Wednesday, January 4, 2017

First New Arthropods of 2017

What better arthropod to kick off a (hopefully) super year with than superworms! Although "worms" is in their common name, these are actually larvae of the fairly large tenebrionid beetle, Zophobas morio. I had been contemplating picking up some of these guys from a local pet store for a while, but finally made up my mind the other day and bought a twenty five ct. container of them. Apparently even pet stores give freebies because I ended up counting about thirty four of them! My choice to acquire them was mostly swayed by reading the darkling section of "The Ultimate Guide to Breeding Beetles", it just got me pumped to try an rear some larvae!
I have them housed in a six qt. Sterilite container with a decent number of ventilation holes in the upper sides. Their substrate is a moist, three inch deep mixture of coconut fiber, chunks of rotten wood, and dead leaves. In addition to the rotten wood and dead leaves, which will make up their main diet, I will also occasionally be giving them supplemental foods such as carrots and fish food pellets.
Here are a few pictures of them and their enclosure.

Z.morio larvae

Z.morio enclosure
As I dropped them into the enclosure the majority of them started to chew on the chunks of rotten wood which assured me that they would love their enclosure! I'm confident that I'll be able to rear these relatively simple to care for darkling larvae to adulthood. I'm really excited to hopefully start a thriving colony of these!
Additionally, I thought I'd share that my "odd" A.tesselata nymph that is a bit differently shaped than the others and just had its first molt with me passed away. I'm quite baffled, I have no idea why it was such an odd shape(regular at the front end besides some indentations in the wing-buds, but then an irregularly small, tapering abdomen) and only molted once with me, needless to say it has left its legacy as the "most interesting A.tesselata in the world"! LOL I kinda wanted to preserve the body, but will likely just feed it to my isopods.
Anyway, hope all of you enjoyed and good bye!

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