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davehuth

Help with larval ID?

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Hello - I understand that a lot of people like myself (total newbies to keeping beetles) dump larvae photos here, but I promise to use this as an opportunity to learn diagnostics!

 

I brought a piece of rotting wood into my home this winter to use as a landscaping feature in a desert Tenebrionid enclosure. While it was drying out, this larva exited and began crawling around. I put it into a container of moist millipede substrate with some extra chunks of wood. It immediately burrowed, found a chunk, and drilled into it. A couple weeks later out of curiosity I split the chunk, found it still living inside, and so added a couple more chunks and set it aside to see what might happen.

 

If anyone has any suggestions on ID, even genus or family, I'd be very grateful! I didn't get out the calipers, but my best estimate is that it's between 1/4-inches and 1/2-inches in total length. The flash on the camera brightened the body a bit. Under normal ambient light the body was more orange/less yellow, and the head was noticeably darker than these pictures with the bright flash might suggest.

 

Allegany County (Southwestern part of the state), NY (USA)

 

Thank you!

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It's the larva of either a tenebrionid, or possibly an elaterid.

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Elaterid larva for sure, they have heads that are a lot more square shaped than Tenebrionid heads. Beyond that, it's almost impossible to ID, you'd need to rear it first.

 

It should be kept on some crushed rotten wood, and you can offer it dog food or something similar as a supplemental diet.

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Elaterid larva for sure, they have heads that are a lot more square shaped than Tenebrionid heads. Beyond that, it's almost impossible to ID, you'd need to rear it first.

 

It should be kept on some crushed rotten wood, and you can offer it dog food or something similar as a supplemental diet.

Thanks! We have a number of species in my region, including a real boss click beetle (Alaus oculatus). It's enjoying the rotted wood and I'll supplement with kibble. If I'm successful, I'll update here :-)

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Thanks! We have a number of species in my region, including a real boss click beetle (Alaus oculatus). It's enjoying the rotted wood and I'll supplement with kibble. If I'm successful, I'll update here :-)

 

NP! :)Alaus are very nice, their larvae look quite a bit more "grub-like" than most Elateridae larvae, and are quite fearsome looking! :D

 

Cool, good luck rearing this one to maturity! If you are successful, and are able to get pictures of the adult, be sure to post them at Bugguide.net, there are several experts there who can probably get an ID for you, at least down to genus. ;)

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