Giant Pie-Dish Beetle (Helaea monilifera)


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Pie dish beetles are comprised of 2 genera (Helaeus and the smaller Pterohelaeus) of darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae). These beetles are omnivorous and should be fed vegetable matter (Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato etc) aswell as dry food (available soon). A makeshift dry food can be made using tropical fish flakes, guinea pig or other rodent food and muesli. Ensure the muesli is natural and un-toasted. Coco-peat is an ideal substrate and one end of the enclosure must be kept moist. Bark makes a good hide (as these beetles are nocturnal) but we find rolled up corn husks to also be good (the beetles can even nibble on it.)

Males and females will pair up at any time of the year and eggs are laid in substrate. The eggs hatch into small, yellow larvae which look identical to mealworms except a bit longer and thinner. (Mealworms are also Tenebrionid beetles so they are closely related). The larvae move around in the substrate and will feed on half buried pieces of vegetable.

These beetles can be picked up using fingers as they cannot bite. Larvae can wriggle which can be unsettling but are harmless. These beetles make great pets and are also excellent for learning about life cycles.

Grows to 4.5cm long.

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