Jump to content

Are lesser mealworm beetles a danger to hissers?


Hissers
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a pretty big colony, about 150 adult roaches and countless nymphs on cork bark and substrate. Lately I've been noticing missing foot segments on a significant number of my adults, which have access to fish food pellets for protein at all times. Because of that I doubt they're nipping eachother, plus most antennae are intact. I'm wondering if the population of my cleanup crew is too high and they're going after the feet of the hissers. This tank stays on the drier side as well with a small heat lamp. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Just a theory, but drier enclosures might lead to molting issues. It’s possible that the adults’ feet/lower extremities get stuck in the molt. These tend to be the most problematic areas. 
I have some tiny black “Buffalo” beetles, which are maybe lesser mealworms? And it’s hard to imagine them gnawing thru a healthy adults exoskeleton. 
If it were the beetles, I would except the nymphs to also have missing portions of limbs, even more so on account that their exoskeletons would be easier to get through than an adults. 
 

The adult molt tends to be the most problematic in other species (mantids). 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't doubt that the larvae of lesser mealworms/buffalo beetles (Alphitobius diaperinus) would nibble the feet off of large roaches if their populations got out of control. Tenebrionidae larvae are very protein hungry, which is why their larvae can make good cleaner crews for getting rid of roach bodies and excess dog food... But if you don't manage their population properly their larvae can get out of hand and may eat molting roaches and/or bite off the extremities of roaches that wander down to the ground.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Hisserdude said:

if you don't manage their population properly their larvae can get out of hand and may eat molting roaches and/or bite off the extremities of roaches that wander down to the ground.

Shoot, I was thinking of getting some as a CUC. Better to use springtails or something else?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, WarrenB said:

Shoot, I was thinking of getting some as a CUC. Better to use springtails or something else?

I like them. In my composting bin I have maybe 250+ adult beetles (total guess but I removed at least 50-75 the other day… substrate is maybe 8-9” deep). 
Most of my adult roaches have all their legs fully intact. 
In the temporary housing where I moved my larger roaches to (no beetles), I did find a mostly chewed up (alive) one. I had just offered a few pieces of salmon kibble to them the day before… 

My husbandry has been lacking the past couple months (“winter blues”), but oddly, the amount of missing feet on my roaches is substantially less that it had been at previous times (with fewer beetles). The roaches that are/were in the composting bin are predominantly digging species (Eublaberus). 
I used to have the larger meal worm beetles in there too, but they seem to have died off. 

If their numbers stay manageable, I think they should be okay, but Hisser probably has better insight. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/22/2022 at 10:11 AM, WarrenB said:

Shoot, I was thinking of getting some as a CUC. Better to use springtails or something else?

If you manage their numbers and prevent them from reaching insane numbers, then they can make a decent cleaner crew for larger roaches. They'll eat ooths though, so they can't safely be housed with egg layers, even in small numbers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...