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Bess beetle bullying others?

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I was just feeding my beetles when I noticed a large bess beetle ( Odontotaenius disjunctus ) bullying another bess beetle real bad. I also found another that was dead and his thorax was broken from the abdomen like it was attacked even some legs were broken off even the Electra. I thought these beetles could be kept communally. What is going on?


I just moved them to a bigger container, I think they need their space. I don't know if they are chilling out because of the space now or because I just put them in.

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I've noticed this behavior in the past, too. It seems to happen when I collect Bessies from different locations and then put them all together. I think they get stressed out amongst strangers and start fighting. From my observations, Bessies seem to be semi-social. That is to say, they hang out in family units, but don't really take to strangers until they've had a month or so to get used to an outsider. For this reason, I use a large aquarium to give them plenty of time to socialize with one another before moving them all into a smaller container.


If your Bessies are all from the same family, then I am at a loss as to what is going on with them other than positing that they might be getting stressed out due to too much movement and new surroundings.


Anyone else have any observations to add?



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I'm with Bill here :)


I've also observed fighting behavior in the wild for once.

While I was collecting in the woods, I heard weird noises so I looked at the place where the noise was coming from and saw a bess beetle blocking its burrow with the head and aggressively fighting back with another bess beetle that seemed to be trying to take over the burrow. It turned out that the noise was the "squeaking" that the bess beetles were producing while fighting. The fight went on for about 5 min. until the intruder finally gave up and left.

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  • 3 weeks later...


There seems to be another new species only found in certain parts of Florida that are more evolved. You can see the papers and pictures if on google you type in

474 florida entomologist 77(4)

The new species is called Odontotaenius floridanus

If you could find me some or find someone who has some, please let me know.

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