Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lots of Darkling Beetle Updates!

First off, I thought I'd just let you all know that I have released most of my Eleodes hispilabris, on account of me losing interest in breeding them. I still have three CB adults that are housed in various other Tenebrionid or cockroach enclosures, but I have stopped breeding them for now.

Secondly, after adding a bit more sand to my Eleodes osculans enclosure, I have finally found some larvae in there! They are short, stubby little things, very cute IMO! 😊 (Just like the adults!).

Here are some pictures of them:

Most of my Coniontis sp. "CA" adults have died off now, presumably due to old age. The larvae have proven to be hard to pupate, however I was pleased to see that at least one of the larvae I've isolated has created a pupal cell and is in the pre-pupal stage now! 😁 Seems like the more cramped the pupation enclosure, the better. Hopefully the others will follow suite soon, there are a LOT of larvae that have reached maturity now, I want to rear up as many as I can before they expire!

The larger Eleodes sp. larvae I received from Brandon Woo several months ago have proven to be extremely difficult to rear, with the majority of them dying before or while entering the pre-pupal stage. This is likely due to improper humidity levels, the pre-pupae don't seem to like it quite as moist as most of the other Eleodes species I've bred.

I DID get two larvae to pupate successfully though, and two more are still in the pre-pupal stage, so hopefully I can get at least one pair to mature successfully and breed! Anyway, one of the pupae has finally eclosed, and I can finally announce the identity of these larvae!

Here she is, introducing Eleodes acuticaudus!!!:

Will let you all know if I can rear the rest of them to maturity!

Now, here are a couple sad announcements...

I am sad to say that the one Alobates larva I was able to save died, it did not seem to be able to ingest the wood I fed it, and refused to feed on any chick feed or dead mealworms I offered it. All but one of my adults have died off as well, probably due to old age, so it looks like I've completely failed at breeding this species. 😢

Also, most of my Edrotes ventricosus adults are showing signs of old age, and a few have died off already. Doesn't look like they've given me ANY offspring at all, so this was also a big bust.

Now let's end on a high note! My Eleodes tribulus have been breeding very prolifically for me, and the larvae are very easy to rear as well. I've got a couple dozen adults now, which are producing even more larvae!

Here are a few pictures of some adults:

Well, that's going to do it for this post everyone, thanks for reading, will see you all next time! 😉


  1. Nice to see another post!

    I’m starting to get a bit annoyed with tenebrionids, though. Orin says they are entertaining and hilarious, but I’ve found that the small handful of spp (big and small Coniontis, Zophobas, matte darkling) I’ve kept just walk around aimlessly and sleep for long periods! I swear, my own Coniontis seems to be in diapause (it does eat when I hand feed, though).

    Are the adults more interesting to watch in big groups?

  2. me: wake up, you fat coniontis! what do you think you are, a dormant Lucanus in the dead of winter? it’s the middle of the night, there’s a fat mango sitting two cm above your head, and...

    (beetle continues to sleep)

    It’s pretty obvious why I don’t have any YouTube vids of drumming coniontises yet.

    1. Thanks! :D

      Zophobas and other bark dwellers seem rather lethargic and uninteresting to watch, and Coniontis also seem rather lazy. The most interesting Tenebrionids to watch are the medium/large Eleodes species, they are much more active, almost constantly wandering and interacting with their surroundings. I'm sure Orin was referring to Eleodes when he was talking about the funny antics Tenebs show. Embaphion are also pretty active now that I think about it.

      LOL, typical Coniontis!!! XP

  3. Mhm. It seems that the only point of keeping a Coniontis is to have fun trying to record its songs.

    The thing is, you keep a lot of lethargic bark tenebs, and based on a few YouTube vids it seems that Eleodes and Asbolus/Cryptoglossa just walk around back and forth all day, with any funny antics being either annoyingly repetitive (y’know, the classic mating pile), intermittent, or both.

    And even the Diaperis(?), which were often quite active, really didn’t do anything except eating, walking, and trying frantically to reproduce.

    But there has to be a reason you like tenebs a lot, right?

    1. That is true, mating does seem to be a large part of their activity... It's really when you feed them that things get interesting, with adults carrying food pieces away from their tankmates, wrestling over food even when there are plenty of unclaimed pieces, etc.

      The most interesting part in keeping Tenebs in my experience, is rearing larvae to adulthood. I love watching the transformation from larva to pupa to adult, and I find it very satisfying when I rear perfect, healthy adults and throw them back in with their parents/siblings.

    2. And I’m hoping that a thousand Eleodes food fights are not just one session replayed a thousand times. Are they?

      Can’t wait for that moment when the coccinellids finally drop dead. They eat with the beautiful precision of typewriters in reverse, but I don’t think I’ll be able to tolerate the sight of hemipterans and corn being gently masticated again and again and again and...

    3. Well there's some variation, but I guess it is kinda the same thing over and over again. But I mean, it's the same with most other inverts too.

      Lol, is it too cold for you to just release them in your backyard?

    4. Um, the coccinellids are from a foreign area and are used to an even sunnier life year round. Freezes rarely happen here, but on many winters the temp gets close. It doesn’t affect mantids and katydids, but best to be safe anyways.

    5. Oops, thought you caught them in your own neighborhood, my mistake! Definitely not a good idea to just dump them in your backyard then...