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Beetle Pets


Acro

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Here are photos of my Harlequin Flower Beetles (Gymnetis caseyi).

I started out with six grubs I received from a friend. Under my care, they formed pupa cells, then emerged into beautiful adult beetles.

First beetle to emerge:

gymnetis_caseyi02.jpg

Second beetle to emerge:

gymnetis_caseyi01.jpg

Both on my hand:

gymnetis_caseyi03.jpg

First feeding as beetles - Beetle jelly from Japan.

gymnetis_caseyi04.jpg

All six around the food bowl. Three in the middle feeding on brown sugar beetle jelly - Yum!

b3.jpg

They have been breeding and laying eggs.

Eggs and young larvae (grubs) next to a pen.

b2.jpg

The cycle continues . . .

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The larvae stage takes about eight months until they pupate. After they emerge as beetles, they live four to eight months. It may not seem that long, but it's a very rewarding experience.

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Compared to other commonly kept pet beetles, it's short!

Edited by Acro
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They are very pretty, where are they originally from?

My Madagascar hissing beetles have live young so I don't have the grub and pupa stage with them - just lots of tiny ones running around.

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I'm flipping back and forth between EWWW! and AWESOME!!! :P Mostly awesome! I wish I had the nads to raise pets that are that cool and unique. Watching that life cycle must be fascinating. I'm too squeamish xD I won't even touch my fiddler crabs!

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Haha I find them adorable too! But I have always loved bugs... pretty sure my mother would FREAK though if i decided to keep some kind of bugs in my house... she had a hard enough time with my hermit crabs haha

I think it would be so neat to raise them! What kind of enclosure do they live in?

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Thanks for the complements everyone! :D

They are very pretty, where are they originally from?

My Madagascar hissing beetles have live young so I don't have the grub and pupa stage with them - just lots of tiny ones running around.

Harlequin Flower Beetles range from southwestern United States into northern Mexico.

I think you have Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa). There are no beetles that skip the grub/pupa stage and all lay eggs. (I have Madagascar hissing roaches too!)

That is so cool! I love creepy crawlys, and those beetles are impressive!

The UK has a thriving invertebrate keeping "hobby". It's much larger than in the USA. From what I've read, you can get cool "bugs" imported that the USA cannot. And they often have everything one would need to raise beetles and other insects, all in little packages. At least that's what I've read and seen online. If it's true, I may need to hit you up for some supplies!

Do you already keep beetles, stick insects or some other cool invertebrates?

I think it would be so neat to raise them! What kind of enclosure do they live in?

Right now I have them in a plastic container. I've been meaning to move them into a 10 gallon tank set up all pretty, but I haven't had the time yet. The grubs will stay in the container as they grow.

Edited by Acro
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That's so cool, Acro. Are they easy to care for? :)

They are fairly easy, but these guys are even easier . . .

This is Eleodes subnitens, they are a species of Darkling beetle. They come from Arizona (USA) and are related to the common "feeder" meal worms. The larvae stage takes about 3 months and the adult beetles live for one to two years. I have raised these beetles full circle, from beetle to beetle.

A male and a female. The smaller is male, the larger is female.d1.jpg

On my hand (male left, female right).

d2.jpg

Grubs of different ages.

d3.jpg

This grub has made a pupation chamber right against the glass. It's getting ready to become a pupa, then a beetle!

d4.jpg

Edited by Acro
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  • 5 weeks later...
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As requested, here are photos of the 3rd beetle species I am raising. This is Mallodon dasystomus, the Hardwood Stump Borer.

On my hand:

mallodon_dasystomus_hardwood_stump_borer

mallodon_dasystomus_hardwood_stump_borer

mallodon_dasystomus_hardwood_stump_borer

I started out with 3 males and 2 females and I am down to the last pair. The female is old so I decided not to bother her with photos. This one is a male and you can tell because of his large jaws and squared off mid section.

The beetles mated while under my care and produced 4 batches of eggs.

Notice the 5 orbs (eggs) on the right of the buried wood piece:

mallodon_dasystomus_eggs.jpg

It takes about a month for the eggs to hatch and 2 of the 4 batches of eggs have hatched. I'd say I have around 60+ larvae.

Four larvae, notice the larger one at the top right:

mallodon_dasystomus_grubs.jpg

It takes about a year or two for them to turn into beetles . . . I'm good thing I'm patient. :D

Edited by Acro
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I have seen some pretty big beetles lately and wondered what kind they were, what gender, etc.. All because of this thread. :teehee

I'd give them something to much if I had known what they eat. They don't seem to cause much harm around here, much more pleasant than those dang aphids. :madrant

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I find this so interesting that people raise these for pets. I couldn't do it. :(

That one photo above is huge on your hand. Do you have any idea how many people raise these as pets? I don't know. In general? Are there forums out on the internet for them?

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Interesting! How did you start raising beetles?

I always had an interest in bugs. I got into some serious bug keeping when I worked at a butterfly farm (in Miami) running their invertebrate zoo. Then I went out on my own doing educational bug shows at schools, birthday parties and other special events. Beetles were my favorite and first serious bug pet. However I wasn't all that experienced when I started keeping many beetle species (15 years ago?) and I had some major mite out brakes. That freaked me out, as I didn't know how to get rid of the mites, and I sold/traded off all my beetles. It's been over a decade (and I've kept almost every other type of invertebrate) but I've returned to beetles (now knowing how to get rid of mites). I have just the 3 species mentioned above, but I will get a few other species soon enough.

I have seen some pretty big beetles lately and wondered what kind they were, what gender, etc.. All because of this thread.

I'd give them something to much if I had known what they eat. They don't seem to cause much harm around here, much more pleasant than those dang aphids.

Next time you see some, take a picture and make a thread or PM it to me. I'll let you know what it is (possibly sex it) and let you know what they like to eat.

Cool! Not for me, but they are cool.

I'm glad that you can see their aesthetic. :)

I keep stick insects and love bugs they are awesome

Bugs are awesome, I agree!

I had stick insects several years ago. I had about 8 to 12 speices. They were fun but a lot of work with all the fresh leaf feedings. When I lived in FL, I actually planted rose and mulberry in my yard just to feed them!

I find this so interesting that people raise these for pets. I couldn't do it.

That one photo above is huge on your hand. Do you have any idea how many people raise these as pets? I don't know. In general? Are there forums out on the internet for them?

You could totally raise beetle pets!

In the United States, there are probably several thousand people who raise beetles as pets. The beetle forum I'm on has over 2000 members (yes, there are pet beetle forums, just as there are forums for many other type of pet insect and arachnids). There are even some great books written about keeping bugs, and a magazine dedicated to it. Check out Elytra and Antenna Publications: http://www.angelfire.com/oh3/elytraandantenna/

If you were in Europe or Taiwan or Japan (huge in Japan!), you could go into a beetle store, buy bugs and get all the supplies you need for your pets.

bugstore335lc041213.jpg

IMG_4471.jpg

IMG_0407.JPG

Anne-Evans.jpg

pet3.jpg

Edited by Acro
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You could totally raise beetle pets!

In the United States, there are probably several thousand people who raise beetles as pets. The beetle forum I'm on has over 2000 members (yes, there are pet beetle forums, just as there are forums for many other type of pet insect and arachnids). There are even some great books written about keeping bugs, and a magazine dedicated to it. Check out Elytra and Antenna Publications: http://www.angelfire.com/oh3/elytraandantenna/

If you were in Europe or Taiwan or Japan (huge in Japan!), you could go into a beetle store, buy bugs and get all the supplies you need for your pets.

bugstore335lc041213.jpg

IMG_4471.jpg

IMG_0407.JPG

Anne-Evans.jpg

pet3.jpg

OMG that looks awesome :)

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Absolutely! They frighten me a bit when I don't know what they are, but I have to remember that they're definitely more afraid of me. :peeka

Sometimes they crawl on the screens at night so I'll see if I can spot one tonight and catch it in a fish net. I never see them eat my garden so they're welcome here. ?

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