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Are beetles any danger to tarantulas?

Allthingsterrarium

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This might be kind of a weird question but I'm still very new to tarantulas and I want to make sure I'm not doing anything that could result in mine getting hurt. Anyway I've started to breed darkling beetles in order to produce a lot of mealworms for a bearded dragon and some other lizards I'll be getting soon and my plan is to keep the beetles in the breeding container for about a week and a half to let them lay all the eggs they can and then retire them and offer them to my terrarium animals which I hope will include my tarantula if it's safe to do so. Here's the problem I worry about. I met this lady not too long ago and we were talking about pets and she mentioned her son had a scorpion that he fed mealworms to and they just burrowed into the substrate and then turned into beetles which in turn killed the scorpion which I found absolutely shocking since scorpions are aggressive and heavily armored not to mention a lot bigger than these little beetles. Besides, darkling beetles seem harmless and have small mandibles. If anything it must have been a really young scorpion. Now maybe she just didn't know what she was talking about and the beetles in question had nothing at all to do with the scorpions death and maybe it was a different beetle species all together that did it if in fact that was the cause which I doubt but I want to play it safe since a tarantula is certainly a much softer bodied arachnid than a scorpion. It would make an excellent treat for him so do you think that the adult form of a mealworm would pose any danger to a tarantula whatsoever? Because I'm not even going to attempt it if there's even the slightest risk.
 

MassExodus

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Tarantulas, in my experience, will not eat darkling beetles. Not even my big Lp will eat one. Maybe they give off a scent that tarantulas don't like or something, or maybe the shells are too tough. A darkling beetle would not hesitate to eat a molting tarantula though.
 

Allthingsterrarium

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Tarantulas, in my experience, will not eat darkling beetles. Not even my big Lp will eat one. Maybe they give off a scent that tarantulas don't like or something, or maybe the shells are too tough. A darkling beetle would not hesitate to eat a molting tarantula though.

That's a good point. Just to be safe I might try offering him just one well after he molts and remove it if he shows no interest.
 

RedCapTrio

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I saw a video once of a B. vagans devouring a beetle so with that I know that they eat some. However, I too have darkling beetles from mealworms and superworms with the former quite small as compared to the latter. I might try this too to experiment, maybe my GBB will take a whack at it. ;)
 

kormath

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I doubt they will eat the darkling beetles. That's the stinkbug family, they create a stink cloud, for lack of better term, as a defense. Not many animals will eat them. Not sure if that noxious cloud would be harmful to a T either.
 

RedCapTrio

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I doubt they will eat the darkling beetles. That's the stinkbug family, they create a stink cloud, for lack of better term, as a defense. Not many animals will eat them. Not sure if that noxious cloud would be harmful to a T either.
I have yet to experience being "farted on" by these beetles. How bad is the stink?
 

Andy

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Well in my brief experience it all depends on your tarantula.. I have 2 giant white knee tarantulas. An adult about 2 years old( that I still don't know the sex of!) and a smaller female about half the size at 6months old..
To cut a long story short my bigger t has always been a bit selective with what it eats...it's scared of almost anything that isn't a cricket tbh!! The smaller female however is a totally different prospect... She'll eat anything she can get her legs on... Including the superworms that my bigger t was terrified of and the fairly large beetles they turn into! She has been extremely aggressive since the day I got her and probably wouldn't be a great candidate for handling but a fantastic feeder she most certainly is! I wouldn't put anything in her tank that could potentially harm her before or during molt but any other time she is more than capable of preying on just about anything you give her( within sensible reason). A born killer you might say!! As for my bigger t...he/she is more of a gentle soul... You might say on grand national day"Horses for courses"
 

kormath

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Well in my brief experience it all depends on your tarantula.. I have 2 giant white knee tarantulas. An adult about 2 years old( that I still don't know the sex of!) and a smaller female about half the size at 6months old..
To cut a long story short my bigger t has always been a bit selective with what it eats...it's scared of almost anything that isn't a cricket tbh!! The smaller female however is a totally different prospect... She'll eat anything she can get her legs on... Including the superworms that my bigger t was terrified of and the fairly large beetles they turn into! She has been extremely aggressive since the day I got her and probably wouldn't be a great candidate for handling but a fantastic feeder she most certainly is! I wouldn't put anything in her tank that could potentially harm her before or during molt but any other time she is more than capable of preying on just about anything you give her( within sensible reason). A born killer you might say!! As for my bigger t...he/she is more of a gentle soul... You might say on grand national day"Horses for courses"

Question wasn't whether your T's will eat them, they'll eat most insects ;) it was whether the beetles were harmful. and that depends totally on the beetle. meal worm and super worms pupate into darkling beetles, part of the stink bug family, and they will eat a molting T, but are probably harmless to an active T. The stink cloud they produce as a defensive may or may not be harmful, so why chance it? plus the beetles aren't very nutritious, mostly inedible exoskeleton with not much gooey bits to eat. you're much better off feeding roaches or worms ;)
 

jsteez

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massachusetts
That's a good point. Just to be safe I might try offering him just one well after he molts and remove it if he shows no interest.
My b albiceps loves darkling beetles. I recently had like 30 meal worms pupate so I have an abundance of beetles and my t eats them no problem. I’ve seen several posts saying ts may not eat them but my spider seems to love them I’ve seen it take the beetles quicker then anything else I’ve fed it
 

jsteez

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Location
massachusetts
Tarantulas, in my experience, will not eat darkling beetles. Not even my big Lp will eat one. Maybe they give off a scent that tarantulas don't like or something, or maybe the shells are too tough. A darkling beetle would not hesitate to eat a molting tarantula though.
My b albiceps loves darkling beetles. I had several meal worms pupate so I have beetles and my spider loves them. I know some ts wont take them but my spider eats them quicker then anything else I’ve fed it
 

Reddevillmama

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Michigan
My b albiceps loves darkling beetles. I recently had like 30 meal worms pupate so I have an abundance of beetles and my t eats them no problem. I’ve seen several posts saying ts may not eat them but my spider seems to love them I’ve seen it take the beetles quicker then anything else I’ve fed it
My GBB also loves to devour them! I crush the head and drop it in and they snatch them up every time. I notice zero smell. I also had a cup of mealworms pupate, so I’m making do and wasting nothing.
 

Reddevillmama

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Michigan
I saw a video once of a B. vagans devouring a beetle so with that I know that they eat some. However, I too have darkling beetles from mealworms and superworms with the former quite small as compared to the latter. I might try this too to experiment, maybe my GBB will take a whack at it. ;)
My GBB loves them!! He’s devouring one as I type this.
 
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