Jump to content
AlexW

State of the Hobby(TM)

Recommended Posts

Every once in a while, someone asks on some pet insect forum.

 

Time for my turn!

 

 

 

 

Recently, Ive noticed quite some interest in the lesser-kept beetle species. Darklings (Tenebrionidae) have been enjoying a small boost in popularity, and even some of the typically-ignored groups (curculionids, meloids, etc.) have had a few keepers.

 

Megascarabs/stags like Megasoma, Lucanus and Dynastes continue to be the popular-est ones, though. They are quite spectacular (I would love to see a Chrysina mass-emergence some day) but in my opinion the adults tend to be too short-lived =(

 

And luckily new members seem to be appearing at a surprising rate, although it seems that they only manage to compensate for many vanished old members.

 

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on the beetle hobby? And new members: How did you find Beetle Forum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also: expansionism.

 

In the US, beetle hobbyists are pretty much a rare species. Of course, the Japanese are happily selling Allomyrina in vending machines, but they probably don’t use English forums much.

 

Small numbers are obviously a bad thing, but they are also a good thing:

 

Law of Attraction: idiots are attracted to mainstream things. Thus, we aren’t in the same situation as the fish hobby. Goldfish have been dying in tiny bowls even at a time when color photos were new tech (I have evidence!). Bad things continue today; on one Walmart visit I noted that all their tanks have heaps of dead or half dead fish. My experts’ books tell me to never buy fish from a corpse-containing tank.

 

Law of A, part 2: Beetleforum users are often very knowledgeable. Misinformation is rampant and severe in many other places, including the fish hobby.

 

 

Thus, if we wish to expand, we must be careful. Sometimes less is better than more. How should we go about this, everyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beetle keeping/breeding does need to expand in the US, but laws, permits, and society are the main reasons its very hard. Of course there are awesome species here like eleodes and asbolus, but those cant even compare with the massive prionotheca of Africa and southwest asia, Bess beetles right next below us in Mexico are over three times the size of the ones here, yet theres no reasonable way to reach them. Of course, yes this could be good, think of the possible chaos that would ensue if society at large had access to half a million beetle species, there is no way to avoid those who would carelessly release invasive species into the wild, mass destruction of crops and specific habitats. Hopefully beetlebreeding in the US doesnt become as popular as in Japan, misinformation would skyrocket, and the hobby would likely be of zero use to science (yes, hobbyists and entomologists work hand in hand to advance the study) as millions of people , most of whom probably cant even tell most species apart, form their own opinions and drown out the truly correct voices. Not to mention that there would be a lot fewer materials to collect, and prices on specimens would rise greatly as they become harder to source (allomyrina are much more prolific breeders than most of our native dynastes), maybe the D. Grant I would stop flying to Payson! The main point of all this, beetle breeding cant expand without something going horribly wrong, at least in the US, as (trust me) society at large would find a way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least thats my opinion on it, I could be wrong, but in this case, Im probably (sadly ) right

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes i think about how I would love to have beetles be more mainstream so I could just go out and buy a real nice beatle like allomyrina dichotoma. But you know as I thought about it I think about all of the other "exotic" pets which are constantly being mistreated in pet stores. Like the japanese fighting fish which are often found in pet store in these very small plastic containers with no source of filtration. I think a lot of us here have a good idea on how to take care of pet beetles, I would say they are a pretty easy pet to take care of. But thinking about the misinformation that could be spread about them might end them up the same way the japanese fighting fish are. I kinda like the way the beetle hobby is right now; kinda quiet, in the US anyways. Maybe I would like the import laws to be a little less strict to AT LEAST have myself some cool dead beetles.

 

I am pretty new here also and I kinda forget how I found the forum, I think i was just looking up questions and also maybe Peter mentioned it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad there isnt an easier way to get an import permit, but advances are being made (I know someone here announced three species of goliathus being legal to import last summer/fall) to help breeders gain easier access to specimens. Also, I was actually directed here by Ratmosphere. And I hope to god that beetles dont end up in pet stores like so many other animals (bettas, tarantulas, geckos, hermit crabs, etc.) have, I just couldnt handle seeing a beautiful lucanus elaphus or Dynastes Tityus in a cage barely larger than itself, no substrate and barely any food, being tossed around by kids, or being bought simply so that some teenager can eat it alive as a bet, or for a purpose like fighting each other and being dumped/killed immediately after. I couldnt control myself if I saw dozens dead in a tank, and the people selling them thinking, oh well, theres some lost cash. So yes, the beetle hobby could grow a bit, but can never, ever be allowed to fall prey to mainstream/trendiness like so many others have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alrighty, I am sure we all agree on quality over quantity now. But I thoroughly LOATHE the ridiculous smallness we find ourselves in (seriously, I broke a world record by taking the first video of a Coniontis, and you can easily break one too). And the only thing I hate more than this is the fact that many of my neighbors will see a gigantic, iridescent Cotinis this summer and only think blank-mindedly of how repulsive it is.

 

But I would have been content with a small beetle hobby anyways.

 

Would have been does not equal “will be”.

 

https://simonleather.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/woolly-bear-postscript-where-have-all-the-young-entomologists-gone/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thoughts on the beetle hobby: fun while you're doing it.

 

?

 

I am pretty new here also and I kinda forget how I found the forum, I think i was just looking up questions and also maybe Peter mentioned it.

Peter runs both the Bugsincyberspace shop and this forum (along with a few others), if you didn’t know. He barely posts here though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad there isnt an easier way to get an import permit, but advances are being made (I know someone here announced three species of goliathus being legal to import last summer/fall) to help breeders gain easier access to specimens. Also, I was actually directed here by Ratmosphere. And I hope to god that beetles dont end up in pet stores like so many other animals (bettas, tarantulas, geckos, hermit crabs, etc.) have, I just couldnt handle seeing a beautiful lucanus elaphus or Dynastes Tityus in a cage barely larger than itself, no substrate and barely any food, being tossed around by kids, or being bought simply so that some teenager can eat it alive as a bet, or for a purpose like fighting each other and being dumped/killed immediately after. I couldnt control myself if I saw dozens dead in a tank, and the people selling them thinking, oh well, theres some lost cash. So yes, the beetle hobby could grow a bit, but can never, ever be allowed to fall prey to mainstream/trendiness like so many others have.

ikr it always makes me sad to see betta fish have their lives wasted in a tiny container, many even dead, and stores like petco usually don't even remove the dead ones. And also sadly, I once saw a male and female budgie pair that laid eggs, and later I came back, the egg had been thrown away. so I bought two birds and they eventually had 12 other budgies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ikr it always makes me sad to see betta fish have their lives wasted in a tiny container, many even dead, and stores like petco usually don't even remove the dead ones. And also sadly, I once saw a male and female budgie pair that laid eggs, and later I came back, the egg had been thrown away. so I bought two birds and they eventually had 12 other budgies

 

Luckily, there seems to be some stratification in the fish hobby. There are the ubiquitous dumb beginners who kill all their pets, the knowledgeable people who save half-dead rarities from the shops, and the mega-experts that make new discoveries and fiddle with little switches on their expensive aquasystems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

?

 

Wrote that when tipsy AF one night, probably should stay off the forum when that happens but now I could elaborate. When you are first getting into the beetle hobby, it's fun, pure and unique. I went a different route which consisted of importing many different species and breeding them. I also was doing U.S. native species too. After a while and having many species, the fun started to go away. Many friends wanted larvae, substrate, supplies, etc. This put pressure on me. From what started as a hobby turned into a job and I really wasn't enjoying it anymore. That's why I moved into keeping many different arachnids and invertebrates, because they're way easier to care for, require low maintenance, and are super cool. And yes, I do import these and sell them but it's WAY more enjoyable than beetles. This is just my opinion. It's not like I hate beetles, they will always have a place in my heart. And on my skin forever; I have a few large scale beetle tattoos that will always remind me of that point in my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wrote that when tipsy AF one night, probably should stay off the forum when that happens but now I could elaborate. When you are first getting into the beetle hobby, it's fun, pure and unique. I went a different route which consisted of importing many different species and breeding them. I also was doing U.S. native species too. After a while and having many species, the fun started to go away. Many friends wanted larvae, substrate, supplies, etc. This put pressure on me. From what started as a hobby turned into a job and I really wasn't enjoying it anymore. That's why I moved into keeping many different arachnids and invertebrates, because they're way easier to care for, require low maintenance, and are super cool. And yes, I do import these and sell them but it's WAY more enjoyable than beetles. This is just my opinion. It's not like I hate beetles, they will always have a place in my heart. And on my skin forever; I have a few large scale beetle tattoos that will always remind me of that point in my life.

 

I sort of understand.

 

Step 1: see cool beetle

 

Step 2: realize you are stuck with a lazy, long-lived brood parasite

 

Be careful what you wish for, as some beetles are more interesting pets than others ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to me man, there are many other cool arthropods in my opinion. And I've had the craziest kinds of beetles, over 14 species and they don't compare to what stuff I have now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me it seems that people are only really interested in the money that can be made. I recently got into the hobby after keeping jumping spiders and tarantulas for a while. I recently made quiet a large amount of money from selling beetles, and word got around to my family. Unfortunately they just cared about the money to be made. They would ask about the hobby, and would only ask about the price tag some of the beetles would go for. :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found beetleforum through another forum I was checking out a while ago - I'm not sure how many people nearby me are big on beetles, but there's a petshop nearby which occasionally has some of the bigger, more popular beetle adults in stock, so assumably there's at least one person nearby who is!

I became interested in beetles through the video game Animal Crossing, where you can catch bugs and donate to the in-game museum, sell them, or keep them as pets (though sadly they can't be interacted with). I got interested in looking up the beetles featured in the game, many years ago, and ended up becoming super interested - but I've always been interested in invertebrates in general, so I feel like it was only a matter of time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to stumble across this page when looking for people who were selling beetles, I think it was mentioned in a Reddit post or something. I am pretty new to the hobby, and I find that the more I delve into the world of insect keeping, the more I find myself stopping to just kind of admire the little things in life. 

I started out by keeping mantids this year, and then slowly started opening up to the idea of keeping other insects. The more I get into the hobby, the more I enjoy it and find myself wanting to gain more and more knowledge about bug keeping. Some of the people I have met through the mantis community are pretentious and rude, but the beetle community at least for those people who are on this forum are incredibly nice and I have had great interactions with a lot of you. 

I find myself here not only to just try and buy beetles, but to listen and learn from all of you. I am currently in the process of getting a permit to be able to legally obtain exotic beetle species. If the hobby were to become main stream, to me it would be a double edged sword; "Yay more beetle sellers!" But thinking about how some people keep their animals. 

Bugboy had mentioned something along the lines of seeing D.tityus or L.elaphus species locked up in small boxes barely bigger than themselves, I had actually read somewhere after I bought my D.granti larvae that the adult beetles can be kept in small enclosures and that didn't feel right to me, but to a lot of other people they would see something like that and be like "Makes sense" and then they would be shoving these poor beetles into small boxes.

There's a lot of misinformation given out there about many exotic pets and people just listen to it and blindly follow it without wondering if there's any truth or ethical implications behind what is being said, I see it a lot with people who own leopard gecko's or bearded dragons. 

I enjoy the community here on the forum, it would be nice to branch out a bit more and have some more people interested in the hobby, but I wouldn't really like to see this hobby become mainstream. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2018 at 11:51 AM, Takoto said:

 but there's a petshop nearby which occasionally has some of the bigger, more popular beetle adults in stock, so assumably there's at least one person nearby who is!

You live in Europe, where non-dead exotic beetles are often legal to import and much more popular than they are in the US

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just wondering though, I remember reading somewhere that the whole Lucanidae family is legal in the state of California. Is that true?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time to move to California and breed ALL the stag beetles. There, my little C. metallifer finae will be safe...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was the response from USDA/APHIS/PPQ regarding the California Stag Beetle issue:

April 20, 2016:

"I have seen the California documents and they are misleading."

"The California permitting information only applies to movement within California of material already in California.  The USDA has jurisdiction over "plant pests" crossing state lines.  The USDA does not regulate movement of plant pests established in a state and moved within the same state unless there is a Federal Quarantine."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×