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The Mantis Menagerie

Alobates pensylvanica care?

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I can't find much information on these beetles, but they look interesting. I caught three yesterday in a rotten log, and I wanted to know if it was possible to breed them. I saw that Lucanus started a thread on these a long time ago, but it looks like he hasn't been on the forum in a while. Anyone know about their care in captivity? I currently have them in the fridge hibernating to give me a bit more time to figure out how to care for them. 

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I was able to get adults to oviposit when kept in an enclosure with lots of bark and a moist substrate of crushed, rotten hardwood, but unfortunately I was never able to rear any larvae to adulthood, they all died off one by one. I don't know if it was cannibalism, an improper diet, improper humidity levels, or just an improper setup, (I think they may need to bore into large chunks of wood rather than live in a mix of pre-crushed substrate).

The adults lived for about a year, seems like they barely ate grain based foods at all, almost looked like they were gnawing on the bark, perhaps feedings on lichens or mosses? Overall they were not an easy species to keep or breed, I think adults probably have a specific diet of lichens, mosses and fungi in the wild, and larvae probably need to be kept isolated in large, moist pieces of rotten wood, yet they do seem to need access to protein to survive. 

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I’ve read that both life stages are predatory, likely on termites? I’ve found larvae before, and only in moist logs with plenty of other life inside

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Supposedly they are predatory but I couldn't get my adults nor my larvae to accept any prey items I offered them in captivity. Perhaps they just have very specific tastes when it comes to what invertebrates they'll prey on... 

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Maybe, I guess good luck importing eastern termites lol (that’s the only thing I could possibly imagine them preying upon, they just seem way too soft)

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One of my friends fed an Alobates adult a scarab grub.

 

Despite being a slow, vulnerable animal, the grub was unharmed; one would expect grubs to be a favorite of predatory slow-moving forest beetles (after all, lucanids enjoy chewing them up)

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