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beetlegeuse

lucanus elaphus emergence time?

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hello!

so i have a bunch of lucanus elaphus that've successfully pupated except the thing is, they pupated back in the fall and have yet to emerge to the surface. i check on them periodically and they're all clearly still alive, but i'm wondering if this is normal/if i should be concerned? i'm a little worried i'll miss their emergence since i occasionally travel, but usually not more than a week. how long can they survive without food after they first surface?

thanks.

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I don't have the answer to this question, but I can tell you that I had a similar concern with my D. tityus because I also travel for work. When you leave for work you can just leave a couple/few (depending on your number of beetles) open beetle jellies on the surface and you'll be good to go. The jellies don't dry up as long as the humidity in your container is decent, and I've never had the stuff mold. It'll definitely last the week if it doesn't get eaten.

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insects emerging from pupal stage usually do have enough nutrient in their body to use up to survive several weeks to months even without new food. Are you sure they pupated in fall, and still not have emerged? Pupal stage does not take several months, but just a month or a month and a half at most. Have you seen the actual "pupa(e)?" or are you saying they have pupated based on the pupal cell alone? I think it is either still in prepupal stage (as in form of larva(e)) or very recently pupated (after a while since pupal cell is constructed).

It takes time for a fresh adult beetles to start feed after they emerge out of pupae. Don't worry that it will starve to death. If you are worried about it, just check occasionally (once a week or so) and try feed jellies as PowerHobo says. If you don't have enough jellies, and don't want to waste it, just place a small piece of apple, bananas, or other fruits when you go out of town, and pick it up once you are returned home.

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sorry, was gone for the week but thanks for your responses guys!

i think i'll order some more jellies and do as ratmosphere suggests.

@jkim, they definitely pupated, and subsequently eclosed in the fall because a bunch of them built their pupal cells such that the pupae were visible through the container walls, and sometime during the late fall, the pupae were no longer present but the shed pupal casing was. i can definitively confirm that they're adults and have been for awhile now, since i gently removed the solidified dirt from their containers to check on them before leaving and all of them are adult beetles that're alive and moving. they just haven't come up to the surface at all.

but yeah, i really appreciate the reassurance. i guess i'll sit tight for a while longer and wait for them to come up of their own accord. 

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Yes, that is totally normal for Lucanus, it's called diapause. Most scarabs will emerge to the surface soon after elcosing but Lucanus will stay in its pupal cell until its the right time of the season to emerge. Generally that is around late May, June. I currently also have many adult Lucanus beetles in their pupal cells in diapause. So as Ratmosphere says "Just leave em be bro". They will eventually emerge from their pupal cells and then you can feed them. Have fun!

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