Tenebrio molitar Macro Shots

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Nathant
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PostNathant on 2/5/2017, 4:04 pm

I decided to share some pics I just took of my Tenebrio molitar colony. They are now at about 20 larva, around 35 pupae, and the first beetle eclosed about an hour ago, who is still orange and white.


Larvae








Pupae













Beetles










Took all these with a Canon Powershot SX120 IS.
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PostNathant on 2/5/2017, 7:26 pm

A second Beetle has just eclosed a few minutes ago.







The first one is doing good. It is already darkening.





This pupa seems ready to eclose anytime soon.

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PostInsect Rod on 2/5/2017, 9:46 pm

Nice to see the stages
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PostT.C. on 2/6/2017, 9:16 am

Cool species and Nice shots as well. How long did the whole process take from pupae to beetle stage?
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PostNathant on 2/6/2017, 12:56 pm

@T.C. wrote:Cool species and Nice shots as well. How long did the whole process take from pupae to beetle stage?

Thanks! I got my first set of pupae around Jan 23, and the first beetle eclosed yesterday. So 13-14 days!
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PostPraxibetelix on 2/6/2017, 1:42 pm

Those are great shots. Interesting how they pupate with that long grub tail on. These remind me of the wax worms we raised into moths. Very cool. This is what @Loops should do to show his son metamorphosis.
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PostNathant on 2/6/2017, 2:07 pm

@Praxibetelix wrote:Those are great shots. Interesting how they pupate with that long grub tail on. These remind me of the wax worms we raised into moths. Very cool. This is what @Loops should do to show his son metamorphosis.

Thanks! Sometimes if you are not careful picking up a pupa or larva, those end spines actually can hurt just a little.


Last edited by Nathant on 2/7/2017, 6:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostNathant on 2/6/2017, 2:11 pm

Came home from school today to find 1 new pupa and 3 new beetles! The first two are now completely brown in color. Pics coming soon.
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PostNathant on 2/6/2017, 3:15 pm



^This pic is like one of those school posters where the lonely kid sits far from the other kids. Lol.







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PostT.C. on 2/6/2017, 6:50 pm

Did you buy these guys or capture them outdoors?
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PostNathant on 2/7/2017, 5:40 am

@T.C. wrote:Did you buy these guys or capture them outdoors?

Bought them live from a tackle store.
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PostNathant on 2/7/2017, 6:28 pm

I now have 11 beetles. I even witnessed a couple eclosing. Super cool.

  I fed skins of this thing called a "Pomelo". My dad eats weird fruits and he gives me the scraps. So anyting with that pink and white background is that. One of the very young beetles nibbled it's little heart out at one.













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PostT.C. on 2/8/2017, 9:18 am

Cool looking beetles, I will have to see about picking some up here soon. Are you going to be attempting to breed the adults?
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PostNathant on 2/8/2017, 1:12 pm

@T.C. wrote:Cool looking beetles, I will have to see about picking some up here soon. Are you going to be attempting to breed the adults?

Yes. They are very easy to breed. I have each life stage seperate. I will show the setup later.
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PostInsect Rod on 2/8/2017, 4:28 pm

Very nice demonstration and photos Nathant working with these beetles. I really enjoy your dedication working with this family.
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PostNathant on 2/8/2017, 4:48 pm

@Insect Rod wrote:Very nice demonstration and photos Nathant working with these beetles. I really enjoy your dedication working with this family.
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Thank you! That really means a lot. This will be my first ever successful Insect culture if the life cycle is complete, actually. They are super fun to raise and I believe this opens the doors to my insect passion that I've always had in the back of my mind over the years. I will be looking for different beetles if these guys are a success.
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PostInsect Rod on 2/8/2017, 4:58 pm

And thank you; the study of insects can be a life time event as new ways of understanding them will continue.
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PostNathant on 2/8/2017, 6:05 pm

The setup for these guys is fairly simple. Note that it was not meant to look natural or simulate their natural habitat, becuase they were... supposed to be feeder, but I think I've gained too much respect from them that I'm not sure how true that is anymore.

The setup consists of 3 large containers and 1 small one. Since you usually buy these guys when they are larvae, the larvae container is what you will use first. It is a 14 by 11 inch Sterilite container that is 3 1/4 inches deep. I fill the container with about 2 inches of raw oats. This will be the primary substrate and food of the larvae. I also make sure there is always some sort of fresh fruits or vegatables on top of the oats for the primary moisture, and a secondary food source. Ive used orange peel, tangerine peel, chopped potatoes, sliced apples, iceburg lettuce, broccoli stems, Pomelo skins and more and they worked fine. I was a little iffy about the citric fruit at first (since some insects are repulsed and even die from it) but they seem to do fine with that. I do not have pics of that setup because since there are only 4 larvae left, I put them in a smaller container so I don't have to waist so many oats. Here is the container empty (I also use these containers for the beetle and egg/small larvae setups):





The lid is just a snap and close. It closes loosely, which promotes decent air flow.

The setup I have them in right now is just a small RubberMaid tupperware container with an oat substrate and fruit/vegatbale water source, just like the other setup. I will use this setup when the larva population decreases for whatever reason.



The lid closes very tightly, so I make sure it is proped open a little. A piece of Pomelo is in the setup.




No we move on to the pupa setup. Every couple days, I dig through the larva setup to find new pupae. I move them gently to a small plastic container. I think it was a restaurant take-home container that I saved. There is about an inch of oat substrate and fruits/vegetables. I probably don't need any of that but hey, it's a free world. The water source present in that picture is a piece of pomelo.






Now here is the beetle setup. When I find a beetle in the pupa setup, I gently place it here. It is one of the Sterilite containers I explained, except the substrate is a mix of oats and wood shavings. I notice the beetles have trouble digging in the heavy oats, so that's why I added the light wood shavings. The bottom of the container is also cut out and replaced with mesh. The beetle container is actually sitting on top of a topless Sterilite container. So when the beetles mate, the eggs and/or very small and young larvae drop down into the container below the beetle setup.







A shot of underneath the beetle container.

Inside the beetle container is also a LOT of Pomelo skins (even more right now than in the picture). The skins are bowl-like, and the beetles love going inside it and nibble on it. Gives decent moisture, too.

Here is the young larva/egg setup. Nothing much here. Just a very thin substrate of oats and small wood particles that fell through the mesh. When larvae get big, I move them to the larva setup. Nothing inhabits this setup just yet, but I hope it will be crawlng with life soon!





I now have 13 beetles, and one pupa is just about to eclose. After that, I don't think I'll be getting any more beetles for a while because none of the other pupae look too mature yet.
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PostNathant on 2/9/2017, 7:51 am

Another beetle has eclosed. I'm not expecting any more for a while since the other pupae seem young, but there are still about a good 25 pupae.
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PostT.C. on 2/9/2017, 10:21 am

How is humidity working in that? I know beetles, (depending on the species) don't require too much humidity. However it seems a little dry. I keep my habitats fairly moist though? Maybe the pictures are just deceiving and it looks dry. Either way it appears it's working for them. I like your screen idea. I have never done that before. Probably because I am afraid of the mess it may cause. Very Happy
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PostNathant on 2/9/2017, 10:36 am

@T.C. wrote:How is humidity working in that? I know beetles, (depending on the species) don't require too much humidity. However it seems a little dry. I keep my habitats fairly moist though? Maybe the pictures are just deceiving and it looks dry. Either way it appears it's working for them. I like your screen idea. I have never done that before. Probably because I am afraid of the mess it may cause. Very Happy

The oats are generally very dry, but they seem content becuase I'm sure they would be all over the fruit if they were not getting enough moisture. The oats mold very badly if you even get them the smallest bit wet. I had to clean out the larva setup a few days ago becuase it was molding. I think the apples made the air too humid or something. I'm considering switching to mealworm bedding which provides moisture itself.
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PostT.C. on 2/10/2017, 9:40 am

Well it appears to be working for these guys. All the pupae are on top of the oats as well. I am not sure if this is common in this species? However the species I kept, the pupae bury themselves a little bit. Did you move them to the top or is that where they put themselves?
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PostNathant on 2/10/2017, 12:54 pm

@T.C. wrote:Well it appears to be working for these guys. All the pupae are on top of the oats as well. I am not sure if this is common in this species? However the species I kept, the pupae bury themselves a little bit. Did you move them to the top or is that where they put themselves?

I put them there, however I find the pupa both on the surface and under the oats. I think I find them on the surface because when I am searching for pupae, The dormant larvae ready to pupate get knocked to the top. Could still be both though.
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PostNathant on 2/11/2017, 12:20 pm

I surprisingly experienced 3 more pupae eclose. However, one eclosed very poorly. It's wings are missing, it's head is black, and the pupa exoskeleton is still hanging off of it's thorax. It cannot move well and only scrambles it's legs around. I might have to put him/her out of it's misery but I am still waiting.

After fiddling around with my camera, I practiced some video taking and it went ok. Here is a newly eclosed beetle:

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PostT.C. on 2/12/2017, 12:04 pm

Cool video. Smile I was actually at a bait shop yesterday and decided why i was there to look for these guys. Currently they don't have any I guess. They said they wouldn't have any until spring. Sad

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