Saturday, May 27, 2017

Some New Beetles!!

The other day I received a package from Tyler Hedlund, (known as Pannaking22 on the forums and owner of this blog), as part of a trade we are doing! Received lots of cool beetle species, that I will hopefully be successful in breeding!

First, let's start off with the Tenebrionids!

I got 4 Alobates pensylvanicus from Tyler, a semi-predatory species of darkling beetle closely related to Coelocnemis, one of my favorite Tenebrionid genera. These guys are commonly found under bark on dead logs in the Eastern US, and both the adults and larvae are supposedly carnivorous on other invertebrates in the wild, however, the few people who have kept this species have had no problems getting them to eat dog/cat food in captivity.

I have them in a medium sized plastic container with rotten hardwood chunks, dead leaves, and fermented Traeger sawdust as the substrate, and have bark and wood pieces in there for hides. I will be feeding them dog food, and will also offer mealworm pupae for them as well, and maybe other soft bodied prey, if they like the pupae that is.

Here are some pictures of them:

Really hope I can get mine to breed and lay eggs, I don't think anyone has ever gotten this species to oviposit in captivity!

He also sent an adult of the small, but beautiful species, Platydema ellipticum! It probably isn't a gravid female, and this species is associated with shelf fungi as larvae I believe, so I almost certainly won't be breeding this species. The best I can do is keep it in a enclosure with decent ventilation, moist substrate with bark and leaf litter, feed it dog food and hope it lives a nice, normal life in my care. 🙂

Here are a few pictures of it:

Really nice little species, pretty colorful for a darkling beetle!

Speaking of colorful Tenebs, while they may look black at first, Meracantha contracta have a beautiful copper sheen that makes them one of the prettiest species native to the US! 😁 Tyler sent me a sexed pair of this beautiful species, I am very happy to finally have some, and I really hope I can breed them!

Unfortunately, they were shipped in the same container as the Alobates, and while Tyler had kept Alobates with other Tenebrionid species before with no problems, apparently their predatory side really comes out when being shipped. Since they were in such close quarters with these beauties, without any other source of protein available, they chewed off most of the Meracantha's legs. 😢 Luckily, they weren't killed, but they are sort of crippled now, which sucks.

I once had an Eleodes male that had every single leg bitten down to small nubs, but he still was able to hobble over to the food and water I offered him, and lived for quite a while in that condition! Meracantha seem to stress out more easily than Eleodes though, so I'm not sure how well they'll adapt to this situation.

The male has his left front and hind legs fully intact, but his left middle leg and all of his right legs have been bitten down to nubs. Luckily the female is a lot less damaged than the male, both her hind legs are intact, and one of her middle legs only has the tibia missing, but the other middle leg has been bitten in half, one of her front legs is missing and the other has is a little over half intact. The main thing I'm worried about is that many female Tenebrionids like to burrow before ovipositing, however this female will probably not be able to burrow much since she's lost proper use of her front legs, so unless she is content with just ovipositing directly into the upper layers of the substrate, she may not produce any offspring at all.

I am keeping them in a small plastic container with moist coconut fiber and crumbled up dead leaves as the substrate, and have bark pieces and dead leaves on top for hides. I will be keeping them fairly humid, and will feed them mostly dog food.

Here are some pictures of them:

So far they seem fairly active and are eating, so that's great, hopefully the female will lay some eggs for me and I can get some larvae of this amazing species! 😊

Now, let's get to the misc larvae he sent!

First, we have this one Elaterid larva, that almost looks like a small Alaus grub, but definitely isn't. I have it in a small deli cup with rotten wood chunks, dead leaves, and fermented Traeger sawdust as the substrate, in addition to the wood I will also be feeding it dog food.

Here are a couple pictures of it:

I also received two of these other Elaterid larvae, which look more like your typical wireworms. I have them in their own deli cups as well, with rotten wood chunks, dead leaves and fermented Traeger sawdust as the substrate, and in addition to the wood I will be feeding them dog food.

Here are a couple pics of one of them:

Would be pretty cool if I ended up having a sexed pair of this species, love how the larvae look!

Lastly, he sent this one really weird looking beetle larva, I honestly have no idea what it is beyond that, but I do know it's neither a Tenebrionid or an Elaterid. I have it in it's own deli cup with rotten wood chunks, dead leaves and fermented sawdust as the substrate, and will offer it dog food as well, have no idea if it will eat any though.

Here are some pictures of it:

Really interested to see what it ends up maturing into, hopefully it'll do well in my care and pupate!

Anyway, that's gonna be it for today guys, I hope you all enjoyed this post, will see you soon! 🙂


  1. I found 3 larvae that look just like your last one in Cambodia, i found 2 in a really rotten tree, the inside of it was like really mushy dirt, and I found the 3rd in the dirt under a rotten log, I will post a picture of what mine look like on arachnoboards. Good luck on rearing them!

    1. Yeah, saw your post on AB, crazy that we both just got larvae from this family, when a few days ago I had never seen anything like them! :D Small world!
      Thanks, you too!