Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Darkling & Click Beetle Stuff

My Embaphion muricatum larva are doing great, and a few of them have pupated! A couple of them sat on top of the substrate in their enclosure and got in the pre-pupa position, I removed them and put them in their own little deli cups, each filled with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber. Another tried to make a pupal cell at the bottom of the larva enclosure, I moved that one as well.

Here are some pictures:



The pupa are so unique looking, and have very large pronotums. Hopefully in a few weeks they will start to eclose!

Now that the weather is getting warmer, many insects are coming out. One common critter that can be found in many areas here in Idaho are a small species of darkling beetle, Blapstinus sp. These are commonly found on sidewalks, and around ant colonies. Just how they are associated with ants in nature, I do not know.

I have bred these in the past, they are not too finicky but the females do not lay many eggs, and the larva seem to require a moist substrate to survive. I am not currently keeping these, but I took some photos of on a while ago and thought I would share the pictures with you!

And that's the end of the darkling beetle discussions for today, let's move on to some of my new click beetles.

A while ago I was walking down a trail, and while looking under some bark under a willow tree I found four large click beetles. Now I say large, but these are half the size of, say, an Alaus melanops. Still, they are larger than most of the click beetle species I have seen here in Idaho, so they seem large to me. According to the experts on bugguide, they are a species of Melanotus.

I have them housed in a deli cup filled with rotten wood, dead leaves, and a little bit of coconut fiber. I am keeping them moist, and am feeding them banana slices. I will probably try some apple slices this week. I am hoping some of them are gravid females, as I would like to breed them.

Here are a couple pictures of one:

Hopefully I will see some sign of oviposition soon!

Now, I have been finding these small click beetles in my neighborhood, mostly under rocks and other debris. They would appear to all be the same species, but many of them have different coloration, so perhaps not. I currently have about seven of them.

I am keeping them in a small container filled with moist sand and coconut fiber, there are pieces of wood and dead leaves as hides. I am feeding them carrots and fruits. So far there are no signs of any oviposition.

Here are some pictures of a few individuals:

Hopefully I can get them identified, and breed them as well. EDIT: It would appear that these are all Aeolus livens, a variable species of click beetle in which melanistic forms are common.

Well that's it for today, I hope you guys enjoyed, next week I will be getting some really cool, really rare roaches, so stay tuned! :)


  1. Those are very cool pupae! I looked up the darkling and they are very unique looking, I love the wide upward facing pronotum and sides!

    1. I know, they are so cool looking! :) Probably my second favorite darkling beetle pupa, second to Coniontis pupa.