Bird Families

Surinamese Tanager / Ixothraupis varia


Type / Department - Arthropoda (Arthropod).

Subtype / Subdivision - Tracheata (Tracheal, or tracheal breathing (parous)).

Superclass - Hexapoda (Six-legged).

Class - Insecta (Insects).

Detachment / Order - Blattoptera (Cockroaches, cockroaches).

Genus - Pycnoscelus (Pycnocellus).

View - Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Surinamese cockroach).

It is a synanthropic species, common in tropical and subtropical countries of the Old New World. It lives in the soil. In greenhouses, he can become a leader.

The size up to 1.7 centimeters.

Sexual dimorphism - in culture, the species is represented by parthegonetic females, they are larger and more powerful than males.

Color: the general background of the body is dark. A yellow-white stripe passes in front of the pronotum, against the background of which there are two bright, yellow spots.

Larva color dark brown.

Omnivorous, the basis of the diet should be vegetables and fruits - preferably seasonal, without chemical treatments - pumpkin, zucchini, carrots, apples, pears, bananas. For the proper development of larvae and the prevention of cannibalism, it is important to add dried gammarus to the diet every two weeks. You can feed as soon as the food is eaten, it must be laid on the ground - the larvae will eat it from below, the food must be changed as it is eaten, I do not allow it to deteriorate, decay, and mold. There is no need to put water separately. Yeast and vitamin A are good supplements.

With a lack of animal food in the diet, they are prone to cannibalism.

This is an ovoviviparous species, the female carries a swelling inside, it bursts and tiny larvae come out, and the ooteca is absorbed in the body of the female. The female brings up to 30 larvae at a time.

Insect cockroaches with incomplete development, they bypass the pupal phase and develop with the following stages - egg (ooteca) - larva - imago (adult insect)

They are limited by the external chitinous skeleton, they grow only during molting, during which the skin cracks along the seam on the back and a white and soft cockroach crawls out of it, in the air it quickly darkens and the chitinous cover hardens, during this period the larva grows. While the larva is soft, it is helpless, it can be eaten or damaged (in this case, hemolymph flows from the wounds, this can lead to the death of the cockroach), other cockroaches, therefore, shelters and protein food (gammarus) are required. It is not necessary to remove the cubs from the imago. The developmental stage of the larva in the last stage from the imago is called the preimago. The larvae have no wings, the adults develop wings and the ability to reproduce. The adults don't grow anymore.

Terrarium for Surinamese cockroaches it should be approximately 25x20x15 cm. It can be either glass or plastic type of fauna box. Large food or household containers are also suitable. A thick layer of garden soil or coconut chips should be placed on the bottom, at least 10 cm. Sawdust and peat are not suitable, as they are poorly wetted with water. Pieces of bark can be placed horizontally on the ground.

Temperature 24 - 25 degrees.

Humidity medium, it can be done with regular spraying.

Lighting cockroaches don't need it.

Life span female imago for about a year ..

Imagoes and larvae lead a burrowing way of life, I run well on glass.

Sumatran rheophyte

  • Dedicated to the memory of a friend and colleague in hobby Eduard Montay

Probably, almost each of you in childhood memories will discover how rich and amazing life was at that time. Every day brought a lot of new discoveries. On the banks of an ordinary pond, one could spend hours studying various dragonflies, snails, frogs and other living creatures. Or, lying on your back in the grass, peering into the form of clouds running across the sky performing a “heavenly” performance that only you can understand. Unfortunately, as we get older, such things no longer bring so much pleasure, and sometimes we do not even notice them at all. But this nostalgia is deceiving. Man, by nature, always remains a researcher and, having cognized some phenomena, rushes in search of others.

Rarely will an aquarist be content with just one species of fish or plant for several years. An irresistible craving for the unknown will push him to acquire more and more new pets. However, from a certain moment you begin to understand that the circle of living objects suitable for keeping under water is not so great. In addition, they are also systematically combined into groups (families, genus), representatives of which have similar morphology and conditions of detention. For example, plants of the Aroid family are represented in aquariums, as a rule, by the already bored Cryptocorynes and Anubias. You won't surprise anyone with waterfowl pistia and duckweed. Unless it is possible to note the transition in 2010 of the last of the Ryaskovs to all the same Aroids, taxonomists still discerned the inflorescence of this single-leaved plant.

Against this background, the recent aquarium development of a number of rheophytic aroids from the island of Kalimantan looks revolutionary. In particular, representatives of the Bucephalandra genus in a fairly short period of time not only firmly settled in collectors' home reservoirs, but are also actively used in aquascaping.

It turned out that not only Kalimantan is rich in surprises, but also the neighboring island of Sumatra. Although it would seem that there could be something new when the Sumatran barbus (Puntiustetrazona) has been one of the most popular fish among aquarists for several decades?

Several months ago, through a Muscovite K. Pakhomov, I received a plant from Indonesia Furtadoasumatrensis... Despite the fact that I have been interested in representatives of the Aroid family for several years now, I did not even suspect the existence of such a generic name. The only association was only the name of the famous Canadian singer Nelly Furtado, but it would be naive to believe that the plant is named after her.

A quick search on the Internet clarified the situation. It turns out the genus Furtadoa consists of only two species and is named after C.X. Furtado, researcher of the flora of Southeast Asia, Indian by origin. The name, by the way, is not entirely unknown in aquarium circles, in particular, he described Cryptocoryne nurii in 1935. It is symbolic that two years later Furtado was holding in his hands a plant that would be named in his honor only after the death of the botanist in 1981, but did not describe it in detail, but made only a modest assumption: "Perhaps this is a new genus." A complete description of the new plant, according to all the canons of modern botany, was made by the Japanese M. Hotta during an expedition to the western part of the island of Sumatra. For me, all this dry statistics causes only one bewilderment - why do we, aquarists, find out about a plant discovered and described more than 30 years ago?

At the first moment after receiving F. sumatrensis, I had two options for answering this question: either the plant is difficult to cultivate at home, or the region of its growth is difficult for collectors to access. Looking ahead, I will say that the first version turned out to be completely unfounded.

I received a new visitor from Sumatra in two forms, differing in the color of the petioles and young leaves - red and green. Outwardly, the bushes turned out to be similar to the Anubias of the Barter group: they are small in size (up to 20 cm high), a creeping rhizome, with ovoid leaf plates extending from it on thin petioles.

Both plants were planted in a greenhouse with nutrient solution. In this case, such a choice was completely random - I was guided by the principle "Where there is free space, we plant it there."

There is a misconception among nature lovers that greenhouse conditions are certainly better than aquarium conditions. In fact, this statement is not always true. In this regard, I propose to reflect on the term "rheophytic plants". This group of hydrophytes includes plants growing in fast streams of water. In nature, such biotopes have the following distinctive features: the constancy of the chemical composition of water and its low hardness. These two conditions are the easiest to meet in an aquarium. The aqueous medium, due to the significantly higher viscosity and heat capacity compared to air, smoothes out almost any differences in the conditions of detention. In addition, the mineralization of almost all greenhouse nutrient solutions is prohibitively high (TDS = 500-1000 ppm), and not every plant is able to withstand the osmotic shock that occurs when moving to such an environment. Therefore, the same bucephalandra is much easier to keep in an aquarium. According to the literature, the Sumatran Furtadoa is also a typical rheophyte that grows on rocks along the banks of small streams with a fast current.

Despite all the "buts", both forms of furtadoa perfectly mastered on the expanded clay provided to them as a substrate. The red variety with enviable constancy (once every one and a half weeks) delighted me with a young red leaf, which, as it grew older, acquired more familiar green colors, through which the “girlish blush” still peeped out. The green form, in addition to growing the leaf mass, bloomed almost continuously, releasing bud after bud. Usually, abundant flowering slows down the growth of plants, but in this case, this did not affect the growth rate in any way. At first, I tried to maintain the pH of the solution within 6.0-7.0, but the subsequent transition to water with pH 4.5 did not affect the bushes, which demonstrates their extraordinary adaptive qualities.

At the first meeting, the Furtadoa inflorescence does not cause enthusiastic emotions. Ear (spadix), cover leaf (bedspread) - nothing special. Many aquarists will say, "Like anubias." In fact, this can be expressed about the inflorescences of almost all representatives of the Aroid family. All the most interesting is hidden in the details.

As we remember, in Anubias, unisexual flowers are differentiated: female flowers are located in the lower part of the ear, and male flowers are located in the upper part. For example, in the Acorus, which also previously belonged to this family, the spadix is ​​uniformly covered with bisexual flowers. Furtadoa is an intermediate evolutionary link between these familiar plants to every aquarist. She has female and male flowers, although distributed along the entire length of the ear, they remain unisexual.

The female flowers at the top of the spadix, as well as the male flowers at the bottom, are sterile. They can be called rudiments that have lost their functions in the course of evolutionary development from bisexual flowers to more perfect unisexual flowers. However, in order to see all this, it is necessary to mechanically remove the cover leaf of the inflorescence, or at least a part of it - the guest from Sumatra turned out to be very “shy” and during the flowering process only opens a small gap in the bedspread for a short time.

Vegetative processes in Furtadoa emerge from dormant buds on the rhizome, as in Anubias. The similarity with these natives of Africa is so great that if it were not for the differences in the structure of the inflorescences, F.sumatrensis should be called the first "Asian Anubias".

There is very little information on the underwater content of the Sumatran rheophyte. General recommendations are still difficult to formulate, so I will describe only one example of a successful experience, the author of which is A. Litvinov from Voronezh. In his aquarium with a volume of 250 liters and a height of water column of 40 cm, the red form of furtadoa shows an unhurried growth rate, producing one leaf per month. Moreover, each new sheet is larger than the previous one. The plant itself is tied by its rhizome to a small stone. The aquarium is equipped with a 220 W fluorescent lamp and a CO supply system2... Water parameters: pH 6.6. dGH 8 °, kH 3 °, temperature 24-25 ° C. Under these conditions, silvery spangles, characteristic of bucephalandram, appear on the leaves. It is not possible to achieve such a “glamorous effect” with the greenhouse content.

It is too early to put an end to the history of Furtadoa. Most likely, this plant still has quite a few mysteries in store for aquarists, so it is appropriate to end your today's story with the words of A. Pushkin:

Oh, how many wonderful discoveries we have
Prepares enlightenment spirit
And experience, son of difficult mistakes,
And a genius, a friend of paradoxes,
And chance, god is an inventor.

D. Loginov, Magazine "Aquarium" No. 4 for 2013.

Photo credits: D. Loginov and A. Litvinov