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About davehuth

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  1. Update: Too dry? Too moist? Who knows? After a year all original beetles remain alive. Honestly they seem able to adapt and deal with many environmental conditions, but how to induce egg laying remains a challenge. Either I haven’t yet cracked the code, or the brackets contain larvae that I can’t see. My local weather turned very hot and very dry. Worried about these beetles, I believe I over-misted them. I noticed this week they have left the new, fresher fungus they were enthusiastic about in February, and returned to the older, cruddier fungus from last year. Inspection revealed a kind of mold or something growing on the newer fungus, I assume a hazard from too much moisture. I hiked out to the source tree, retrieved another fresh fungus bracket, and will allow the extra moisture to dry a bit. Photo: the fluffy pale growth that appeared after over-misting.
  2. So things seemed to be lagging the last couple months. It became hard to locate the beetles in the enclosure. The soft brackets were getting funky, the hard brackets were frequently dry and rarely had beetles on them. I cracked open the edges of a couple more pieces and still no sign of larvae inside. It was hard to know how to keep the humidity and I felt maybe something was off. so I decided to freshen the whole thing up. I tidied up the enclosure, and moved the moss to one side to keep one half consistently humid. Added a little dry leaf litter. most importantly I hiked out to the source tree and brought home a fresh bracket. This seemed to be what they were waiting for. The next day all the beetles had found the new bracket and nibbled the surface And it looks to me like mating in the upper left of the below pic It’s been about 10 months with no fatalities. My hopes are still high that I can crack the egg laying code?
  3. davehuth

    Baby rhino roaches! (AGAIN!)

    Even news of normal downtime is interesting to me 😊. Thank you for sharing and archiving the process here. I hope you get another brood!
  4. davehuth

    Baby rhino roaches! (AGAIN!)

    Any further updates on this successful project? 🙂
  5. davehuth

    Favorite animal and why?

    Glad this thread was revived, so i could reply. These really gotta be among the most special to me. Mostly because of the ways they've been part of my home and life, forming good memories and emotional connections.
  6. Update: After about 8 months, the majority of these Phellopsis (perhaps all?) appear to be healthy. I began this project with 8 adults collected in May-June 2019. They continue to feed/burrow on multiple species of shelf fungus. The softer ones have been gnawed to dust. I keep them on a vertical humidity gradient — I keep the thin bottom layer of leaves/wood/moss slightly damp, and let the pile of brackets above become more dry. They move around the enclosure a lot, mostly at night. They’re incredibly shy, I’ve basically never directly observed them eating or walking because simply the act of removing the lid causes them to tuck and freeze for extended periods of time. I've seen no mating, egg laying, or larvae. Larvae are likely to be in the bracket interiors. I’ve broken open a couple pieces but so far haven’t seen any definitive larval tunnels. Obviously I don't want to rough them up too much, so I'm trying to be patient. Photos below: - Adult just hanging out on a dry piece of moss - Powdery remains of one if the older/softer brackets - Individual wedged into a crack on a harder bracket - The approximately 12-inch wide enclosure - Individual burrowed more deeply, head first, into a bracket
  7. davehuth

    Alobates pensylvanica care?

    Hi - I thought I’d update about this fun Allobates project. At 7+ months, most of the beetles I collected remain alive and active, mostly at night. They cluster together under wood pieces or burrowed into wood during the day. i keep the enclosure humid (damp substrate, low ventilation) but not soaked. I keep them supplied with very old well-decomposed wood (soft, white, and easily broken apart by hand). Wood remains Slightly damp on the outside due to the humid enclosure, but internally it’s mostly dry. adults constantly chew the wood. As Noted above, I don’t know whether they’re eating it. When I set out grain based foods they are gone in the morning. However the enclosure contains stray isopods that may be eating it. breaking apart the wood shows larvae living inside. I find only one larva per chunk, so I suspect cannibalism. I’m trying to alleviate this by adding lots more wood. Pictures below show an adult wandering at night, a small larva, and a large larva.
  8. davehuth

    Osmoderma advice?

    Hello - here's an update on this fun and interesting project. The L2-ish larvae I originally collected in May 2018 emerged as adults in March 2019 (about 10 months). Of the original 20 larvae, I estimate 9 or 10 survived to adulthood. This 50% mortality was maybe expected, because i did a lot of handling and messing around with them trying to get their enclosure set up and just poking around to see what was happening with them. I also badly neglected their substrate in the final months. i didn't prepare enough material to replace the substrate before the winter was over. Whatever survived basically did so on frass for the last couple months. The new adults were dead by mid-summer 2019. I let the enclosure sit undisturbed, and finally saw a few grubs through the clear plastic sides in September 2019. Huzzah! Several new adults have now begun to emerge in January 2020 (about 6 - 7 months). This is my first experience collecting a local native beetle species, educating myself about its needs, and successfully running a breeding project. Shout out to the helpful folks here who have helped me along the way with good advice and encouragement. Notes: - Adults spend lots of time out of sight under the substrate surface. I guess they're called "Hermit" beetles for a reason. - My adults prefer apple. I've tried pear, banana, and peach. Apple is what gets most of their attention. - My adults don't seem to feed frequently – certainly not as frequently as Gymnetis thula, which spend hours-long stretches on fruit. Perhaps Osmoderma are more active at night when i miss them? - As I was warned, pupal cells have thin, fragile walls. A few times (mostly during substrate changes) I've broken the cells and the larvae eventually eclosed while exposed on the surface. Often there were no ill effects, but a couple of these exposed eclosures resulted in mis-shapen elytra.
  9. davehuth


  10. davehuth

    Greetings from Florida!

    Welcome! I also haven’t been active here long but I’ve found it to be a treasure trove of helpful information and encouragement. I’ve met some really interesting people and purchased or traded for some groovy beetles. Cheers!
  11. Just a brief update-- For whatever reason, I've stopped finding these in the wild the last couple weeks (though they're very cryptic as you can see in the photo below, which contains 3 individuals...) I've divided the enclosure into 2 halves. 1. a slightly damp side of leaf litter, bark, decomposing wood, and broken chunks of a variety of fungus. 2. And a more dry side of just a single large bracket mushroom. I've tried supplemental foods: they aren't interested in carrot or dog kibble, but they give some attention to apple. I'll try grains next. They'll gnaw on multiple kinds of fungal growth. Their behavior is puzzling. They disappear for days at a time in the leaves and wood, and then return to the bracket mushroom to feed in the open. In the past week they've started energetically burrowing into the bracket for the first time, rather than scraping along the outer surface. I haven't observed mating (there are 7 unsexed individuals in my group) or anything resembling egg laying. But it's not easy to track what they're doing when they disappear into the various crevices and crannies of the enclosure. So, they remain alive, active, and mysterious.
  12. davehuth

    Pelidnota punctata

    Thanks for sharing your advice and experience. There are areas in my town where wild grape vine grows in large patches and chokes out trees. I also have a neighbor who cultivates horticultural juicing grapes on his property. I know wild and cultivated are different species. Is one better than another for this beetle?
  13. davehuth

    Pelidnota punctata

    I’m getting started at the right time I guess! I’ll let you know if I draw any out of the shadows. It would be the first BugGuide submission from my county 🙂
  14. davehuth

    Geotrupes sp. in captivity?

    Oh, I see those photos are examples of tropical Thai Geotrupidae.
  15. davehuth

    Geotrupes sp. in captivity?

    !!!! I’m constantly amazed by the diversity of your local taxa. Those iridescent Geotrupes are blowing my mind. I’ve been trying and trying to resist bringing feces into my bug room (I like being married to my patient spouse!) but these cool scarabs are testing my resolve. I also don’t have a reliable source, other than deer scat and the occasional horse ridden past my driveway Im curious about the necessary “quality” of scat. If I use manure that’s dried and aged for a bit (to reduce the ripe odor of fresh stuff), would that contain sufficient nutrition for these beetles and their larvae?