1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Darkling Beetles Splitting?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Demosthine, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,105
    113
    163
    Jun 26, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I started my mealworm colony about a month ago and have about a dozen beetles (that I can see). I noticed yesterday that one of them is split along the entire length of the back. Is this normal and why did it do that? I haven't read anything about them splitting like this.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    5,227
    286
    288
    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    It's not split. You're seeing the elytra (hard wing covers). Each elytron covers one wing on one side of the body. They sometimes spread apart shortly after pupating. It's all completely normal.
     
  3. Demosthine

    Demosthine Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,105
    113
    163
    Jun 26, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Awesome information. Thanks. I'll have to look that up, but it makes me feel better. I was a bit worried.
     
  4. originalcookie

    originalcookie Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Apr 2, 2013
    My beetles appear to be struggling. I'm new at this. I find them on their backs with their legs waving around and a few have died. Is the substrate too fine? I put in some whole wheat flour mixed with non-medicated chicken crumbles and oatmeal
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,612
    196
    198
    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Do you have a picture of your setup?
     
  6. originalcookie

    originalcookie Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Apr 2, 2013
    [​IMG]
     
  7. pamschaefer

    pamschaefer Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    24
    May 28, 2015
    I have had problem with a recent batch of darkling beetles wing covers not developing? so far they are mostly all alive, the only thing I did differently is instead of the bedding rolled oats I used whole oats, anyone have a similar issue or any ideas?
     
  8. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,201
    105
    148
    Apr 24, 2015
    What are you feeding them?

    They need fruit/vegetable/etc. for moisture and nutrition. If you don't feed them for a long time, they will cannibalize each other and their young won't develop properly.
     
  9. pamschaefer

    pamschaefer Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    24
    May 28, 2015
    Thanks HeritageGoose13, that's it exactly. I have never had that problem because twice a day I check pupa container for beetles and transfer, but I think this happened with a bunch when I left for 24hrs. I had been separating out pupa and putting no food or moisture in that container and have had zero issues until this. This site is great!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by