Jump to content

Hi


wizentrop
 Share

Recommended Posts

I thought it would be nice to introduce myself. I am an Entomologist, originally coming from Israel, and I've being keeping arthropods and amphibians for ~20 years. I worked 7 years at a university's insectarium, where I got most of my experience keeping and breeding some rare and difficult species. I also teach Entomology at the university level.

Now my collection is rather small compared to what I had 4 years ago. Some scorpions, some spiders, tailless whipspiders and beetles. I try make a good use of my time and focus on several unique species, for example Pyrophorus noctilucus, Phengodidea, Protaetia species.

There is a lot of good info in the forums here, and I hope to learn from people's experience and to share my own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi and welcome! if you dont mind me asking, how do you care for your Phengodidea/fireflies? and do you have pics of your beetles?

there are lots of nice people on this forum ( in fact i can't name one member that is not nice :D ) and you should feel right at home here! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes and yes.
For the Phengodidae, I think it is better if I start a new thread and post the pics and info there. I think they are mentioned in Orin's book, and there is also complementary thread here. I keep a relatively small species, not like the ones you find in southern US and Mexico.

And yes, I do keep amblypygi in breeding, I absolutely love this group. Too bad they reproduce very slow. I have the african Damon that is somewhat common in the hobby, but also a small Charinus species that is new to science. Unfortunately, I cannnot post any info/pics of it before my team and I officially describe it in a scientific paper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome,

I remember finding a Pyrophorus noctilucus in Jamaica when I was a kid, It was amazing to me. I have been catching beetles/insects since I was 5, it's as if it was programmed into my DNA. Congratulations on finding the new species. Insects truly are an amazing part of nature. Can you tell me what the ostia holes do do they suck in or out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pyrophorus are indeed some of the most amazing beetles in the world in my opinion. Their bioluminescence is the most powerful in the insect world, and they have two different light producing organs, one signals using green light, and the other using orange light.

Although insects physiology is not exactly my speciality, the ostia holes allow hemolymph (the insect equivalent of blood) to enther into the insect heart.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok thanks, I was wondering that. I didn't know they had 2 different bioluminescent organs that put out different colors, wow, that is pretty evolved. Two nights ago I was checking out my beetle larva, and I noticed the black line (heart) was pumping it was getting fat then thin. It was the first time I noticed that I was so amazed and happy I got to see a living insects heart beat. I was surprised that it was not beating faster like small mammals. Have you noticed any undocumented insect behavior from your beetles? We have so much more to learn no matter how smart or years you put in. That is why insects are awesome they are always teaching me something, and there are so many new species we haven't found yet, you can't get bored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more, we have so much to learn about insects and about animals in general. And some new and important discoveries can easily be made just by observing an insect's life cycle or behavior.
To answer your question - yes, I have noticed some undocumented behavior from beetles I kept, and I published my observations in a few scientific papers. This, in my opinion, is the right way to deal with new discoveries - sharing them with the scientific community first (to get these discoveries evaluated by peers) and later with the general public.

There is a chance you might know the story - ever heard of a beetle that preys on frogs? And its larva that lures the frog pretending to be food only later to eat the frog? Those were beetles that I kept in captivity. I later recorded the same interactions with amphibians in the field.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wow you kept those! :o i always thought it was cool how the larva made themselves look tasty and then WHAM :ph34r: the frog is being eaten by what would normally be its prey! any luck breeding them?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree as well, the scientific community needs to know, and it is important for the records as well. I just looked it up. Epomis are very interesting. Wow, they really don't fool around, larva and adult beetle. I know of the story now. You made these discoveries in Tel-Aviv University.

Did you confirm if they cut the connecting rear leg muscles to stop the frog jumping? It's amazing how one larva got swallowed by the frog for 2 hours before the frog threw it up only to be eaten by the larva!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kept the Epomis beetles for 5 years (=5 generations), so yes breeding is possible, if and only if you have enough froglets to feed the larvae... (and this "amphibian slaughtering" requires a special permit from the wildlife protection authorities)

I never got to check in detail what the beetles initially do to the amphibians. But I can say for certain that they do not cut the spinal cord, even though it may look like it. The spinal cord remained intact in all the amphibians after being consumed. To my understanding, it seems that the beetle damages the muscle tissue of the rear legs to prevent the frog from escaping, and then devours the amphibian slowly while it is still alive. What an awful way to die.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Waite!!! Are Epomis beetles found in ca???? I found several beetles that look just like that by a creek near my house. They come out about the same time that the tadpoles turn into froglets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Epomis is an old world, Palearctic genus, with most of the species based in Africa and a few several species in southern Europe, Middle East and Southern Asia. The groud beetles you see in the US (or in Canada, for that matter) sharing the habitat with amphibians belong to the closely relates genus Chlaenius. Epomis was once considered a subgenus of Chlaenius however they were separeted from it because of their unique biology and morphology. That being said, Chlaenius beetles can sometimes be seen hunting small or injured amphibians. Most predatory ground beetles will eat just about any creature they can grab. Chlaenius larvae feed on small insects found in the muddy banks of streams and ponds, and they are actually food of many amphibians.

Any statement I make regarding amphibians' pain will be subjective and non-scientific, because I did not have a good method for measuring this in a quantitative way. I can say however that once an Epomis larvae or beetle started feeding, the amphibian knows exactly what is going on. Many times I recorded attempts to shake off the predator, or simply trying to crawl to safety. These attempts were unsuccessful and did not end well for the amphibian.

I can recall one interesting observation that was not reported in our paper: I had one larva attacking a stream frog (Pelophylax bedriagae). The frog jumped rigorously in an attempt to shake the larva off and after a few minutes smashed the larva's body, killing it in the process. However, the larva's head remained attached to the frog's throat as a "souvenir" from this interaction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank's for sharing that. It reminded me of a time when I found a lizard with a large carpenter ant head clamped to his jaw, it was so crazy, as I've caught so many lizards and that was the only time That I saw that. If I had a macro camera back then I would have blown up the picture and put it on my wall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...