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Expected earnings for invert sellers

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I know income is usually a sensitive subject, but I figured since probably little to no one in the hobby is actually able to make a living off of selling inverts, that some people wouldn't mind answering. As I posted a while ago, I'm working on my own pet invert website and have found that the package I need to run my website with the site builder I use is a little more costly than I expected. Since this is such a small hobby and there aren't exactly statistics on it, I was just wondering, for anyone who's been selling for a long time, how much should I expect to make starting off?

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Well, it entirely depends upon what inverts you are selling, and how much inventory you have.

 

I sell excess roaches I have, as well as isopods and some darkling beetles, in a good month I can make $100 or almost $200 from selling my inverts, it all depends upon what I have available, and if there's a high demand for what I have or not.

 

Keep in mind, I sell stuff on the side, just whatever I have excess of. I'm sure the bigger sellers who actually put a lot of effort into creating a business make a lot more than I do. :)

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Well, it entirely depends upon what inverts you are selling, and how much inventory you have.

 

I sell excess roaches I have, as well as isopods and some darkling beetles, in a good month I can make $100 or almost $200 from selling my inverts, it all depends upon what I have available, and if there's a high demand for what I have or not.

 

Keep in mind, I sell stuff on the side, just whatever I have excess of. I'm sure the bigger sellers who actually put a lot of effort into creating a business make a lot more than I do. :)

Oh, wow! That's definitely a lot more than I expected lol. Thanks for the reply!

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Oh, wow! That's definitely a lot more than I expected lol. Thanks for the reply!

Even if you just have a bunch of cheap stuff available, as long as there's a market for them, a lot of little orders add up. :) NP, happy to help!

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Some one here in taiwan makes about $200 a month

just selling goliathus flower beetle only

D titiyus have 200 pairs per year market as far as i know

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Some one here in taiwan makes about $200 a month

just selling goliathus flower beetle only

D titiyus have 200 pairs per year market as far as i know

Well, Taiwan and Japan are fanatics at beetle-keeping. Apparently there are Allomyrina in some Japanese vending machines!

 

The state of the hobby in the US is just... pathetic in comparison.

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Unless you start with having a lot of rare hard to find stuff, you will barley make enough. It's a hard business because Bugsincyberspace/Kenthebugguy are at the top of the list. Unless you have super good prices, bulk quantities, or rare species, its gonna be hard to start up. I'm not trying to come across as a jerk but thats just how it is in this game. I have really hard to find species and it's hard enough to get rid of them and when I do, it's in months. I wish you the best of luck though! Anythings possible with dedication.

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Unless you start with having a lot of rare hard to find stuff, you will barley make enough. It's a hard business because Bugsincyberspace/Kenthebugguy are at the top of the list. Unless you have super good prices, bulk quantities, or rare species, its gonna be hard to start up. I'm not trying to come across as a jerk but thats just how it is in this game. I have really hard to find species and it's hard enough to get rid of them and when I do, it's in months. I wish you the best of luck though! Anythings possible with dedication.

The thing is, bugsincyberspace is happy to do trades. I may consider selling some “cool bugs” indirectly this way.

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Unless you start with having a lot of rare hard to find stuff, you will barley make enough. It's a hard business because Bugsincyberspace/Kenthebugguy are at the top of the list. Unless you have super good prices, bulk quantities, or rare species, its gonna be hard to start up. I'm not trying to come across as a jerk but thats just how it is in this game. I have really hard to find species and it's hard enough to get rid of them and when I do, it's in months. I wish you the best of luck though! Anythings possible with dedication.

Well that's a little discouraging, haha. I guess I'll just try my best and stop if keep losing money for too long. It'll at least be a learning experience :P

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Well that's a little discouraging, haha. I guess I'll just try my best and stop if keep losing money for too long. It'll at least be a learning experience :P

 

I do have one suggestion for you, though.

 

 

 

Rare species in the hobby are not always rare species in real life. If bugsincyberspace is outcompeting you in the Asbolus, Cryptoglossa, and "standard-type" (ones without unusual morphology) Eleodes darklings, get some other cool species that no one else has. I used to think that my area was low in "cool species".

 

But I have found many "cool species" that I have never seen before, and most of them were located within summer/fall 2017. They include:

 

  • A darkling beetle that looks like ​Nyctoporis​. Bugsincyberspace probably doesn't sell Nyctoporis often, but they have cool bumps and feign death like ​Asbolus.
  • ​A colony of "fiery fungus beetles", which evidence strongly suggests is Diaperis rufipes​. Unlike most darklings, it is brightly colored and ladybug-sized/shaped. Bugguide only has a handful of pictures, and it has never been recorded from California. Things undiscovered by science are rare/difficult in many areas, but they are dirt cheap in entomology.
  • For the sake of not going on and on, let's just say that I have not explored local forests very well due to issues, but I have seen quite a number of impressively-sized and rarely-sold darklings and carabids on the few times I visited. ​You probably can too, and there are also a surprising number of cool species in many suburban areas if you look in the right places. The gigantic and iridescent Cotinis mutabilis ​swarms en masse every summer here, but I have seen them even in the middle of lawn-filled Los Angeles.

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I do have one suggestion for you, though.

 

 

 

Rare species in the hobby are not always rare species in real life. If bugsincyberspace is outcompeting you in the Asbolus, Cryptoglossa, and "standard-type" (ones without unusual morphology) Eleodes darklings, get some other cool species that no one else has. I used to think that my area was low in "cool species".

 

But I have found many "cool species" that I have never seen before, and most of them were located within summer/fall 2017. They include:

 

  • A darkling beetle that looks like ​Nyctoporis​. Bugsincyberspace probably doesn't sell Nyctoporis often, but they have cool bumps and feign death like ​Asbolus.
  • ​A colony of "fiery fungus beetles", which evidence strongly suggests is Diaperis rufipes​. Unlike most darklings, it is brightly colored and ladybug-sized/shaped. Bugguide only has a handful of pictures, and it has never been recorded from California. Things undiscovered by science are rare/difficult in many areas, but they are dirt cheap in entomology.
  • For the sake of not going on and on, let's just say that I have not explored local forests very well due to issues, but I have seen quite a number of impressively-sized and rarely-sold darklings and carabids on the few times I visited. ​You probably can too, and there are also a surprising number of cool species in many suburban areas if you look in the right places. The gigantic and iridescent Cotinis mutabilis ​swarms en masse every summer here, but I have seen them even in the middle of lawn-filled Los Angeles.

 

I've found a Diaperis sp. before where I live. They're really beautiful! Wish I could find more. And thanks for the tip, I'll try. One common beetle during spring where I live is Platycerus viriscens. They're fairly small but it's easy to find pairs because of how common they are.

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I've found a Diaperis sp. before where I live. They're really beautiful! Wish I could find more.

 

I have the feeling that Diaperis is one of those all-or-nothing beetles. Ridiculously common on host fungi, impossible to find anywhere else (except maybe a UV trap during food shortage migration flights). This has indeed been the case for me, though I have never observed beetles at UV lights.

 

Fascinatingly, Platycerus virescens has been found to be a false name and is now quercus on bugguide. :)

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I have the feeling that Diaperis is one of those all-or-nothing beetles. Ridiculously common on host fungi, impossible to find anywhere else (except maybe a UV trap during food shortage migration flights). This has indeed been the case for me, though I have never observed beetles at UV lights.

 

Fascinatingly, Platycerus virescens has been found to be a false name and is now quercus on bugguide. :)

The one I found was on a piece of fleshy shelf fungus that had fallen from a tree. It was full of little brown beetles that jumped and were very hard to catch and the single Diaperis. I tried to keep the jumping beetles, but they climbed right over the vaseline barrier I made and temporarily infested my house for a month or two, haha. Every time I would forget about them, I'd find one crawling on my bed :P.

 

And I hadn't realized that. I don't know much about taxonomy, so what do you mean by false name? Was quercus already a species?

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The colony I found was on a puffy, watery-fleshed fungus (photo on blog somewhere). One night during the fruiting body's death/rotting phase, I noticed that most of the beetles had suddenly vanished, and one deformed, freshly-hatched specimen was opening and closing its crooked elytra, showing the flight wings underneath. Now, flightless darklings typically have fused elytra and vestigial/nonexistent hind wings, so these could definitely fly (of course, many flying darklings seem to only do so under famines/ill health). I suggest you look for them on living fungi.

 

Also, I'm not particularly knowledgeable about taxonomic changes either, but I am aware that insect classification is extremely difficult in certain places, argued constantly about by experts, and is garbage-y rotten in other places. Bugguide says that quercus was the original and correct name, and P. virescens was used incorrectly to refer to this stag.

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The colony I found was on a puffy, watery-fleshed fungus (photo on blog somewhere). One night during the fruiting body's death/rotting phase, I noticed that most of the beetles had suddenly vanished, and one deformed, freshly-hatched specimen was opening and closing its crooked elytra, showing the flight wings underneath. Now, flightless darklings typically have fused elytra and vestigial/nonexistent hind wings, so these could definitely fly (of course, many flying darklings seem to only do so under famines/ill health). I suggest you look for them on living fungi.

 

Also, I'm not particularly knowledgeable about taxonomic changes either, but I am aware that insect classification is extremely difficult in certain places, argued constantly about by experts, and is garbage-y rotten in other places. Bugguide says that quercus was the original and correct name, and P. virescens was used incorrectly to refer to this stag.

It was the only large fungus I've ever found in the woods near my house. It was part of a a cluster of a few fruiting bodies about 20 feet up in a tree that I had spent about half a year staring at. I even spent a few hours one day throwing things out them to knock some down (was not successful lol). I'll keep an eye out for more, though. How would you breed them in captivity if the fungus rots so quickly?

 

And that's surprising, considering that even Arthur V. Evans referred to it as P. virescens in his book Beetles of Eastern North America. Must have been a pretty widespread misconception!

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The European Diaperis boleti prefers fresh but will breed in dry dead ones. I think there are also a few online research papers on the biology of maculata, which I guess is likely your species due to its common-ness and eastern range.

 

(I know that this is starting to drift off topic, sorry Peter Clausen)

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212856/#!po=6.25000 (boleti)

 

Bugguide editor also notes that maculata larvae can survive in dry scraps, despite having thin white skin

 

 

https://bugguide.net/node/view/177520/bgimage

 

https://bugguide.net/node/view/62736/bgimage

Hm, interesting. How do you keep the enclosure humid without causing mold growth on the dead fungus?

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Hm, interesting. How do you keep the enclosure humid without causing mold growth on the dead fungus?

Since larvae dont need the moisture, and the maculata rearing attempt was done in an open plastic bag, I imagine that a well-ventilated aquarium with screen lid would be enough for larvae. The lid is to prevent adults from flying off.

 

Since McMonigle,s Ult. Guide states that fungus darklings need low ventilation and high humidity (this is certainly false for maculata larvae, but maybe not adults), give the adults a choice between their dry fungus, some damp hiding areas in the aquarium, and some dry hiding areas. This way they can self-regulate humidity, and if the fungus is far away from the damp areas it will probably stay dry and not moldy. It seems that ventilation is unimportant as long as humidity is present; my Diaperis rufipes? were semi-diurnal and could be seen walking around in the open at day and night. They seemed to be primarily nocturnal, however.

 

Good luck on finding a colony! :) Ladybug darkling is a very good English name, if you ever need to make one up for the shop.

 

 

Random note: Aah, all the quotation marks, apostrophes, and some commas have vanished mysteriously, and refuse to appear when typed! Danged technology, sometimes. I may have to tell Peter about this.

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Since larvae dont need the moisture, and the maculata rearing attempt was done in an open plastic bag, I imagine that a well-ventilated aquarium with screen lid would be enough for larvae. The lid is to prevent adults from flying off.

 

Since McMonigle,s Ult. Guide states that fungus darklings need low ventilation and high humidity (this is certainly false for maculata larvae, but maybe not adults), give the adults a choice between their dry fungus, some damp hiding areas in the aquarium, and some dry hiding areas. This way they can self-regulate humidity, and if the fungus is far away from the damp areas it will probably stay dry and not moldy. It seems that ventilation is unimportant as long as humidity is present; my Diaperis rufipes? were semi-diurnal and could be seen walking around in the open at day and night. They seemed to be primarily nocturnal, however.

 

Good luck on finding a colony! :) Ladybug darkling is a very good English name, if you ever need to make one up for the shop.

 

 

Random note: Aah, all the quotation marks, apostrophes, and some commas have vanished mysteriously, and refuse to appear when typed! Danged technology, sometimes. I may have to tell Peter about this.

Oh, that's awesome! Now I'm really motivated to find a colony! I have the ultimate guide also so I'll to do some reading in the darkling section. "Ladybug darkling" is also a really good name too!

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Oh, that's awesome! Now I'm really motivated to find a colony! I have the ultimate guide also so I'll to do some reading in the darkling section. "Ladybug darkling" is also a really good name too!

Just be warned, fungus darklings dont act like other darklings, and he only covers Bolitotherus mostly (which seems to have very different ecology/humidity needs from Diaperis, and restricts its feeding to dying/dead conks).

 

Basically, all they seem to need is a host, hiding spots, and proper moisture levels, and maybe an occasional fruit as supplemental snacks.

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Just be warned, fungus darklings dont act like other darklings, and he only covers Bolitotherus mostly (which seems to have very different ecology/humidity needs from Diaperis, and restricts its feeding to dying/dead conks).

 

Basically, all they seem to need is a host, hiding spots, and proper moisture levels, and maybe an occasional fruit as supplemental snacks.

Yeah, I wish that he had covered fungus darklings a little more in it, but I also have his guide on breeding darkling beetles specifically which I believe he goes more in depth on them in.

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Yeah, I wish that he had covered fungus darklings a little more in it, but I also have his guide on breeding darkling beetles specifically which I believe he goes more in depth on them in.

Cool! Is the darkling chapter in Ultimate a lot smaller and less comprehensive than the darling book, or is it only slightly shorter?

 

Also, for the sake of staying on topic, have you considered alternative options for your site? Kevinswither runs his shop on a free-website engine, so he may be able to advise you on this. :)

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Cool! Is the darkling chapter in Ultimate a lot smaller and less comprehensive than the darling book, or is it only slightly shorter?

 

Also, for the sake of staying on topic, have you considered alternative options for your site? Kevinswither runs his shop on a free-website engine, so he may be able to advise you on this. :)

I'm not sure, I'll have to check when I get home.

 

And I could, but I've spent so much time on my website that I really don't want to have to remake it lol.

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Sell dry substrate / logs if you can maintain the quality.

or sell dead stock abroad in bulk to foreign countries.

However, keep some live stuff to showcase your results and breeding skills.

 

 

 

most beetles do not have a very long lifespam, therefore selling the stuff above is easier because they stay in "good condition" for a long time. Plus there are too many regulations for live trade in the states and keeping all the beetles alive is a cost too.

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