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Confused Flour Beetles

Trichogramma confusum
By Blessed Silence
Confused Flour Beetle © Blessed Silence
They have been so aptly named due to the fact they were confused with another beetle. They are a great food for herps, birds, frogs and some surface feeding fish. The hardest thing you have to do with this culture is not be impatient, it takes a little while for them to establish a good culture and once they have you don’t want to over harvest them.
They are easy to keep, all you need is a container to hold them (I use those plastic shoe boxes) whole wheat flour and a start of beetles. I put enough flour to cover about ½ inch and pour in the start culture and put the lid on. A good colony will establish in about 4 to 6 weeks. You can check on it from time to time by looking for adult beetles and also the larvae. You can feed both adult beetles and larvae to your pets.
Harvesting is pretty easy; you just have to be careful not to let any crawl away. I use a small hand held flour sifter, not the large ones used for baking. I scoop up some of the media and sift it out, and then all you have left is beetles and larvae. This is the time to be careful; they can crawl out of the sifter so make sure you don’t get distracted.
This may seem a little tedious to most, but if you are breeding a hard to keep fish, or have some picky frogs or newts it is well worth it, what other food can you grow this easy? Get multiple cultures going that way you can ensure a constant supply of food without having to worry about over harvesting.

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