Tutorial#3- Food and Diets For Captive Dermestid Beetle Colonies!
Captive Dermestid beetle colonies will often feed a lot more readily on foods that other wise they wouldn't touch or won't eat as much of in the wild. There are a lot of different food options available and so I will give a run-down on each Diet I've tried over the years.
Diet#1- Dry Cat Food/Dog Food
Dry cat food and dog food seems to be a good staple food source for almost any species of Dermestid, the only exception to this seems to be some species of Anthrenus, which prefer more keratin in their diet, which is a protein found in hair, nails and some fabrics, Including curtains
Although you can feed them exclusively Dry Dog Food Or Cat Food, I can tell you from experience they don't thrive on it alone. You need to supplement them with water, in fact every diet needs a water source, or the colony will not do well.]
Recommended Species: Dermestes Attagenus
Diet#2- Dog food and grains
This diet seems to hit it home with species such as Anthrenus and Attagenus. Since in nature they both seem to like grain based foods, although Attagenus is a lot less picky and will eat some meats if they are prepared properly, dried to jerky consistency. I've found Dermestes don't like grain based foods. They prefer a diet higher in protein. I usually make my Diet#2 like this:
1-Crush up cat food/dog food
2-Mix it with some bran or meal of some sort, anything grain based is good
3-Mix it in a small jar, and store.
4- Sprinkle a bit when they have eaten the last bit.
Recommended Species: Anthrenus and Attagenus
Meat is something I don't have a lot of experience with, but I have tried it with a Dermestes lardarius colony, although I haven't tried to feed my Atta colony any meats, I may try it in the future.
You have to prepare it by:
1- Only use small chunks
2-Make sure if it isn't cooked it is dried to jerky consistency
3-Again only feed small amounts
4-Place it on cardboard so if it is a little moist it won't bother the substrate
5-Replace before it goes bad, usually in 2-3 days
Recommended Species: Dermestes possible Attagenus but I haven't confirmed it yet!
This is just a few diets I've tried. Please Remember to always water a colony often or they may get dehydrated and could die