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PowerHobo

Embaphion muricatum Questions

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Some people keep desk plants at work. I keep desk beetles. I'm really interested in a culture of Embaphion muricatum for this, but I know very little about them, and bugguide.net doesn't have a whole lot of information, surprisingly.

  1. What type of substrate would they need? I assume something sandy and semi-arid based on pictures I've seen.
  2.  What type of food do they eat? Just a typical darkling diet?
  3. What sort of lifespan do they typically have?
  4. Are they particularly prolific breeders?
  5. Anything I should be aware of that might sway me away?

I'd be very interested in hearing from someone who has kept them or who semi-regularly has them available. It's pretty much between these guys and blue death feigning beetles at this point, but I really like the way the pie dish beetles look. My current desk beetles are Gymnetis caseyi, but they're not hyper-interesting at the moment (still a few months to go before pupation).

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1. Yes

2.yes

3. These don’t live nearly as long as asbolus, but likely have a similar lifespan to most eleodes species

4. Hisserdude will probably be along to answer that question, but they likely lay eggs in the same way as eleodes (a few dozen at a time, but not every day)

5. Not sure, but a roach might make an even better “desk pet” than any easily accessible beetle, I can only imagine a huge, speckled peppered roach perched on a small branch cleaning its wings, making quite a magnificent display for any coworkers, although I guess if you work from home it doesn’t really matter what other people are seeing lol

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Hisserdude has quit the hobby (see roachforum.com announcement)

 

He has a caresheet for E on his blog though.

 

If wild non-mealworm darklings live near you, you might wish to keep some of those as well/instead. Many interesting darklings have never been kept in captivity

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Indeed, like @AlexW said, Hisserdue has a detailed care sheet for them on his blog which is definitely worth checking out:  invertebratedude.blogspot.com/p/care-sheets.html

I'm currently using the "pupation in situ" method for mine, in which the larvae can safely pupate together. It consists of a 27 qt. container with about 6 inches of substrate (mix of about 70% coconut fiber and 30% sand) and a few halfed paper towel rolls for hides. I don't keep a lid on the container to allow for max ventilation. I allow about the top 1/5 of substrate to dry out, but much more than that and the adults start dying since they're very sensitive to lack of moisture, so it's probably ideal to keep it pretty much completely moist. This method of culturing them requires that the larval population doesn't exceed a certain density as they will run out of space and start burrowing into the lowest levels of the substrate where the mature larvae are supposed to pupate if it gets too large.

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On 8/1/2018 at 2:14 PM, Bugboy3092 said:

Not sure, but a roach might make an even better “desk pet” than any easily accessible beetle

Thank you for the info. I can't do roaches. I fully understand the diversity and that only a few are invasive pest species, but too many bad experiences in my low-rent apartment-living days have left me with a strong distaste. Hopefully I'll be over it some day, because I'm aware it's silly. I can't even keep bark mantids because they look too much like their roach cousins.

19 hours ago, AlexW said:

He has a caresheet for E on his blog though... If wild non-mealworm darklings live near you, you might wish to keep some of those as well/instead

Thank you for the tip. There was a ton of answers to my questions in his caresheet. My issue with local darklings is that the only ones I regularly see are these aggressive, highly stinky a-holes, and aren't exactly something I want in an enclosed space. Beyond that the only good place I know of that I've seen an abundance of beetles is a national park, so collection is illegal.

12 hours ago, All About Arthropods said:

Hisserdue has a detailed care sheet for them on his blog which is definitely worth checking out:  invertebratedude.blogspot.com/p/care-sheets.html

Thanks for the link! Super helpful. I actually didn't know they lived that long as adults. The adult longevity is part of what was making me like at BDF beetles. I'm really not interested in culturing them,  as I've already experienced that with Z morio, and frankly it took some of the fun out of having them for me.

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20 minutes ago, PowerHobo said:

Thanks for the link! Super helpful. I actually didn't know they lived that long as adults. The adult longevity is part of what was making me like at BDF beetles. I'm really not interested in culturing them,  as I've already experienced that with Z morio, and frankly it took some of the fun out of having them for me.

No problem. :) Yea, definitely not BDF beetle type lifespans, but still on the longer side compared to some of the other inverts in the hobby.

Fair enough; I like culturing everything I have because it lets me witness the change in each species as they grow, gives me pretty much an endless supply of each species, leaves me with a surplus that I can either trade or sell away, and, in the relatively unlikely scenario that a species goes extinct in the wild, it will still be preserved in captivity. I do understand that it takes more work, but that's the way I look at it.

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On 8/2/2018 at 2:30 PM, PowerHobo said:

My issue with local darklings is that the only ones I regularly see are these aggressive, highly stinky a-holes, and aren't exactly something I want in an enclosed space. Beyond that the only good place I know of that I've seen an abundance of beetles is a national park, so collection is illegal.

Aggressive?

 

 

I have never heard of darklings actually running towards their perceived threats. Quite odd

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17 hours ago, AlexW said:

Aggressive? I have never heard of darklings actually running towards their perceived threats. Quite odd

Aggressive was definitely the wrong word. Hyper-defensive is more accurate. They spray with almost no provocation, and half the time I smell them before I actually see them.

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