Predatory beetles and group behaviors?

Andee

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
402
I am looking into getting pretty serious about insect raising down the road here. I mean more than I am considering I have gotten in line breeding in a way with something that is usually considered a feeder insect. Either way, I want to eventually get the permits and licenses I will need to import stuff and sell over state lines. But at the moment I am more worried about checking out certain beetles I can in Central CA. I know there are certain species I will be able to buy, and I will eventually get around to the species. But I am looking for predatory beetles, and finding info about the ones in my specific area and where to find them is hard because I have never thought about going field collecting for these guys before. I am looking for predatory beetles, mostly ground species, so if anyone can point in the correct direction that'd be great 8D

Also has anyone heard of predatory beetles who hunt in groups?
 

lovebugfarm

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
19
Beetles are pretty solitary but dermestids can be raised in groups require no licences and swarm dead things. I used to keep them awhile back but cleaning the enclosure was a pain and dead things get smelly. I collect warrior beetles locally and in the fall to early spring find them under rocks. My locality they can be kept communally. These don't breed in captivity well and most predatory beetles don't.
 

Andee

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
402
I am wondering whether I dreamed I heard of a certain species that hunted in like group dynamics then... sometimes I do that and get confused XD I think it's because those dreams are weirdly realistic. Is there a reason why predatory beetles don't breed in captivity well? I am wondering if it has something to do with space requirements... I would likely keep something such as a warrior beetle (single specimen) in nothing smaller that 10 gallon terrarium then if they were a communal species add 5 gallons for each additional beetle. I would have to do some serious studying of my local species and the habitats they prefer near me.

Edit: I know a lot of the insects I keep currently and beetles I have kept in the past need a seasonal change of some sort to be spurred into breeding. Or maybe they need a certain food source.
 

Tenodera

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 28, 2011
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486
Many carabids can be kept communally without cannibalism or fighting, with best results of course when they are well fed and have a lot of space. None, to my knowledge, hunt communally or show any behaviors that could be considered subsocial. I definitely sympathize with you on having awesome insect dreams that we wish were true afterward, though.

Pasimachus have been bred and raised in captivity a couple of times, though (not to discredit the efforts of the breeders) it seems like fluke situations where a mated female lays an egg unexpectedly. I'd also guess that seasonal changes are important to them, with habitat composition being critical for some tiger beetles and possibly other carabids as well.
 

houston

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
39
I would hardly consider dermestids to be predatory-- they eat animals, but only dead ones, haha. Ham beetles are a close look alike that are predatory, but they're tiny (think less than a centimeter full grown).

Most the stuff I've read is that conditions aren't kept constant enough. Most these beetles are super specialized, and when caught from the wild, experience stress over any slight difference in environment. Stressed beetles don't breed, and if you can't get captive raised beetles that are used to these different environments, then you can't get anywhere.
 

Andee

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
402
I am definitely going to look up the environment I will be taking them from, since I am going like 20 minutes from my house, it's just about checking out the humidity at the moment and rainfall. Plus the soil they might have near them... I might just take some directly from a place near them (not actually from where I take them a little less of an active place so I disturb less little lives hopefully) I am not sure if I should bake it or not? It's then about getting safe wood and plants/weeds that they have near them and creating correct day and night cycle. I will be doing a lot of research before taking my wildcaughts if my first group does poorly I will look into captive raised.
 

Salmonsaladsandwich

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
540
While I don't think there are any carabids that have real social behavior, some tiger beetles such as Cicindela repanda come close in that they are often gregarious and while they do not have cooperative hunting behavior, several individuals will often attack and eat large prey at once which might give that impression. If fed and watered sufficiently tiger beetles can be kept communally, and if you give them moist sandy substrate and a warm lightbulb they'll breed easily.
(I've seen situations similar to this video in the wild and bred this species in captivity)
 

shutout2000

Arachnoknight
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
162
I would hardly consider dermestids to be predatory-- they eat animals, but only dead ones, haha. Ham beetles are a close look alike that are predatory, but they're tiny (think less than a centimeter full grown).

Most the stuff I've read is that conditions aren't kept constant enough. Most these beetles are super specialized, and when caught from the wild, experience stress over any slight difference in environment. Stressed beetles don't breed, and if you can't get captive raised beetles that are used to these different environments, then you can't get anywhere.
Yeah, dermestids, only eat the dead stuff. I have heard of people feeding them there finger nails! :vomit: Talk about nasty. o_O haha There cool bugs though and pretty easy to care for.
 

Salmon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 25, 2017
Messages
46
Calosomas will often swarm together over especially large feeders, and definitely seem to have a sort of pecking order on who attacks the head, sides, legs, ect. Not exactly coordinated, but somewhat cooperative.
 

Salmonsaladsandwich

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
540
Yeah, dermestids, only eat the dead stuff. I have heard of people feeding them there finger nails! :vomit: Talk about nasty. o_O haha There cool bugs though and pretty easy to care for.
Dermestid larvae, if hungry enough, actually will attack live insects on occasion. In fact they can be pests in silkworm farms because of their tendency to attack larvae, pupae and even adult moths that can't get away. But they aren't really voracious predators by any means, they just start chewing on whatever they encounter.

(Btw- I'd like to mention that the user "Salmon" on your forum and formiculture.com is me, not the poster above- their username just a coincidence)
 

shutout2000

Arachnoknight
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
162
Dermestid larvae, if hungry enough, actually will attack live insects on occasion. In fact they can be pests in silkworm farms because of their tendency to attack larvae, pupae and even adult moths that can't get away. But they aren't really voracious predators by any means, they just start chewing on whatever they encounter.

(Btw- I'd like to mention that the user "Salmon" on your forum and formiculture.com is me, not the poster above- their username just a coincidence)
Yeah, I didn't know that. True that they eat most everything, so it wouldn't surprise me to see them eat something alive I guess.
And yeah, I was curious on that actually. I knew you were the same person on formiculture, wasn't sure about here though. :)
 
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