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Guest AlexW

Scarab emergency

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Tomorrow morning I have to leave for a 2-day (1 night) trip. How will I keep my two Cotinis beetles fed and hydrated? Keep in mind that they tend to create foul-smelling messes in the substrate very frequently and that they feed almost constantly on wet sugary substances like fruit. I have no beetle jelly, and my biggest container is a giant salsa jar.

Should I:

dunk a peach on the verge of fermenting in there?

explore homemade beetle jelly (what stuff goes into the commercial jellies that prevents rot and fungus)?

wrap some plastic food wrap (with holes) around the jar and hope things don't get too stinky or dessicated when I come back? It's always done this in the past.

 

@Hisserdude!

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Honestly, I'd feed them now, then take out any food before the trip, and mist their enclosure rather heavily before leaving, leaving some, but not a ton, of ventilation. They shouldn't starve within that time frame, the main concern should be dessication or suffocation.

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Ya I agree they'll be fine food wise for your trip, just make sure it's humid enough so the beetles stay hydrated 

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Well, a roach or darkling might be fine, but seeing as Cotinis can often bury its face in a peach for hours and hours... I have some doubts.

Also, limited ventilation is very very difficult to pull off because their excrement tends to ferment and get very nasty even with 3-5 holes in the plastic wrap, or a loosely tied supermarket plastic bag.

 

Surely there are some Gymnetis or exotic cetoniine keepers around here to advise me? Orin said that flower beetles aren't supposed to smell.

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I think they'll be fine, surely people have left flower beetles without food for two days or more without any problems. Care to chime in @Allpet Roaches?

Well if you can't decrease ventilation, I'd at least just mist the enclosure heavily before leaving.

Soil-like substrate often soaks up frass smells, I think the only reason your cage smells bad is because of the paper towel substrate. 

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A few years ago I tried keeping Cotinis in small plastic push-lid-to-close boxes with no ventilation and in the morning the horrible odor was still there even though soil was used.

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Only one hour or so left before I must sleep early, unfortunately. I will stuff them desperately on bananas, high ventilation, high dampness.

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Huh, weird, didn't think these were supposed to smell at all! :wacko: I'm surprised the smell persisted even with the soil, though perhaps that was because there was no ventilation?

That sounds good, hope they make it OK!

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I returned early today. Both of them have not starved yet, and there is plenty of moisture. Unfortunately, one of them has its "tail" and mating organ dangling out of its abdomen at a crooked angle. There are no internal organs leaking out, though, and the "tail" seems to be mostly intact, because it can still pulsate. If anything is damaged it's probably the base of the tail. A bubble was observed on the underside of the tail.

I think that perhaps the mating organs were damaged by sharp leg claws when mating with the other beetle, or maybe something got injured when it tried to mate with my finger(!).

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Strangely, the injured beetle seems to be unaware of its situation and walks around like nothing happened.

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Update to @Hisserdude: When I gave them tons of papertowel the smell was weak and localized to its origin. Few towels seem to be nastier during cleanup.

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Glad they made the trip, sorry about the damage to the one male's genitalia, that sucks. :( Hopefully he'll recover!

That's interesting, good to know! Maybe you should always keep them on a deeper layer of paper towels then!

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That male seems doomed despite its healthy behavior, because its protruding tail has shriveled, lost movement ability, and dried up. I wonder if it can still excrete wastes properly.

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Although the injured beetle defecated properly and acted healthy with the injury, recently it tore its entire genital apparatus out of its body (and apparently some of its guts too) like a stinging honeybee. Its healthy behavior ended after the second injury, because right now it has no appetite and is lethargic. It has spent quite some time in this even stranger state, however, and might continue on for a while before death.

Euthanasia ideas besides freezing (shown to be painful)?

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Just to be clear, the beetle is "clean" now (nothing is protruding from its abdomen anymore) and the damaged parts were completely detached from the body.

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3 hours ago, Guest AlexW said:

Although the injured beetle defecated properly and acted healthy with the injury, recently it tore its entire genital apparatus out of its body (and apparently some of its guts too) like a stinging honeybee. Its healthy behavior ended after the second injury, because right now it has no appetite and is lethargic. It has spent quite some time in this even stranger state, however, and might continue on for a while before death.

Euthanasia ideas besides freezing (shown to be painful)?

Oh jeez, that sucks. :( Perhaps smashing it very quickly may be better then freezing, if freezing is indeed painful? It sounds horrible, I know, but it is quick. Like place it down and drop a large rock or cinderblock on it? 

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I though most insects can't feel pain? I think there is some papers on it, I've freezed extra male roaches before and I know it is a standard for other keepers the freeze extra males or injured arthropods 

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10 hours ago, Redmont said:

I though most insects can't feel pain? I think there is some papers on it, I've freezed extra male roaches before and I know it is a standard for other keepers the freeze extra males or injured arthropods 

Well I don't know about insects, but they did studies on crabs recently, and determined that they do feel pain. If crabs can feel pain, it seems likely that insects can too. 

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For those who were following this thread, Alex wanted me to tell you all that the injured Cotinis died on it's own, and he is now preparing it as a dried specimen, as it looks like it's in perfect condition, now that the genitalia have ripped off cleanly. 

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