What is this beetle I found in my cricket bin?

ladyratri

Arachnosquire
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I have a critter keeper I keep my feeder crickets in, with a little dirt and some cricket chow and one moist corner now and then. All I ever put in there is feeder crickets from the local big box pet store.

Found this beetle burrowing in there today. Any ideas what it is? Is it an un-escapee who crawled *into* my feeder bin??
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Any suggestions other than just...putting it outside?
 

sasha99

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IMG_20220703_093805.jpg
For reference, this is a freshly molted one of mines (the only picture I found right now), then when they harden they are all black like that.
 

winter

...
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Most likely dermestid beetle. Some breeders add these to their cricket cultures to eat the dead. I keep them with my hissing cockroach colony.
 

sasha99

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Most likely dermestid beetle. Some breeders add these to their cricket cultures to eat the dead. I keep them with my hissing cockroach colony.
My first guess as well, that's why I asked the size, because mine that are with the red runners are pretty small ( i didn't add them, they were with them when I first got them already), but they have a more rounder body if I'm not wrong.
 

ladyratri

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My first guess as well, that's why I asked the size, because mine that are with the red runners are pretty small ( i didn't add them, they were with them when I first got them already), but they have a more rounder body if I'm not wrong.
It's small -- those photos are in a 4oz deli cup. Looks like its body is right around 5mm long.

So is leaving it in there beneficial then?
 

sasha99

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It's small -- those photos are in a 4oz deli cup. Looks like its body is right around 5mm long.

So is leaving it in there beneficial then?
Then definitely a dermestid. Yes, as mentioned by winter they will eat your dead crickets that you may have in the enclosure, they are often used to clean dead animals' bones from flesh as well.
 

Salmonsaladsandwich

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That's not a dermestid- dermestids have more strongly clubbed antennae and are shaped a little different.

It's a lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus. They frequently show up with crickets and roaches cuz they're often used as a clean up crew.
 

sasha99

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That's not a dermestid- dermestids have more strongly clubbed antennae and are shaped a little different.

It's a lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus. They frequently show up with crickets and roaches cuz they're often used as a clean up crew.
Ok, I didn't know about them. So i see they are the mostly vegan version of dermestid huh. Ahah
 

Hisserdude

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Ok, I didn't know about them. So i see they are the mostly vegan version of dermestid huh. Ahah
Definitely a lesser mealworm beetle... And no, they are also quite protein hungry and are regularly used as cleaners in live bearing roach bins, as they'll eat frass, dead roach bodies, and leftover food...

However if their numbers are left unchecked they can really stress out roaches, eat all their food, even eat molting roaches if they're hungry enough. And they'll eat roach oothecae too, so not suited for egg laying spp.. I would imagine they can pose similar problems for crickets.
 
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