New desert beetles from Bugs In Cyberspace

arizonablue

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I've been keeping a few blue death-feigning beetles and some black beetles that I caught myself in a small tank, and I just upgraded them to a fancy new suite that was plenty big enough for more. I ordered some assorted desert beetles and woolly darklings from Bugs In Cyberspace, and they arrived today. Very pleased! The beetles were puttering around pretty quick to check out their new digs, but I got a few pictures of a couple of the new arrivals and one of my blues checking out the fancy new beetle jelly.

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
 

Hisserdude

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I've been keeping a few blue death-feigning beetles and some black beetles that I caught myself in a small tank, and I just upgraded them to a fancy new suite that was plenty big enough for more. I ordered some assorted desert beetles and woolly darklings from Bugs In Cyberspace, and they arrived today. Very pleased! The beetles were puttering around pretty quick to check out their new digs, but I got a few pictures of a couple of the new arrivals and one of my blues checking out the fancy new beetle jelly.

View attachment 216496 View attachment 216497 View attachment 216498
Nice, gotta love Tenebs! :) Just in case you were wondering, that top beetle is an Eleodes acuticaudus.
 

arizonablue

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Just in case you were wondering, that top beetle is an Eleodes acuticaudus.
Thanks for the ID! There are two of those, and they're bigger than I would have expected. The blues seem a little intimidated by them, and are cautious whenever they get close.
 

Hisserdude

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Thanks for the ID! There are two of those, and they're bigger than I would have expected. The blues seem a little intimidated by them, and are cautious whenever they get close.
No problem, happy to help! :) Yeah, they are one of the larger Eleodes species, though they are definitely not the largest! I'd imagine the BDFBs would be a little cautious around larger beetles, making sure they aren't anything that will try to eat them.
 

arizonablue

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Will Eleodes acuticaudus reproduce in captivity? I caught one scratching and sticking her back end down into the sand, so I suspect she was laying eggs.
 

Hisserdude

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Will Eleodes acuticaudus reproduce in captivity? I caught one scratching and sticking her back end down into the sand, so I suspect she was laying eggs.
Yeah, most of the commonly available darkling beetles will, and that species has been bred in captivity before, so you'll probably be seeing larva in the enclsoure soon. :)
 

arizonablue

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Yeah, most of the commonly available darkling beetles will, and that species has been bred in captivity before, so you'll probably be seeing larva in the enclsoure soon. :)
She sure didn't waste any time! I don't really have the tank set up for breeding - it's just a sand substrate at the moment. Should I change anything to encourage survival for larva or will they do just fine without help?
 

Hisserdude

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She sure didn't waste any time! I don't really have the tank set up for breeding - it's just a sand substrate at the moment. Should I change anything to encourage survival for larva or will they do just fine without help?
I would add some dead leaves to the cage, as the larva like nibbling on them from time to time. Really, Eleodes larva like eating dog or cat food, just like the adults, you can offer carrots too. Just be sure to keep one side or corner of the substrate damp, otherwise all the larva will dry up and die.
 

Hisserdude

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She's laid about two dozen eggs so far, all over the tank, LOL. She's a very busy lady!

Nice gif! Yup, that's the signature "egg-laying dance" that female darklings do when ovipositing. Hope the larva do well for you! :)
 

arizonablue

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Oh God there's a teeny tiny larva already! It must be from one of my blues or the black beetles since I don't think the darkling eggs would be hatching yet. I doubt I'll get anywhere if it's a blue since I don't have an incubator, but clearly I need to put some damp substrate in there soon - would a dish with damp eco-earth/sand work? I'd like to avoid any mold/fungus issues in the rest of the sand, so that would keep the moisture sort of walled in - would larvae be able to reach that or does putting it in a dish make it inaccessible to the little guys?

Sorry for all the questions! >_<
 

Hisserdude

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Oh God there's a teeny tiny larva already! It must be from one of my blues or the black beetles since I don't think the darkling eggs would be hatching yet. I doubt I'll get anywhere if it's a blue since I don't have an incubator, but clearly I need to put some damp substrate in there soon - would a dish with damp eco-earth/sand work? I'd like to avoid any mold/fungus issues in the rest of the sand, so that would keep the moisture sort of walled in - would larvae be able to reach that or does putting it in a dish make it inaccessible to the little guys?

Sorry for all the questions! >_<
Putting moist substrate in a dish will make it completely inaccessible to the larva, you'll need to actually keep part of the tank's substrate moist. Sand doesn't mold by itself, the only thing that could mold would be old leftover food, which you want to remove regardless of the humidity in the cage to avoid mites. Dead leaves will sometimes mold a bit when kept moist, but it's an edible mold, and is of no concern to your beetle's health.
 

arizonablue

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Putting moist substrate in a dish will make it completely inaccessible to the larva, you'll need to actually keep part of the tank's substrate moist. Sand doesn't mold by itself, the only thing that could mold would be old leftover food, which you want to remove regardless of the humidity in the cage to avoid mites. Dead leaves will sometimes mold a bit when kept moist, but it's an edible mold, and is of no concern to your beetle's health.
Thanks so much for the info! I'll add some eco-earth and leaves to a corner of the tank and spritz it down every so often, then.
 

Hisserdude

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Thanks so much for the info! I'll add some eco-earth and leaves to a corner of the tank and spritz it down every so often, then.
No problem! Honestly you probably don't even need to add coconut fiber to the cage, though it does hold moisture better.

How long have you had the woolly darkling beetle, and is it one of these? If so, then the individual in the second photo is probably a female, as they are Eleodes tribulus, a species in which the males often have a caudal extension of the elytra, and the females, and some small males, don't. So the larva you saw could have been from that species.
 

arizonablue

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How long have you had the woolly darkling beetle, and is it one of these? If so, then the individual in the second photo is probably a female, as they are Eleodes tribulus, a species in which the males often have a caudal extension of the elytra, and the females, and some small males, don't. So the larva you saw could have been from that species.
Yep, it's the one in the link - that was in the desert beetle sampler from BIC that I just got, so too soon for that one to have hatched eggs, either.
 

Hisserdude

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Yep, it's the one in the link - that was in the desert beetle sampler from BIC that I just got, so too soon for that one to have hatched eggs, either.
Interesting, well then, maybe it is the BDFB after all. Once it gets bigger you'll be able to tell, the larva of Asbolus look way different than the larva of Eleodes. Just so you know, larva have been reared before without an incubator, but not in any numbers. The method @Dean Rider has used may be the only good way to breed these in captivity over multiple generations.
 

Tenevanica

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Very nice! Tenebs have got to be my favorite beetle family, and the do so well in captivity. I've got quite a collection myself, but I haven't attempted breeding. :)
 

Smokehound714

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An easy way to collect the eggs she lays would be to put the sand in a small container and shift it around, which will make the eggs rise to the surface. You can then place them in a container with lightly damp coco fiber and a fresh carrot and they'll thrive for quite some time on that alone.

They grow fast, you can get a good eleodes culture going in a mere four-five months.
 
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