Jump to content
BlattaAnglicana

Blue death-feigning beetles - max humidity?

Recommended Posts

HI all, I just bought 4 blue death-feigning beetles (very rare to buy in the UK!) at an insect show last weekend, and was wondering what the maximum humidity is that these can tolerate. The UK is quite a damp country ? and my home is also quite humid in general (I have to run a dehumidifier to get it to "normal" values and even that can struggle to get the humidity below 60%) and I am a bit concerned that this might be too high for the beetles, seeing as they are desert creatures. 

Does anyone have any experience of these, and if that sort of humidity is too high do you have any tips on getting it down? I already have a small heat pad under part of their cage (a small faunarium with dry sand, dry moss and some dry shreds of cardboard which look quite "natural") but is there anything else I can do to get the humidity down if I need to?

FWIW I am feeding them goldfish pellets (which are apparently mostly insect protein), oat flakes, and small pieces of carrot, apple and pear for moisture, and I have seen them all eating since I got them last Saturday. I have read that they don't need any other water at all than that.

Any other tips would be welcome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK - quick update, with a small heat pad on the bottom of part of the enclosure and a small PC fan to circulate air the humidity seems to be coming down to a steady 40-50%, so I hope this will be low enough for them.

I've read they don't need misting and they are getting "wet" food (banana, carrot, apple etc.) but that dries out really quickly - within a day - in this sort of dry atmosphere, so should I be giving them water crystals or a small water dish as well in case they need to drink?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my experience they like the high humidity, in fact, I have only found them once in the wild, and that was after it had just rained. I have not found them in any place where it is dry, and the larva appear to enjoy high humidity as well. Take that with a grain of salt however, for from what I have heard, they also require a mostly dry substrate (for the adults). I am not really sure, but as long as they have periods of dryness, I think they should be fine. 

Can some more experienced beetle keepers weigh in on this?

Thanks,

Arthroverts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orin (our forum moderator) wrote in his book two things:

1. desert darklings may emerge en masse on overcast or rainy days

2. desert (and many forest) darklings will die from long-term inescapable low ventilation and dryness

 

 

The crystals are probably not needed. I personally prefer frozen produce for darklings, as small portions can be dethawed very conveniently and easily every day

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect even 50% is too much; even adults of the forest-dwelling Zophobas seem to do very fine with water restricted to the new fruits served every day (they lived more than 6 mths before dying)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Test Account - I'm a bit confused, you seem to have said they like humidity in your first post but 50% is too much in the second???

For what it's worth I looked up the climate in the Sonoran desert (where I believe these come from in the wild) and humidity there seems to vary from about 15-20% in summer to about 45-50% in winter, and as they are at around 40% humidity most of the time in their enclosure now I am hoping this will be low enough for them to tolerate long term. Temps in the Sonoran desert seem to vary from about 4 Celsius min (very cold!) to 40+ Celsius max so I guess they are adapted to a wide variation in temperature too, so should be able to cope with most indoor temperatures OK.

I have put a tiny water "dish" (actually the lid of a contact lens case!) in with them which I refill every few days (letting it dry out completely for a couple of days in between) so I guess if they need to drink they will do so and if they don't they won't! Given they are desert creatures I am assuming they are well adapted to conserve water and will only look for it if they need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clarification: feigners and other typical desert darklings enjoy drinking water, for obvious reasons

however, putting them in a moisty steam chamber will eventually kill them. They need high ventilation (a screen lid is fine) and the substrate should be dry most or all of the time

 

 

 

 

I don't know what 50% humidity is supposed to "feel" like, but if the air in the enclosure feels dry and fresh and non-damp then the beetles will probably be fine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×