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Melanolestes picipes


Hisserdude
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Got a pair of these from a trade with Mastigoproctus on AB, (AKA Micheal Dixon, the owner of Mike's House of A Thousand Legs), and they are very nice! I love the red bordering on these guys, hopefully I will be able to breed them!

Male:

M.picipes%25231.JPG

M.picipes%25233.JPG

Female:

M.picipes%25234.JPG

M.picipes%25236.JPG

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Nice! They are relatively easy to care for, but watch out for cannibalism as nymphs love eating each other even when plenty of food is provided.

Thanks! :) Yeah I'll be keeping any nymphs I get separate, I hear they don't play nice together.

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Very cool little assassins. I have tried to keep some native ones before with little luck. Where are some good care sheets for native assassins?

I don't think there are any care sheets for native assassins, most of ours are small and are seldom kept. Which species did you try to keep?

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Very cool little assassins. I have tried to keep some native ones before with little luck. Where are some good care sheets for native assassins?

Orin made a book called "Assassin Bugs & Aquatics Care Book", not sure if it lays out care for specific species of assassin bugs though.

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Orin made a book called "Assassin Bugs & Aquatics Care Book", not sure if it lays out care for specific species of assassin bugs though.

It does have care information for individual assassin bug species, it's a great book. :)

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Cool I will try to get that book when I get a chance. So locally we have zelus longipes, and kissing bugs but I hear they carry chagas so I might leave them be. Sometime I see pinwheel bugs I caught one once but he didnt even make it home. Maybe the container was to small.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Oh wow, can't believe I never posted pictures of the eggs the female laid! My female laid quite a few eggs a few weeks ago, and some of them have started hatching!

Eggs:

M.picipesegg%25231.JPG

M.picipesegg%25233.JPG

Hatchlings:

M.picip%25238.JPG

M.picip%25239.JPG

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  • 3 months later...

Here we are several months later, and I currently only have 7 Melanolestes picipes left, I lost a few nymphs due to some mismolts and inexplicable die offs, but 7 nymphs from a single pair of adults does not seem too bad to me. :) (Would have liked to have more though).

One male and one female have matured so far, and the 3 male and 2 female nymphs aren't too far behind.

Here are some pictures of the mature pair:

Male

M.picipes%25232.JPG

M.picipes%25233.JPG

Female

M.picipes%25235.JPG

M.picipes%25236.JPG

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  • 1 month later...

Things have gone south with this species very fast. Two males, including the one pictured above, were eaten by the female pictured above before they could mate with her, despite her being well fed. A third male died a few days after molting into a crippled adult, and the fourth ate the above female tonight. He was housed with different female for week or so but no mating was seen.

My only other female matured today, so I currently have two adult, unmated females, and one psycho male. Any suggestions on what I should do next? The male had access to mealworm beetles and pupa, which their parents loved, yet it seems he let himself go hungry until he could grab that female. Don't quite know what to do next, I've been keeping both parties well fed the whole time and yet have had so much cannibalism occur.

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Cool I will try to get that book when I get a chance. So locally we have zelus longipes, and kissing bugs but I hear they carry chagas so I might leave them be. Sometime I see pinwheel bugs I caught one once but he didnt even make it home. Maybe the container was to small.

The chances of one of the kissing bugs carrying Chagas is actually pretty small, but they're really hard to keep because they actually don't feed on insects. They have to have a blood meal to grow and thrive and that tends to be a bit difficult to pull off as opposed to the other native reduviids which you can just feed insects.

Things have gone south with this species very fast. Two males, including the one pictured above, were eaten by the female pictured above before they could mate with her, despite her being well fed. A third male died a few days after molting into a crippled adult, and the fourth ate the above female tonight. He was housed with different female for week or so but no mating was seen.

My only other female matured today, so I currently have two adult, unmated females, and one psycho male. Any suggestions on what I should do next? The male had access to mealworm beetles and pupa, which their parents loved, yet it seems he let himself go hungry until he could grab that female. Don't quite know what to do next, I've been keeping both parties well fed the whole time and yet have had so much cannibalism occur.

Wow, that's crazy! I hate to throw this out as an option, but could you pair the male with one of the other females and if he eats her, put him in with the next female right away after he's finished? I know that puts your females at risk though, which is definitely less than ideal, but it may be a good option if you're desperate to keep them going. I'd almost recommend starting from scratch and trying to get some new individuals and try keeping them under different conditions to see if this is the result of environment vs. aggressive genes that you might not want in the next generation.

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Well the male ate that one female last night, so he should be completely full and hopefully receptive to mating, will put him in with a female shortly, hopefully he'll play nice...

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