Sunday, June 25, 2017

It's a Spider, It's a Beetle, It's a Spider Beetle!

Hey!
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! 😊




M.affine


Main M.affine enclosure
In whole, I'm very pleased to have, at last, acquired this elusive and one of a kind beetle! Although I received so many that I'll be selling off most to gain ammo for a huge, upcoming trade (and personal interests), I'll still be keeping a nice amount of both populations as I definitely wouldn't want to have these ever slip out of my collection.
I hope all of you enjoyed the presentation of my little pseudospiders and I'll meet you again at my next post, goodbye! 🙂

7 comments:

  1. Congrats on the new acquisition man, they look very neat! :) Hope they breed well for you! (Though it sounds like you already have way more than you need!).

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  2. Thanks! :) I certainly think they are, kind of a darkling alternative for me since they could pass for one and can be kept in self-sustained colonies unlike the aforementioned beetles that have to either be given a ton of space or pupated individually(which I hate the idea of). Also forgot to mention in the post that they feign death just like certain tenebrionids! :D

    Yeah, they have been called "the easiest thing you can keep" so if they don't breed for me, I'm selling off my collection and leaving the hobby. You've got that right, pretty much the only invert I won't be starting with a pair or "starter group" of. lol

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    1. Yeah, they are pretty similar to grain feeding Tenebrionids, care-wise at least. :) No isolation needed lol! :p That's cool, didn't know they did that!

      Haha yeah if you can't get those to breed for you, you definitely need to re-evaluate your choice of hobby lol! Don't worry though, I'll be there to take those D.orini, Simandoa, and several of your Tenebrionids and isopods off your hands. ;)

      BTW, you really need to update your "Currently Kept Arthropods" list lol!

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    2. Yep, I didn't know either upon them arriving and actually though a good portion were dead. lol

      Oh so very thoughtful of you!

      There! Done! :p

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    3. Haha that had to have been disappointing at first, glad they were just faking it!

      I try my best to be kind and considerate. ;p

      Nice! I forgot that you had Euborellia arcanum, you should do a post on those at some point!

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    4. Yea, me too. lol

      I will post on them for the second part of my (extremely overdue)birthday series, but before that series takes place, I've got to get my new roachy acquisitions from Cody Will out of the way. ;)

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    5. Ooooh, can't wait to see both of those posts!! :D

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