Ptomaphagus hirtus has been successfully kept in laboratory culture at 12.5°C with food in surplus at all times. Eggs hatched in 18.5 days. Three larval instars were present, which had a total larval life span of 42 days. The pupal stage lasted 32 days. Adult males and adult females had average life spans of 2.2 years and 1.6 years respectively. Maximum adult longevity was 4.2 years. Females reached reproductive maturity a month after eclosion, young and old females produced one egg every 3.5 and 3.8 days respectively, and were reproductively active for as long as 2.5 years. Compared to European cave catopid beetles, this is a primitive or unmodified life cycle.