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Integrating tiger beetle larvae into captivity


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#1 Bugboy3092

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 01:57 PM

Sooo, a couple of times, Ive tried to integrate wild tiger beetle larvae (probably Virginia or pan headed tiger beetle) into captivity, and each time I end up with dead larvae. Is there a proper way to set up an enclosure for them? And if so how do I integrate them in? Any tips and information is greatly appreciated, thanks!

#2 AlexW

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 02:49 PM

Sooo, a couple of times, Ive tried to integrate wild tiger beetle larvae (probably Virginia or pan headed tiger beetle) into captivity, and each time I end up with dead larvae. Is there a proper way to set up an enclosure for them? And if so how do I integrate them in? Any tips and information is greatly appreciated, thanks!

 

Assuming that "Virginia" and "pan-headed" tigers are respectively Tetracha virginica and Tetracha carolina, ​there are a few useful things online.

 

http://rcin.org.pl/C...Mem-Zool-46.pdf deals only with genus  ​Cicindela, but many of the techniques can probably be used for Tetracha​ as well.

 

Of course, usually making assumptions is safer when members of the same genus are involved. Beetles in the Bush provides a few rearing remarks on a larva here that was identified in the next post as T. floridana​. He also says that floridana and carolina are very similar, so assumptions about biology are extremely safe.

 

https://beetlesinthe...r-beetle-larva/

 

 

I assume that he may just have used the same techniques for ​Cicindela​, but since the blog is still semi-alive you can comment on the post and ask him. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few technical papers (I love technical papers, they are so useful sometimes) can be found on rearing Tetracha, but not many. If they are paywalled, you can try searching the title to see if another website gives the thing for free. You may also want to search "rearing Megacephala", because some papers are old and Tetracha used to be a part of Megacephala.

 

 

Cheers, and good luck!  :) 


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#3 Bugboy3092

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 05:50 PM

Thanks! Ill definitely try those

#4 Bugboy3092

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 06:03 PM

Also, if you capture them, what substrate should you give them? And yes those are the species I’m talking about. Also, if you put them in a cage with proper substrate will they make their own burrow? Or do they need help with it?

#5 AlexW

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:09 PM

Also, if you capture them, what substrate should you give them? And yes those are the species I’m talking about. Also, if you put them in a cage with proper substrate will they make their own burrow? Or do they need help with it?

 

In the beetlesinthebush post with floridana above, native soil was used. For some reason, tiger-beetle rearers normally use native soil from the area of larval capture. Apparently this induces oviposition in adults, but it may be beneficial for grubs too. 

 

I don't think there is much info around specifically on Tetracha rearing, but I think I saw a youtube of a large Cicindela​ grub preparing its burrow from scratch. Edit 2: see my comment on beetlesinthebush

 

I suggest you do some research on any well-studied tigers with mostly the same lifestyle and habitat as your Tetracha, and then use those methods for raising the Tetracha grubs. Endangered species are usually more well-studied than their non-endangered close relatives  :)

 

Edit: How exactly did your larvae die? I have a feeling that they all tried to eat each other, and perished from injuries. What setup were they kept in? If they didn't stab each other, the substrate may not have been right.


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#6 Bugboy3092

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 02:22 PM

I kept them separate, and they just never seemed to try to make burrows

#7 AlexW

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 06:51 PM

I kept them separate, and they just never seemed to try to make burrows

 

Strange. What were they living in, how deep was it, and what was the humidity/ventilation?


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#8 Bugboy3092

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 08:16 PM

Sand / coco fiber mix, I think about six inches, pretty good ventilation, and I’m not sure how much humidity

#9 AlexW

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 09:18 PM

Sand / coco fiber mix, I think about six inches, pretty good ventilation, and I’m not sure how much humidity

 

Hmm, I believe the mix is the problem. Sand is known to harm many Arenivaga sandroaches in captivity by wearing down their cuticle (the roaches actually often live in rodent burrows, which are filled with organic matter). Now, some tiger beetle larvae are adapted to living in sand, but it's best to be cautious.

 

I don't need the exact humidity, but how often did you mist them, if at all? Since you live in ​Tetracha​ habitat, you can document how moist the soil surface and larval burrow are, and try to replicate the approximate humidity in captivity.

 

Beetlesinthebush has also stated to put grubs in a container of ​soil from their habitat. :)


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#10 Hisserdude

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Posted 02 February 2018 - 10:37 PM

Tiger beetle larvae each seem to have specific substrate needs, a sand or sand/coco fiber substrate can work for species found in dunes, beaches and other sandy areas, (notably several Cicindela species), but many others require a more clay-like mix. This is why native soil from where they were collected usually makes the best substrate, not any old substrate mix will do.

For Tetracha, I'd suggest either a pure sand substrate, or a sand/clay mix, the coconut fiber is probably making things too loose. For the best results, you are probably better off collecting some of the native soil they built their burrows in originally. Be sure to keep them very moist too, as they are usually found near water.

#11 Bugboy3092

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 10:41 AM

Ok thanks guys! I dont think I sprayed them too often , but next time Ill definitely collect their native soil. The main reason I am trying to breed them is because theyre confined to a small area around here, and the people who own the public park appear to be building something there (either a playground or (another) sports field) and either way theyll probably destroy the whole habitat (they probably already have) so itd be good to get some into captivity.

#12 AlexW

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 02:45 PM

Luckily for you, both virginica and carolina are widespread, according to bugguide. Beetlesinthebush has even noted that carolina has been found in agricultural fields! Still, the fact that they seem (common beetles can get overlooked and thus seem rare) to be restricted to a single patchy habitat in your area suggests that some really bad habitat destruction is going on.

 

Beetlesinthebush has also replied to your question on the Tiger Beetle Rearing post with some rather interesting info. :)


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#13 Bugboy3092

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 07:20 PM

Oh ok thanks

#14 Kevinswither

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:17 PM

I was wondering if that evacuator substrate used for burrowing reptiles would work for them? 



#15 Bugboy3092

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:51 PM

Idk , but my local area is just too clean regarding sandy, prairie, and desert habitats, although there are D. Tityus there. Also, Ive seen many larvae in that one part (of Tetracha Carolina) however, Ive only ever seen one adult (and I really look hard for them lol) hopefully I can raise some and start breeding them for strategic re-release. This has really helped me!!

#16 AlexW

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:52 PM

I was wondering if that evacuator substrate used for burrowing reptiles would work for them?


It might possibly for species that have habitat generalist grubs. Maybe one of the research papers online I posted above has some info, but soil from the local area is probably still the safest, considering the lousy state of beetle-rearing technology.

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#17 AlexW

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:00 PM

Idk , but my local area is just too clean regarding sandy, prairie, and desert habitats, although there are D. Tityus there. Also, Ive seen many larvae in that one part (of Tetracha Carolina) however, Ive only ever seen one adult (and I really look hard for them lol) hopefully I can raise some and start breeding them for strategic re-release. This has really helped me!!

It seems that conserving the habitat is more important than saving the beetles to me, just saying.

The beetles are generalists and widespread, so perhaps even if they became locally extinct a few migrants from other places could re-establish the population if somehow a patch of urban concrete turned back into proper habitat. Perhaps they may even be able to breed on the sports courts if they get enough sprinkler water and have dirt!

Good luck raising your grubs!

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#18 Bugboy3092

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:26 PM

Thanks!

#19 Hisserdude

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:27 PM

I was wondering if that evacuator substrate used for burrowing reptiles would work for them?


Probably, if mixed in with sand or something, as apparently that stuff is very, very hard to burrow into unless something else is mixed in.




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