Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tenebrionid Success Updates!

I have had some nice successes with many of my Tenebrionids lately, so here's a new post just to highlight those successes! 😁

My Coniontis sp. "CA" have laid many eggs since I first got them, and I now have lots of larva tunneling around the enclosure! They seem to grow pretty fast, I was surprised at how large some of them were when I dug around the cage today looking for larvae to photograph!

Here are a couple half decent pictures of one of the larvae, (you'd be surprised at how much trouble I had to go through just to get these pictures):

The smaller Coniontis sp that I collected myself a little while ago have also produced eggs for me, and there are now several small larvae in their enclosure as well! Unfortunately they were too small for me to take any decent pictures of them, once they get bigger I'll try and snap some photos.

The batch of Eleodes larvae that I got last month from Brandon Woo that are either E.acuticaudus or E.osculans have all pupated now! I separated a few into their own deli cups, but the majority are still inside the medium sized tupperware I housed them all in, they all dug to the bottom and constructed their own pupal cells at pretty much the same time.

I'm very lucky that they all grew at the same rate and decided to pupate all at once, otherwise the pupae would likely be cannibalized, not to mention many of the pupal cells would be collapsed by the tunneling activities of other larvae.

Anyway, considering their size, I'm almost 100% sure they are Eleodes osculans, will know for sure once some of the pupae eclose!

Here is a picture of one of the pupae that I had isolated into it's own deli cup:

Hopefully I'll end up with a lot of adults in a few weeks!

I finally found larvae in my Eleodes tribulus container last month, this species seems to appreciate a rather sandy substrate for egg laying, and they don't seem to be terribly prolific either. The adults also really need good ventilation or else they get sluggish.

Here is a picture of one of the larvae:

In other Eleodes larvae related news, I now have a ton of Eleodes rileyi larvae! They seem very long and wiry compared to other Eleodes I've seen, unfortunately they are too small right now for me to get good pictures of them. This species is a lot more prolific than I expected, hopefully the larvae will turn out to be easy to rear!

I have been isolating quite a few of my Embaphion cf. contusum larvae for pupation over the last month or so, and now I have quite a few new adults! This species has proven to be just as easy to breed as Embaphion muricatum, if not more so! The pupal survival rate is pretty high, and the percentage of "perfect" adults that eclose seems to be a little higher than that of E.muricatum.

Here are pictures of some of the fresh adults:

So glad this species has done well for me!

Lastly, let's talk about my Meracantha contracta. Sadly, my female passed away the other day, this species doesn't live that long as adults, only a few months, and considering the extent of the injuries my female had, I'm honestly surprised she made it this long! Luckily she left me with a lot of larvae, she was way more prolific than I thought females of this species were supposed to be!

The larvae are doing very well on a diet of just chick feed and a little bit of leaf litter, (they don't really love the latter), so no rotten wood seems to be needed to rear this species, which is great! Some of the larvae are about half grown now I'd say, or very close to half grown at least!

Here are some pictures of a few of the larvae:

The coloration of the larvae seems to be pretty variable at this stage, some are sort of an orange tan color, while others have more of a rich chocolate brown coloration.

Overall it seems like most of my Tenebrionid species are doing very well right now, which pleases me greatly! That's gonna do it for today's post everyone, I hope you all enjoyed, will see you again soon! 😉


  1. So relieved that you posted another update so soon. Keeping larvae and adults is like keeping two species!

    The Coniontis larvae I once had were extremely long and thin, and strongly resembled your Coelus larvae pics. My current adult was observed tunneling and surfacing around 10:00 at night like a hamster and previous adults surfaced in the morning, so I believe that the beetles are weakly and not strictly crepuscular.

    And I found a few sentences in a google book saying that coniontises live in arid and semiarid areas, but not deserts. Author was Arthur Evans or something.

    1. Also, why no rotwood? It wouldn't hurt and might help. How successful are you on fermenting wood pellets, and might dunking an old firewood log in the yard work?

      An old quote floating around from McMonigle's Ultimate Guide: "Chrysina larvae fed mostly on leaves may seem healthy or even grow faster for a while, but they die in late L3 or pupation..."

    2. And there's another post going out tomorrow too! (If all goes well).

      Indeed, the larvae look so different from the adults! My Coniontis are also pretty long and skinny when they get bigger, they can shrivel up if they get disturbed though, their exoskeletons are so much more flexible than many other Tenebrionid larvae. My adults seem to be pretty active lately, when I opened the enclosure the other day a couple of adults dashed around for a bit at a fast pace, then retreated underground. :)

      When I say "Desert", I usually lump arid areas like scrublands in with them, instead of using the term strictly for sandy xeric habitats, I should probably stop doing that...

      Rotten wood isn't easy to come by where I live, so if I can rear a species that WOULD eat rotten wood, but doesn't NEED it for development, I will always opt for rearing them without rotten wood.

      I haven't had much luck making my own fermented sawdust lately, I think the Traeger pellets I bought were contaminated with some anti-fungal chemicals or something. :( And it would take a year or more for firewood to rot to the point where it would be nutritious to these, (probably several more years if the firewood ends up being a conifer).

      If I start seeing a lot of my larvae dying off in the later instars, I'll try adding rotten wood to the enclosure, at this point though it seems like they are doing fine without it!