Dermestid Beetles Taxidermy

Black larder beetles, Dermestes ater, are one of the go-to beetles for taxidermy (removal of flesh from animal bones) according to the following website:

However, people in the US are probably most familiar with them as a beneficial tankmate of crickets. Cricket farms routinely introduce them to their breeding bins since they are a very useful tool for eating the dead crickets. Many people keeping pets that eat crickets will be very familiar with crickets as the worst offenders when it comes to odor, but all dead insects stink and if you have a large colony of a particular insect like roaches or crickets, every day may contain a spectrum of births and deaths. Unless you check the bin every day, it is often difficult to keep up with the death and that's where these beetles come in. The beetles lay lots of eggs and the larvae that hatch are the ones that do most of the work. They will not harm your live specimens or pets in the process. They are interested only in decaying material.

By consuming the dead insects, these beetles also help to prevent the introduction and maintenance of those vultures of the insect world and the bane of every pet bug keeper's existence--the loathsome phorid fly. If I didn't run a website called too, I'd surely hate phorid flies with an unrivaled passion (and mosquitoes and fleas).

Adult black larder beetles measure just under half an inch. The entire life cycle from the egg being laid to maturity of the adult beetle is as few as 30 days. More information about this species can be found Entomology and Nematology section of the University of Florida's website HERE.

Larvae are fuzzy and can be just slightly longer before they pupate. Sold in groups of a 20 specimens--mostly mixed sized larvae and when available, a few adult beetles for $12.

buy live dermestid beetles taxidermy
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  • Item #: bic967
Price $12.00
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