Monday, October 3, 2016

A Bunch of Beetle Updates

So, today I took one of my containers that I put a Coelus ciliatus larva in a few weeks ago, and dumped the substrate out in search of a pupa. Instead, I found a pre-pupa in it's cell. I have removed it from it's cell and put it on top of the substrate so that once it pupates I will be able to get some pictures of it.

Here is a picture of the pre-pupa larva:
















Hopefully it will pupate soon, can't wait to see what the pupa of this species looks like! :)
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My Embaphion muricatum have been doing very well, and I thought I'd just share how I've been pupating them, seeing as I've been doing quite a lot of it lately.

First, I take a small deli cup and fill it with a good amount of moist coconut fiber. Then I press down and compress the substrate, so that it will hold it's form when the larva makes it's pupal cell.

Then I add a little bit more uncompressed substrate to the container and add a large larva. Usually the larva will explore the cage for a couple of days then settle down and make a pupal cell at the bottom, as you can see here:















Then, after about a week, it pupates, (This pupa is a different specimen BTW):
















Here's my current setup for them, I've been pupating them four at a time, though I have another bigger deli cup for larva that I already find in the pre-pupal stage in my breeding enclosure:



















Once the pupae molt into adults you then need to move them into a cage with a dry substrate ASAP, otherwise they'll die from the high humidity.

And that's all there is to it, I hope you guys find this useful, this method works for several species of Tenebrionids, though you may need to make slight changes depending on the species, (e.g. changing the substrate to sand for species like Coelus ciliatus or Eusattus muricatus, using much larger deli cups for species like Eleodes obscurus or spinipes, etc.).
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My Eleodes hispilabris that I've placed in my Gromphadorhina sp. "Hybrid" enclosure have been doing well, and I have started pupating their larva. I pupate them the same as I pupate my Embaphion murciatum, just put the larva in a deli cup filled with moist coconut fiber and they'll build a cell, usually at the bottom, but not always.

Take this larva for example, it made a cell in the upper layer of the substrate, and left the roof of the cell open to the lid, making it easy to snap pictures of it:



















Here's an adult that had just ecclosed probably less than an hour before I found it:


















Here's the same beetle a few hours later:
















And here it is the next day:




















I really like this species of darkling beetle, it is pretty common here in Idaho and is pretty prolific and easy to rear, making it a good occasional feeder.
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I have, once again, begun to try and breed the most common large rove beetle in my area, Tasgius melanarius. This time, instead of separating the larva and adults, I'm keeping them all together in a cage with breeding populations of Armadillidium vulgare and Porcellio scaber, I added some Trichorhina tomentosa to the cage recently in the hopes that they'd breed as well, hopefully they don't get eaten first.

The adult pair and many larva seem to be doing pretty well so far, the larva seem content to eat the isopods in the cage rather than each other, and I have yet to see an adult eating a larva. Of course they could be eating each other while I'm not looking, but the amount of larva still alive seems to be pretty high, and I often find them very close to each other.

Here are some pictures of first instar larva:














And the adult female:





















This is like the hundredth time I've tried breeding these, getting the adult females to oviposit is no biggie, but I think I have yet to rear a captive bred larva to adulthood, though I've reared a few wild caught larva to adulthood with ease. Here's hoping that this time I will be able to rear a large enough amount of larva to maturity to breed another generation.

Well, that's it for today, I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I'll see you all next time! :)

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