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Matttoadman

What’s new in the invert world?

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So is there anything new out there on the horizon? Any new types of inverts getting ready to make a splash? Any positive changes to restrictions?

    I’ve been keeping inverts since 2015 and I am wanting to see what’s out there. I have 6 roach species. Roaches are fantastic. I have had three millipede species and find them difficult to keep the colony going. I’ve had centipedes and find them boring. I have had about 7 species of tarantulas and find them boring 99% of the time. Isopods are just meh. I have one scorpion and he’s ok I just wouldn’t want anymore. 

    Reproducible, able to observe most of the animals behaviors. and preferably a predator. These are the qualities I am looking for. Would mantids and Hemiptera fit these qualifications? Suggestions please.     Matt

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While not new, arilus cristatus aren’t too common yet, and platymeris are large and gorgeous. Psytalla are absolutely beautiful, but are quite a bit more expensive.ambush bugs are also quite interesting.

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7 hours ago, Matttoadman said:

So is there anything new out there on the horizon? Any new types of inverts getting ready to make a splash? Any positive changes to restrictions?

I'm on a mission to try and breed a number of flower and darkling beetles currently and things aren't going as well as I had hoped (some of my darklings got a harmful fungal infection someway or another), but if I'm successful, there will be many beetles more easily accessible on the market. Have you heard that Goliathus goliatus, Goliathus regius, and Goliathus cacicus are now legal to own and ship in the U.S? There is a report of a new and easy method for breeding Asoblus verrucosus, but I need to see if it works with my own eyes. A couple species of pill millipedes are starting to be bred in the U.S. A very pretty species of U.S harvestman will hopefully be entering culture soon, Dalquestia Formosa. An impressive species of earwig is already pretty established in the hobby, Euborellia arcanum, and a few even more impressive species should be joining in soon as well!

7 hours ago, Matttoadman said:

Isopods are just meh. 

Have you seen all the exotic species that have entered culture recently? I wouldn't exactly call them "meh". ? 

7 hours ago, Matttoadman said:

Reproducible, able to observe most of the animals behaviors. and preferably a predator. These are the qualities I am looking for. Would mantids and Hemiptera fit these qualifications? Suggestions please.     Matt

They would indeed! I personally would much recommend hemipterans over mantids though as even though mantids are pretty much an experience like no other, I personally have found them VERY hard to keep alive. You might find them easy though, I don't know; I just always fail for some reason. lol With Hemiptera you still have a good amount of options that fit your criteria - predatory stinkbugs, assassin bugs, ambush bugs, certain species of water bugs, etc. I don't exactly know how easy the ambush bugs are to breed though since it's just never really been attempted except maybe once. 

Darkling beetles also make a good match, but they aren't predatory.

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Hemiptera are on top my list then. I am interested in predators due to my roach population. I better research those beetles now. Thanks.

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On 8/11/2018 at 5:32 PM, All About Arthropods said:

An impressive species of earwig is already pretty established in the hobby, Euborellia arcanum, and a few even more impressive species should be joining in soon as well!

I've been keeping E. arcanum and they are great fun. The females make rather large breeding chambers against the glass, so you can see everything as she moves and grooms the eggs. My first clutch just hatched and it's been so intriguing to watch her caring for the tiny nymphs. The nymphs are only 3-4 mm and white — they look like giant temperate springtails.

Milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) are another newcomer. Not sure if they're really popular in the hobby, but they've been used in educational settings for some time now. They are rather easy to keep. I'll definitely be hunting for some this fall.

On 8/11/2018 at 10:27 AM, Matttoadman said:

I have had about 7 species of tarantulas and find them boring 99% of the time.

Have you tried any of the dwarf species? Highly recommend Hapalopus sp. Columbia (Large). They are gorgeous and only get 3"-4". They're fairly active at night. I've got 5 little "pumpkin butts" right now, and they're definitely my favorite Ts. The slings are really entertaining.

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On ‎8‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 8:09 AM, Axolotl said:

I've been keeping E. arcanum and they are great fun. The females make rather large breeding chambers against the glass, so you can see everything as she moves and grooms the eggs. My first clutch just hatched and it's been so intriguing to watch her caring for the tiny nymphs. The nymphs are only 3-4 mm and white — they look like giant temperate springtails.

Milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) are another newcomer. Not sure if they're really popular in the hobby, but they've been used in educational settings for some time now. They are rather easy to keep. I'll definitely be hunting for some this fall.

Very nice to hear more people are getting into earwigs! They're really an underappreciated and undercultured group, but I bet that has something to do with there only being like 10 species in the U.S and only a couple of those being particularly impressive. They're so awesome aren't they? :) I was breeding them for about a year before temps got too hot in the invert room and they all baked to death. :( Very excited as I have received an even larger species, Anisolabis maritima, recently and will be getting the Euborellia back again next week!

Culturing methods for O.fasciatus have been around for a while now it seems, but I think the interest is just really lacking; I don't know a single person who is breeding them at the moment. I agree that they are very intriguing little things though and I'd definitely be breeding them if I had more space and a smaller wish list. lol

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12 hours ago, All About Arthropods said:

Very nice to hear more people are getting into earwigs! They're really an underappreciated and undercultured group, but I bet that has something to do with there only being like 10 species in the U.S and only a couple of those being particularly impressive. They're so awesome aren't they? :) I was breeding them for about a year before temps got too hot in the invert room and they all baked to death. :( Very excited as I have received an even larger species, Anisolabis maritima, recently and will be getting the Euborellia back again next week!

Culturing methods for O.fasciatus have been around for a while now it seems, but I think the interest is just really lacking; I don't know a single person who is breeding them at the moment. I agree that they are very intriguing little things though and I'd definitely be breeding them if I had more space and a smaller wish list. lol

I'm really falling in love with them quite quickly... Though I have had some time for them to grow on me.

I live in a berm house that's half underground, so Forficula auricularia are a common sight in the house (along with frequent Parcoblatta ?).This was an especially good year for the 'wigs so I've been waking up to them in my bed, on the counters, in my clothes, you name it. I'm trying my hand at those as well... The trick will be the winter. I think I'll put one group in diapause and let one stay at temp to see which fares better. 

I guess we also get Doru aculeatum so I'm keeping my eye out for those. 

I could see earwigs catching on, especially as feeders. My beardie hunts them vigorously when he's outside and I uncover a nest. They must be close enough to the termites they eat in the wild that it triggers a crazy frenzy. I've never seen him go that nuts for any other food, even mantids. 

If you ever want to trade /sell some of the maritimes, I would be thrilled to death. I've had my eye on those. I like that they're coastal... Something different! 

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8 hours ago, Axolotl said:

I'm really falling in love with them quite quickly... Though I have had some time for them to grow on me.

I live in a berm house that's half underground, so Forficula auricularia are a common sight in the house (along with frequent Parcoblatta ?).This was an especially good year for the 'wigs so I've been waking up to them in my bed, on the counters, in my clothes, you name it. I'm trying my hand at those as well... The trick will be the winter. I think I'll put one group in diapause and let one stay at temp to see which fares better. 

I guess we also get Doru aculeatum so I'm keeping my eye out for those. 

I could see earwigs catching on, especially as feeders. My beardie hunts them vigorously when he's outside and I uncover a nest. They must be close enough to the termites they eat in the wild that it triggers a crazy frenzy. I've never seen him go that nuts for any other food, even mantids. 

If you ever want to trade /sell some of the maritimes, I would be thrilled to death. I've had my eye on those. I like that they're coastal... Something different! 

Yea, it's easy to love their very interesting habits and behaviors for sure. :) Not to mention that there's a handful of species that are quite impressive in appearance.

Do you like......just pick them off of your bed, counters, and from out of your clothes and drop them in a breeding container? ? Interesting experiment and I'd be curious to know the results; I'm pretty certain that they're like isopods though and don't require the cool period that they'd normally experience in the wild.

Very nice! Doru taeniatum would be on my wish list if they couldn't climb and fly so well. lol

Interesting, good to hear another account of the Europeans being good for use as feeders; I heard that Euborellia arcanum are at least thought to be toxic to other inverts. I guess I'll have to test that out sometime for myself.

If I am able to breed them, I'd definitely make some available. :) 

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On 8/22/2018 at 9:09 AM, Axolotl said:

.

Have you tried any of the dwarf species? Highly recommend Hapalopus sp. Columbia (Large). They are gorgeous and only get 3"-4". They're fairly active at night. I've got 5 little "pumpkin butts" right now, and they're definitely my favorite Ts. The slings are really entertaining.

Yes I have an adult female raised from a sling, kochianna brunnipes female, Neoholothele incei male (rip), Cyriocosmus elegans female. All very fun raising from slings. The adults however are fairly inactive. 

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12 hours ago, Matttoadman said:

Yes I have an adult female raised from a sling, kochianna brunnipes female, Neoholothele incei male (rip), Cyriocosmus elegans female. All very fun raising from slings. The adults however are fairly inactive. 

I'm just getting into dwarf species. I never knew how much fun the little ones could be, and I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to Hapalopus, as they keep finding their way home with me - but I do have others on my wishlist, esp. the Cyriocosmus elegans. So pretty.  Something about those mirror patches. ?

16 hours ago, All About Arthropods said:

Do you like......just pick them off of your bed, counters, and from out of your clothes and drop them in a breeding container?

Something like that! I usually just put the interlopers outside or give them to one of the loose house spiders. I have a "live and let live" policy on arachnids in the house; there's a few in each room, which has really turned out to be a benefit. When my pallid nymphs recently decided that freedom sounded better than the box, the half dozen false widows in the bug room did a really nice job of wrangling the escapees. LOL. It must sound like my house is a nightmare, but like I said, it's mostly underground so we get a lot of visitors, including blue spotted salamanders when it rains. Probably would horrify most people, but I don't mind - it's the price you pay benefit you get from living in a hobbit house. ?

I hand-pick the F. auricularia I keep from the visitors and the gardens. I'm trying to breed for really long forceps, so I keep my eye out for the standouts. Right now I'm mostly toying around with setups, seeing what works best/is the easiest. I'll be sure to share my insights down the road.

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1 hour ago, Axolotl said:

Something like that! I usually just put the interlopers outside or give them to one of the loose house spiders. I have a "live and let live" policy on arachnids in the house; there's a few in each room, which has really turned out to be a benefit. When my pallid nymphs recently decided that freedom sounded better than the box, the half dozen false widows in the bug room did a really nice job of wrangling the escapees. LOL. It must sound like my house is a nightmare, but like I said, it's mostly underground so we get a lot of visitors, including blue spotted salamanders when it rains. Probably would horrify most people, but I don't mind - it's the price you pay benefit you get from living in a hobbit house. ?

I hand-pick the F. auricularia I keep from the visitors and the gardens. I'm trying to breed for really long forceps, so I keep my eye out for the standouts. Right now I'm mostly toying around with setups, seeing what works best/is the easiest. I'll be sure to share my insights down the road.

Ah, ok. lol I personally am fine with spiders anywhere, but the invert room. I have seen them set up shop in my both my little garbage can and a few actual enclosures. I also can't have them in every corner of the room because if something valuable gets loose (the case a good portion of the time), I can't have it get eaten by some random spiders. ? Unfortunately my house only has a hobbit door. LOL

That's a neat project; I certainly saw a little variation when they used to run rampant in the yard of my previous house. Same here; I'll be testing out to see if E.arcanum like some sand mixed with coconut fiber for constructing actual chambers/tunnels and such or if they are sensitive to commonly available sand like roaches and should just have a chunkier, sandless substrate. Sounds awesome!

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@Axolotl, the dwarf slings are so much fun. The adults are great when it feeding time. Both my pumpkin patch and Kochiana are like trapdoor spiders. You drop in a red runner and wait for them to pop out with lightning speed and vanish again. My Cyriocosmus elegans is beautiful( id post a picture but I can’t figure out how to do it anymore.) I think she is full grown and could comfortably set on my thumb nail. However I seldom see anything beyond her legs unless I rehouse. If I had to do over I would have got a different species. So far my favorite is My Aphonopelma seemani female. She is always visible. And I was given a “ pink toe” for Christmas and it is visible and fairly active. And tough as nails. I was rehousing it this past winter and went to mist the container and grabbbed a bottle of 409 instead. ?

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@Matttoadman My A. seemani is my favorite, too -- after the PPs. My slings are out all the time, but my female "small" is definitely a pet hole. My female "large" is much more out and about, but only at night. I really am looking forward to getting more dwarfs. I'm picking up a D. diamantinensis on Saturday and could not be more excited. And 409? Geez. Don't you know that's how B-horror movies start!?

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I got a local Colorado darkling beetle to breed recently, not identified yet  but a little bigger than mealworms.  Still, rather boring except the one time the ants invaded.  Hope they are ok.  The Goliathus species AAA is talking about look interesting.  I have seen darkling beetles eat live pray once. 

Most exciting for me right now is I just started breeding grasshoppers, Melanoplus bivittatus.  I have lots of eggs now.  Gotta figure out what is next.  Still, most of the day they just sit there looking stoned, then once in a while a male starts twitching and following a female around.  Breeding may take 10 hours... taking that long its not exciting.  

Also trying black soldier flies.  Love watching them eat, I let them loose in a room in the house, they like landing on people, and some managed to get outside.  But no mating yet despite my attempts to create a romantic ambiance.

I kept a giant water bug in the past, that was interesting. It killed everything in the aquarium.  Frogs, fish... everything.  Have to watch your fingers.

Ants are seldom boring.  They are always doing something.  Or if you get really daring, try raising paper wasps in captivity.  

 

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1 hour ago, Marlon said:

I got a local Colorado darkling beetle to breed recently, not identified yet  but a little bigger than mealworms.  Still, rather boring except the one time the ants invaded.  Hope they are ok.  The Goliathus species AAA is talking about look interesting.  I have seen darkling beetles eat live pray once. 

Most exciting for me right now is I just started breeding grasshoppers, Melanoplus bivittatus.  I have lots of eggs now.  Gotta figure out what is next.  Still, most of the day they just sit there looking stoned, then once in a while a male starts twitching and following a female around.  Breeding may take 10 hours... taking that long its not exciting.  

Also trying black soldier flies.  Love watching them eat, I let them loose in a room in the house, they like landing on people, and some managed to get outside.  But no mating yet despite my attempts to create a romantic ambiance. 

Very nice! Do you have a picture or a description? I may be able to help with the I.D. :) Dang, I hope they're ok too!?

Wow, really? What was the prey item and what was the darkling species?

Awesome! I'm actually trying to get some Romalea eggs to hatch right now. :) I bet that those eggs would like a nice cool down to at least the 60 or so degrees for a couple months to induce hatching.

It's just a guess, but I'm going to guess that people don't like visiting your house much. ? 

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On 8/29/2018 at 9:13 AM, Axolotl said:

@Matttoadman My A. seemani is my favorite, too -- after the PPs. My slings are out all the time, but my female "small" is definitely a pet hole. My female "large" is much more out and about, but only at night. I really am looking forward to getting more dwarfs. I'm picking up a D. diamantinensis on Saturday and could not be more excited. And 409? Geez. Don't you know that's how B-horror movies start!?

I would so trade the Kochiana, hapalopus, Cyriocosmus for some roaches. I really love my roaches. Except for the red runners. They just stink.

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On 8/30/2018 at 12:29 PM, All About Arthropods said:

Very nice! Do you have a picture or a description? I may be able to help with the I.D. :) Dang, I hope they're ok too!?

Wow, really? What was the prey item and what was the darkling species?

Awesome! I'm actually trying to get some Romalea eggs to hatch right now. :) I bet that those eggs would like a nice cool down to at least the 60 or so degrees for a couple months to induce hatching.

It's just a guess, but I'm going to guess that people don't like visiting your house much. ? 

My first impression was that these local darklings were larger than mealworm beetles, however, those were my store bought mealworms and the beetles were smaller than what I have now, home grown.  So I took a pic of some dead ones, as well as a dead one next to some home grown meal worm beetles and they are very close in size.  The locals seem slightly longer and thinner, less oval.  I think I had a total of 8 of them which died fairly quickly after capture (a month or two), and have maybe 40 ~ 50 larvae from them. The larvae are very similar looking to small superworms (not yellow like mealworms). They seem very hardy, I found two larvae in a tray I didn't see or feed for probably at least 2 or 3 months.  Sorry I can't find my good camera ATM.  I do have much better pics somewhere.

Half of them I found outside, half of them in the bathroom, I assume heading towards the wet towls the kids keep throwing on the floor.  It seemed very strange that just as I was breeding meal worms and superworms, some other darkling beetle was showing up out of nowhere right outside their room!

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@MarlonDark mealworm coloration, uncanny resemblance to molitor adults (striated elytra, somewhat elongated shape, ridged round pronotum with pointy edges), and ability to survive in dry grains are all traits consistent with Tenebrio obscurus. I do not know any other darkling with this exact trait combination so obscurus seems very probable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@Hisserdude, can you confirm or deny my ID?

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@Test Account Awesome!  Thanks!  I've never heard of that one, but fits the bill perfectly.  Not near as easy to find info on as molitor, (I see wikipedia has it wrong too)but I did find a very comprehensive study

  https://books.google.com/books?id=IMZDAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA4-PA2&lpg=RA4-PA2&dq=Tenebrio+obscurus+distribution&source=bl&ots=ewwc67a0uj&sig=YPAt2onNmJJ4pNk9fGDnhXG0FFc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGh4vugdPfAhVCpIMKHXeqBuY4ChDoATALegQIBBAB#v=onepage&q=Tenebrio obscurus distribution&f=false

I guess my local population might be from a bag of a new brand of rabbit feed that I accidentally got wet back in April, as I don't recall seeing these guys before.  The normal brand I get had some batches that got contaminated by fertilizer, so the feed store went with a nearby uncommon brand that didn't seem to be as well-made, then it got damp and molded, so I just set it aside.  After reading so much, maybe I should check the frozen bag from some dormants.  The study says they die if frozen but worth a check I think.  Wonder why so little info, that study was done a year before my dad was born and he's 87

What's cool about this beetle is although nearly identical to molitor, the study shows they lay more eggs and some exhibit earlier maturation, and as you mentioned, can survive dry grains.  Anyone know a reason while molitor has dominated the commercial industry when the study shows obscurus has better numbers?  Perhaps the slightly larger size of larvae?  

I recently learned there's a sister site to this one for beetles... perhaps I should be posting this there?

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Definitely Tenebrio obscurus, the adults have a more matte coloration, and the adults male's front legs are truly impressive, (well, in some individuals). The larvae are also typically dark, but oddly enough I've seen lighter colored larvae pop up in my old colony that looked like those of T.molitor, and I've seen really dark larvae pop up in my T.molitor colony that looked like obscurus!

Oddly enough this was not a result of cross contamination, just rare color variation that had no effect on the resulting adults, which looked rather normal for both species. I'm pretty sure hybridization between these two is impossible, as both are common grain pests across the world and certainly have had their ranges overlap by now, yet there have been no reported hybrids or anything like that. Kind of the same situation as Armadillidium vulgare and nasatum, if you will. 

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