Beetles life span

Just wondering at what stage darkling beetles stop producing. I've seen somewhere that they live for about 3 months but mine are alive and well after 5 months. A new crop of beetles are just starting to show, so should I now think about terminating the old ones?

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  • Hi lincdales, - I would switch to fresh breeding stock of "yellow" Tenebrio molitor. Try Forum search function on right side of page; if don't see search box on your device go bottom left & click on "web" version of web-page. From elsewhere in Forum:

    For mealworm beetles the number of eggs laid tapers off at ~ 3 weeks. Ovi-position (laying) of eggs is not done in clutches, but usually daily burrowed into the substrate grouping of on average 25 (maximum 30) individual eggs. A realistic calculation is the female T. molitor beetle will lay 300-400 fertilized eggs in her breeding life.

    Already "... mated females lay their first eggs on the fourth day and virgin females about 1 day later. After the sixth day, mated females matured oocytes at about the same rate as before this time, whereas oocyte production is almost completely inhibited in virgins. Mated females also laid about 7.5 times as many eggs ...." See this abstract (1975) "REPRODUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR AND PHYSIOLOGY OF TENEBRIO MOLITOR (COLEOPTERA: TENEBRIONIDAE): II. EGG DEVELOPMENT AND OVIPOSITION IN YOUNG FEMALES AND THE EFFECTS OF MATING"; http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?

    EntoJesse commented elsewhere in Forum thread "Mealworm Business Startup Tips : " ... don't use beetles younger then 1 week, or older then 4 weeks for oviposition. It takes around 1 week to sexually mature and after 4 weeks the amount of eggs deposited drops drastically together with hatch percentage ...."

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