Great beginner pet! Blue death feigning beetle care (Asbolus verrucosus)
How to Care for Blue Death Feigning Beetles
Blue death feigning beetles are beetles that are found in the South-Western United States. These beetles secrete a wax-like substance that protects them from the sun, and gives them their blue color. When they feel threatened, they stop moving, roll on their backs, and feign death. Their beautiful appearance, interesting behavior, long lifespan, and easy care makes them a popular insect to keep. Read on to learn how to care for these wonders of the insect world!
Setting up the Cage
Acquire a cage. It is important to choose the correct size cage for your beetles. A cage that is too large will mean that the beetles will not be close enough to their food to find it. A cage that is too small will mean that the beetles will have no room to walk around. As a general rule, for every gallon that a cage is in size, five beetles can live. A one gallon (3.78 liters) cage can hold 5 beetles. A five gallon (18.92 liters) cage can hold 25 beetles. A ten gallon (37.85 liters) cage can hold 50 beetles, and so on. A cage that is a little bit too big is ALWAYS better than a cage that is a little bit too small. You can buy a glass terrarium or plastic critter keeper from a pet store to use as a cage. A plastic storage bin also works. Remember that blue death feigning beetles cannot climb glass or plastic, so a lid is not required, but still recommended. If you do add a lid, make sure it is ventilated so that air can flow in and out of the cage.
Choose a substrate.The substrate is one of the most important components in an insect cage. Because blue death feigning beetles are desert beetles, they prefer a sand based substrate. Play sand alone works fine, but many people like to mix in coconut fiber, or dead leaves into the sand. The substrate should line the bottom of the cage to a depth of 1-2 inches (2.5-5.8 centimeters.)
Add a hiding spot.Blue death feigning beetles are diurnal, meaning that they are active during the day and sleep at night. At night they like to stay hidden. You can provide your beetles with a hiding spot by simply leaning a piece of bark against the side of the cage. You can also buy a nice looking wooden half log from a pet store to use as a hiding spot. A toilet paper roll that is half buried in the substrate works too. Remember that the more beetles you have, the more hiding spots you will have to provide.
Add a food dish.It is important to keep the food you feed your beetles off of the substrate to prevent mold growth. A small food dish should be able to hold enough food for many beetles. If you have a larger colony of beetles, you might want to consider adding multiple food dishes. DO NOT ADD A WATER DISH! Blue death feigning beetles get all the water they need from the food they eat. A water dish is unnecessary and can result in drowned bugs! You can buy a food dish from a pet store or use a small overturned lid as a food dish.
Add décor.This step is not required but can be done to make the cage look nice. Live plants can be planted in the cage, assuming they will grow in the substrate that you select. If you do choose to add live plants, make sure that they are not toxic to you, or the beetles. Fake plants and terrarium décor can be bought at pet stores. Make sure not to overcrowd the beetles with unnecessary decorative items!
Acquiring the Beetles
Search online to buy beetles.Blue death feigning beetles can be bought off the internet from online insect suppliers. Before buying from a site, make sure that they are actually trying to sell you beetles and not trying to steal your credit card information. You should also make sure that the sight is providing you with healthy beetles and can ship them to you without risking the death of your new pet!
Find blue death feigning beetles.If you live in the South-Western United States, then finding blue death feigning beetles could be an option for you. You can look for them in sandy desert areas. Try lifting up rocks and pieces of wood. They can also be found on sand dunes, or at the base of many desert plants.
Move the beetles into the cage.Blue death feigning beetles are easily moved because they play dead when disturbed. These beetles will not bite, and are perfectly safe to hold in your hands. If you would like, you can wear gloves or use tongs to move the beetles. Just make sure you are gentle!
Caring for the Beetles
Keep the correct temperature and humidity.These are desert beetles, so the humidity should be kept low. In-fact, the color of the beetles is based on the relative humidity! Beetles living in a cage with higher humidity will turn a blackish color, while beetles that are kept in low humidity, are bright blue! A lower humidity means more colorful beetles. If the humidity is too high, the beetles will die. Blue death feigning beetles do alright at room temperature, but a higher temperature will encourage breeding. Overall, they should be kept between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, (21-30 degrees Celsius) and at a relative humidity of 0-20%.
Feed them a varied diet.Blue death feigning beetles are omnivorous. They will eat just about anything. Lettuce, carrots, apples, celery, and watermelon are the most convenient foods to feed your beetles and provide the beetles with water. Dry dog and cat food, grains, and other dead insects will also be eaten by blue death feigning beetles.
QuestionWhat does it mean when my beetle does not move for hours after I bought it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is likely just in shock from you moving it from one habitat to another. Give it some time and make sure that you have it in a comfortable environment. They have a tendency to play dead when they are stressed or bothered.Thanks!
QuestionDo these beetles need any lighting or heating?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe beetles do not need any lighting. You may want to invest in a heater if the temperature drops below 70 degrees.Thanks!
QuestionDo blue death feigning beetles mate more than once?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEach male can only mate once, he dies after. Females can mate repeatedly.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I tell female from male?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can usually tell by looking at their sizes. Females are usually bigger than males.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do the beetle larvae eat?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUsually, beetle larvae eat what adults eat. However, different species require different nutritional intakes.Thanks!
- Do not use a dirt based substrate. A dirt based substrate can accumulate on the beetles' feet and become hazardous to their health.
- If you do choose to plant live plants in the beetle cage, make sure the plants are not dangerous to you, or the beetles.
- Remember that these beetles are living things! Please treat them with respect!
- No one has officially gotten this species of beetle to grow from egg to adult in captivity. Many people have gotten these beetles to breed in captivity, but it is almost guaranteed that larva will die in captivity.
- Make sure you have your cage set up before you acquire your beetles.
- These beetles have been reported to live for up to 17 years in captivity! If you are going to raise these, be ready to do it for a long time!
Video: Death Feigning Beetle - The most fun pet invertebrate.
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