Dasymutilla occidentalis life span?

zonbonzovi

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There are a lot of vague references to this online and in some books, but nothing concrete. Anyone have this information, or alternatively, how long have you been able to keep these in captivity.

I've kept one since July on diluted honey & fruit. It hasn't showed any signs of slowing down.
 

What

Arachnoprince
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http://www.fcla.edu/FlaEnt/fe85p245.pdf

That paper has documented females of another species surviving at least 10mo with one possibly being over 12mo old... The paper also mentions the mandibles are severely worn. It sounds like velvet ants can probably live over a year...but not much more in the wild.

I would bet the captive lifespan is as long as their bodies are physically able to function without mechanical wear being a problem... (This is of course just speculation.)
 

zonbonzovi

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Thanks, Kevin. Very interesting study. Speculating right along with you, I would think that in captivity substrates are going to be markedly different(much softer) then the small-grained sand and limestone matrix that was present everywhere I collected Mutillidae in N. Florida and would affect the rate of mandible degradation.

I had no idea about the arrhenotokous and thelytokous modes of producing males and females, although my knowledge of genetics is slim. Maybe I read this wrong or didn't completely understand, but males emerge from unfertilized eggs?
 

Vespula

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I kept a pair for a good while on coco fiber. They were already pretty old though, and only lasted about a month after first frost.
 

zonbonzovi

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Why must you taunt me with those, Bugs? D. sackenii, I presume? My favorites, but oh so elusive:(
 

Bugs In Cyberspace

Arachnodemon
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I have D. magna and perhaps even some D. sackenii now. They're similar. I tried to contact a fellow AB member, A. Milano, recently to share some of my recent acquisitions (he wanted VA's more than anybody and he's such a nice guy), but he neglected to reply.

I'll trade you two of your favorites for your red one. We miss her and I never got a video. You know my daughter named her Ruby, right?

I often mix brown sugar into my honey-water, but I'm not sure they're either picky or need terribly frequent feedings.
 

zonbonzovi

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I have D. magna and perhaps even some D. sackenii now. They're similar. I tried to contact a fellow AB member, A. Milano, recently to share some of my recent acquisitions (he wanted VA's more than anybody and he's such a nice guy), but he neglected to reply.

I'll trade you two of your favorites for your red one. We miss her and I never got a video. You know my daughter named her Ruby, right?

I often mix brown sugar into my honey-water, but I'm not sure they're either picky or need terribly frequent feedings.
That's who I collected Ruby for, but never heard back from him. I'd be happy to make the swap. She is living with the Cryptoglossas & Eleodes in fruit munching harmony.
 

Cheshire

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I had no idea about the arrhenotokous and thelytokous modes of producing males and females, although my knowledge of genetics is slim. Maybe I read this wrong or didn't completely understand, but males emerge from unfertilized eggs?
That is correct. Hymenopterans reproduce through a mode called haplodiploidy...males are haploid (one set of chromosomes) while females are diploid (two sets of chromosomes)
 

zonbonzovi

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That is correct. Hymenopterans reproduce through a mode called haplodiploidy...males are haploid (one set of chromosomes) while females are diploid (two sets of chromosomes)
Thanks, Cheshire;) I was going to ask for a link but happened across some information that helped detangle my synapses. Cheers!
 

zonbonzovi

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Found a new Ruby. Captured another a few days previous that was quite large and very orange but obviously worn and not long for this world. Mrs. Z also captured a male with butterfly net for the first time but it didn't live long. I'll add photos of that after a defrost...

A fresh tater held her interest long enough for pics.





 

zonbonzovi

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Me neither! It just happened to be the first thing it stumbled into when I fed the desert beetle tank. Usually watered down maple syrup/honey and/or apple/pear/other fruit is on the menu. I bet you come across a number of cool mutillids in your area...they seem to gravitate toward those sandy river areas.
 
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