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Everything posted by Goliathus

  1. Goliathus

    Chrysina beyeri & gloriosa

    Some photos of my Chrysina beyeri and C. gloriosa - two of the four species in this genus that are found in the US. The other two are woodi and lecontei.
  2. Goliathus

    Chrysina beyeri & gloriosa

    Chrysina beyeri larva in 16 oz. container, in pupal cell formed in clay layer, below the organic substrate layer. In this species, cells are nearly always formed right against the container wall. Because of this habit, the larva remains visible through a small "window" while in its winter diapause stage, but will become obscured following pupation, since in this genus, the shed pupal skin expands to form a loose, paper-like envelope around the pupa, rather than being wadded up and pushed to the back of the cell as in Dynastinae, Cetoniinae, Lucanidae, etc.
  3. Goliathus

    Lucanus Elaphus larvae care

    Well, if you really need some natural clay soil for certain types of beetles to build pupal cells in, and there simply isn't anything suitable that occurs naturally in your local area, you can always just buy some - LINK.
  4. Goliathus

    Lucanus Elaphus larvae care

    I don't know about the commercial availability of such, but you should be able to collect a suitable type of "clayey" soil in virtually any part of the US, and so long as it's very fine-grained, and can be made somewhat sticky with right amount of water, it should work fine. The ultisols common to the southeast (which are typically red or yellow due to various concentrations of iron oxides) work well, but any soil type that has a high percentage of clay should be ok. I use some locally-collected, reddish-brown clay soil which I suspect is probably a vertisol. I believe it's not so much the pH of the soil that matters, but the texture and how "sticky" and easily workable it is by the larvae. From what I've heard, elaphus doesn't typically deposit eggs directly into wood, but instead lays them in the soil right next to suitable wood, which the larvae then chew into. To make matters more complicated, it apparently also needs to be soil of a certain type and consistency (clayey, I believe). A recent study on Lucanus cervus in Britain revealed that the distribution of this species correlates directly with the distribution of a particular soil type, rather than the beetle's host trees. Even if there are TONS of dead, rotten oaks in an area, the beetles will be absent if the local soil is of the wrong type.
  5. Goliathus

    Lucanus Elaphus larvae care

    80 F. is certainly not ideal. It may sound strange, but 80 indoors is not like 80 outdoors. Indoors, 80 is going to feel a noticeably hotter, especially if the level of air circulation is minimal. I would aim for keeping the room temperature at an average of 74-76 year-round for most species (whether temperate or tropical, with high altitude species being the exception, of course). As for elaphus - probably best to keep this species at an even lower temperature during the winter months - more like 68-70, if possible. Certainly, in the wild, they experience far colder conditions than that. Also, be sure to add a several cm thick layer of compressed, moistened clay soil to the bottom of their containers, as in nature, this is what this species builds its pupal cells in. They will sometimes build cells using organic substrate, but they prefer not to, and will often hesitate for a long time before doing so, crawling around at the surface for weeks or even months. This drains the stored energy that they need to pupate. It's been my experience that if the larvae of elaphus hesitate to build cells for too long after reaching full growth, they often fail to pupate properly, or never even make cells at all. Same situation with Chrysina spp. - they need a clay layer added to their containers when they have reached full growth.
  6. Goliathus

    Bug collecting.

    Arizona - July through September, depending upon what you're looking for.
  7. ...I would have severe concerns about the safety of heating even wet sawdust to 240F using any commonly available method for any considerable length of time. Seconded! My advice - stick to time-tested fermentation methods that are known to work well and safely. Incidentally, wood can start to char at as little as 180 C. I'm sure that wetness vs. dryness is a factor, but even if the material is wet when the heating process starts, it might not uniformly remain wet enough to prevent the possibility of ignition. And, it's not just the potential for fire that's a threat - carbon monoxide can be produced too, if combustion starts.
  8. Goliathus

    Gymnetis thula Adult Lifespan

    That's great - congratulations!
  9. Goliathus

    Gymnetis thula Adult Lifespan

    Yes, that should be perfect.
  10. Goliathus

    Gymnetis thula Adult Lifespan

    I've had thula adults live for at least 8 months, and they can remain fertile for quite a long time. In the 15 or so years that I've been keeping this species, I don't think I've ever actually seen a single mating! Obviously though, it must happen, as you just keep the beetles together on a suitable breeding substrate, and after a while (usually less than a month) you'll suddenly start to see tiny larvae appearing. Several weeks after that, there can be hundreds! If your substrate is of good nutritional quality, they'll grow quite fast. The larvae also like apple slices, though they might not take much interest in it until they get into the late L2 stage.
  11. Goliathus

    Goliath beetles

    I assume that the container with the cocoon must be ventilated somehow? I can't tell from the photo, but undoubtedly, there are some ventilation holes? Is the cocoon normally kept on the substrate surface like that, throughout the pupation process?
  12. I am in agreement with all of these comments. Yes, it's quite possible that granti and tityus diverged considerably less than 2 mya. They might not have appeared as distinct "species" until sometime well into the Pleistocene, possibly even the latter part of the epoch.
  13. At the genus level, there won't be very much genetic difference between two species, even if their physical characteristics are quite different. D. granti and D. tityus are very closely related, and by some classifications, they may simply be viewed as geographical races of the same species. They possibly diverged from a common ancestor when increased aridity in the southwest geographically separated the AZ / NM mountains from the wetter environments of the east.
  14. I believe that the "2 million years" quote is based upon research on a variety of species, (esp. mammals) though it might not necessarily apply to all animal groups (inc. insects), and probably not to plants at all. Of course, through genetic engineering, it's possible to mix genes from species separated by hundreds of millions of years (e.g. cats and jellyfish). Undoubtedly, we'll be seeing a LOT more of this in the years to come.
  15. I've never produced any Dynastes hybrids myself, although I've often had the opportunity to mix tityus and granti. Many hobbyists are against producing hybrids, for fear of contaminating pure species bloodlines. If hybrids are produced, one should definitely take care to keep them separated from any pure species lines.
  16. I'm wondering if anyone has ever hybridized these Hercules beetles (or, frankly any other living thing) Yes - hybrids have been produced between tityus & granti, hyllus & hercules, and (possibly) hyllus and granti. I'm wondering if the hybrids were viable or sterile, and how many generations. Fertility results from hybrids are variable. So long as two species are not separated by any more than about 2 million years of speciation, they should (theoretically) be able to hybridize. However, whether or not the hybrids are fertile varies, and likely depends upon just how much genetic drift has occurred between the two species involved. Of course, in the case of some insects such as beetles, the form of the reproductive organs between even species that are in the same genus can be different enough that successful mating between the two is unlikely to occur. I saw online that in a large group of hybrid females only one laid eggs making a second generation of hybrids. I have no further info on how the second generation did. Yes - I assume you are talking about the following web page? - http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/beetles/hercules/hybrids.htm
  17. I've just been informed that Gymnetis caseyi has recently been re-named Gymnetis thula (Ratcliffe, 2018): http://texasento.net/caseyi.htm https://bugguide.net/node/view/68158 By the way, has anyone here ever seen a thula quite like this one? - https://bugguide.net/node/view/736046
  18. Goliathus

    Gymnetis caseyi - new species name

    That specimen shown on BugGuide is an unusual colour variant from the far southern tip of TX (Brownsville). Whether this variant turns up regularly in that area, or if this specimen is rather unique, I have no idea.
  19. Goliathus

    My First Scarab Pupae!

    Holy crap that's a vibrant yellow! The one I can see is definitely more of a dark grey right now. Not sure if that's because it's teneral or just humidity. It's the humidity. As soon as the beetle emerges from the cocoon and dries out a bit, the yellow will appear. If kept under high humidity all the time however, they will remain dark. About how long do they stay dormant after eclosing? Not sure, since I've always left them undisturbed in their cocoons, but the wait time between eclosion and emergence must be rather short, since the entire duration of the cocoon stage, from construction to emergence, doesn't take very long (maybe 6 weeks or less). G. caseyi is definitely one of the best US flower beetles to have - large, colorful, and extremely easy to maintain.
  20. Goliathus

    My First Scarab Pupae!

    Here's a photo of some caseyi that I had emerge this morning, shown next to a quarter to give an idea of size. This species is a great favorite of mine - have been keeping it for many years. In the American tropics and subtropics, Gymnetis essentially fills the same ecological niche as the genus Pachnoda does in Africa. Of course, they belong to different tribes of Cetoniinae - Gymnetis (Gymnetini), Pachnoda (Cetoniini).
  21. Goliathus

    Unidentified Larva

    It's the larva of a cetoniine scarab of some kind - possibly Osmoderma eremicola or O. scabra.
  22. Goliathus

    Unidentified Larva

    Most likely either a melolonthine ("June" beetle) or ruteline (Shining leaf chafer) larva - only way to know for sure would be to raise it to adult. I suspect that it's probably the larva of a melolonthine.
  23. Goliathus

    Osmoderma advice?

    I reared Osmoderma eremicola for several consecutive generations. Larvae generally only took a year to go from egg to adult (under temperature-controlled conditions), and adults could live for several months. Despite temperature control, a percentage of larvae would diapause in "psuedo cocoons" through the winter, at the end of stage L2.
  24. It's the larva of a cetoniine scarab of some kind - possibly Osmoderma eremicola.
  25. Goliathus

    Beetle Wish List

    Yes - Eupholus weevils look (and move) like tiny, hand-painted robots! Here's another very neat weevil - Macrochirus praetor (Giant Malaysian Palm Weevil), which is the largest curculionid in the world, at over 90 mm. Males have enlarged, hook-like front legs, and spiny projections on the snout. The dorsal surface has a velvet-like texture similar to that of many cetoniine scarabs, and the ventral side is very glossy black.