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Cleaning W/beetles

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Ryan Suto, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Ryan Suto

    Ryan Suto New Member

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    Recently picked up a dermestid colony. First project is a bobcat.
    Beetles have done a pretty good job on skull and front limbs in just a matter of days.
    I pulled the limbs before the beetles ate ligaments and everything fell apart. As shown in photos there is still quite a bit of flesh on top and bottom of wrists.
    How do I finish the removal of it and other dried bits? I'm thinking soaking in warm water and picking it off or perhaps placing the limbs in a smaller tank with fewer beetles since I cant control what or where they'll eat.
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Thin paste of brain and rub on there. Also. Beef bouillon Works too
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Smaller container and hand pick some of the smaller larva to work on it. It actually doesn't look too bad. Lay it on a screen and degrease so you aren't moving it around a lot. Use some ammonia in the degrease solution as it will soften up the remaining flesh and make it easier to scrape off without disturbing the tendons. When you are ready to whiten it, the peroxide will dissolve a lot of the smaller remaining bits and anything left will dry clear mostly.
     
  4. Ryan Suto

    Ryan Suto New Member

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    Thanks for the guidance!
     
    BearBonz likes this.
  5. Ryan Suto

    Ryan Suto New Member

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    Rather than start a new thread I figured I'd add to this one. Hopefully someone will reply.
    I think I know my problem, looking for confirmation.
    Got my dermestid a few weeks ago. What I bought was 1500 larvae or varying sizes. Now what I'm seeing in my tank are a majority of adult beetles with fewer late stage larvae. I'm also noticing some tiny 1-2cm larvae running around.
    Cleaning has slowed.
    I think that because all I started with were larvae, many of them are/have turned into adults - the tiny ones are from eggs possibly in the frass and bedding I got with my order.
    My guess is the adults will mature into egg layers soon, with larvae to follow and my colony will be fine.
    Should I buy more larvae to balance out the population since it appears that colony is mostly adults? My thinking is so that I don't have masses of only adults or larvae at any given time.
    I was new at this when I bought my larvae and wasnt thinking this far ahead, but I'm learning.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  6. Ryan Suto

    Ryan Suto New Member

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    Interesting addendum, I called Skulls Unlimited and spoke to them about my situation.
    They seem to think my colony should be okay and balance itself out. Felt i could add more larvae (from same supplier as originals), but not necessary.
    Now the interesting part, they asked me about humidity. I told them it is dry (~40%). I told her my bugs get their moisture from the meat I feed and I will also cover the feeding area with wet paper towels. She was surprised and said their tanks are kept at around 80%!
    Says she sprays them every morning.
    I told her I had read too much moisture led to mites, she said that they have never had a problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Drier is better. Yes, you will get mites. Your colony will have swings because all your adults are roughly the same age. If you want, wait a month or so and get some new larva. Usually, sellers do a mix of larva and adults and some frass with eggs in it. If you got larva in different sizes, they will also put out adults at different ages. Tanks can be around 80 degrees. Maybe that is what she meant.