Food Suggestions for very unusual insect

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Arachnodemon
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Dec 10, 2006
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There doesn't seem to be much info. online for Brachyspectridae. I have this California specimen that hasn't probably eaten in months. Figuring out what things are is difficult enough. Figuring out what kind of habitat and foods to offer them is a further challenge!

Any suggestions? I'd like to see it molt out.
 

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Arachnos

Arachnopeon
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Dec 29, 2010
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Here is a little more information about them.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/114822#food


Brachyspectra fulva LeConte or 'The Texas Beetle' seems to be what you have. Do a search on Brachypsectra fulva larvae and you will get a few more hits in your searches.(But not many)

They are predacious eaters which means they hunt prey. Larvae(the one you have) are slow moving ambush predators and occur beneath bark, pieces of wood or in rock crevaces. When a spider or other arthropod walk onto the flat, sprawling, motionless body, the flexible anterior end and spiniform ninth tergum are abruptly raised, pinning the prey between the spine and the perforate, falciform mandables. Pupation occurs in a delicate, wide-laced, silken cocoon. Adults are very rare to find so it will probably not last long after the 7th instar and its final molt. I would put a pinhead cricket in with it or some small house spiders. I bet it will snatch them right up.

This link has a few good pics of what it would look like if you can get it to molt. Best of luck!

http://insects.oeb.harvard.edu/mcz/...=web&-Format=images.htm&Species_ID=2332&-Find
 
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Arachnodemon
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Thank you so much for the information. I see now that the reason I could find so little on it was that I misspelled the family Brachypsectridae. I think I'd originally been given the correct spelling by the collector, but assumed it was misspelled because if was phonetically displeasing (to me).

Well, it will be hungry by now! Perhaps I'll attempt a video while feeding.

Thanks again, Arachnos! A fascinating insect!
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
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What a fascinating creature. Assuming quite uncommon?
 

Arachnos

Arachnopeon
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They range from AZ, CA, CO, NM, TX, UT / Mex. They are uncommon but found in concentrated populations in the larvae form. Adults are super rare so either they have a very short life after it's final molt or they are ninjas. :?
 

Vespula

Arachnodemon
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Ninja bug! Coolness! :D

I've never seen anything like that! That's one cool bug!
 

Bugs In Cyberspace

Arachnodemon
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the Texas Beetle (from California)

Ryan came over the other day with his microscope camera and took this photo. The insect flipped itself over when we rested it on its side and 6 walking legs were to be found. I had previously thought those brush like appendages around the permiter of the insect were involved in movement.

I had dropped a fruit fly in the other day and noted some behavior. The fruitfly seemed attracted to the Brachypsectra and perched itself atop it several times, lingering. I suspect chemicals of some kind were involved because the fly was brushing itself off for a long time. I kept waiting for some bear-trap or Venus flytrap type action to be taken by the Brachypsectra, but it didn't happen. The fly just kept making its rounds. The next day the fly was found on the bottom of the container, wingless and appearing to have been sucked dry.

I'm very curious to observe this beetle capture and feed on its prey. I can't imagine how it might use that long extension to pin its prey and then maneuver around to feed. I'm still not convinced it would suck the liquids out of its prey rather than eating it entirely, but a few more feedings should suggest a pattern.

I think a crawling insect, such as a small spider as Arachnos suggested, would be a better test. Fortunately, a sac from a backyard species just hatched in a vial.
 

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xhexdx

ArachnoGod
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That's damn cool. I'll be waiting for more updates. :)
 
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