A couple years back I remember scrolling through the YouTube channel of Bugsincyberspace.com when my curiosity was taken swiftly at the glimpse of an obscure and particularly peculiar beetle. My mind was blown when a culture of these outlandish organisms was noted to have been kept alive for three decades on dog biscuits in a glass jar. The sheer oddness of this beetle and the fact that I had only seen it once in that old video pretty much ensured that I would never be able to get my hands on them. Visions of this species still drifted in my mind for days and months and then one day as I was scrolling through Beetleforum.com , I stumbled upon that glorious needle in the haystack. A member of the forum by the name of cfreidsma had gotten a few individuals from bugsincyberspace and was secretly breeding them for a couple years!
Upon noticing this, I knew the species had to be mine, so we agreed to a trade and last week I finally received the beetle of my dreams and IMO one of the coolest "pests" out there, Mezium affine! 😃 This species, sometimes called the "Hooded spider beetle", strongly resemble a large mite or small spider (as the name suggests). After doing my homework on them, I also discovered that they are actually a household pest consuming grain-based foods, dead arthropods, animal skins, animal feces, feathers, hair, and old or decaying wood, a diet that you would not expect for such a unique, little beetle. Quite needless to say, I will be making sure that none of these guys escape (although this would be very unlikely anyway considering that they lack both agility and the ability to climb smooth surfaces).
I set the majority of my 200+ individuals up in a 64 oz. container with some ventilation holes in the lid, but also housed some in a smaller, ventilated deli-cup. I provided both populations with a food/substrate of oatmeal (that they were shipped with) and dog food (which was recommended by cfreidsma for pupation, but shouldn't actually affect this since they actually just spin their own pupal chambers out of a silk) with a couple pieces of egg-crate as hides.
Pics Below! 😊
|Main M.affine enclosure|
I hope all of you enjoyed the presentation of my little pseudospiders and I'll meet you again at my next post, goodbye! 🙂