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 Infestation in Emp enclosure?!

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Marlene
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PostSubject: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/10/2008, 7:52 pm

I had three adult emps living in a false bottom enclosure to maximize humidity. Well yesterday one came out from the burrow they made and this afternoon it was dead. When I went to remove it and check on the other two (very feisty) I noticed my substrate is infested with some kind of insect about as big as this --> _ <-- and thicker. They look kind of like mini pincher bugs because the tip of their abdomen is upturned. There are larvae also which are white but run around on legs as far as I can tell.. no pics because my camera can't micro that small. Any ideas???
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Marlene
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/11/2008, 2:38 am

21 views and no ideas? Sad
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*Connie*
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/11/2008, 4:09 am

No idea. could be thrips? Ive heard those are dangerous but im not sure as to what they look like
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Kejser
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/11/2008, 9:59 am

pictures my good sir... Pictures!!

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Mr. Mordax
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/11/2008, 11:38 am

The description makes me think a bit of rove beetles (family Staphylinidae), because they run around with their abdomens upturned.

Link

They range in size from a couple millimeters to over an inch, depending on species. They also resemble larvae because their elytra do not entirely cover their abdomen, but they're usually dark-colored.

If it's light-colored and looks like that, it could be thrips, but I don't know why you'd find them in a tank.

Link (Some species are yellow, some are black.)

Kejser wrote:
pictures my good sir... Pictures!!

That's "ma'am."

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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/11/2008, 11:39 am

Doh!! thats even a pretty common Danish name.. hahahah Very Happy

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Marlene
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/11/2008, 7:01 pm

They look like the rove beetles you are referring to .. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow and post them. Thanks guys!
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/12/2008, 12:12 am

Rove beetles are mostly predators, so unless you have scorpions that are really small, they're probably nothing to worry about. I'd just wonder what they were doing in your tank . . . scratch

Did you introduce any plants to your tank recently? Rove beetles could have hitched a ride on something like that (I've found them running around on flowers at a florist before).

I just reread your first post, and think the "white larvae" may be predatory mites. Do they look like a speck of dust running around? If they're bouncy instead of running, they could be springtails. Both are harmless (and sometimes considered beneficial).

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Marlene
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/12/2008, 3:31 am

The white larve are definitely not dust like, they are the same elongated shape as the adults and white and appear to move like an inch worm. They do run around though, not hop.
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Marlene
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/14/2008, 1:50 am

Well.. My camera wasn't able to get close enough detail of the dirt to get a decent picture of the little buggers so I've opted to dry out. I'm going to try to take a sample to the high def microscopes in the Entomology lab on campus first but if I don't get around to it my scorps will have to bear with a temporary false-bottom free dry environment. With observation I've gotten the impression that these little bugs just clean up the environment but I don't know enough about them to be comfortable having them in my house.

Thanks for the help and suggestions! If I get more info I'll follow up this weekend.

Marlene
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/14/2008, 2:46 am

Let us know if you figure out anything at the scope.

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Marlene
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/14/2008, 9:53 pm

I did figure something out! With the help of one of the UCD Entomologists.. they appear to be diplura, a harmless clean up crew. I figure I'll allow the enclosure to lose humidity by replacing the glass top with a screen for a few weeks but they are helpful as long as they hang around. It's pretty neat now that I know what they are.

Marlene
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/14/2008, 9:54 pm

YAY! clean-up's are really useful.
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/14/2008, 10:04 pm

...
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PostSubject: Re: Infestation in Emp enclosure?!   11/15/2008, 1:20 pm

Diplurans are weird. I wouldn't have guessed, 'cause they're so far in the back of my mind when it comes to bug IDs.

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