Beetle-Experience wrote: Some of the exotic coleopteral exceptions include:
Scarabaeinae (Dung Beetles, as long as they are not from a country with a history of "Hand, foot, and mouth disease") And this exception would presumably include the giant metallic South American species such as the blue Phanaeus lancifer and green P. ensifer (which, although they are true dung beetles of the tribe Phanaeini, are actually carrion scavengers)? insectivorous beetles like Carabidae (Ground Beetles, Tiger Beetles) Including large African genera such as Mantichora and Anthia? I've seen both of these in zoos and museums a couple of times (many years ago), though I've not heard of any successful captive breeding of either of them. and the three aforementioned species of Goliathus. I assume that at least part of the reason why Goliathus was de-regulated in the US is because, almost uniquely among cetoniine scarabs, the larvae of this genus are carnivorous rather than herbivorous? Certainly, all that I have ever read about captive breeding efforts with these beetles clearly indicates that they simply cannot survive without a specialized, very high protein diet. Without this, the larvae fail to develop. While they will readily accept protein-rich food pellets in captivity, it is strongly suspected (because of dietary requirements, behavior, and certain morphological characteristics) that in nature, the larvae of Goliathus feed primarily on the larvae of other beetles - quite possibly those of Melolonthinae ("June" beetles), or of smaller Cetoniinae (e.g. - Eudicella, Stephanorrhina, Pachnoda). Incidentally, Goliathus is not completely unique in being a predatory cetoniine - captive breeding has shown that the larvae of its closest relatives, Argyrophegges, Fornasinius and Hegemus (all of which are also Afrotropical) also have such dietary requirements (although, as is the case with Goliathus, exactly what they prey on in the wild is not currently known). An interesting taxonomic paper on Fornasinius was recently published - LINK. I note that many European coleopterists commonly refer to Fornasinius (and related genera within the subtribe Goliathina) as "Goliath beetles"; I myself consider only the genus Goliathus to be true Goliath beetles, but that's just my preference. I've also sometimes heard Strategus, Dynastes, and various other Dynastinae (Rhino beetles) referred to as "Elephant beetles", but I only call Rhino beetles Elephant beetles if they're actually in the genus Megasoma. In the US, there is at least one genus of cetoniine scarabs that are known to be carnivorous rather than herbivorous - Cremastocheilus. They are associated with ant nests, and adults are known to feed on ant larvae. It seems that the larvae of Cremastocheilus may also feed on ant larvae / pupae. Possibly, these beetles produce an odor that causes the ants to not recognize them as strangers within their colonies. I've only ever encountered one specimen of this unusual genus (in Arizona), but they are many species found across the US, and they are not uncommon. Each Cremastocheilus species is specialized to a particular host species of ant. Actually JKim, one Scarabaeidae that much of the U.S. is having trouble with is Popillia japonica - "Japanese Beetles", they have not made it to Louisiana yet. P. japonica has been in the US for over 100 years now. Clearly, there is some environmental factor that prevents it from extending its range beyond the eastern third of the country. It seems that this species has never been able to spread very far west of the Mississippi River. It may be that as you go toward the Great Plains, the decreased amount of rainfall simply isn't adequate for them, or the summers are too hot and dry.