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wizentrop

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  1. wizentrop

    Anthia sexmaculata(sexguttata) in the us?

    @MAJORmagical I know this thread is a month old, but I have two pairs of Anthia I'm offering now. However, I'm not based in the US, and they aren't exactly cheap.
  2. wizentrop

    Pyrophorus noctilucus

    The video came out nice, it really shows how bright they are. Not an easy thing to photograph.
  3. wizentrop

    Scarites in captivity?

    Usually larval die offs are due to using the wrong substrate, wrong humidity level or lack of understanding of the beetle's life cycle. The latter is extremely important - many carabid species need a natural photoperiod, temperature fluctuations, and a dormancy period. The keeper must be aware of these factors, for example it is impossible to force-rear a carabid larva continuously to adulthood if this species requires a period of hibernation in the larval stage.
  4. wizentrop

    Scarites in captivity?

    They actually do very well in captivity, surviving up to 5 years (depending on the species - I kept S. striatus), and breeding. They don't necessarily need softbodied prey. Sure, it will be easier for them to handle, but they are adapted to feed on darkling beetles, crushing their exoskeleton with their strong mandibles. It is quite interesting to watch their attack strategy. It is possible to obtain eggs and rear the larvae. Just make sure things don't go too moldy in the enclosure.
  5. wizentrop

    Anthia cinctipennis

    Anthia's are really unique among carabids with the reduction of a larval instar. The egg and the first instar are also unusually big - it is an edaptation for a "stressful" life cycle. In the wild, these larvae infiltrate ant colonies to feed on the brood. The faster they complete their development and leave the nest, the better.
  6. wizentrop

    Anthia cinctipennis

    Hi Mattias, these are great! I do not have experience with this exact species, but most Anthia's have the same biology and requirements. If you want to get to the next stage in breeding: First, separate your pair. They have mated a few times already, there is no point in leaving the male in there. He can actually stress the female and damage the eggs. Second, I could not figure out the substrate from your photos (coco fiber?), but Anthia species are psammophiles, they need deep sand substrate. They can survive in an enclosure like yours, but will not lay eggs. Next, make a moist area in one side of the enclosure, about 20% of the surface area. The sand in that area needs to be wet, but the rest of the enclosure should be dry sand. This moisture gradient will trigger the female to lay in the wet area. You will only get 1-2 eggs, but they are HUGE. The female places them either on the substrate or partially buried. It is best to remove the female from the enclosure because she can step on the eggs and destroy them. DO NOT touch the eggs or they will break at the slightest of touch. If you are lucky, the eggs will hatch in 1-2 weeks (keep them on the warm side and do not let them dry out), and a big black larva will appear. The larvae are cannibalistic. They are active and can be fed with paralyzed crickets. The second (and last) instar is immobile and trickier to feed. Hope this helps!
  7. You still need permits to collect and export dead insects out of countries in South America. The only country I know of that is pretty "open" about collecting is French Guiana.
  8. I'll just say one word and it goes for both sides (South America and US): Permits.
  9. wizentrop

    Pyrophorus noctilucus

    Lots of glowing headlights... good breeding results this year! (and about 30 more adults are waiting to emerge from the soil)
  10. wizentrop

    Mantichora latipennis

    This one is good as well, I actually meant an earlier paper: Paarman W (1985) Larvae preying on ant broods: an adaptation of the desert carabid beetle Graphiperus serrator Forsskal (Col., Carabidae) to arid environments. Journal of Arid Environments 9: 210–214. This tribe has such interesting and beautiful beetles. Graphipterus is cute (with the velcro sound it makes while running) and one of my favorite carabids.
  11. wizentrop

    Mantichora latipennis

    Glad to hear that. You might also want to check another refernce by the same author about the biology of Graphipterus serrator larvae in ant nests. Very intersting.
  12. wizentrop

    Mantichora latipennis

    Hi Matt, the paper you are searching about Anthia larvae is this one: Paarmann, W. "A reduced number of larval instars, as an adaptation of the desert carabid beetle Thermophilum (Anthia) sexmaculatum F. (Coleoptera, Carabidae) to its arid environment." Miscellaneous Papers 18 (1979): 113-117. Unfortunately, I do not have it (I read it when I was visiting a carabid specialist in Germany) and it is extremely difficult to get it online. What I meant to say was that an Anthia female lays 1-2 huge eggs every breeding season. The beetles can survive at least 3 years in captivity (from my experience), so potentially you can get more eggs out of a female. Mating the beetles is super easy. In the wild, Anthia lay eggs straight after the rains, so to trigger a female to lay you would have to think of a way to mimic a sudden increase of moisture (both in air and substrate).
  13. wizentrop

    Mantichora latipennis

    Hi everyone, just wanted to share my experiences. While I have no data on breeding Mantichora, Anthia breeding is possible, but very very tricky. That larva photo in the link that Matt posted is indeed an Anthia sexmaculata L1 with 100% certainty. The L1 is an active predator that prefers to hunt soft-bodied insects. Getting to this stage in the breeding is relatively easy if you know a little bit about the biology and habitat of the beetles (these are psammophile beetles found in the desert). Each female lays a single HUGE egg from which this larva hatches. On very rare occasions with good conditions and feeding, a female can lay 2 eggs. How to trigger them to lay eggs is another story (see last paragraph). While Anthia adults can live for years, they have a very short life cycle or development. They hatch from the egg at an enormous size (think of it as if they lost the first larval stage, in which they were supposed to be tiny), so there are only two intars. The L2 larva of Anthia looks completely different from L1. It is pale, fat, with very short legs and essentially immobile, making it look more like a grub rather than a carabid larva. Feeding at this stage is extremely difficult and must be done by hand, as the larva barely moves. In the wild they feed on ant brood in the nest or in a chamber made by L1 that connects to the nest. The larva is also extremely sticky at this stage (not sure if it helps it in feeding), which can later cause problems in pupation. As for Mantichora, it is a tiger beetle. I would assume that for good breeding you need moist, almost wet, clay-type soil with a good depth to allow the larvae to burrow vertically or diagonally. Most tiger beetles I know are extremely seasonal (much like carabids). So some experimenting with temps and humidity level is a must.
  14. wizentrop

    Getting Mold Off of Preserved Beetle

    I am glad people are finding this info useful. Be careful not to soak the whole insect in ammonia, it can cause some discoloration. The link I shared started as a guide for people interested in focus-stacking macrophotography, but because this technique requires dead specimens the author decided to include information about preserving insects. It turned out to be a nice source of information about collecting insects.
  15. wizentrop

    Getting Mold Off of Preserved Beetle

    Some good info about this method here - http://extreme-macro.co.uk/restoring-insects/
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