A blog to share updates and pictures from my experience keeping and breeding my various pet arthropods!
Ooh you got some pretty cool darklings there! The first one seems to be a male Eleodes caudiferus, or at least it matches the ones I've caught and have tentatively identified as E.caudiferus.Second one is a Nyctoporis species, very cool beetles in my opinion.The third one is definitely a female Eleodes species, E.dentipes seems to be a good match but I am not 100% positive, yours does look a lot like this individual: http://bugguide.net/node/view/878698/bgimageFourth one seems to be an Eleodes armatus, a pretty common Eleodes species, and pretty hard to breed.Very nice darkling collection you got there, hope this helps! :)
Thanks for the all the I.D s! I'm a bit confused now though because I though my big female darkling was an E. armatus, but since you said darkling 4 looks like one I'm not sure what my female is. It has long back legs, a little spike on each leg, often walks with it's abdomen up in the air, and has a more compact abdomen than this one. Sound like any darkling you know about? I could post a picture if it's not easy to tell through my describtion.
Put 3 pictures of it.
Yes your female is armatus, females get fatter and look more rounded than males. :)
The fourth one does have spikes on the front legs right, or is that just my imagination?
Yep, never really noticed them though since their so tiny, until I examined the picture and noticed them.
OK cool, looks like you got a sexed pair of E.armatus! Have you noticed and larva in the enclosure? You got at least two wild caught females, it's likely both of them are gravid, most females that are wild caught are.
I've had them for months and before me Peter had them for a couple weeks so they are long separated from when they used to be in the wild so I don't think they are gravid. The only time I've seen larvae is when I just received my armatus female and it layed a ton of eggs but nothing since that. My substrate isn't that good for larvae as it is only about 3'4 of an inch of sand and a little bit of dry coconut fiber and dead leaves.
Well most of them come in gravid, but after a season or two all their saved up sperm seems to dry out, that's probably why your female laid eggs at first but is not laying them anymore. Still, you got a male in there, so she should be laying eggs....
Yes, but they don't see to be interested in mating at all, hopefully they'll breed though and my female will be laying some eggs again.
Well seeing as male darklings are constantly trying to mate with any other beetle they see, your "male" may actually be a skinny female, with certain species it can be hard to tell the sexes apart.
Well they never really have too many chances because the female just stays clung to the bottom side of a large piece of corkbark, and the other one just lays around on the sand. The only darklings that are trying to mate with everything are my male BDF beetles and my A. laevis male, besides them the rest don't really do much. It's interesting that the "male" E.armatus is the only darkling beetle who excretes a very strong defensive smell when frightened, do you think that's the only darkling I have that has the ability to do that( Although I'd imagine since the female is E.armatus too, it could produce that smell as well)? This could really be a skinny female? It looks so much different than my female.
Still, if he was a male he would be trying to locate a female, that's kind of their whole point of existence lol! Some individuals are more defensive than others, some individuals I've had would never musk me, while others would do it every time I disturbed them. These guys are common in Idaho, and from what I've seen, male and female sizes and widths can be extremely variable, I've seen skinny females and fat males, it can all vary by how much nutrition they got as larva.
Ok, guess I got a female then.