Aside

Today I will be talking about my little friend Daniella. She is an Australian giant rainforest mantis and is a baby right now. She feeds on fruit flies, cockroaches, and crickets. Daniella is very sweet and loves to come out and run around on your hand.Image

Praying mantids are unusual insects with limbs that in a position that resembles praying, hence the name. They are strictly insectivorous and will take on insects much larger than themselves. Please ask any questions in the comments below!

The Wonderful Tegu

Hey bloggers!

I am thinking about getting a tegu. The tegu is a large lizard that gets about 3.5 feet long. There are many kinds, such as the blue tegu, the golden tegu, the argentine red tegu, the argentine black and white tegu, and the columbian black and white tegu. Tegus are among the most intelligent lizards on the planet. They can even be taught simple tricks and respond to their name. Most tegus come from South America. The red tegu is the largest, measuring up to 4.5 feet. The argentine tegus are MUCH easier to tame than their columbian cousins. Here’s some pictures with captions.argteguArgentine black and white tegu colteguColumbian black and white tegu goldteguGolden tegu bluetegu Blue tegureteguRed tegu

Thanks for reading!

Mycosis in Millipedes

Hi, I have some bad news. One of my millipedes has mycosis. Mycosis is a fungal infection in the exoskeleton. If it reaches the cuticle, your millipede is about dead. That’s what I’m trying to prevent in mine. The best ways to treat mycosis in millipedes are listed below:

  • Put the infected millipede(s) in a separate container with the same substrate as it’s normal container. Dry out the substrate and poke many ventilation holes into the lid. This will keep the container dry and hopefully kill the fungus.
  • Another way (which is not as safe but very effective), is to rub the sick pede with povidone-iodine and wait. These chemicals can be harmful to millipedes but perhaps not as harmful as mycosis.

I am using the first method and will only use the second as a last resort. I hope this article helps you if any of your millipedes gets infected.

Theodora the Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

Hi again,

Guess what I got? Well, I’m sure you’d guess from the title, so just bear with me; A rose hair tarantula! Her name is Theadora and she’s a real sweetie. She walks on my hand without any complaint and is a great eater. If you’re thinking of getting a tarantula I’d definitely recommend getting a rose hair! Here is a care sheet that I wrote to help you out called Tarantulacare.

Heres a picture of Thea:

thea

Isn’t she cute?

Tarantulas are members of the family theraphosoidea. Rose hairs can live for up to 15-20 years, and their habitat is normally in the desert. They have a varied diet consisting of mealworms, grasshoppers, crickets, moths, and sometimes small mice. Tarantulas can have up to 500 eggs in one egg sac, which she makes out of silk. She then stays near the sac without eating for a couple months before hatching. They are normally a rich brown with creamy hairs and a pinky tinge. Unlike true spiders, tarantula jaws strike downward, while true spiders strike sideways. They also have small teeth which help crush the exoskeleton. They, like millipedes, sense sound with their body, and do not possess a trachea. They instead have something called a book lung. Inside the chamber, the lamellae are stacked up in the manner of pages in a book, hence the name.

booklungdiagram

The molting process is one of the most interesting characteristic of a tarantula. They generally molt four times a year when young and one to two times a year in adulthood. When they molt, the spider spins a sheet web. It gets onto it and flips over on its back. Blood pressure increases, causing the exoskeleton to split at the front edge. The rip gets bigger. The spider then lays on its side and pulls out of it, one leg at a time.

tmolting

There is a tarantula finishing its molt.

And here is a video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg4jza96lRU

Sadly, one of my tarantulas died while molting. It got stuck in its molt and died. This is a very common happening and is usually caused by the absence of moisture, which helps a tarantula molt.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy tarantulas as much as I do!

My Millipedes

Hello there people,

I just got some new millipedes (Narceus gordaus) and I thought I would share! Here’s some pictures with names!

IMG_0899Winifred

IMG_0900Jocedric

IMG_0901And Thompson

If you’re thinking of keeping millipedes because you are so inspired by the wonderful pictures of my millipedes then here’s a little care sheet I put together called millicare. My millipedes love cucumber, mushrooms, and tomatoes. They ate a whole mushroom down to the root! These little guys can reach lengths of up to eight inches and are the largest millipedes in North America. When they molt, they add new segments to their body, but the other segments stay the same. Their best defense is camouflage but they can also roll into a ball and secrete a substance that is slightly toxic. Mine once oozed onto me and it turned my hand bright red! Millipedes are part of the class Diplopoda. Roly-polies are millipedes, too. Their mouth parts are for nibbling, much like the mouth parts of stick insects. The difference between centipedes and millipedes is: millipedes have two pairs of legs per segment while centipedes have one pair of legs per segment. Also, the millipede is very docile and is vegetarian. The centipede, on the other hand, is aggressive and eats other organisms. Millipedes have mostly the same senses as we do, such as smell, taste, sight, touch, and hearing. They have compound eyes, but don’t have ears. Instead, they feel sound with their bodies. The antennae are used to taste and smell and these senses are very strong.

Millipedes are born out of eggs and the babies look much different from their parents. For one, they are tiny and only have a few legs. They are also normally not the same color as their parents.

baby millipedes

Here are some newborn millipedes. Millipedes live on all continents, the exception being Antarctica. They also live in almost all countries. They also come in many colors. For example, the almond millipede has bright yellow spots, and some Philippine millipedes are bright orange.Below is a video showing how a millipede moves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lr5EaiENHg

And here is a photo gallery of my favorite giant millipedesalmondmilliphilimillipillmillifirelegredmilli

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy millipedes as much as I do!

Narceus gordanus Munching on Strawberry

Image

IMG_9320nargord2

Bugs…Pests or Pals?

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Bugs… Pests or Pals?

Most people may think of bugs in a variety of different ways… gross, pests, disgusting, ugly… The list could go on infinitely. But a select few, very special people out there think of bugs as other things…. Interesting, cool, beguiling, even as pets. At least, that’s what I think of them. I love bugs. And what most people of the world don’t know, many bugs aren’t pests, just misunderstood creatures that need a home.

For example, cockroaches. 99% of cockroach species aren’t pests. In fact, most species live as far as 500 miles away from people’s homes. Take madagascaran hissing cockroaches for instance. These roaches live far away from human habitation, and are strictly fruit and veggie eaters, with the occasional carrion snack. These roaches may look and seem like pests, but they are really harmless little beings with no intention to hurt. And without these decomposers, we could be waist deep in our own filth!

Another example of a bug that’s more helpful than harmful is spiders. When most people look at spiders, they may get the chills, or even emit a little shriek.  But there is no reason for it. They, like cockroaches, can be helpful. They eat the flies and mosquitoes in your house.  They keep the aphids out of your yard. So, these little (and sometimes big) guys are only here to help, and will only bite if harmed or scared. I for one have caught a black widow with only a cup and guess what? The spider didn’t attack me. It didn’t jump up and bite me. Instead, it calmly walked into the cup without so much as a little nip.

So I hope you now understand that bugs cannot only be pests, they can be pals! I own 2 tarantulas, a scorpion, two millipedes, a black widow, and a centipede and I have never been hurt by them. And I even hold some of them! So go out, anywhere in nature, and observe bugs in the wild, or even buy some as pets if you’re up to it! Here are some helpful sites for ordering bugs with caresheets: http://www.llreptile.com, http://www.roachcrossing.com, and http://www.bugsincyberspace.com. Please comment about your fears of any bugs, and I will listen. Thanks for reading.