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Everything posted by Goliathus

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. Goliathus

    Unidentified Larva

    It's the larva of a cetoniine scarab of some kind - possibly Osmoderma eremicola or O. scabra.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. It's the larva of a cetoniine scarab of some kind - possibly Osmoderma eremicola.
  15. 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.
  16. Goliathus

    Beetle Wish List

    For several reasons, I'm sure it will never come to pass, but tropical weevil species such as Eupholus magnificus would undoubtedly be very popular with hobbyists, if it were ever possible to breed them in captivity - https://wesleyfleming.com/gallery/Eupholus-magnificus5.jpg or, E. bennetti - http://image11.photobiz.com/5177/36_20130702091904_824288_large.jpg or, E. schoenherri - http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/780/indonesia/west-papua_0439.jpg They're upwards of 30 mm long, and are collected off of yam leaves in Papua New Guinea. Of course, two issues: (A) - they're an exotic that would undoubtedly be restricted (at least, in the US), and (B) - I've never heard of anyone having live specimens of any species of Eupholus (or live examples of any other beetle species from PNG, for that matter). As of late, it's getting difficult to get even dried specimens of many insect species from PNG, though I've not thoroughly explored the reasons for this. Formerly, the country seemed to have a thriving insect farming business; not sure what happened - too much of its rainforest destroyed over the past 25 years, perhaps? Heightened export restrictions?
  17. It appears to be a female elaphus.
  18. Goliathus

    Dynastes Alcides?

    I think the general consensus is that lichyi is indeed a ssp. of hercules. It seems that so long as two species are not separated by any more than about 2 million years of speciation, they should (theoretically) be able to naturally hybridize. It is suspected that in some cases, even species separated by more than 2 million years may still be able to naturally hybridize. Mismatched numbers of chromosomes don't always prevent this. If two species are capable of hybridizing with each other, they will, if the opportunity arises. Whether or not the offspring of such crossings are fertile however - the results tend to be rather mixed.
  19. Goliathus

    Dynastes Alcides?

    I believe the main reason for dividing a species up into various, separate species (or at least, subspecies) is that it provides the opportunity for taxonomists to write papers. D. hercules has a wide distribution, with many geographical races separated by natural boundaries of one kind or another. There's probably no significant reason to start dividing up all of these subspecies into separate species - they're all capable of interbreeding, anyway. D. hercules can hybridize with D. hyllus - could hyllus actually be a ssp. of hercules? Or, might it actually be a ssp. of granti? D. tityus and granti can hybridize and produce fertile offspring. Might tityus and granti just be geographical variations of the same species?
  20. Goliathus

    Dynastes Alcides?

    I believe that by current nomenclature, Dynastes alcides is synonymous with D. hercules baudrii, a subspecies of D. hercules present in Martinique and St Lucia. Formerly, D. alcides (Fabricus, 1781) seems to have been a name used for D. hercules in general.
  21. Goliathus

    Megasoma punctulatus pupae

    I wouldn't attempt to move them to another container until they've had at least several days to partially harden, following eclosion. You could transfer each into something such as a 16 oz. deli container that's about 75% filled with substrate. You can either bury them, or just leave them on the surface. Either way, I'm sure that when they have truly become active, they will start to wander around noticeably, at which point you can try offering them some food. If they've just eclosed as of several days ago, you can probably expect to wait at least several more weeks before they fully harden and become active. Unlike butterflies and moths, most beetles' exoskeletons can't reach full hardness in just a matter of hours - it takes much longer, due to their heavy armor. Some beetles spend months in their pupal cells, following eclosion. However, this isn't necessarily because that's how long it takes for them to harden - it's often due to the fact that some species have a post-eclosion diapause, while they wait for seasonal changes in temperature / moisture.
  22. Goliathus

    Megasoma punctulatus pupae

    ...would you happen to know approximately how long it takes for them to become active once they emerge from their pupal cases? In my experience, punctulatus usually leave their pupal cells less than a month after eclosion. I'm not sure if they're ready to mate immediately upon emergence from the cell, but I always wait at least 5 to 7 days before introducing females to males.
  23. Goliathus


    There was once a very helpful insect hobbyist forum called bugnation.co.uk which had many members from the UK and Europe. But, as of several years ago, it seems to have completely disappeared. Is there anyone here who used to visit that forum, or knows what happened to it?
  24. A couple of photos of a Buprestis rufipes that I came across in my yard today. I've only ever seen a few of these, and for a US native jewel beetle species, it's a pretty good-sized one, at between 25-30 mm.
  25. A short video of a pair of Plinthocoelium suaveolens, a bright metallic green longhorn beetle that starts emerging around late May / early June, that I found on a gum bumelia (Sideroxylon lanuginosum) tree in my backyard. The male is the one with extremely long antennae. As you can hear in the video, this species, like many longhorns, has the ability to make a "squeak" through stridulation. Gum bumelia seems to be the only host plant of Plinthocoelium in my area (the larvae live in the roots), though I've read that they are also sometimes attracted to Tupelo and Mulberry.