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Cyriocosmus perezmilesi

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Breeding attempt successful.

No special care was given to either of the two prior to mating, other than the natural temperature fluctuations/light durations of late summer to early fall.
Both were fed normally, (1 food item/week) and the female was quite large by the first mating attempt. The male was allowed to create a fresh sperm web before pairing. Exact timeline with specific dates will be provided in the end of the report.

For pairing, the male was simply placed into the females enclosure, as far from the female's webbed area as possible. Male was removed after insertions. No cohabitation was attempted.

First pairing
The Female was very receptive, and was tapping only moments after the male was placed into her enclosure. Despite this, she did not come out to meet him, and instead waited deep in her burrow, tapping constantly.
The male was extremely skittish, and would not budge until the cover of the enclosure was in place. He slowly made his way to her, and they mated for approximately 15 minutes.

Male and female mating during the first pairing.


mating video
[YOUTUBE]X_6X6faluy4[/YOUTUBE]

Many insertions were observed. Towards the end, the male clearly wanted to leave, but as he attempted to push her and back out, the female would flinch, forcing the male to come forward again to stroke her underside. When he finally managed to break free, the female chased him out of her burrow and the male was promply removed.

Second pairing
The male was allowed to make another sperm web and was introduced to the female in the same manner as before, three days later. As before he only started to move around after the cover was in place. This time, female remained completely still, despite the constantly drumming male nearly walking over her. Male was promply removed, as female was clearly uninterested, and might have become hostile.

Eggsac preparation and care

Two days after the pairing, the female began to web and dig excessively througout her enclosure. She would also no longer accept the male, or any food. In anticipation of a sac, a second water dish was given, and the substrate slightly moistened around it. Saran wrap was used to cover the majority of the holes to help keep steady humidity. Extra substrate was added when it became apparent she wanted to dig a new burrow for eggsac formation/care

Second, larger water dish added.


saran wrap used to cover ventilation


She eventually dug and sealed herself into a rather small, underground, web lined pocket seperate from her actual burrow, directly against the bottom of her enclosure. The pocked appeared to have just enough space for her. One week later she dropped the sac.

Female with sac.


It was decided to let her incubate the sac for three weeks and pulling it to be incubated manually. During this time, both water dishes were always topped off, and the substrate in her vacinity moistened (but never directly on her!). The temperatures at the time were in the mid 80s, and got as high as 89. As she incubated it into the second and third week, the temperature averaged in the mid - high 70s. Female was observed to be occasionally moving the sac, and turning it around in her webbed pocket.

Pulling the eggsac

The eggsac


*In this report, I go by the naming convention that goes:
Eggs ---> Post embryos/Eggs with legs ---> first instar ---> second instar


The eggsac was pulled three weeks after it was laid. After the eggs/post embryos were removed and placed into the incubator, the empty sac was returned to the female. After carrying it for two days (and remodeling her old burrow to accomodate it) she abandoned the sac and began to take food again. The sac itself contained a mix of post embryos (eggs with legs) and eggs. There were approximately 163 total. A large number seemed to be caked onto the inside of the eggsac, in a yellowish crusty substance, as if the fluid they are in when they are first layed had dried them into place. In addition, a few instances of cannibalization of the eggs and some post embryos was observed.

Care of the eggs

The eggs were incubated in a delicup lined with filter paper and placed into a large, ventilated plastic shoebox, with the bottom of the box lined with wet paper towels.

Eggs and post embryos in the incubator


The temperatures during incubation were allowed to fluctuate with the season, in this case from summer to early fall. The temperatures during this time were usually within the mid to low 70s. The incubator was always kept very moist by ensuring the paper towels were sopping wet. Throughout the incubation, the filter paper was changed out when it became soiled to prevent mold.

Post embryos to first instar

close up of the post embryos and eggs


When the sac was pulled, it was clear that it was in the middle of "hatching" into post embryos. Over the course of three days, the eggs continued to hatch. The majority of the "caked on" eggs, however, ultimately failed to hatch, and were eventually discarded when they began to turn black, leak or rot. During this time, several instances of cannibalism were observed. No action was taken to stop it, to promote the "weeding out" of weak individuals.

First instar to second instar

first instars, with some of the eggs that never hatched. They were shorty discarded. Note the two cannibalizing in the upper left corner.


About a week after being pulled, some of the post embryos had begun to molt into first instars. Within the next 2 days, all of the post embryos had finished molting. At this point onward, the coffee paper was moistened every now and then. During this time, six individuals had died of some unknown cause, and interestringly enough, only two cases of cannibalism observed, pictured above. Perhaps due to the low temperatures (low 70s at this point), they remained first instars for about a month, and molted into second instars over the course of an entire week.

A mix of hardened second instars, freshly molted second instars, first instars in heavy pemolt, and some late, still cream colored first instars


A few more were cannibalized after the early molters began to harden. Again, this was allowed to somewhat weed out the slow, small and weak. Most of the second instars were then seperated shortly after this was observed.
A few days after the last few lagging individuals had molted into second instar, the rest of the brood was seperated into seperate quarters.
In total, minus the bad eggs, the cannibalized, and the random deaths, thre were 81 second instars.

seperated second instars


1/4" second instar C. perezmilesi


If I could do it again...

...I would give her a deeper enclosure to allow her to burrow. I suspect that she was unable to turn her sac as effectively since she was in such a tiny space right up against the plastic of the enclosure, and that resulted in a lot of the eggs getting caked onto the bottom of her sac.
I would also control the temperatures a bit more, perhaps allowing it to remain relatively warm during the whole incubation period, to speed things along, or perhaps to prevent such a long time difference for molting into second instar between slings (assuming this isnt the norm).

Final Timeline

August 2 2010 - Paired with male, many inserts.

August 4 2010 - Began digging and webbing througout enclosure, added second water dish

August 5 2010 - Paired with male, completely unresponsive, male removed

August 6 2010 - More substrate added as female attempts to burrow

August 7 2010 - Female sealed off in a webbed pocket underground.

August 14 2010 - Sac laid.

September 4 2010 - sac pulled, post embryos, some still eggs. 163 total

September 11 2010 - first post embryos have molted into 1st instar.

October 7 2010 - first 2nd instar molt.

October 18 2010 - last 2nd instar molt. 81 total 2nd instars.

Second instar enjoying it's first meal - a quarter of a cricket leg.
 
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