Monday, October 24, 2016

Some Nice Finds

Hey Everybody!
Made a trip down to that nature preserve again where I found my Parcoblatta pennsylvanica and Meracantha contracta. I came back once again with some awesome finds!
I found two large Meracantha contracta larvae, one large Neopyrochroa flabellata larva, about six Trachelipus rathkii(mostly orange individuals), and a large Dolomedes tenebrosus!
Was really excited to find the two M.contracta larvae, hopefully I've got an individual of each sex out of the three larvae I have!
Here are some photos!
Two large M.contracta larvae

Large M.contracta larvae compared to smaller M.contracta larva
Really crossing my fingers that I'll be able to rear these guys to adulthood! I'll keep you guys updated on them!
Next, here's some pics of the interesting-looking N.flabellata larva!

Large N.flabellata larva
I saw a good number of these guys while looking under rotten logs at the nature preserve, so I'll be giving it a compacted substrate of rotten wood. Will be interesting seeing it's development to an adult. By the way, does anyone know what the adults eat?
Lastly, here's some pics of the large and beautiful D.tenebrosus!

I'm not sure how long I'll be keeping this guy(don't really have a strong colony of feeders), but it'll be fun observing it during the time that I do have it!
I'm also really happy to have collected the orange T.rathkii, I added them to the community that I'm trying to isolate the orange trait in. As an extra bonus, I was able to collect a nice supply of rotten wood, which is always nice to have plenty of!
Have a good night everybody, and I'll see you all next time!


  1. Nice, hope you are able to rear the M.contracta to adulthood!

    BTW, the Neopyrochroa larvae are apparently fungivorous, don't know if the wood will have the proper fungi on it or not, so it may not make it to adulthood. However, they also apparently can become cannibalistic under crowded conditions, suggesting they are able to digest meat, maybe they'd like dogfood? Can't find out what the adults eat, my guess is they either eat leaves, nectar or nothing at all, I don't think they are long lived.

    1. Thanks! :)
      Oh, I just assumed they fed on the rotten wood because I kept finding them under the bark of rotten logs. I'll try to give it some chichlid fish food pellets and see if it likes them. Yea, I mostly just brung one back because I wanted to find out what they were larvae of, I think I'll be releasing it if I can manage to make another trip back to where I found it.
      Also, do you think it'd be bad to try and recreate the habitat where I find the M.contracta to see if they pupate better like that? I was thinking since I usually find them under rotten logs to put about 3/4-1 inch of compacted coconut fiber in a deli cup and then put a chunk of rotten wood on top of it. Thoughts?
      On more thing I wanted to ask was if I should be giving the M.contracta larvae any other food besides the rotten wood.

  2. Yeah, rotten logs are their habitat but they apparently feed on fungi growing on the logs, and possibly animal matter. Hope it does well for you, if it is large enough it may be able to pupate in your care before it starves.

    They would probably pupate inside the chunk of rotten wood if it was big enough, however I really don't suggest you try pupating them together as Tenebrionid larva will often cannibalize any pupa they find, with the obvious exception of Tenebrio, Alphitobius, and some other grain pest species. However I doubt that method would be much more successful than pupating them in plain old compressed coconut fiber.

    I would definitely be feeding them like normal darkling larva, dog food and carrots should be offered, and some dead leaves wouldn't hurt either. I don't even know if they need rotten wood in their diet, I kind of doubt it. Zophobas and Tenebrio for example live in treeholes in the wild where they eat rotten wood, but in captivity they will eat grains and vegetables. Likewise, while Meracantha contracta larva are found in rotten wood, I think they could be reared on dog food and carrots in captivity, and would probably take those foods over rotten wood.

    1. It was the largest one I saw, so maybe!

      Yea, I wouldn't be pupating them together, I would be doing it in individual containers. I think I might experiment with my suggested method and with the coconut fiber method.

      Thanks for the info, I had only provided the rotten wood and a couple small pieces of chichlid fish food pellets.

      Thanks again for all the help! :)

    2. Well keep us updated, would be cool to see it mature! :)

      Ok, well both methods will probably work, your larger larvae probably aren't too far from being ready to pupate, if they aren't already!
      Honestly the wood and chichlid pellets are probably enough for them, though adding some dead leaves couldn't hurt.

      Hope they do well for you, keep us updated! :)