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My Modest Collection, So far


satchellwk
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Hello,

I have collected many invertebrate pets in the past year or so, but in recent months I have had a growing interest in beetles. Therefore, I decided to join this forum, and I thought I should at least show what I have at this moment.

First, I started with aquatic beetles,

I have a 10-gallon aquarium that I'm currently housing all my aquatic insects in, and it contains:

Acilius sp. Predacious diving beetles:

P5030672.jpg

Whirligig beetle:

P5030674.jpg

and a Hydrophillis sp. Giant water scavenger beetle (I had another, for I found them in the process of mating but it expectantly died)

P5030664.jpg

 

Despite not seeing any signs of a successful egg laying of the scavengers, I did collect a larvae, which I am keeping separately, and providing land of which to pupate on:

P5030678.jpg

(I took it out of its enclosure for the pic)

 

Next, I have a group of five of my local Alaetrinus minimus darklings, which are very energetic and interesting beetles.

P5030651.jpg

They mate every night, so I hope they will produce larvae; they would require the same care as larvae as, say, mealworms?

 

Finally, I have been getting interested in dung beetles. I have collected 5 very small individuals, but I do not know what species.

P5030655.jpg

I really hope to find some more impressive species, particularly P. vindex, but I'm not 100% sure how to find them, without finding a cattle or horse ranch and ask nicely to dig through their manure.

 

Anyway, that's my collection as of now. It's really small, but I hope to expand it in the future.

Thanks for looking!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I have not had the best of luck with some of my species

 

For some reason, I just cannot keep predacious divers alive; I think they have been having trouble adjusting to fish food. I've tried giving both sinking pellets and floating freeze-dried bloodworms,but every time I try adding more beetles, 75% don't make it a week. Also, my giant scavengers died, but I kinda expected it, since I collected them as adults early in the season; they were probably near the end of their rope at that time. Also, I accidentally killed the larvae, it left the water, and I assumed to pupate, but the next day, it was still on dry land in larval form, so I thought it might have accidentally crawled out, so I put it back in, expecting that if it was indeed preparing to pupate, it would just crawl back out, but it just died. I think I'm going to just stay away from aquatics for a while.

 

On a happier note, I just got a trio of P. vindex (1 female, one major male, and one minor male) from Peter, and they are amazing. However, not a week after getting them, I found the major male dead; like with the scavengers, I believe these were wild caught as adults, so who knows how old it was. I'm keeping the other two in a critter keeper with 4 inches of substrate, with access to ample amounts of chinchilla dung, does that sound good enough for breeding?

Here are some pic of the P. vindex:

P5180060.jpg

And a few more small dung beetles I found, which I have put with the others:

P5190061.jpg

 

And, here is what has become of the scavengers and major male, along with a few others:

P5230084.jpg

Quick question, does anyone know of any good ways to make the beetles not stink so bad when you first pin them?

 

And, while I can;t seem to keep some things alive, I have been able to keep three Euetheola humilis alive for a month, which I was told wouldn't last a week, so I guess that's an accomplishment? I forgot to take any pics of them, though, and I don;t like digging them out. However, they come out every night to gorge themselves on any fruit I give them.

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Dead beetles stink man, worse than most dead things. Dung beetles might be the worst of them all though, for obvious reasons.

 

Your water scavenger and whirligig photos were really great. Love the ripples in the water!

 

Did you try fish flakes with the diving beetles?

 

Also, describe their deaths. Were they predated by the other beetles or do you think they were scavenged on after dying a more natural death? Too soon to give up, especially since you are so good at finding them!

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I'm keeping the other two in a critter keeper with 4 inches of substrate, with access to ample amounts of chinchilla dung, does that sound good enough for breeding?

Are they even eating it?

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Hey Peter,

I didn't actually try fish flakes; I only used freeze dried bloodworms and sinking shrimp pellets. I observed the whirligig eating the bloodworms, the scavengers eating both, and mixed reactions from the divers. It seems the ones with the yellow on them (Acilius) adapt best to captivity; I've had at least 3 species; those, some solid black ones, and some dark green ones, and the acilius have outlasted all the others.

As for the deaths, the scavengers seemed completely natural, I don't think anything else in there could have predated on them.As for the divers, I don't think they were killed by anything larger, but, since there were scavenger beetles in there, the bodies were not all that common to find.

 

Hello Orin, yes they are indeed eating the chinchilla dung, and they seem to enjoy it. Also, the female made her burrow against the side of the container, and, based on the motions she is making, it looks like she may be laying eggs in it. Furthermore, I have observed that the female almost exclusively remains buried, while the remaining male will periodically emerge and attempt to find a way out; presumably to find another female.

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What I do with smelly beetles (such as carrion and dung beetles) is I put them in a sealed container with alcohol soaked tissues on the bottom and often on top of them as well. This helps them become position-able, and also helps with the smell.

Also... the beetles should be pinned differently. I suggest you also buy some insect pins (thinner and longer pins that don't rust easily.

 

Here is how a properly pinned beetle looks (take a look at where it is pinned). I'm far from a pro but I've been collecting for years now. 11 to be exact, which is actually the majority of my life! Hahahaha!

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And this is how I position them... I use pins cris-crossed under and over limbs to let them dry in a cool position. Sometimes I strap their wings down with strips of paper, held in place with pins.

 

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In no time... you will be slapping together display cases full of beetles. Please note that I took the glass tops off of the cases to avoid glare. I do have them :P.

 

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Hey Ryan,

Thanks for all the tips! That is one impressive collection you have there; it must have taken every bit of that 11 years to amass that. I actually tried pinning them correctly, but the only case I had was not very tall, so I had to cut all my needles shorter so they would fit, which made puncturing elytra very difficult. I'll probably try to get my hands on a taller case (or a few) one of these days. Although, I have a question about the "insect pins." Are they really superior to just regular stainless steel needles? They seem rather expensive for needles.

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Hey Ryan,

Thanks for all the tips! That is one impressive collection you have there; it must have taken every bit of that 11 years to amass that. I actually tried pinning them correctly, but the only case I had was not very tall, so I had to cut all my needles shorter so they would fit, which made puncturing elytra very difficult. I'll probably try to get my hands on a taller case (or a few) one of these days. Although, I have a question about the "insect pins." Are they really superior to just regular stainless steel needles? They seem rather expensive for needles.

In my experience, yes. I've tried a few types of pins... one that I used, which I can't seem to find or even see anywhere, worked fine. Umm... overall, I like insect pins. Amazon sells them for a reasonable price. Different sizes (in thickness) is another reason why I like them.

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