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Beetles eating nasal bones

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by lizardguts, May 5, 2015.

  1. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    So I finally got around to getting a freezer setup built for a beetle colony with the help of my cousin - and by help of course I mean he did it while I watched :). The bugs have been doing great, but I'm having a problem with them eating out the nasal bones of pretty much every small mammal skull I put in there, to varying degrees. The most recent skull was a marten and they had the nasals completely demolished inside. And I have no idea how to troubleshoot this. It's not like I'm letting the skulls sit in there for weeks; I remove them as soon as they're cleaned of flesh. The colony is probably up to around 400 or so and it takes them a day or two to clean something the size of a marten.

    Does anyone have any tips I could try out to stop this? It's hurting the value of the skulls I plan to clean and resell.
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Just a possibility .. for the smaller skulls with proportionately thinner nasals, what if you hand picked out smaller larva to work on them and kept the adults and larger grown chewers away?

  3. marshtaxi

    marshtaxi Member

    I think they start to eat the nasals and other small bones when the skulls get buried in the frass. This has been my experience. Do you have the skulls up out of the frass like on a Tupperware lid or something? Also run some water through the nasals to get some of the blood out that helps as well.
  4. absmithtaxidermy

    absmithtaxidermy New Member

    An idea I found on this website... Find a small plastic container, like a margarine container. punch several tiny holes in it so that only small larvae can get in. Place the bones inside, put the container in the colony, and wait. I have tried this with some mice and it seemed to work well.
    Setsuna likes this.
  5. KYBeetleman

    KYBeetleman New Member

    Place your skull on something and after couple hours move it into smaller container. My freezer has that step-up where the condenser used to be and I have a small plastic container there and for small mammals I drop in the big bottom with the colony, then after I see several beetles but not the colony on it I move it to the smaller container and let them clean it. If any get out they fall back into the bottom. You might also make sure you have plenty of other meat in there so they don't only feed on the smaller skulls.

    I also will pull the skull up on that step and let it sit for day or two so beetles can get out but not back onto it.