of the cuties:

Love this species so much, they are the prettiest of all the Arenivaga IMO. So, hopefully this go around, I can actually rear some pairs to adulthood and get some breeding action out of them. 😅

Well, that's it for this post, next post we'll be covering the rest of the goodies Alan sent me. 😄 Thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, and I'll see you all next time! 😉