Thursday, December 3, 2015

My Wood Is Rotten! Plus Some Click Beetle Stuff...

My Traeger wood pellets are finally done fermenting! It smells earthy, and is a dark brown color, so it is now ready to be used for my bugs! Truth be told, I don't have many species that need it, so it is not extremely useful right now. But I do have some click beetle larva that will probably benefit from a substrate of rotten wood and leaves, so I will be rehousing my click beetle larva and using the rotten wood as the substrate.
I have a single click beetle larva of an unknown species that I found in a log in the summer of 2014 that I have been trying to pupate, but apparently it is not ready yet, so I have rehoused it and I have used my rotten Traeger wood pellets and some dead leaves as the substrate. Here are some pictures of the larva!

Unknown click beetle larva.
















Tail close-up.
















Head close-ups.


Hopefully this guy does well, I would really like to see what it turns into! :)
In regards to my Aeolus sp, one of my two adults died, and the three larva are doing well and are eating cat food.
As for my Alaus melanops larva, I thought it was going to pupate, but alas, I was wrong. I put a bunch of mealworms in its enclosure for it to eat, so far it has not shown signs of eating. Will keep you guys posted on any interesting developments.
Well, that's it for today, I hope you guys enjoyed this post! :)

10 comments:

  1. I am attempting to make rotten wood using your recipe. It's been fermenting for about a month, and is now a dark brown color. However, it still smells kinda damp and moldy (without any actual mold currently present). I'd further describe the smell as like an old, wet basement. How do I know when my wood is fully fermented for sure? Do you have a picture of the final product?

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    1. Well the turning to dark brown is good, is the mixture still warm at all? If it's cooled down and smells "earthy" to you, then it should be done fermenting.

      I have a picture of the finished fermented sawdust in this post here, just scroll down a bit and you'll see it: http://invertebratedude.blogspot.com/2016/06/my-new-motyxia-sp.html

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  2. Hmmm...my mixture definitely looks like your pics. I'm just surprised at the idea that it could be done since according to the posting dates on your blog posts, it took you about two months to get yours fully fermented. Mine is definitely not warm anymore, and I just sniffed them again - I'd say they smell of damp soil (to be fair, the mixture IS damp). I've been making it in those shoebox sized plastic storage tubs from Dollar Tree - they have loose-fitting lids but still trap moisture. What do you think? Could it be done already?

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    1. Fermenting time can vary wildly between batches, and it can indeed take only a month or so to finish in some cases. It definitely sounds like it has finished fermenting, I'd wait a couple more weeks though, just in case, but after that I think you should be safe to use it for your invertebrates! :)

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  3. Yeah, I think I'll take your advice and give it a couple more weeks, just to be safe. I don't actually have any inverts yet, but I'm planning to get some millipedes soon (and new snails, but they don't really eat rotten wood). I just like to plan ahead for things, so I've been stewing this sawdust a month in advance. Thanks for all your help/advice!

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    1. Indeed, better safe than sorry!
      It's always best to be prepared, I'm currently brewing a big batch of this stuff right now, since I plan on getting some more wood feeding invertebrates soon! Hope your millipedes do well for you, when you get them! :)
      No problem, happy to help!

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  4. I'm getting my millipedes soon! Thanks a bunch!

    P.S. - I have no real evidence for this, but I read on some forum that whole wheat flour makes the wood ferment faster, and I used some. Maybe it helped?

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    1. Cool, hope they like the rotten sawdust! :)

      That's quite possible, I haven't tried using whole wheat flour yet, just bread and unbleached all purpose.

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  5. You should try some someday. Anyway, thanks!

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    1. I probably will, for now my focus lies primarily in roaches and beetles, one day though... ;)

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