Nearly a month ago, two packages were shipped out for me. One containing a group of very rare and beautiful Ectobiids from Alan Jeon, and the other containing an adult female Lucihormetica verrucosa (Which didn't end up coming alone 😉) from Cody Will to go with my male from two posts ago. Little did I know this was the very start of the most nerve wracking shipping experience in my life.........
Shortly after the packages had been sent out my mom let me know that she had notified the post office of a change of address (since we're nearly moved into our new house), which I MIGHT have been informed of before, but oh well. 😑 In this case, all mail would start being sent to our new house, but I still just crossed my fingers that it wouldn't be taken into effect yet and hoped for the best. Well.....this didn't happen. 🙁 After being out for delivery, they were marked as "forwarded". We didn't really know what actions took place in this process so we contacted our local post office about their location and were directed to the one near our new house. A quick visit to this one revealed that they indeed were not in possession of them. So after decided to call and visit the post office a few more times (since the tracking sat for days without any update) and turning up empty handed, we decided to just let things take their course. Daily, for nearly a week, we drove past the house to see if they had finally been delivered, each and every time, nothing. It wasn't until three Thursday/Fridays ago (the tenth/eleventh day in shipping) that we heard the forwarding had, at long last, been processed...........at our local post office that supposedly didn't have our mail! 😠 I was completely outraged that they likely just had the packages sitting in a corner or something for all that time and directed us somewhere else for them, but since you obviously can't change the past, again I said, oh well.
That Friday, I saw something on the tracking for Alan's package that I semi-thought was a dream, "Delivered, In/At Mailbox"! So we drove over to the house with an assurance nonexistent any previous time, I picked up the dented package, and stepped inside for the unboxing. Expecting to find containers of putrid, dead bodies, I hesitantly sliced through the tape and removed the newspaper insulation to find something much different........a cup of living, moving Symploce morsei!!!!! 😂 Every single one of nineteen S.morsei nymphs I received was perfectly alive and well! Yes, a couple were a bit lethargic, but very similar in behavior to any other roach I've seen that's coming close to a molt. In fact, one has even molted to adulthood already (I presume a male)!
Anyway, now that we've established the fact that they got through USPS unscaved, let's get into the routine physical and enclosure description, shall we? 😉
This species of Symploce is the rarest and, in my opinion, the most eye catching/interesting of the three members of it's genus currently cultured in the U.S hobby. The main reason for this would definitely lie in the very curious appearance or should I say appearances of the nymphs. They start out with plain black coloration and then transition to a very Blattella-esque look with two vertically-oriented stripes (sometimes accompanied by a nice orange center) along with a couple things that will stay with them their entire lives, off white specks and streaks (which would be light yellow at the time) with the first bordering the abdomen and the latter bordering the pronotum and "wingbuds". From this, the "Blattella" coloration disappears as they develop some more black coloration which fades to brown at the front portion of the roach. The brown changes to more of a dark crimson as they grow and the light yellow of the marginal streaks (and legs for that matter) turn to a bronze color. As they hit adulthood, they gain a nice, long set of tan tegmina (and likely normal, colorless wings) and the previously bronze streaks bordering the "wing buds" turn transparent with the ones on the pronotum switching to an eggshell-like color. In addition, the whole underside, legs, and head transform to a beautiful pale with attractive black speckling (underside) and bronze highlights (legs).
I hope you guys enjoyed that edition of "Completely and Utterly Describe That Roach", but I'm afraid we're going to have to move onto the enclosure now. 😉
At the moment, I'm keeping these guys in a temporary 64 oz. Glad container, which will soon be replaced with a permanent colony container. The substrate is a moist version of my usual mix (I would recite it again, but I'm sure you guys know by now) and I have a few pieces of egg crate in there for the hides.
Here are the pics!
|Large S.morsei nymphs|
|Adult S.morsei with orange pronotum|
As you can see above, the surprises weren't done with the maturation of this individual, I have a new morph on my hands! 😮 Unlike any other adults that that currently exist in the hobby, this guy has a very nice electric orange pronotum! Since my individuals all came from one WC female, I could definitely see this marvelous variation popping up again, but even if this ends up being the only one, I will be doing my best to isolate it.
With all the Symploce amazement aside, I still waited for Cody's package to arrive, and (after being out for delivery in the wrong location for a second time) that's exactly what happened that Saturday! On sight of opening the box, I could already see one gorgeous and lively adult female Warty Glowspot, but when I lifted the container out of the box, the real surprise revealed itself. Cody was actually nice enough to send me half a dozen nymphs of a species that'd made a home on my wish list for quite some time, the Giant Lobster Roach, Henschoutedenia flexivitta! 😁 Just like their close relatives, the Lobster Roach, Nauphoeta cinerea, these guys have a jaw dropping rainbow sheen, but visibility isn't limited to sun light or the flash of a camera as it seems to be with N.cinerea and it also seems to show up at a younger age. Besides that, this species is also much bulkier and a bit longer than its cousin throughout all live stages and sports orange stripes as older nymphs.
I'm actually just keeping mine in the container they were shipped in for right now since they're still young and aren't really cramped much at all in it. My substrate for these guys is, again, a moist version of my standard mix and my universal egg crate hides were not left out.
Photos Here! ⬇
|Small H.flexivitta nymphs|