Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
PowerHobo

Megasoma punctulatus Surfacing

Recommended Posts

Do Megasoma species tend to surface or become seemingly lethargic before a molt? I have yet to actually witness a molt, but I've got one M punctulatus who has grown quite fat and firm in the body (head is still fairly small) who is hanging out on the surface of its substrate. The larva barely moved at all when picked up until I prodded its head, at which point it recoiled as expected. There was a good bit of frass in the substrate, so I went ahead and mixed it with new oak flake from BiC, and placed the larva into a hole, but it's back on the surface again this morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How's the ventilation in your container? Larva will come to the surface if there isn't enough air, which is a possibility if it's acting lethargic, so you might check to make sure the air holes aren't plugged up. It could also be preparing to molt or pupate and is wandering around to find the right spot. Sometimes larva will just hang out on top of the sub for a little while for no reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ventilation is pretty good. At least, theres pretty much never condensation inside unless its right after Ive sprayed the surface, and I can see through the holes with ease when held up to my eye. These M punctulatus have always been a bit slow to react when touched, so the perceived lethargy may be due to the contrast of my other Megasoma spp being much more reactive and bitey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kind of substrate do you have for them. i only notice larva coming to the surface when the substrate turned toxic for them, had witnessed it long time back when using some bad flake soil. ventilation might be another issue. Molting is normally always done in the substrate.

 

Hope the larvae survives.

 

Cheers

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe try replacing all of the substrate in the container, there may not be enough food content for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What kind of substrate do you have for them. i only notice larva coming to the surface when the substrate turned toxic for them, had witnessed it long time back when using some bad flake soil. ventilation might be another issue. Molting is normally always done in the substrate.

 

Hope the larvae survives.

 

Cheers

Ben

 

What might cause substrate to turn toxic?

 

All of my rhinos are using sub from a shared batch of oak flake from BiC. Most seem very content with it. This larva is back below the surface, but just barely. Almost like it just dug deep enough to get covered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normally, if it gets too wet and compact, it becomes intolerable for larvae. The larvae might also be sick. Coming to the surface is never a good sign.

 

Cheers

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normally, if it gets too wet and compact, it becomes intolerable for larvae. The larvae might also be sick. Coming to the surface is never a good sign.

 

Cheers

Ben

Well that sounds deeply concerning.

 

It really is unfortunate that despite how much this hobby is growing, it's still unlikely to have fellow enthusiasts close enough (or willing) to visit to gain some experience. Prior to the couple deaths and this larvae surfacing (which I've seen several times before but the larvae usually burrow again within a short period), and the poor egg-laying rate of my D tityus, I had thought this was going decently well. Now I'm questioning pretty much everything about my setup.

 

For instance, I had thought the moisture level of my sub is ok. There's rarely (if ever) condensation in the container unless I've just sprayed the sub, and there is zero liquid water or squishing sounds when I compact a handful, but it's moist enough to retain shape afterwards. It'd be so nice, though, to be able to get hands-on experience with moisture levels and substrate of someone who is more successful than it appears I'm going to be to see if I'm actually way off-base.

 

I know it's a learning curve, and I'm going to stick with it, it would just be nice to not passively murder so many larvae in the process :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that sounds deeply concerning.

 

It really is unfortunate that despite how much this hobby is growing, it's still unlikely to have fellow enthusiasts close enough (or willing) to visit to gain some experience. Prior to the couple deaths and this larvae surfacing (which I've seen several times before but the larvae usually burrow again within a short period), and the poor egg-laying rate of my D tityus, I had thought this was going decently well. Now I'm questioning pretty much everything about my setup.

 

For instance, I had thought the moisture level of my sub is ok. There's rarely (if ever) condensation in the container unless I've just sprayed the sub, and there is zero liquid water or squishing sounds when I compact a handful, but it's moist enough to retain shape afterwards. It'd be so nice, though, to be able to get hands-on experience with moisture levels and substrate of someone who is more successful than it appears I'm going to be to see if I'm actually way off-base.

 

I know it's a learning curve, and I'm going to stick with it, it would just be nice to not passively murder so many larvae in the process :lol:

Close enough to visit? Sigh, one dream no one will see fulfilled for years

 

I am probably the only Coniontis-keeper in my city. Maybe even state. And no one in the history of the Internet has published a Coniontis video before I did yesterday...

 

Sigh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey,

 

no worries, I think every breeder probably kills more larvae and beetles, or does not get eggs, or larvae to pupate, than they have successes. Of all the beetles in the world, even within Scarabs, only very few are actually relatively easy to breed.

 

Also, you should not believe everything you read about successes. I think you did well with tytius. you have enough larvae to get a good number of imagines in the next generation, to try again either for more eggs, or for bigger sizes.

 

That said, I would rate Chrysina as a very complicated group, even if you do all the things mentioned in Orin's book, you do not get successful in many cases. The question to ask here is, who of all the breeders of Chrysina is actually past F1? I believe the majority of larvae sold are offspring of wild-caught females, and the absolute minority are actually captive bred second, third etc generation. I do know a lot of beetle breeders, but Chrysina did not get established in their breeding rooms, for the above mentioned reasons.

 

Another advise, even though that's hard to keep when you are just starting, is to leave the larvae alone and let them do their thing, check them once a month, and only to see if there is still enough substrate. That normally does wonders already.

 

Hope this helps!

Cheers

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another advise, even though that's hard to keep when you are just starting, is to leave the larvae alone and let them do their thing, check them once a month, and only to see if there is still enough substrate. That normally does wonders already.

Hope this helps!

I'm so new that all advice is helpful, even if for only giving me other perspectives, so thank you very much!

 

I do try to limit the amount of times they get disturbed within the substrate, as I know I've seen repeatedly that messing with them is just more stress that leads to smaller adults or larval death. As is, I'll lift the containers about twice a week to introduce a few pumps from a spray bottle for moisture, and I'll typically do a quick visual check to the sides and bottom for mold or the larvae themselves. I tend to take a peek at the top of the containers daily for surfaced larvae, but that doesn't require removing the lid or anything. Otherwise, I'm only checking on them about every few weeks as you suggest, and I don't remove them from the sub or anything, it's rather a sub check and just a quick gentle prod to make sure they're still kicking, then they get left alone.

 

Another thing I just thought of, that I don't know if it could be problematic, is that Las Vegas has very hard tap water. It takes very little time for faucets and appliances to develop mineral deposits here, and kidney stones are very common for those who drink our tap water regularly. Since I use tap water in my spray bottle, I'm introducing that into the sub, though I haven't noticed any build-up because it's not getting the chance to really dry out. Could this be negatively affecting my larvae?

 

That M punctulatus larva is buried about halfway down the container again, though now I've got a Dynastes sp L1/2 hanging out on top of the sub for the past day and a half. This is nerve-racking :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may not be the greatest thing to spray them that often, that could be causing them to come to the surface, unless it gets dry quickly in the container, in which case you may want to decrease the ventilation size, I usually just keep larvae in large bins from Walmart with no extra ventilation and I havent needed to spray them... well ever really. Hope this helps, Stepp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may not be the greatest thing to spray them that often, that could be causing them to come to the surface, unless it gets dry quickly in the container, in which case you may want to decrease the ventilation size, I usually just keep larvae in large bins from Walmart with no extra ventilation and I havent needed to spray them... well ever really. Hope this helps, Stepp

Even my egg-laying containers dry out very quickly here, and they're 18 gallon tubs with the lids snapped on and the only ventilation coming from the imperfect seal around the plastic lid (I've made no holes). We've got the lowest average humidity in the country, so it's a bit of a struggle. I've got 5x 7/64" holes in the top of each lid. When I tried the same thing with just 3x holes I had so much condensation inside that I was afraid the larvae weren't getting enough oxygen.

 

Again, I appreciate all of the help and advice from everyone on this. I am an absolute noob at anything requiring a moist sub, so everything is over-caution and concern at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just another thought. Are you filtering the tap water? Tap water has quite a bit of chlorine to kill bacteria, etc and I have read that it's not good to use chlorinated water to moisten the sub. Filtered water or bottled water I have heard is better. However, I'm not really sure if this has any real affect but I have always used filtered non chlorinated water to moisten the sub.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats why I had mentioned it earlier; aside from the chlorine, if the water leaves such rapid and plentiful mineral deposits on our faucets, I have to wonder what its doing in the gut of fairly sensitive larvae.

 

Another thing Ive wondered: how does everyone moisten their sub? Just misting the top only seems to make a noticeable difference on the top 1/8 or so, and it seems as though it evaporates again before it really gets a chance to affect the lower substrate. Then again, its so god awful arid here that this situation might not happen for others in the hobby.

 

Lost another Dynastes sp larva that I was really excited about last night. I cant rule out shipping as the cause though, as this one wasnt even with me a week, and I hadnt had to moisten the substrate they shipped with it yet.

 

Someone privately pointed out that my beetle room may be too hot (80f for fermentation purposes) for the larvae, so Im going to drop it down to 75f and see if I see less surfacing and whatnot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats why I had mentioned it earlier; aside from the chlorine, if the water leaves such rapid and plentiful mineral deposits on our faucets, I have to wonder what its doing in the gut of fairly sensitive larvae.

Another thing Ive wondered: how does everyone moisten their sub? Just misting the top only seems to make a noticeable difference on the top 1/8 or so, and it seems as though it evaporates again before it really gets a chance to affect the lower substrate. Then again, its so god awful arid here that this situation might not happen for others in the hobby.

Lost another Dynastes sp larva that I was really excited about last night. I cant rule out shipping as the cause though, as this one wasnt even with me a week, and I hadnt had to moisten the substrate they shipped with it yet.

Someone privately pointed out that my beetle room may be too hot (80f for fermentation purposes) for the larvae, so Im going to drop it down to 75f and see if I see less surfacing and whatnot.

I use two main methods.

 

#1, the more convenient: Give lettuce, fruit, etc. This obviously works only for dryness-tolerant things like darkling and carabid beetles.

 

2: Mist top, wait for absorption, repeat until whole substrate well soaked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×