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