Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

''Torture'' Phalluses Give Beetles Breeding Boost 

Couldn't think of a better title for this.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New frogs: Campana auratus 

This D. auratus morph is from around Campana, Panama - on the eastern coast. It's unknown whether it exists in the wild any more - its habitat has been extensively developed since it entered the hobby.

I got six of them from Amanda last Friday. They are juveniles, about 3/4" from snout to vent.

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Frog update 

Close up of a Brazilian Yellow Head D. tinctorius. They are about an inch or perhaps a little more long.

Close up of a green and bronze D. auratus - the black is turning notably more bronze every few weeks.

The D. azureus lovers. Still no fertile eggs. Maybe they'd feel more amorous if they didn't ust crap where ever they happen to be.

Sad news: I moved my 4 near-adult leucomelas to a new vivarium today and discovered one has escaped! Judging from their reactions to a recorded call I believed I had two males; I haven't heard a call in a week or more. I either had one male - the escapee - or hopefully the remaining male no longer feels compelled to call. I've read leucs have two calls: one territorial that mostly occurs an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset and another call to woo females that occurs whenever they feel so moved. Indeed, the vast majority of calls I've heard have been between and hour and two after lights on, so I'm hopeful once they're sexually mature I'll get some fertile eggs. I moved my juvenile banded leuc in with the remaining three. The old, unplanted viv:

Anyway, the viv would have been escape-proof if the guy at FCA would have made and shipped my custom tops by now. I paid him in full - including shipping costs - on October 13. Everyone who keeps aquarium animals knows how it feels to lose a pet due to human error; I did take a risk by ordering the tops at the time when they shipped, but like, he said he'd ship the tops in two or three weeks. It's been ten.

UPDATE 12/24 11:45 AM. I still have a boy! My ears are plugged with a cold and the pipes in the building can actually sort of sound like a leuc call, but after wondering if I was just hearing what I wanted to hear for the last few hours, I finally and conclusively heard a call with my ear right up to the vivarium. There's still a boy, fantastic.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Beautiful things, these are 

I've had a croton on and off for my entire life, but I've never had one bloom!

blooming croton flower

Dave's Garden lists blooming as "inconspicuous/none". I got this specimen from HomeDepot so doubt it's an uncommon variety.

Here's a shot of some of the most erotic parts of my car.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I took my auratus from eggs out of their viv and built a naked pyramid to photograph.

abu ghraib frog pyramid

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Absolutely smashing! 

arp 147

A new Hubble photograph of galaxies that smashed through one another.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

More kid pics 

Banded leucomelas. The Latin name means "white and black", which this species obviously isn't.

Banded leucomelas

Banded leucomelas

The toes on my Brazilian yellow head tinctorius are growing. In males, the front toe pads are larger than the back ones. In females, the difference is not so great. Boys here?

Brazilian yellow heads

This one is noticeably larger than the others, yet the toe pads aren't that broad. Females of this species are larger. Girl?

Brazilian yellow head

In this picture, it appears this one has a deeper body, another female characteristic. Or maybe it's just fat. Or maybe the camera angle. A split of 3 males and two females is perfect, as the females must be housed separately. 3:2 would give me a breeding trio to keep and breeding pair to sell.

Brazilian yellow head

The azureus pair. Still no good eggs.

d. azureus

An adult Pacific coast Panamanian auratus, also known as "green and bronze" or "turquoise and bronze". Here, in this photo, I can see the black markings beginning to turn tannish bronze as happens in adults.

d. azureus

A juvenile Pacific coast Panamanian auratus, notably greener. These frogs were mass imported in the years 2002-2004 - most died. The offspring - within a single clutch - vary from bright green through turquoise to bright blue, even brown sometimes as well as albino. (auratus means "gold" in Latin - there are no gold markings in any morph of this species. Go figure). Some lines have been selectively bred to emphasize a particular color and there is some controversy within the hobby whether different lines established from the same mass imports should be considered all the same morph or separate morphs.

d. azureus

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

obama and dog

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Frog photos 

Some new photos of my dart frogs.

dendrobates auratus, turquoise morph

My auratus from eggs - still young, so still shy, but you can see the variation in color rather well here. (lower right and upper right)

dendrobates leucomelas, banded morph

Second try with banded leucomelas four of the first five I received died within a few days of shipping - they were too young to endure the stress. The "banded" morph are from British Guyana and are different from the Venezuelan "standard" morph in that they have relatively few black spots in the yellow bands, are significantly larger on average and harder to breed. I got four from a different breeder this time - they arrived as near adults. In fact at least one is calling already. The trill sounds like a playing card flapping across bicycle spokes. Very nice and audible from across the room.

dendrobates leucomelas, banded morph

They are shy and skittish. I'm still preparing their permanent vivarium. I read they will act bolder when given a densely planted environment.

dendrobates azureus

The azureus pair. They've gave a clutch of eggs last week which didn't develop. Common among nearly all the darts in the Dendrobatidae family, it takes a few clutches before they get it right.

dendrobates tinctorius, Brazilian yellow head morph

The Brazilian yellow heads (D. tinctorius), my favorites. Bold and beautiful even as juveniles, as they are here. Once sexable, they'll need to be separated with one female per tank, as the girls of this species fight each other often to death, and even if they get along, they eat one an other's eggs. Kinky lesbian frog sex!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ron Paul rEVOLution in the sky with huge Cubic Zirconia 

On the way to work, I almost died on the highway to bring you this photo of a plane's advertisment of Ron Paul over the site of the RNC nomination.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy 80th 

Today was my mom's 80th birthday. My mom and dad are both 80 and super healthy. And still a good-looking couple!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brazilian yellowheads 

Today I received five Brazilian yellowheads, a beautiful D. tinctorius morph. Pictures don't completely convey the brilliance of their metallic coloring.

Brazilian yellowheads, D. tinctorius morph

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Frog update 

Three of my four new banded D. leucomelas froglets. They are about two months out of the water (meaning two months since they morphed from tadpoles to froglets). They're really tiny.

banded leucs

Sexed pair of adult/sub adult D. azureus. The males are smaller and have broader toe pads.

D. azureus

Sterilizing wood for the vivariums. I had it in a 225° F oven for 3 1/2 or four hours.

Sterilizing live oak leaves for the vivariums. boiled in R/O water for about a half hour.

Here are the plants I've collected so far for my four frog vivariums. As you have to throw out plants that have been exposed to frogs with parasites, I'm waiting until I test the frogs fecals before planting them in with the frogs.

The azureus have not yet figured out they can jump into the petri dish and chow down ... both repeatedly try to nab crickets through the plastic.

The last few seconds of a cricket's life.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Working in the Land of 10,000 Lakes 

A few photos I took from the balcony at work using my new and awesome and wallet sized camera.



One out of the five D. leucomelas I received today didn't survive shipping.

D. leucomelas corpse

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Monday, July 14, 2008

New camera 

Bought a PowerShot DS1100 IS.

The water fountain at work,

water fountain

A drain in the bathroom at work,


Diet Dr. Pepper at work,

soda bubbles

Bird splat in the skyway,

bird splat

Dinner at Tao Foods,

Tao Foods

My D. auratus, scared into a corner,

Dendrobates auratus

My D. imitator,

Dendrobates imitator

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Dart frog food day 

Flightless fruit flies are the staple food for most captive dart frogs; I've so far been more successfull with other feeder insects. My cricket ranch is producing hundreds of pinhead crickets.

pinhead crickets

This is the bedding I removed from the main colony - it's now in a 6 quart Seralite container with some dry catfood, powdered milk and damp sphagnum moss. What else could a baby cricket need?

cricket bedding

By the way, I'm watching Dave Letterman interview a very drunk Jack Black at the moment.

I'm not exactly sure what these are - I've read them referred to as bean beetles and bean weevils. They're amazingly easy to culture - all they need is dry black-eyed-peas. No water, no anything else. There were 8 or a dozen individuals in my starter culture - all dead for weeks now. Three days ago, a single beetle emerged, yesterday two dozen, today swarms. I split the "used" beans into two new cultures and added fresh beans to the original culture.

They must emerge from the beans sexually mature as all they do is crawl around and mate with each other.

bean beetles

Here I have a mixture of vermiculite, small pebbles and LECA. On top I've layered damp corrugated cardboard. This is a culture of isopods - similar to pill bugs, rolly-pollies and woodlice - the things that roll up or scatter when you lift up something that hasn't been lifted up in a while. They are all isopods.


This page and video was really helpful to me. Not sure what to try for food, I'm giving them a smorgasbord: watermelon rind, banana peel, yeast, oatmeal and a tortilla.

isopod food

Covered with a final layer of cardboard as these are the things you see when lifting up something that hasn't been lifted up in a while.

isopod food

Springtails - another animal you'll only see when looking under things. I'm using charcoal as a medium as their buoyancy allows one to harvest them by flooding the container and scooping a mass of them off the top of the water.

springtail charcoal

Food for the springtails: yeast and oatmeal.

springtail food

For my tadpoles, bloodworms. Purchased frozen from a pet store.

frozen bloodwords

I moved my tads to larger containers.


I killed two of my three turquoise and bronze and auratus tadpoles by using straight reverse osmosis water. By osmosis, the mineral free water sucks minerals and salts out of the tadpole. Here is the single turquoise and bronze that made it - you can see its eyes here.

turquoise and bronze tadpole

Finally, some food for the human.

human food: Summit IPA ale

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