White Spotted Assassin Bug Care Guide
The Species: White Spotted Assassin Bugs (Platymeris biguttatus) also known as Two-spotted Assassin Bugs, as the name would suggest it are native to West and Southwest Africa, inhabiting rainforests, residing in rocky areas, inside animal nests, in woodpiles and more. They are social animals and naturally live in large colonies, because of this they should be kept in social groupings. These are a venomous species of insect, making them unable to handle due to their painful bite and high venom count.
Enclosure: This species is terrestrial and should be housed plastic stubs such as faunariums or in glass terrariums. As adults, for a small colony these animals should be kept in an minimum enclosure size of 30x30x30cm the larger the colony, the larger the enclosure should be.
Being a tropical species they need suitable substrate made from a soil based substrate, we would recommend Arcadia Earth Mix however other substrates are also appropriate such as ProRep Bio Life Forest, we wouldn't generally using arid substrates such as sand or arid soils. They should be provided with a deep layer of substrate to give them the option to create a burrow within the substrate.
Various decor and apparatus should be included to provide as natural of an enclosure as possible. Woods, rocks, caves and foliage are all suitable to use for this species along with a very small bowl for water should be readily available as well.
Heating: These animals should be kept at a temperature range of 27-29 degrees celcius (80-85 degrees farenheight). They should be provided with a hot and cool end and with a basking spot to reach peak temperatures. Heating should be provided by a nano heat lamp or a heat mat on a thermostat, all heating should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature.
Lighting: Insects don't require lighting such as UVB but providing them with a day/night sequence can help improve their wellbeing. This can be accomplished using UVB or LED lighting LED lighting can help with plant growth if live plants are included within the enclosure. All lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle.
Humidity: Being a tropical species, White Spotted Assassin Bugs should have levels of humidity of approximately 70-80% and should ideally not raise above that. These humidity levels can be reached by spraying the enclosure 2-3 times a week with water.
Diet: Assassin Bugs are natural predators which actively hunt their prey. This means that they have to be given live food. They can be given a wide variety of insects for food starting with small crickets for nymphs (babies) and going up to a wider range including crickets, locust, cockroaches etc. They should be given appropriate sized feeds dependant on the size of the Bugs themselves, they should be fed every 2-3 days and at a minimum once a week. If there is still food in the enclosure from their previous feed, don't add more and if they are going into mould or have just finished it, they should be given a few days before feeding.
Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet. They can acquire their water by by drinking the water droplets after spraying the enclosure, we generally recommend RO water or mineral water due to tap water containing chlorine which can be harmful to some animals.