Archived JJR News 2015
Wednesday 9th December 2015 Since my last update I have acquired another new snake, this time donated to me by a local family! This gorgeous little snake is a juvenile Pueblan milk snake, a beautiful tri-coloured snake from southern Mexico.
Wednesday 25th November 2015 Since my last update I have acquired some fabulous new animals. First up is this beautiful baby California king snake. She is an exceptionally high contrast black and white banded individual which, although having been captive bred by a friend of mine in Kent, originates from a particular locality in San Diego called Scissors Crossing.
Next up I am delighted to have acquired a new species of tailless whip scorpion known as Euphrynichus amanica. This species is absolutely enormous compared to Damon diadema, the species I have been keeping and breeding for years. Just like their smaller counterparts these are docile and completely non-aggressive, they just look a bit creepy and have absolutely HUGE pedipalps (pincers):
I have also acquired a few new praying mantises, many of which are just to supplement existing collections of some of my favourite species but two species of which are brand new to my collection. The first is an adorable nymph of a species of Indian flower mantis known by its scientific name of Creobroter meleagris:
This is an adult ghost mantis aka Phyllocrania paradoxa, a small species found across the African continent:
Friday 6th November 2015 I'm delighted to announce that my gorgeous adult Peruvian pinktoe tarantula now has a name, following the end to my competition yesterday. Her new name is to be Spinderella as suggested by Ellie, a Year 5 pupil at Bishopswood Junior School in Hampshire, whom I met during a school visit just this week! Well done Ellie, a great suggestion for a beautiful spider!
Friday 16th October 2015 Since my last update I have acquired some fantastic new animals, as a result of my annual visit to the Amateur Entomologists' Society (AES) annual exhibition and trade fair. I won't list them all here though as many of them are just additions to my existing collections of some of my favourite species. Firstly this is a male giant rhinoceros beetles known as Chalcosoma caucasus, a species which I have kept before but not had in my collection for a couple of years!
For more information about this amazing species please click HERE!
Next up are a group of Phyllium giganteum aka giant leaf insects, a species I have always absolutely adored! These are nowhere near adult size yet but they are already look fantastic. For more pictures of these, including as adults, please click HERE.
Next up is a new giant vinegaroon or true whip scorpion (aka Mastigoproctus giganteus).
Vinegaroons are absolutely amazing creatures which are one of the most unusual arachnids on the planet, for more information about them please click HERE!
22nd September 2015 It's competition time again! I am looking for a name for my beautiful adult female Peruvian pinktoe tarantula and need your help! She is fantastic and deserves a brilliant name, here she is following her recent moult:
For all the competition information and for details of how to enter please click HERE!
13th September 2015 I am absolutely thrilled to have acquired my first ever individuals of the 'lichen form' of Extatosma tiaratum aka the giant Australian prickly stick insect. These originate only from a particular locality in Queensland and there aren't many of them in the UK, so I am very privileged to own them thanks to my good friend Curtis Lakin who breeds a huge number of amazing phasmid species.
For more information about this fantastic stick insect species please click here!
30th August 2015 I have acquired a few new tarantulas in recent weeks! First up are two Peruvian pinktoe tarantulas, one adult female and one tiny juvenile (spiderling) which as you can see below are quite different from each other!
For plenty more information about this fantastic species please click here.
Next up is a gorgeous little spider known as a pumpkin patch tarantula, a species which only grows to a maximum of four inches long! This one is absolutely beautiful in the flesh, with bright orange markings on a mostly black body.
Finally here is a new Honduran curly hair tarantula, one of my favourite species of tarantula. This one is only a juvenile and a long way from being fully grown, but already has the very distinctive curly hairs which give this species their common name:
13th August 2015 Apologies for the lack of updates in recent weeks/months, I have actually not had control of my website for some time! Owing to a change of structure within my web hosting company the whole of my website's content (all 100+ pages!) has had to be transferred to a completely new web design software package. I would like to say a huge and heartfelt public thank you to my lovely friend (and fellow undergraduate Zoology chum from 20 years ago!) Martin James for his tireless efforts in recreating the site within the new software package - fantastic job Martin!
In the weeks since my last update I have acquired some fantastic new animals and have plenty of baby news to report too! First up are some baby imperial scorpions, born almost a year to the day since the last ones! Here they are soon after being born, on their mother's back:
The pictures below show the babies leaving their mother's back, 12 days after being born, and a couple of them on my hand. Baby scorpions are absolutely adorable as you can see here!
As well as the birth of these baby scorpions I have also had many baby millipedes hatch! These are baby African giant millipedes:
These are baby Tanzanian red legged millipedes, a species of which I have seen a LOT hatch in recent weeks/months!
Finally, for now at least, here is the first of my Malaysian leaf katydids (Ancyclecha fenestrata) to moult to maturity! This really is the most beautiful bush cricket species I have ever owned and they are an absolute privilege to have in my collection:
3rd July 2015 I am absolutely delighted to have acquired a new pair of Australian rainbow stag beetles, a species which I have always admired but not actually owned in five years! These beetles are absolutely beautiful and need to be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated - these pictures absolutely do not do them justice.
For more pictures and information about this amazing species click here.
I also recently acquired an amazing new species of giant millipede which has rapidly become my favourite species of millipede in my collection!
This one is an amazing species from Madagascar known only by its scientific name of Colossobolus giganteus and unlike most millipedes it is a very keen climber, often found in trees in the Madagascan rainforests. For this reason it has longer legs and a far stronger grip than any of my other giant millipedes making it feel like a living velcro strip when it walks over your hands and arms, which it can do upside down with ease!
For more information about this fabulous species please click here.
16th June 2015 Since my last update I have found many new baby African giant millipedes in their communal enclosure! They are always adorable and very tiny, despite already being a few weeks old in these pictures:
1st April 2015 Since my last update I have had another batch of baby tailless whip scorpions aka whip spiders hatch, once again courtesy of my hugely popular adults Bob and Kate. No matter how many times I have bred this species I never grow tired of seeing all the tiny green babies all over the mother’s abdomen!
The babies left Kate’s abdomen just ten days after they had hatched, again always a sight I never get tired of seeing. At this point I was able to count them and there were 52, my second largest brood size ever! Here are some of them after dispersing from her:
At ten days old they are still tiny as you can clearly see here:
For more information about this amazing species please click here.
2nd March 2015 My first two baby crested geckos of 2015 have hatched in recent days and they are adorably cute as always!
You can see how small they are here on the tip of my thumb!
The pictures below are of one of the babies which hatched towards the end of December 2014. At just over eight weeks old it is already so much bigger than the newly-hatched babies above and its dalmatian spotting is developing really nicely!
This is a gargoyle gecko which hatched just seven weeks ago, again very beautiful and developing some lovely markings!
As well as taking snaps of these lovely geckos I have taken a few new ones of the gorgeous Tango, my tangerine Honduran milk snake:
Finally here are the newest animals to my collection, some more Zonocerus variegatus nymphs (aka painted grasshoppers) to add to my existing collection of this very beautiful species:
1st February 2015 As of today my beautiful baby Harris County speckled king snake (below) has a name! Thanks to EVERYONE who got involved in my naming competition, I received almost 300 suggestions in total but the winning name was Pixel which I think really suits her!
This name was suggested seven times in total but the very first person to suggest it, way back on competition day 1 in late November 2014, was Beki Quinlan from Cirencester. Beki is a teacher at a primary school in my home town of Swindon and she will be using the prize, of a half price visit from some of the animals (including Pixel) and I, as a treat for her year group at school! Thanks again to everyone who suggested a name or names, please watch this space for more competitions in the future!
26th January 2015 I have had a very busy few weeks since my last update! As well as lots of visits to schools and pre-schools etc. I found time to exhibit at the three-day Association for Science Education's (ASE) annual conference at the University of Reading for the fourth time in seven years. As usual it was a great event during which I was able to share with teachers, student teachers and other science education professionals a different selection of my lovely animals on each of the three days! Here are before and after pictures of my exhibition stand followed by just a few of the exhibition delegates enjoying meeting some of my animals!
As well as being busy with school visits and exhibitions I have also had two lots of significant baby news since my last update! The first is that my final gargoyle geckos of last season hatched in early January. As usual they are lovely & healthy (and chubby) babies, as all my gargoyle gecko babies have always been! Here they are fresh from hatching: