A Primer on the Blue Death Feigning Beetle

A single blue feigning death beetle walking across orange sand

Insects can make great pets, but there are so many species that it can be hard to choose the right one. But don't worry, Pets on Broadway is here to help! This post is all about one of our favorite pet insects: the blue death feigning beetle.

What are Blue Death Feigning Beetles?

Blue death feigning beetles are small beetles that grow to around one inch in length. Their name comes from their diluted black/bluish appearance as well as their tendency to feign death — in other words, play dead — to appear uninteresting to predators. 

These cute little guys are native to dry, arid environments in the Southwestern U.S., such as the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. While they do have wings, they're flightless; their wings are underneath their hard exoskeleton. Their strong jaws are used for eating pretty much anything they can find, as they're a scavenger species. 

What Makes Them Good Pets?

Blue death feigning beetles make great pets. They're one of the most hardy species of beetle, known to live as long as eight years in captivity. They're also not picky eaters, so feeding them is easy. Another plus is that they don't bite. This makes them good pets for children, as long as children are taught how to properly care for them. 

While their tendency to play dead can be funny and even cute, it's actually a sign that they're stressed or scared. Don't encourage this for entertainment. Also keep in mind that while this behavior might happen quite a bit when you first bring the beetles home, it should happen less often as they become better used to being handled. 

A single blue feinging death beetle sitting on piece of wood cork

How to Care for Your Blue Death Feigning Beetle

Blue death feigning beetles are surprisingly easy to care for. The main elements you'll need are their enclosure, their substrate, and their food.


Since they take up very little space, a one-gallon tank is plenty of room for two adult beetles. Whether you choose glass or plastic is up to you. Just make sure your tank has a fitted screen lid — while these guys can't climb smooth surfaces, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Pets on Broadway sells a variety of insect enclosures in-store. These products are not available online. 


Coconut fiber, sand, and leaf litter are great substrates for emulating the beetles' natural habitat. Ensure that you have at least one hide area per beetle; more if space permits it. Cardboard tubes, hollow rocks, and sterilized, hollow wood all make great hides. Visit Pets on Broadway to shop their hollow wood and rock options. These products are not sold online. 

These insects don't require any heating elements or special lighting, but feel free to add the latter if you like. Their humidity should remain low, as they're a desert-dwelling species.


Blue death feigning beetles are scavengers, so they're not picky eaters. However, they love fruits, vegetables, dead insects, and of course, beetle jellies. They don't need a dedicated water dish, but misting their enclosure once a week ensures they're getting the hydration they need. 

Find Everything Your Beetles Need at Pets on Broadway

Need advice on the proper care of your blue death feigning beetle or other similar pets? Pets on Broadway offers many products to help you in the care and feeding of insects. For more information, visit petsonbroadway.com.

Click here to shop all of Pets on Broadway's insect and arachnid products. Can't find what you're looking for? If we don't have it in-store, we recommend viewing the Zoo Med Laboratories "Creature" products here