Friday, May 27, 2022

Identifying Two Bylas Beetles!

Roachcrossing April Package Series Pt. 3/5
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On Kyle's AZ trip last year, he found some beetles in a compost pile in a place called Bylas. He was only really trying to collect the Cotinis in the pile, but he grabbed some of the compost along with them, and some other beetles snuck into his culture and proliferated in there rather quickly! He wasn't quite sure what they both were, so he sent some to me to try and ID them better. 😄

First off, we'll start with the more abundant of the two, a Blapstinus species I'll be referring to as sp. "Bylas, AZ". Looks like any other ol' Blapstinus, though I will say they seem a bit larger and chunkier than the sp. "Kuna, ID" I have. Unfortunately since the genus is badly in need of a new key and revision, a genus identification is as good as it gets for most Blapstinus.

I've got them housed in a small but well ventilated deli cup with a bit of old, used coco fiber as the substrate (I think some old Lucihormetica substrate), and a little crushed leaf litter mixed in. I'm keeping a third of the substrate humid, the rest dry, and have them at room temps. I'm feeding them dog food and the leaf litter for now.

Here are some pics of one of the adults:

Hopefully they'll breed soon, I've not seen any larvae yet, might have to mix in some sand into their substrate to really get them kicking off.

EDIT: Well I wrote this post several days ago and scheduled it to come out today. However, literally a few hours after the post released today, I found larvae in their setup. 😂 Said larvae are already half grown so they're just really good at hiding I guess! So yeah, successfully bred these, woot! 😄

Next up, Kyle sent a single adult of what he had described as a tiny, orange beetle species that he just couldn't get a good picture of. They'd been breeding well in the Summer/Fall but their numbers dwindled down quite a bit recently, and so he was only able to send the one adult for identification. I didn't even see it initially when I unpacked them, as he'd put it in with the Blapstinus. However eventually it popped up in the new Blapstinus setup, and I was able to identify it as an "Ant-like Flower Beetle", specifically Vacusus vicinus.

Not many have bred ant-like flower beetles, but their larvae are known for feeding on decaying organic matter, and adults of some species visit flowers, while others also feed on decaying organic matte. So it seems to be a simple enough task, and their lack of a presence in the hobby is likely just due to their diminutive size.
I've got mine housed with the Blapstinus, probably won't be breeding these but perhaps I'll get lucky and it's a gravid female. 😂

Here are some not completely trash pictures of my adult, I can see why Kyle has trouble snapping pics of them... Not only are they tiny (3-4mm), but they will NOT stay still! 🤣

So, mystery solved for both these tiny beetles, and at least one of them should make for a neat new long-term addition to my collection! 😁

That's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, hope everyone enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

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