Black "Wolley Worms"

Cyndi

New Member
I found these in with my crickets when I bought them from a reptile show. They're about 5-7 mm long and black. They are like a parasite to a cricket, going in a lkilling the cricket. When They are dead, I noticed that the cricket was red. I can't fing any information on these pests. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? I threw out all the crickets and the pasts, but I fed aome crickets to my panther chame before I noticed these guys. I want to know if they can/do harm my chameleon.
 
They aren't a parasite, and they do not kill crickets. They are scavenger larva that feed on DEAD only crickets. Dead crickets will contaminate the living ones, so, these larvae are added in as a cleanup crew, doing the dirty work of eating the rotting cricket, leaving only a husk of the crickets skeleton.

Don't feed them to your chameleons as the hair can be an irritant and danger, but let them stay with your crickets where you keep them.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
XXXDave,XXX Will,

these things sound quite beneficial then. Most of the smell in any of my cricket containers eminates from the dead crickets.
Obviously, regular cleaning takes care of that, but in the larger colonies, wouldn't worms like this be quite helpful in the days between cleanings?

What is their scientific name? Where can I get some?
 
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Dave who?

I don't believe you can buy them. I don't have their scientific name. A few in your box of crickets is no big deal. Its when they multiply and get out of control that they would start killing live crickets. Not something to be sought after, not something to be too fearful of.
 

lele

Avid Member
They are called Dermestid beetles and you DO NOT want to buy them or have them even in your cricket container.

Will, I beg to differ with you on this, but they are not intentionally put into the colony for cleanup. Actually if, you see many (any) of these in your cricket order it says that the company does not keep their setups clean. I do agree on not feeding them for the reason you cite - those hairs (setae) are irritating.

These insects are the bane of entomologists as they are the ones that get into collections and eat the dead specimens - that's why if any of you have, or will, take an entomology class you will open a collection box and it will wreak of mothballs, I use more "nose friendly" options for mine. I do have a ruined luna moth specimen from the dam* things!

One of their common names is Carpet beetle b/c they are found in dirty carpets and feed on the detritus. They are found in clean homes, too.;) Sure, they have their place in the web of life, but not in your home - or your cricket's home. They are used in labs to "clean" the flesh from bodies yummy!!!
 
My understanding was that the beetle was added in, but the larvae was a by product that, as long as they arent reproducing em mass, or being fed to chamleeons, would be fine to find one or two.
 

Cyndi

New Member
Thanks guys for the helpful words. I looked these guys up and found an interesting website about them. http://www.ummz.umich.edu/mammals/dermestid.html
I guess It's up to each individul to decide wether or not the beetles are harmful. They do seem to be good for the environment, but pretty gross otherwise.

Will, that's my website!! What do you think?
 
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