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Lucanus Elaphus - speed up growth rate

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I am curious as to whether or not there are any things I can do extra to speed up the growth rate of my Lucanus Elaphus. Right now they’re kept at 70-72 degrees, are eating decently woody flake soil, soil is moist and humid but not wet and muddy at all. Just curious is there is anything else to do for pure speed of development. I’m not as concerned about as big as possible - but of course do not want anything unhealthy. In addition, what were your time frame experiences? I’ve read some people have them go from eggs to adult in 1 year and I’ve heard of others have L3 larvae for 2 years. Thanks! 

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I have heard that during the winter, if you can keep them at temps closer to around 60, they seem to do better. I have only bred L elaphus a few years and have never tried it but this year I put the larvae in the garage which gets pretty cold at night during the winter. They seem to be doing well but it's too early to tell, so I won't know until later. 

Here is a link to a experienced breeder who was talking about this, as well diapause in the frig which I have never tried either.

http://insectnet.proboards.com/thread/3047/method-breeding-lucanus-species#ixzz4QOuvpQWv

 

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In general, not particular to L. elaphus, if you keep them in just little warmer, that would speed up the growth rate and let them emerge sooner. Feeding them more nutritious substrate can also raise the development much more. But going against the regular time frame is not very normal, of course, and may cause problem later. Those beetles emerged in shorter amount of time than regular time frame (here, I meant more than just couple months of differences) tend to die earlier than normal ones. Not all, but some...

Also, the Lucanus rearing guide that @Garin has linked for you is the very general rearing guide for Lucanus spp that requires low-temperature rearing, such as for Lucanus maculifemoratus, L. dybowskyi, etc. None of US species, as far as I know, requires low-temperature rearing. Not even L. mazama, which occurs in higher elevation in Arizona. If you keep them in ranges of 75-80˚F for those L. maculifemoratus or L. dybowskyi group, the larvae CANNOT survive and just die out of hyperthermia, which is quite different from US species.

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Did anyone try rearing them in myceliated subs? I know Pleurotus sp (oyster mushrooms and related species) generally work fine for many Dorcus larvae and a few of the larger Prosopocoilus species' (eg confucius & giraffa) and Trametes sp. (turkeytail mushrooms and related species) and Ganoderma sp. mycelium work okay for Mesotopus and Allotopus larvae. Most people know of mycelium as being good for rearing larger beetles, but in my experience most larvae grown under the right temperature conditions for the larvae AND the mycelium tend to grow faster than those raised under normal semi-fermented substrates used for rearing Lucanidae larvae under similar temperature environments. Perhaps there's a good matching mycelium species for L. elaphus?

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On 1/27/2020 at 11:04 PM, KevinD said:

Did anyone try rearing them in myceliated subs? I know Pleurotus sp (oyster mushrooms and related species) generally work fine for many Dorcus larvae and a few of the larger Prosopocoilus species' (eg confucius & giraffa) and Trametes sp. (turkeytail mushrooms and related species) and Ganoderma sp. mycelium work okay for Mesotopus and Allotopus larvae. Most people know of mycelium as being good for rearing larger beetles, but in my experience most larvae grown under the right temperature conditions for the larvae AND the mycelium tend to grow faster than those raised under normal semi-fermented substrates used for rearing Lucanidae larvae under similar temperature environments. Perhaps there's a good matching mycelium species for L. elaphus?

When you said "myceliated subs," are you referring to kinishi (Japanese term) bottles? or are you referring to substrate mixed with kinishi (not inoculated, just mixed. consider kinishi here as supplementary, while substrate is main dish). There are people using the left over for kinishi from rearing larvae mix into substrate to hoping to feed nutrition to larvae...

Yes, you are correct that kinishi fed larvae develops quicker and emerge earlier than those fed with regular fermented substrate. Lucanus spp. such as L. cervus, L. maculifemoratus, L. dybowski are known to develop well on turkeytail. Many works are done and proven by many beetle enthusiasts in Japan, Korea... However, I haven't really heard of any info for L. elaphus. Not many works are done yet, and not even sure how many people even rear L. elaphus in kinishi. I would try contact someone in Japan to figure that out.

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