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Everything posted by Goliathus

  1. 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?
  2. It appears to be a female elaphus.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Goliathus

    Jewel beetle (Buprestis rufipes)

    Can you raise these beetles? The larvae of Buprestis rufipes develop under the bark of a variety of hardwoods (but only in trees which have already been dead for some time). I've found them in association with dead cottonwood, elm, and oak. So, if you happened to find a section of dead branch that had a larva living in it, you could place it in a container and wait for the adult to eventually emerge. As for actually getting the beetles to reproduce in captivity - I don't think I've ever heard of anyone managing to do this with buprestids. Certainly though, there are many beautiful species that would be well worthwhile to breed (such as Lampetis drummondi, which is found mainly in the US southwest). Even though adult buprestids are similar to click beetles in shape, their larvae, interestingly, are cerambyciform (like those of longhorn beetles) instead of elateriform. In my opinion, they're the prettiest of all beetles. Yes, quite so for a native US species, although they kind of pale in comparison to many of the much larger tropical forms such as Calodema, Chrysochroa, Megaloxantha, Sternocera and Euchroma.
  12. A tiger beetle (Tetracha carolina) that I found crawling up the trunk of an oak tree yesterday. It's difficult to capture its metallic green colour in a photo - it changes hue with the viewing angle.
  13. Goliathus

    Osmoderma advice?

    Hello! Mostly I keep millipedes but I also enjoy keeping Gymnetis caseyi because they're so easy and pretty. I recently discovered about 30 larvae and pupal cells of a large scarab in a rotted tree in my yard. Not knowing how to ID the larvae, I set each larva up in its own enclosure filled with the wood in which i found them. The first pupa has eclosed into a Hermit Flower Beetle, I'm pretty sure it's Osmoderma scabra due to the rough elytra. I love how this beetle looks and behaves! Yes - definitely Osmoderma scabra. Along with O. eremicola, it's among the largest cetoniine scarabs found in the US. Members of this genus also occur in Europe. It's hard to find detailed information online about Osmoderma husbandry, though every reference I find states that they are "very easy." Rather easy, yes. I reared O. eremicola for some years, and never had any problems with them. I thought I'd inquire with the brain trust here to see if anyone has any advice. Here's the setup I plan for the 20 larvae I have now: - A single communal enclosure for all the grubs. - A large tub with deep substrate of tightly packed, decomposed wood of the tree I found them in, with some decomposing hardwood leaves mixed in. A communal enclosure is fine for the larvae of this species, so long as it's spacious enough that they don't get in each other's way when building pupal cells. The cells of this genus are typically built at about a 45 degree incline, with the head end facing up. Presumably, it's important that the cells be maintained in this orientation, in order to avoid eclosion issues. The cells taper to a small point at the head end - no idea what purpose it serves, but the cells of some other Cetoniinae (such as Euphoria fulgida) have similar projections. Ordinarily though, these structures will only be visible on cells that have had all of the loose, adhering substrate brushed away from their surfaces. There's probably no need to pack the substrate. - Supplemental food of dog kibble and fruit offered at the surface. They will probably accept apple placed on the surface, but they seem to mainly focus on eating well-decayed wood. Dog food could possibly lead to mite problems. If you try dog food, I suggest only offering just a few pieces at first, to see if they are even interested in it. - Keep the substrate damp but not wet. Yes - same humidity level as is used for G. caseyi should work well. - I'd go through the whole substrate every 6 months to separate out any pupal cells and move the batch into a new identical enclosure if the substrate is used up. It will depend upon the size of your enclosure and how many larvae are in it, but I think you'll find that even a small number of Osmoderma larvae will convert substrate into frass at a rather phenomenal rate! - Keep pupal cells in a separate enclosure for adults to eclose into, then feed them bananas and fruit juice, and hope they mate and lay eggs in there. Use caution when handling the cells - Osmoderma cells are rather thin-walled and delicate. Also, when transferring them, try to place them at roughly the same incline at which they were originally built; it doesn't need to be absolutely exact - just approximate. I say all this to see if anyone with experience raising this or a related genus might like to chime in to affirm or correct anything in my plan. I've discovered another well rotted tree on my property to investigate and I may collect another 10 larvae or so. Any thoughts or tips would be appreciated. Thanks! Wishing you success in your efforts! I think you'll find that this species isn't difficult. Osmoderma tends to be rather productive in captivity - almost as much so as Gymnetis caseyi. One major difference is that a small percentage of Osmoderma larvae tend to diapause for a while at the end of stage L2. They'll make a small chamber in which to do this, usually right at the bottom of the enclosure, and remain inactive for months. This seems to happen regardless of the temperature at which they are kept.
  14. Goliathus

    Velvet ant

    No - velvet ants are specialized parasites of solitary Hymenoptera. Most of the larger US species (such as Dasymutilla spp.) are parasitic on cicada killer wasps (Sphecius spp).
  15. Goliathus

    Heading to Texas!

    I think that in the wild, the larvae of Gymnetis caseyi specialize in living in the decaying plant material that forms inside of tree holes. The adults come to sap flows on Red oaks and certain other trees. It's probably still too early for adults to be flying, though. Digging around in tree holes (while being careful of biters and stingers, of course) might produce some larvae, though.
  16. Goliathus

    Heading to Texas!

    It's too early for Chrysina to be flying, anyway. In TX, August would be the time to collect them. Port Lavaca is not too far from Megasoma vogti country, but again, wrong time of year - that species is flying mainly in Sept.
  17. Goliathus

    Heading to Texas!

    Two Chrysina species are found in TX - gloriosa and woodi. They're only in the mountains of the state's far west, though.
  18. Goliathus

    Dynastes tityus

    A couple of photos of a 69 mm male Dynastes tityus that emerged yesterday. This is the largest example of this species that I've ever produced. The largest specimen that I've ever heard of however, was 70.75 mm. I've maintained my tityus culture continuously since 2002, all descended from just one original pair, and they've shown no signs of problems despite being repeatedly inbred for 16 years, with no new genetic lines introduced. The male in the photos is one of several of comparable size that I've had emerge over the past few weeks. They took 2 years to go from egg to adult, and were reared on fermented oak sawdust.
  19. Goliathus

    Possible stag larvae?

    Almost certainly Pelidnota punctata - 3rd instar - will build cocoons soon.
  20. Goliathus

    Phanaeus vindex

    Any idea on how long the larva stage is? I would estimate that the larval stage is around 4 or 5 months long. Then, at least that much additional time is spent inside the brood ball as a pre-pupa, pupa, and hibernating adult. Adults start emerging in spring, in response to higher temperatures and rain. An ideal day for Phanaeus activity would be sunny, above 80 degrees F, and not too windy, especially right after a rather heavy rain. Their peak activity time is between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Or better yet time from egg to pupa Development time from egg to adult in captivity is six months to a year, depending on environmental conditions. As with many other beetles, the time can undoubtedly be minimized if the temperature and humidity are maintained at optimal levels. Many beetle species will start to ignore seasonal climate cycles after being kept in captivity for a few generations, gradually becoming out of sync with the wild population. This might happen with Phanaeus, which means it might be possible to have adults emerge in the middle of winter, under climate-controlled, indoor conditions. There's a useful book available that goes into considerable detail about rearing Phanaeus and other dung beetles - https://shop.bugsincyberspace.com/Dung-Beetle-Pet-Book-bic18.htm
  21. Goliathus

    Phanaeus vindex

    Phanaeus definitely favors the dung of omnivores. They can live on the fresh manure of herbivores such as cattle if there's no other option, though it's not their preference. Horse manure is little more than slightly digested grass, and seems to be of little interest to most US dung beetle species. For Phanaeus, pig dung works well for if you have access to some. Anyone have any references on where to purchase? At - bugsincyberspace.com Anyone - How long is the life expectancy for these dudes? At least 4 months - possibly longer under optimal conditions.
  22. Goliathus

    Where To Find Dynastes Tityus?

    So, head into random forest and put my flashlight/hands into the holes/crevices and if I do this enough I will have larvae of some sort, huh? And quite possibly some black widow and / or rattlesnake bites as well. Whether on the land or in the sea, sticking your hands into holes of any sort is not without risk. Holes are valuable "real estate", and are nearly always occupied by something. Not necessarily something that's going to do you harm, but you just never know, so it's a gamble.
  23. Goliathus

    Phanaeus vindex

    Agreed - among the dung beetles, the Phanaeini are remarkably coloured - most other dung beetles are black or brown. I well remember the first time (decades ago) that I found a Phanaeus vindex - I was amazed by its colours, which would change depending upon the viewing angle! It was a very large male too, with a long horn. Interestingly, there are some members of the Phanaeini in which both the male and female have horns, such as Coprophanaeus (=Megaphanaeus) lancifer from the Amazon. Another unusual thing about this species is that it's about as big around as a golf ball, and feeds on carrion instead of dung. Another photo (male). C. lancifer has a deep metallic blue colour that's not very common in beetles. Here's another good photo of a male. Another species, C. ensifer, is just as large but is green instead of blue. Males have more prominent sculpturing on the pronotum than the females, and usually have proportionately larger horns. I've never heard of anyone breeding any species of Coprophanaeus, but despite the extra effort which would undoubtedly be involved, they would certainly be a very interesting and worthwhile genus to work with, especially the larger species such as lancifer and ensifer. Incidentally, one small species, C. pluto ranges into the southernmost point of TX. It's completely black in colour, and only the size of US Phanaeus species.
  24. Goliathus

    Dynastes tityus

    Thank you again for all the great information. I'm sure this is extremely helpful for the entire hobby. Great photo showing the contrasting colors. I think I know what you mean regarding the fungal threads. I have occasionally seen that develop in my containers and I will usually then resterilize the substrate to kill off the fungi because I thought it would not be good for the larvae. I'm really not sure what to think about the presence of fungi in beetle substrate - I myself don't think I've ever seen any evidence of it being harmful. It's universally present in any decaying wood that larvae would inhabit in the wild, and indeed, the wood wouldn't be decaying at all unless the fungus was present, and if not decayed, it wouldn't suitable as food for the larvae. So, I have to assume that beetle larvae that feed on rotten wood are immune to any defensive substances the fungi might possibly produce. While some fungi may be toxic to us if ingested, surely, any animal that lives in (and actually feeds on) wood that's been colonized by fungi must be completely adapted to it? Incidentally, the defensive substances produced by fungal hyphae are probably directed primarily at deterring the growth of other fungi, in order to help keep them from gaining a foothold on wood that the initial colonizer has claimed. Copper Canyon is near Montezuma pass on Montezuma Canyon Rd. A great place for collecting all types of beetles. I'll keep a lookout for those species. Those are some amazing looking scarabs. True - the whole Sierra Vista / Hereford / Bisbee area and its surrounds seems to be a great area for beetle collectors - https://goo.gl/maps/rcpHkgaGEfv Thanks again and please keep us updated with photos of your other larvae. Will do!
  25. Goliathus

    Dynastes tityus

    Thank you again for sharing some great information. One of my favorite places to collect each summer is southern AZ. I plan to collect in the southeast areas like Miller Canyon, Copper Canyon and Carr Canyon. I know those species are the less common ones but if I come across them, I will get them for you. Thanks - those would be great beetles to get into culture! I'm familiar with Miller and Carr canyons, though I don't think I've ever been to Copper Canyon. Last question, what do you mean by fungal hyphae growing? After the fermented substrate has been sitting for quite a while, I usually notice that it's been permeated by a lot of tiny white fungal threads. I've never had this happen with raw sawdust - it only seems to occur in substrate that's undergone total fermentation, and then been allowed to sit for at least several months after the fermentation process is completed. I find that knowing when the substrate is fully mature has always been a little confusing. I tend to go by the color (very dark or black), earthy smell or no odor at all, time (3 or more months) and the feel of the sawdust (very soft, no rough corners, sort of like wet newspaper) and then I put some in a large container with regular substrate and see if the larvae avoid it or do they eat it. I wish there was just an easy test that would give the results. The mere passage of time usually ensures that the substrate will be safe to use. I tend to let mine sit for at least 4 to 6 months before using it, although, I know it's safe to use prior to that. 3 months is usually adequate, especially if the preceding weather has been reasonably warm. I always do fermentation from mid-June to mid-Aug, when the weather is at its warmest. That way, my batches of fermented substrate can undergo much of the final maturation while the temperature is still rather warm, over Sept - Oct. My process takes around 4 or 5 weeks for the actual fermentation stage, then this is followed by a minimum period of at least three months (preferably longer) in which it sits in a well-ventilated plastic trash can so that it can fully mature. By that point, the sawdust has gone from light tan to very dark brown (photo attached). So, yes - the color is definitely a reliable indicator.