Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Additions

After some prodding, I talked my fiancée into starting a millipede colony in our spare fish tank instead of a new reef. We already had a young, female Archispirostreptus gigas, but I'm impatient.

Today, I picked up a package that was being held for me. It had two beautiful millipedes that I was expecting to be much smaller. The male is around 9" long, and the female 8". I placed them into their new home, and put them on a fresh plate of veggies, in case they were hungry.

I just checked back on our new critters and found them in the throws of passion. I don't think it'll be much longer before we have the pitter-patter of thousands of little feet!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Change of Heart

I was supposed to pick up another centipede in the trade I made for my spiderlings. The person I was working with told me he was getting six more Scolopendra subspinipes today. I decided to wait and see what color morphs he received, as he only had the brown body/ yellow leg morph yesterday.

When I stopped by today, he had the six new beasties, but they were all that same color morph, sadly. I was hoping he would have one with the reddish-pink legs. Since I didn't see any that stood out to me, I took a peek at his other animals.

Since there were no spiders, I perused the scorpions. I'm not a big fan of scorpions, but I do keep them from time to time. He had some neat species, but one caught my eyes. It's an Israeli gold scorpion (Scorpio maurus). They get up to about 2-3" in length, have very mild venom, but have a seriously bad attitude. I have a weak spot for very tiny bugs who act like they're the size of a Scottish wolf hound.

This little bugger is about an inch long, right now, and tried to pinch the holy heck out of my tweezers when I picked it up to put in its new cage. I'm enamored already. I think we're going to have a great friendship!

P. irminia --> B. smithi

I just sold and traded off the last of my excess spiderlings. As part of the deal, I got myself a beautiful sub-adult B. smithi. I decided not to sex this spider and hope to be pleasantly surprised. I have an adult female already. If I get another female, that's always a good thing. If I ended up with a male, I'm ready to try and breed them down the line. I can't lose.

Also, this little bugger is adorable!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wonderful Surprise

I stopped by the local exotic pet store (Alligator Alley) to grab some crickets on my way home from class today. I always enjoy looking in their arthropod case, and today was no exception. The first thing I noticed were two very large Scolopendra spp. At a cursory glance, based on color, I thought I saw an S. subspinipes and an S. heros. What they really were was much more interesting.

I've been keeping centipedes for about ten years, now. I've had hundreds as the years have gone by. Strangely, I've never seen one molt. Centipedes just seem to eat their skins very quickly.

The centipede at the shop that I pegged as an S. heros ended up being an S. subspinipes that had molted less than twenty minutes before I walked in! I decided to buy it, and had the shop pull the molt out for me, too.

I now have my first centipede molt drying on my dresser, waiting for me to mount and frame it tomorrow. Not only does it look amazing since it was found while still moist, but it's eight inches long! Talk about a wonderful specimen.

This beautiful centipede is going to have a special place in my collection, now. I can't wait to see what color its legs are once hardened.

EDIT: I'm still settling in to Blogger. I can't seem to get the two photos to look nice, so please forgive the formatting.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nauphoeta cinerea

I just cleaned out one of my roach bins, which is never a small chore. There's nothing quite like fresh water gems to make these critters go crazy.

I know lobster roaches are regarded only for their use as a feeder species, which is why I have them as well, but I really think they're quite a beautiful animal. In appreciation for their beauty, and as reverence for them giving their lives for my other bugs, I have one tattooed on my hand. It's neat to always be able to see these guys wherever I am, now :)

Shadow Box

A few years ago, I was doing some volunteer work at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. I did a few different things in my years there: I curated their modern invert collection a little bit, I brought up some of my bugs to show to little kids, and I made a beautiful display that's still being shown.

The display was made from dozens of whole spider molts and a few other critters. It's in a glass cabinet in the Discovery Room, and every time I head to the museum, the dosant working at the time will gush about how popular it is. It feels nice to know that I was able to share this with so many people.

Hello World

I finally decided to start a blog about my many exciting dealings with entomology. Setting this up took longer than I planned, so better content will come later. Until then, I'll leave you a great photo of one of my pet spiders. This is a Chilobrachys fimbriatus.