This forum is for discussing topics of caring for and breeding feeders (crickets, roaches, etc.) for those interested in raising their own bearded dragon live feeders.
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I have had a few of these show up in my redrunner bin the last few months:
The biggest problem is they seem to be reproducing and at a faster rate than my red runners... and are beginning to get mixed in with my feeding batches.
My biggest question, what are they and are they dangerous for my Beardie(about 17" now) to eat?
Onto the invaders, they are quite a bit smaller than my redrunners, they can fly. They start in a larva stage. They seem to prefer to hide in the substrate vs egg cartons..
A few larva:
The larva are fuzzy and have legs and are fairly quick compared to supers/meal worms or pheonix/calci worms.
Any help would be great! Feel free to ask for more pictures!
If it helps, I live in Oregon and I don't know where they came from so could be native.
Judging from the hairy larvae it looks like you got yourself dermistid beetles. These beetles only feed on the roach carcasses and nothing more. They're actually benefitial to your colony but if you feel there's too much then you can always kill them off or sell them. Cricket breeders would love these bettles
Ok, that's good to hear...
My beardie also seems to enjoy them although they do seem to have a thicker exoskeleton compared to my redrunners....
If they aren't dangerous I don't mind having them in the bin.
I was looking into the dermistid beetles
and I came across flour beetles:
It looks a lot more like my adults...
Can we rule this out? or at the very least would it be dangerous to my beardie?
I'm pretty sure that is not a dermestid beetle. I couldn't say for sure if it is a flour beetle or not, but its more likely that or similar beetle. There might have been a dry food that was used for the roaches that was contaminated. They're not going to hurt your beardies if they end up eating some, but I'm not sure what kind of effect they'll have on the roach colony. They're not going to act as a clean-up crew like dermestids (who consume dead animal matter) and if they're multiplying that quickly, there is a potential some will escape the bin and become a problem in your house so I'd keep that in mind.
Im pretty sure that is not a flour beetle larvae as well because it looks as hairy and dark as a dermistid larvae. It could be possible that you have 2 species of beetle in your bin...but I'm no expert so Toasty could be right.
What I suggest you do is finding out what they eat. Find out why they are inside your bin.
They seem to stick down to the substrate and I haven't noticed any change in the reproduction rate of my colony...
If they are not dangerous I suppose they can stay...
Thank you everyone and I will follow up if I figure anything else out.
There are different species of dermestid beetles, and the larvae color varies greatly between them. There are also different species of flour and grain beetles and larvae color/appearance will vary greatly between those too. Do you have any colleges near you? I would suggest contacting an entemology professor at one of them and taking a few larvae and adults to them to get a correct ID. Honestly, emailing them pictures would probably be enough for them to give you an ID.
That is without a doubt dermestid. I have them in all of my feeder colonies. You cant tell from the beetle - it's the larvae that really helps you determine it. They can look pretty similar to small mealworm beetles at times. These are a good invasion. They control themselves, and the more there are the more die-off of them there will be. They will be a self-sustaining helper to you, plus can make good treats to your reptiles.
The exact species I would be able to determine from the underbelly - there are two options at the moment. One is a species that feeds primarily on grains, which it would have buried eggs in if you happen to feed your roaches any grainy foods. They will, however, also eat dead roach matter, so it's a two way cleanup there - no extra food left to rot, and no carcasses to kill off the colony.
The other species would be the type used to clean skeletons by taxidermists, but I doubt that is your case given that you did not purposefully introduce them. They have a white belly.
If they do not have a white belly, then they are going to be Dermestes ater, from the looks of it. I have these. They're very useful, like most species of dermestes are. I would not kill them.
1.2.3 Cresties 0.1.0 Fat Tail 2.5.0 Leopard Gecko 1.2.0 Panthers
1.1.0 Beardie 1.0.0 Savannah Monitor 1.1.0 Desert Ig 0.0.5 Steppe Runners
1.1.0 Blue Tongue Skink 1.0.0 Kingsnake 10.5.0 Ball Python
1.1.0 Sand Boa 1.0.0 Ratsnake 3.5.0 Corns 7 Sal species 1.1 Hedgehog
Plus various fosters.
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