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Dermestid beetles.


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Hello everyone i now keep and breed Dermestid Beetles!I have them in a huge kritter keeper with papertowels and cardboard for substrate.You know the thing in cookie bags where they keep the cookies?[Like in dad's cookies] i use that as a hide and then throw on some papertowels and moisten them.I only have about 10 just to get some experince and to build the colony up nice and slow.

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Kinda for both for fun right now though.I like starting small at about 10.I used to have a colony in the 1000 then mites took over.From what i have read if you got mites you were pretty much doomed as they stop the beetles from breeding and feeding and aventually your colony dies.I can't wait till these start reproducing for some reason mine still think they are in the wild,They refuse to pupate and turn into beetles which is annoying.Come summer i'll get about 100 as i care less about them.The thing with dermestid beetles is that they thrive on neglect.Which helps a lot when wasp season comes and ant season.I already have my queen ant and she has larvae!I'll keep everyone updated on this colony of mine though.

Here is a discription of my setup:

from the biggest kritter keeper i have,I placed in a piece of cardboard.I then covered the bottom with papertowels.I then placed a cookie thing into it and underneath is where their food is.This will help a lot as then i can have them in the light yet they can still feed in total darkness.I then added a plastic tube in one corner and then threw in 5 toliet paper rolls.If all goes well i should have a productive colony in about 3 months thats a big IF though.

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I happened upon some household dermestids and decided to give them a try. Is there a species key/gallery anywhere?

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You mean a specific ID thing most likely i'll dig one up.Oh btw are they larvae?If not do they look like the one in my picture?If not are they pure black?They may be Dermestes Maculatas or Dermestes Lardarius or the new species im keeping the black carpet beetle!If you need any care info i have a forum thats deticated to this stuff.

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They are adults. They look a lot like some Attagenus spp. or Anthrenus spp.

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  • 2 months later...

Although I'm no expert, I've found that my beetles thrive when kept under pretty basic conditions with a few catches;

1. I keep them bone dry and mist once every other day.

2. I keep the enclosure sterile except for their frass and little pellets of styrofoam they tear out of the chunks I give them.

3. I keep the food concentrated in one area (in a styrofoam cup) and just let a tiny bit of it tip over into the enclosure.

I currently have so many I have no idea what to do with them all. lol

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Lol i just got my first beetle frenzy sorta small but they are breeding should have a larvae frenzy soon.Have 50 now.Kool how they all started from about four adults and a few larvae.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update!

I believe my main colony consists primarily of D. maculatus and some other small species (one that lacks the white fluff on the underside of the abdomen.)

I'm also starting colonies of D. lardarius (from a single female I found on my window :D ) and what I believe to be D. ater.

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Trust me d lardarius is soo damn common here i could find 1000+ in my house. I have a colony of lardarius at about 50+ they breed quite slow at the start[depends on how many you start with i started with four on Jan 25 and now have well over 50+.] With one gravid female you could propably get more then i did see i didn't know how to properly keep d lardarius at the start. Water[a little squirt or mist] helps with the egg production. Thus more larvae hatch[which for some reason my larvae started out as these orange dudes that are slow then now they are really dark and run like mad and eat 10% more.] what do you plan to feed your new colonies? I feed mine fish flakes,dog food,catfood and sometimes meat. Mine are ment to eat dead mealworms and stuff.

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Trust me d lardarius is soo damn common here i could find 1000+ in my house. I have a colony of lardarius at about 50+ they breed quite slow at the start[depends on how many you start with i started with four on Jan 25 and now have well over 50+.] With one gravid female you could propably get more then i did see i didn't know how to properly keep d lardarius at the start. Water[a little squirt or mist] helps with the egg production. Thus more larvae hatch[which for some reason my larvae started out as these orange dudes that are slow then now they are really dark and run like mad and eat 10% more.] what do you plan to feed your new colonies? I feed mine fish flakes,dog food,catfood and sometimes meat. Mine are ment to eat dead mealworms and stuff.

I have them on a "base" mix of ferret food (the cheap kind, not the expensive stuff :P) and dog food crushed into tiny chunks. I feed old mealworm pupae to the adults. My big colony of D. maculatus (which may have a few D. ater or another species that is particularly fond of flying) gets anything that dies around here. :o

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

The other two species I've seen available commonly are Dermestes maculatus (used for taxidermy) and Dermestes ater (used in cricket bins).

There are tons of other native dermestids but they generally aren't as large or as easy to care for as the two above plus the lardarius.

In fact, if you want to start a culture of dermestids, check with your local pet store and ask them if you can check their cricket cages; you should find a good amount in there (D. ater). Your other option is to set out something dead and wait; you can find a lot of neat bugs doing this. :P

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The other two species I've seen available commonly are Dermestes maculatus (used for taxidermy) and Dermestes ater (used in cricket bins).

There are tons of other native dermestids but they generally aren't as large or as easy to care for as the two above plus the lardarius.

In fact, if you want to start a culture of dermestids, check with your local pet store and ask them if you can check their cricket cages; you should find a good amount in there (D. ater). Your other option is to set out something dead and wait; you can find a lot of neat bugs doing this. :P

Okay...

My pet shops don't have them, they don't even breed feeders- just order them :blink::huh:

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