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Breeding Ground Beetles?


Inkie14
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So I found a couple of these (PICTURE: http://i1086.photobucket.com/albums/j459/Inkie14/IMG_9038.jpg) running around my backyard patio at night. (I live in Central Valley in California) I think they're some kind of Ground Beetle? They're very, very fast.

I've seen some people offering Ground Beetles for sale. What do people usually buy them for? Are they fun to keep? I'm thinking about breeding these (since I breed everything I can find! lol). Any tips on breeding, care, etc?

Basically any information about these guys would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Update: I gave them a moistened pellet of dog food and they are ravenously attacking it! :o

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Ground beetles are primarily predators and many species live 1 to 2 years as adults. This is long compared to most beetles and so the adults are often kept as pets. Breeding is another story. It is possible, and has been done, but I am unaware of any true success stories with any species. (I have bred the big green, red, and purple Calosoma but my ultimate production was lower than my starting point). If someone could set up a repeatable methodology for rearing ground beetles and publish their findings that person would be A1 in my book.

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Thanks for the info! After a quick search, I'm pretty sure they are Harpalus pensylvanicus.

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Found an article about captive rearing of Ground Beetles, specifically Harpalus pensylvanicus and one other species. I just requested the full text. I'm excited to read it!

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/240840198_NOTES_ON_THE_BIOLOGY_AND_REARING_OF_TWO_SPECIES_OF_GROUND_BEETLES_PTEROSTICHUS_MELANARIUS_AND_HARPALUS_PENSYLVANICUS_%28COLEOPTERA_CARABIDAE%29

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Ground beetles are primarily predators and many species live 1 to 2 years as adults. This is long compared to most beetles and so the adults are often kept as pets. Breeding is another story. It is possible, and has been done, but I am unaware of any true success stories with any species. (I have bred the big green, red, and purple Calosoma but my ultimate production was lower than my starting point). If someone could set up a repeatable methodology for rearing ground beetles and publish their findings that person would be A1 in my book.

I have some WC black Calosoma in a communal tank. It is fun to watch them ambush red runners. They we not very good at catching the red runners when the substrate was bare but when I put a layer of dead leaves in they used it as places to hide and "sneak" up on the runners. They buried themselves and made chambers over the winter and are back running around the surface. No babies yet...

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Like you said, Orin, it seems like carabids are one of those groups that is really easy to keep alive, but much more complicated to propagate.. I have't ever seriously tried to breed any species, but I got eggs from Calosoma scrutator by feeding them well and keeping them on moist soil in a planted terrarium. It seems like the biggest obstacles are getting females to ovipositor and then taking care of the ova...

"I breed everything I can..." I like that attitude!! Glad you found the article, but still make sure to record what you do for these guys. ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't had much luck breeding carabids either, but someone has to have a large success sometime! Good luck if you go for it, Inkie14!

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Thanks everyone. Colony is still alive and well, let's hope I can do it! :)

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I have bred harpalus penslyvanicus, to some extent. The females will lay quite a few eggs in coco fiber, and in a bottle cap filled with wet toilet paper. Getting them to lay eggs was very easy, which was quite surprising. I got more larva than the number of beetles I started with. The larva are very weak, and prone to die for no reason. I fed them dead mealworms. In the end, I got one to pupate, but it died for no apparent reason. I hope this helps!

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They are. Hopefully more people get interested in breeding these beetles, maybe start some sorta club, compare notes and experiences in breeding different species. Just a thought, lol.

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Thanks! yea kinda like them, compare experience and learn off each others successes and mistakes, that kinda thing. if a bunch of people got involved in breeding these, then there is a good chance somebody will have success.

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I've got a bunch ;)

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I once found some small shiny green Carabids (I had found out the name but have since forgotten it) in my yard about 5-6 years ago. I was collecting isopods then and didn't think much of throwing them in with the isopods as I collected both. Months later I noticed my isopods were not thriving as I had been told they would; when I went to dismantle the colony I found it was full of the original carabid adults, their larvae, and also pupae in small chambers underneath the moistened soil. I would suspect that the adult carabids quickly eat any ova they may produce (a generalization for all species) but since they were in a setting where there was not only space but also food of varying sizes (in the form of the differently aged isopods) they managed to propagate.

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Kyle, I think I saw this post, were they Chlaenius sp?

I have a little "report". I am trying to get a female Carabus nemoralis to lay eggs in a cage with potting soil, sand and zoo med jungle mix. No luck yet, but it has only been a week or two. She is eating isopods, mealworms and other bugs.

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I'm moving to a new city and can't bring these beetles with me so I'm going to dismantle the colony for now, and catch some new ones later in Fall or next Spring. Who wants free beetles? :lol:

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Small caterpillars, other soft-bodied insects, dry cat or dog food pellets.

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