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Rice Flour Beetle Care Sheet
How to Care for and Raise Rice Flour Beetles
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Rice Flour beetle larvae are a very useful backup for when your fly cultures fail, and also a good way of diversifying your pet's diet. The adult beetles have glands on the abdomen and thorax which release a pungent gas when the insects are agitated. This gas contains bitter-tasting quinones. This is one reason (in addition to preventing mold and mites) why cultures need good ventilation. It also means that most frogs find the adult beetles distasteful, although some pet owners do use the pale-colored newly emerged beetles successfully. Animals that have been exposed to the nasty-tasting adult beetles will often refuse to take them again, and may also refuse the larvae, presumably on the basis of smell. For this reason, you may wish to only feed your pet the larvae.
The cultures require very little fuss or maintenance. Basically, all you need to do is keep the cultures dry or you will have problems with mites and mold.
Starting a New Culture:
Place a few pieces of screwed up kitchen paper towel on top of the culture. The beetles like to climb onto the paper towels. This makes it easy to harvest the adults when you need to start a new culture. Simply place a dozen or more adults into a new container containing fresh feeding media. You can continue to harvest the mother culture once every couple of weeks until the supply of adult beetles diminishes. It will take one to two months for the new culture to begin to produce an adequate supply of new larvae.
As an easier alternative, you can simply fill a container with rice flour beetle feeding media and add a tablespoon or two of the media from an established culture (which will contain beetles and larvae) into the new culture.
Feeding to Your Pets:
The easiest way to feed the larvae to your pet is to use tweezers to pull out the larvae. If you need large numbers of larvae, you can use a sieve to separate the larvae from the flour medium.
Please Contact Us if you have any questions or
regarding Rice Flour Beetle Care
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