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PowerHobo

Pupating Zophobas morio

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My daughter has been raising some Z. morio, and they're all large enough to pupate now (28mm+). After I explained to her that they pupate once separated individually without food in a dark place, she would only consent to attempting it with 10 larve, as she's convinced we're going to starve them to death.

 

Naturally, all 10 died, and I now have an 11-year-old wearing her sassy "I told you so" pants.

 

This is the exact method I used to pupate Z. morio as a kid, with the only difference being the containers. As a kid, I used film canisters, and now we're using thoroughly cleaned vitamin bottles with some air holes just because they're what I had on hand; do they require the tight space to pupate? Or better yet: do they need a bit of food in their container, and was I just an unknowing sadist as a child?

 

Bonus fail: "Don't worry, they don't bite." - they totally bite. The girlspawn discovered this last night.

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Did you put sand for it to take for substrate? Unless I'm wrong, I think that beetle larvae in general love sand. Also don't put too much, because they could get too excited about it and wind up with a big pile of sand in their pupal chamber, which is not good...

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I did not. I've never heard that; I always kept them in ground oats as substrate, then fully without substrate when pupating. I'll have to look into this, thanks!

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28 millimeters is way too small for z. Morio to pupate, they're usually mature around 2 inches (45+ millimeters) although yes they do need separation, that part is correct, make sure it isn't too large, small deli cups are good, and yes no food or substrate as it may stop them from pupating.

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No substrate is needed for this particular species to pupate, and will in fact make things more difficult. And yeah you isolated them way too early, they need to be a lot bigger to pupate, otherwise you WILL starve them to death...

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There are only two types of insects: the ones that nobody (scientists included) knows anything about, and the ones that everybody thinks they know about.

 

Zophobas falls into the latter category.

 

Do not trust the reptile and fishbait sites that look credible but are filled with inaccuracies. Even the Cincinnati Zoo has mistakenly stated that Zophobas is flightless and has fused elytra. This is obviously not true; I have seen it fly myself (though this is uncommon), and McMonigle's Ultimate Guide states that all feeder (Zophobas, Tenebrio) and grain pests (flour beetles) can fly well. The zoo probably read that Eleodes giant darklings are flightless, which is true, and plastered the label to the entire Tenebrionidae.

 

I have also raised Z. morio myself, and here are a few tips:

 

1. The larvae will pupate even if food is available. Great anti-starvation tip, but no one ever mentions it, though.

 

2. I have pupated several larvae (one per cage) in a plastic cage filled with shallow dirt. They made an oval depression on the soil surface before pupating. Dirt pupation is not suggested because it takes up too much space

 

3. Adults will lay eggs in anything, including paper tissue. One or two females can make tons of larvae, so keep all your beetles separate if you don't want to use their offspring as feeder insects. Identifying sex of adults is not a solution. Males are on top when mating, but they are so zealous that they will mate with other males.

 

4. Zophobas is great, but wild native darklings are also very interesting. Since you live in a desert, I imagine there are some great desert darklings in wilderness areas. Ask Hisserdude to help you with these, because my post is long enough already.

 

 

 

Stag Beetles: The sand is for flower scarab grubs, according to the Ult. Guide.

 

 

Normally I am reluctant to log in here due to computer issues, but I am expecting to be more active in bugguide forums (user Eleodes) or on my blog talk page (sp-uns@blogspot@com, replace @ with .)

 

 

Cheers, everyone!

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There are only two types of insects: the ones that nobody (scientists included) knows anything about, and the ones that everybody thinks they know about.

 

Zophobas falls into the latter category.

 

Do not trust the reptile and fishbait sites that look credible but are filled with inaccuracies. Even the Cincinnati Zoo has mistakenly stated that Zophobas is flightless and has fused elytra. This is obviously not true; I have seen it fly myself (though this is uncommon), and McMonigle's Ultimate Guide states that all feeder (Zophobas, Tenebrio) and grain pests (flour beetles) can fly well. The zoo probably read that Eleodes giant darklings are flightless, which is true, and plastered the label to the entire Tenebrionidae.

 

I have also raised Z. morio myself, and here are a few tips:

 

1. The larvae will pupate even if food is available. Great anti-starvation tip, but no one ever mentions it, though.

 

2. I have pupated several larvae (one per cage) in a plastic cage filled with shallow dirt. They made an oval depression on the soil surface before pupating. Dirt pupation is not suggested because it takes up too much space

 

3. Adults will lay eggs in anything, including paper tissue. One or two females can make tons of larvae, so keep all your beetles separate if you don't want to use their offspring as feeder insects. Identifying sex of adults is not a solution. Males are on top when mating, but they are so zealous that they will mate with other males.

 

4. Zophobas is great, but wild native darklings are also very interesting. Since you live in a desert, I imagine there are some great desert darklings in wilderness areas. Ask Hisserdude to help you with these, because my post is long enough already.

 

 

 

Stag Beetles: The sand is for flower scarab grubs, according to the Ult. Guide.

 

 

Normally I am reluctant to log in here due to computer issues, but I am expecting to be more active in bugguide forums (user Eleodes) or on my blog talk page (sp-uns@blogspot@com, replace @ with .)

 

 

Cheers, everyone!

TruTru

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28 millimeters is way too small for z. Morio to pupate, they're usually mature around 2 inches (45+ millimeters)

 

And yeah you isolated them way too early, they need to be a lot bigger to pupate

 

I'm going to assume it was a typo, but I might just be an idiot, and I'm not willing to rule that out. *38mm+. I measured her entire colony (including the dead ones that she hasn't disposed of for whatever reason) individually to double check last night, and the absolute smallest (one of the dead ones) is 38mm, and the largest is 51mm (give or take a couple mm for wriggling errors). Out of 35 only 6 larvae are/were smaller than 42mm.

 

Thank you guys for all of the info. We're going to try another batch of them (over 45mm) in some smaller pill bottles with a just a few oats in the bottom and keep our fingers crossed.

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I'm going to assume it was a typo, but I might just be an idiot, and I'm not willing to rule that out. *38mm+. I measured her entire colony (including the dead ones that she hasn't disposed of for whatever reason) individually to double check last night, and the absolute smallest (one of the dead ones) is 38mm, and the largest is 51mm (give or take a couple mm for wriggling errors). Out of 35 only 6 larvae are/were smaller than 42mm.

 

Thank you guys for all of the info. We're going to try another batch of them (over 45mm) in some smaller pill bottles with a just a few oats in the bottom and keep our fingers crossed.

Hmm, those larger ones should indeed be ready to pupate, maybe put a little bit of food in with them this time, just in case.

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Just wanted to update with an additional thanks: we did as I mentioned before and isolated the biggest larvae with a small pinch of oats (5-6 flakes) in each container, and all but a couple are curled up to pupate, and a few have already made the leap. My daughter is pretty thrilled about it. I forgot the pupa can sort of "jump" :lol: Thanks again, everybody!

 

 

post-8872-0-08625500-1511304035_thumb.jpg

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I'm a few days late in posting this, but she had her first adult emerge! She's got about a dozen pupae at this point and about half of those are darkening up nicely at the eyes and legs, so any day now.

 

This one here is already a nice dark red/brown since this picture, awaiting his/her tank-mates.

post-8872-0-08713400-1512583300_thumb.jpg

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I'm a few days late in posting this, but she had her first adult emerge! She's got about a dozen pupae at this point and about half of those are darkening up nicely at the eyes and legs, so any day now.

 

This one here is already a nice dark red/brown since this picture, awaiting his/her tank-mates.

Congrats man! Hope they do well for you and your daughter! I remember raising these as lizard food for my last bearded dragon. I always got so attached to the adults lol!

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Great! I've found that new beetles are ready to start eating on day 2, even though they are still brown and somewhat soft.

 

 

 

The larvae will pupate when food/water/space is very plentiful, too. This is how the "dirt pupation" I mentioned above was successful, and they will probably dig pupal cells on top of grain substrate, too.

 

Isolation from conspecifics seems to be the main necessity, and I'm pretty sure the dead ones just starved/dessicated due to being too immature.

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