Darkling beetles

jezzy607

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
697
There are varying ways to do it, but how I do it is...
- I use a plastic shoe box filled with about 2 inches of bran flakes mixed with oatmeal
- Leave the top off, as they are not able to escape even as adults. Top on = mite problem
- I supplement them with lettuce or pieces of fruit once a week or so
- I have a much smaller deli container with a very thin layer of oats. I regularly take the pupae out of the main box and place them into this container. After they mature into beetles I put them back into the main box. Pupae are often nibbled or cannibalized by larvae and adults, resulting in less making it to adulthood.
- I often have two boxes at once. As the substrate ages and is consumed and fills up with feces, I may top it off with new oats and bran but at the same time will start to put newly matured beetles into a fresh box to start a new clean colony.

I've had my current "colony" for at least four years now.
 

drublenaut

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
45
There are varying ways to do it, but how I do it is...
- I use a plastic shoe box filled with about 2 inches of bran flakes mixed with oatmeal
- Leave the top off, as they are not able to escape even as adults. Top on = mite problem
- I supplement them with lettuce or pieces of fruit once a week or so
- I have a much smaller deli container with a very thin layer of oats. I regularly take the pupae out of the main box and place them into this container. After they mature into beetles I put them back into the main box. Pupae are often nibbled or cannibalized by larvae and adults, resulting in less making it to adulthood.
- I often have two boxes at once. As the substrate ages and is consumed and fills up with feces, I may top it off with new oats and bran but at the same time will start to put newly matured beetles into a fresh box to start a new clean colony.

I've had my current "colony" for at least four years now.
Thanks! That helps a lot. Do you think adding spring tails to the mix will help?
 

jezzy607

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
697
Thanks! That helps a lot. Do you think adding spring tails to the mix will help?
No reason to add springtails to a mealworm colony. It should be kept dry and open with only fresh veggies or fruit slices used as a water source. If the mealworms are kept properly the springtails would languish and die off.
 

drublenaut

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
45
This is all really helpful. TBH my first attempt failed miserably due to high moisture. Had to take apart the tanks and save the little ones. I will attempt the suggested method in this thread.
More to come :)
 

drublenaut

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
45
There are varying ways to do it, but how I do it is...
- I use a plastic shoe box filled with about 2 inches of bran flakes mixed with oatmeal
- Leave the top off, as they are not able to escape even as adults. Top on = mite problem
- I supplement them with lettuce or pieces of fruit once a week or so
- I have a much smaller deli container with a very thin layer of oats. I regularly take the pupae out of the main box and place them into this container. After they mature into beetles I put them back into the main box. Pupae are often nibbled or cannibalized by larvae and adults, resulting in less making it to adulthood.
- I often have two boxes at once. As the substrate ages and is consumed and fills up with feces, I may top it off with new oats and bran but at the same time will start to put newly matured beetles into a fresh box to start a new clean colony.

I've had my current "colony" for at least four years now.
Why bran with oats and not just oats?
 

jezzy607

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
697
Why bran with oats and not just oats?
Using only oats works ok (I've done so), but in my experience I have had better population density and faster growth of the early instars when using bran mixed with oats.
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
4,219
I've actually got mine on styrofoam and am throwing in a little produce each week for moisture. It's pretty cool watching them eat their way through the styrofoam pieces. No issues with them reaching adulthood either.
 

drublenaut

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
45
New setup is looking good. Are there any clear signs that a larvae is about to turn into a pupa?
Some of them are also starting to stay at n the surface amd do laps around their habitat. Is that normal behavior or is there something I am missing?
 
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