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Dermy's Dermestes lardarius Colony and Experiments/Experinces 2019

dermy dermestes lardarius larder beetle the beatles

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#1 Offline dermy - Posted May 18 2019 - 11:29 AM

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It's been a bit since I've made any kind of Journal, I may not be able to keep ants the same way as I once was but I can still keep various beetle colonies, incl. my Mealworm Colony, Attagenus unicolor (Black Carpet Beetles) and seasonably Dermestes lardarius or the Larder beetle. They are found throughout most of the world so they are a pretty common species, and what I like most about them is their Life-Cycle is very short, compared to most Dermestids anyway. Usually around 50-60 Days at my room temperature of 73f from egg to Adult. But the main reason I'm making this Journal is because of the sheer amount of Adults I was able to collect/continuing to Collect this year:

pMIxmjb.jpg

 

They are pretty fun and move very fast, and also fly so you have to make sure you always keep a lid on things.

 

 

 

Here is also a look at a Male and some Females for the size differences: [I also really like this image because for once it's not as garbage as most of my images]

wgAFgTf.jpg

 

 

The main thing I'm wanting to try testing out is some population dynamics, such as collecting eggs and removing them to prevent cannibalism etc. I have some methods that I want to test out such as black construction paper that is easily removed from the main colony and placed into a setup made for hatching out larvae, that I will have to monitor to make sure I take out larvae as soon as I can see them when they start hatching to prevent them from eating any unhatched eggs.

 


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#2 Offline dermy - Posted May 24 2019 - 8:37 PM

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Six Days after starting this experiment and I've got larvae!

 

 

I don't have any accurate images/can't upload a video of them yet because of Youtube's 99 videos every 24hrs [I've already hit that awhile ago] but here are some very "Dermy" Pictures of the eggs I've managed to collect, just some of them, I was able to collect over 70+ from them in the last few days.

 

qXVB6lz.jpg

 

6Bxb0H5.jpg

 

I'll update it when I can get a chance to upload the video of the egg hatching into a larvae, even if it's a trash video it's still interesting enough to see.



#3 Offline dermy - Posted May 28 2019 - 12:23 AM

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Update May 27/2019
I've been continuing to get new eggs every day or so, and after 6 days I started noticing larvae.
It's only been 3 days since starting to find larvae and I've already collected 45. I've also
found more adult beetles, bringing my total population of beetles at 78. I'm also giving them access to
water, which should increase egg yeild. Eventually when the larvae grow a bit more I'll get a good count on total
larval population. I've noticed a lot of eggs are glued to the bottom of my containers, but I don't plan to remove them as they are really fragile and will either hatch normally (some already have) or

aren't really too concerning for population sake.

RZvoqBR.jpg

 

Also as said in the above post here is a video showing off the newly hatched larvae (all from 1 day of collecting from the egg container)

 

 

I'm hoping to continue egg collecting and such as the colony grows to keep things going smoothly, seems all years past have had issues with cannibalism, more than likely of the eggs.


Edited by dermy, May 28 2019 - 12:25 AM.

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#4 Offline dermy - Posted June 5 2019 - 11:38 AM

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Been about a Week since the last update, here is what my Larval numbers are looking like, I'm averaging 15 more baby larva a day. I've even had a few days where it was a bit more than that. Also something to note is this is just what I got out of the frass so it's not every single larvae in my Larval Colony. I'm still collecting eggs from the beetles (only 1 male has since died) and continue to hatch out/collect larvae every day.

 

 

 

Probably the most prolific I've ever had a Colony of Dermestids in the short term anyway :D


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#5 Offline dermy - Posted June 10 2019 - 4:21 PM

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Here is a video showing my collection of larvae for a few days, everyday since has been about the same, 15-30 new larvae added everyday. I'm also starting to get Pupae. I'm expecting it to continue to cycle as long as I'm continuing to separate out life-stages.

 

Here's a little thing I quickly threw together showing the different life-stages and the time it took for mine to go through each one at 73f. (the pupae stage was calculated last year in 2018)

Spoiler

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#6 Offline Nare - Posted June 10 2019 - 6:10 PM

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So when do you start feeding them dead bodies? Your skull collection must grow. Or does this species not do that?


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I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#7 Offline dermy - Posted June 10 2019 - 11:33 PM

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So when do you start feeding them dead bodies? Your skull collection must grow. Or does this species not do that?

 


This species (Dermestes lardarius) can in fact eat dead animal materials, but it's not as simple as dropping in a dead animal, you need to do a lot of prep work. Removing as much meat, internal junk etc. as you can, drying it to a beef jerky like consistency, all the while making sure nothing gets into the colony. Generally speaking the colony should be in the Thousands before you even bother with feeding them anything like that, I'd also need very good ventilation, something I don't currently have. No matter what it is, you wanna make sure the beetles finish it up in a few days tops. If not it will start to get pretty rancid.


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#8 Offline dermy - Posted June 15 2019 - 5:58 AM

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Here's an update on how the larval Colony is doing, it's cool to think about 90% didn't exist prior to my egg collecting :D

 

 

 

I also already have a pupae that will be turning into my first beetle soon, and then hopefully much more. I want to compare egg collecting with "Fresh Females"  to "Older ones"







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