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Eleodes hispilabris

Dobsonfly larvae

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I read that dobsonfly larvae are cannibalistic, and some beetle larvae are too. Is there any other way to prevent any cannibalistic action, besides feeding them well? They usually eat algae off the sides of my aquarium, so....

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I wouldn't risk it. Hellgrammites are very carnivorous and will try to overpower anything and everything. If you cant have them separated then give them lots and lots of hiding spaces and feed them as much as they can handle. Otherwise you'll end up with one fat happy one.

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For beetle larvae, all you do is separate them into different containers. Is that an option for dobsonfly larvae?

Nope, they're fully aquatic and sensitive to water quality making them difficult to keep. Plus they eat live food and are active hunters so a small container is a death trap.

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Yes, they also need a water pump

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The easiest thing I could think of doing is making a setup where water runs directly from the output of a filter through a series of separate containers in an aquarium before it flows in back into the aquarium and into the filter again. The aquarium would provide a larger volume of water for keeping the water chemistry stable. You could try having containers with holes floating in the aquarium or hanging on the sides, but the passive water exchange would be insufficient to keep the water quality and oxygen levels decent. It would also mean that if not manually removed, uneaten bits of prey would stay in the containers, decay, and cause the holes to clog partially or fully.

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Yeah, the funny thing was that the mother survived about 14 days...Actually,, I witnessed the larvae hatching.

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Yep

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Yes, It was Corydalus cornutus. I found it near a blacklight, but I read that they live at most 7-10 days.

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Should I clean the aquarium once in a while, (more how should I clean it) ? The larvae are so small that I could easily kill them by accident...

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Should I clean the aquarium once in a while, (more how should I clean it) ? The larvae are so small that I could easily kill them by accident...

They're very sensitive to water chemistry (although not the the level of plecoptera or ephemeroptera,) and should probably have a filter in each tank (cycled of course) and weekly/ bi weekly water changes. Raising megalopterans is an extremely in depth endeavor and requires a lot of work and dedication. Living (not just frozen live) food (scuds, niads, and larvae of aquatic insects) should be provided daily, their water should be cool (almost cold) and fast flowing, and very, very clean. It takes months for them to grow up and they need damp decaying wood to burrow into and pupate. Also did you know their pupae are the only ones on earth to have functional mandibles? And they *HURT*. The only way to get them off is to kill them with alcohol.

 

I don't mean to discourage you, I'm just letting you know that aquatic insect larvae are orders of magnitude more difficult than beetle larvae. They require around the clock constant care unlike beetles and are usually not worth the effort. Odonata is the only order I think could potentially be worth it, but that is because they don't require cold, fast running, pristine water like other insect groups do (They'll do fine in a fish tank with a good filter) and their feeding behaviors and ease of care/hardiness compared to the others makes them quite suitable for aquarium life.

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Thank you, but so far I am thinking that the dobsonfly larvae seem to be needing less care than beetle larvae.

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Thank you, but so far I am thinking that the dobsonfly larvae seem to be needing less care than beetle larvae.

Well just let me know how it works out for you. I've tried raising them before and it ended up being more trouble than it was worth. Once they get bigger and start producing more waste they'll start fouling up their water pretty quick.

They are considered indicator species for a reason, just forewarning.

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And they have to pupate on land, right?

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Will the dobsonfly larvae die if they leave the water source for too long?

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