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Beetles Again

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When I first got into keeping inverts, I kept beetles. They acquired mites (the tiny ones that look like sand) and that freaked me out. I got rid of them all and started keeping other inverts.


Well it's been about 16 years (give or take) of invert keeping and I have yet to keep another beetle. I've gained a lot of experience and I've kept many different types of inverts. Now, I want to try beetles again, this time I'm going in slow and easy.


So, can you suggest a few good beetles? I am looking for something that:


*will not be covered in mites!

*is readily available

*has simple larval substrate requirements

*easy to feed adults

*has short(ish) larvae stage, long(ish) adult stage

*easy to breed

*is fairly prolific

*has a high rate of success between life stages


Not all things listed are mandatory and in time I will try more demanding species. But for right now, I just want to ease into keeping beetles again and have some amazing experiences.


Thanks for the thoughts!


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There are 5 common options that are avaible most of the year:



Lucanus elephus

Ox beetles

Bess beetles

Some substates can attract mites more than others, I suggest a high wood based sub by the way.


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Oh and everything can be fed bananas or beetle jelly's except the bess beetles which eat rotten wood.

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Once again I will suggest Eleodes :D The lovable, long lived darklings. Many species are available from many different people online, Peter (bugs in cyber space) as Eleodes subnitens for pretty cheap and they are a pretty good starterspecies.


The larva are easy to keep. I just use coconut coir as substrate, let it dry out and keep some potato and carrots buried.


The adults will eat fruit, dry foods (like cat food, cuttlebones, oats, hermit crab foods, and the like) and pretty much anything you can give them.


A five gallon tank can house quite a few.


Mites are not an issue unless they get on the fruit, but then you just take out the fruit for a few weeks. I never have any big issues with pest in my tanks, as these are desert species and mites aren't really :P

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