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There’s now a distinct chill in the air so I’ll be switching on the little critters’ heat mats.

A project for the autumn will be making a simple beetle hotel for the various insects to holiday in over the ensuring cold months. I’ll get hold of a tough cardboard box and fill it with old plastic piping, bits of fire wood, and leaves, then punch a few holes in it – including little doorways – before leaving it under a bush. Loosely covering it with a piece of old plastic sheeting weighted down by a couple of bricks makes sense.

A couple of days ago I was pleasantly shocked to find a couple of baby millipedes from the giant millys. It was last thing at night, dark – when millipedes usually come out – and I spotted them, all 15mm or so! Exact replicas of their parents, with bobbing antenae, segmented bodies, and a plentiful number of legs. It surprised me because I believe the two millipedes to be female; there was (I believed to be) a male but that was almost a year ago. (He arrived ill in the snail mail, although carefully packed, he never recovered). Do millipedes carry sperm, or have long pregnancies? Are there only two offspring? I don’t think I’m very good at telling the gender.

Here’s some new photos for you. They show Millicent and Miranda within their living environment – log cabin, with one up and one down; and a ‘tube stack‘, I put together with old kitchen roll middles and sellotape. Like pet rodents they’ve chewed holes in the tubes…they must have teeth! So good of them not to have bitten me šŸ™‚ They like climbing over the tubes and sleeping inside them. I’m so pleased I made it! Several other tubes are in a drawer, collected for making the next one when this one is all ‘chewed up’.

Unfortunately, not much to report on the pet beetle front. I’ve a few Pachnodas, sun or fruit beetles and that’s it. Not even a cocoon in sight! Next year I’d like to get hold of some Frog Beetles (Sagra) as they’re such a joy to keep and really beautiful like jewels. I might even have success with breeding them.

Petr, if you’re reading this, I will be getting in touch, I meant to before but haven’t had the best of health, and you know how life gets in the way! All the best to your little family unit šŸ™‚ xx

To everyone else, thanks for stopping by, your comments are much appreciated!


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