I’m planning to get a handful of various species of desert or darkling beetles, beginning with some Blue Death Feigning Beetles.
This is the setup ( 10 x12 x20) I have put on my worktable where I sew, so I can watch their antics. I’m test-running the light temps to be sure it doesn’t get too hot.
Can you tell I was a fan of the “I SPY” books as a kid?
I’m not really a bug person but with set ups like that I could be converted! I can’t even get an isopod colony started! Lol!
All the best of luck with your beetles!
Love the creativity and care you’re putting into the beetle venture. I hope you have nothing but success with them!
Thanks very much! I couldn’t resist a chance to do something a bit whimsical. These little dudes are such clownish little tanks and have simple comparative needs so it’s easy to go above and beyond for them.
Thanks! I hope to keep a variety of fun little beetles. I don’t think I’ll try to breed them but if they end up using the microclimate zones I mean to provide to try to reproduce I might change my tune! Who knows.
@athleticshoelace Hey, be sure to post when you add the beetle tanks to the tank! lol! I would love to see the little “buggers”! Lol
that looks like a perfect setup for Blue death feigning beetles and darkling beetles. What type of darkling beetles are you going to put in there? I keep superworm darkling beetles and they are awesome and would love to have a setup for them like this for them. they are currently in a 12 qt bin with a few rocks and oats for substrate (which is horrible compared to your setup ). I would love to have blue death feigning beetles also but they are a little to expensive for me right now and would want a setup like this first before i get them.
I will probably take whatever compatible species I can get my little hands on, without having to ship them just yet. Our local little indie pet shop has BDF beetles, so I mean to get maybe three or four of them from there for my starter inhabitants.
It’s still a bit too cold here for my anxieties to be buying live animals. I just don’t trust something to come up and strand a package somewhere with the heat pack running down, you know? So I’ll go local for now.
In March, our area has a big reptile expo, and beetles are likely to be there. If it turns out to be safe for my health, I’d like to try to go to that and get some interesting bugs.
@athleticshoelace Are you near Indianapolis? I am going to the March 28th Midwest Reptile Expo at the Indiana state fairgrounds to look for isopods and feeder frozen rodents………
Is this the expo you are talking about?
@athleticshoelace Oops! I think the Expo is on March 26th, not the 28th!
Oh, no fraid not, I live in the Rockies, the expo is one held up in Salt Lake City.
Oh ok! I was getting so excited that I might be able to actually meet someone from the MM Community!
I think I am on the final iteration of this enclosure for now. I’ve added and subtracted things, played with it like a zen garden composition… And I think I like it now. It looks better viewed bigger.
So here’s a detail shot. I had hoped to make not just an enriching and pretty scene but also a neat space to catch pictures or video of the beetles.
I am very excited to finally get these 5 little guys into their tank- they should be arriving tomorrow or the next day!
That setup looks awesome! I hope the little guys appreciate what you have done for them! Are we going to be able to see them when they’re inside there? And what will you feed them and what about the water?
Thank you! I will definitely be taking a lot of pictures.
They tend not to drink but every now and then you can spray a little mist in a corner of the tank for them to seek out if they want it. As far as my research says, generally people are said to struggle with keeping their space dry enough. I live in a High Desert/Montane and Sagebrush type biome so dryness is no problem.
But they are supposed to be happiest on a diet of organic bits of veg, especially carrot or sweet potato, and dead bugs. They are said to get their hydration from that food. They’re sort of desert scavengers, so anything that was formerly alive is worth a nibble to them.
I’ve got a “hermit crab mix” for them to try too with some of the grains like amaranth that they might have encountered in the wild, some leaf litter bits, some bits of dried mealworm and dried cricket- all things that are reasonable possible clutter to find under a bush or the foot of a cholla in the desert. Wind tends to blow stuff around but debris builds up in certain spots, in the scrubby desert back home. (yes I moved from one to another, hah)
I used to regularly encounter a few species of desert or darkling beetle when I was a kid. We’d poke the “stinkbugs” (Eleodes) to see them put their tails in the air, or the Ironclad armored beetles because they’d snap their legs in close against their body and play dead. I could swear I ran across actual Asbolus, Blue Death Feigning Beetles a time or two. Didn’t have a name for them back then but we knew you shouldn’t touch them too much because it damages their pretty color and might hurt them. (I also have strong memories of warning other kids off touching the pretty fuzzy red Velvet Ant!)
Wow! You are opening up a lot of memories from my childhood! I remember seeing maybe not the same bugs you did (Western KY) but I do remember big colorful spiders in big webs spreading across our bushes and the “June” bugs that I used to dread every summer. They had green hard shelled bodies and sticky black legs.
There were tons of big grasshoppers spitting “tobacco”, ladybugs, mud daubers, and some kind of silkworm type thing that would make some type of gauzy nests in the trees in the summer as well. My dad would make a gasoline torch to burn them out. Otherwise they would kill the whole tree. And the cicadas! They would rev up in the late afternoon and talk about loud! You would find their empty exoskeletons sticking on the trees.
Thank you for trip down memory lane. I’m in a subdivision now. All of that lovely part of nature is gone forever…… at least where I am.
Sorry to ramble. Have a blessed evening and I surely can’t wait to see those beetles!!
Oh no trouble- there is nothing like a childhood outdoors! I can still recall the exact taste or feel of all the plants, the looks of all the critters and birds we shared space with. Rural upbringing leans one to be a bit of a naturalist later, and part of having these beetles will be to have a little bit of home in my place up in the Rockies now.
Well I’m jealous as I sit here in the middle of Indiana! Glenn Campbell comes to my mind now too……. ok I am done! Lol.
All 5 are here alive! Well they insist they are not but I’ve seen them crawling around.