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Boris The Beetle

Making and introducing larvae to kinshi

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I am making some kinshi bottles right now using hardwood sawdust and Pleurotus ostreatus (liquid culture to rye grain to sawdust/bran). I will be using PP5 32oz deli containers with syringe filters (or just micropore tape) in the lids for air exchange.

Does anyone know how long after full colonization of wood substrate I have to wait before I can add larvae? From my understanding, the mycelium needs time to break down the wood lignin but I'm not sure how long this takes. I'm planning to use this kinshi for various Dorcus species (alcides, antaeus, and curvidens).

Additionally, if I let the mycelium go on forever without fruiting, would the sawdust eventually reach a point of degradation that would be suitable for megasoma/dynastes? 

I attached photos of some bags I have colonizing. The strain I have is very aggressive. A 1 quart jar of rye berries fully colonized after 4 days with a 1 tablespoon grain-to-grain transfer. The 5lb bags are around 65% colonized right now. I have 2 more jars of rye grain that I will use to colonize more jars as well as some 32oz tubs of sawdust/bran. 

 

Edit: I forgot to mention these bags are for us, not the beetles. Going to gift the bags to family members as "grow your own mushroom" kits haha Though I did find a report online of someone breaking up the fully colonized bags and filling bottles with already colonized sawdust.

IMG_20200319_233153.jpg

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On 3/20/2020 at 12:33 PM, Boris The Beetle said:

Does anyone know how long after full colonization of wood substrate I have to wait before I can add larvae? From my understanding, the mycelium needs time to break down the wood lignin but I'm not sure how long this takes. I'm planning to use this kinshi for various Dorcus species (alcides, antaeus, and curvidens).

Once it is fully colonized (when sawdust become white entirely (not just partially), it is ready to be used. Your understanding is slightly wrong. The larvae do not feed on mycelium itself. they feed on substrate that has mycelium. Therefore, if the woods are completely break down, mycelium won't colonize anymore. Why not? Because completely broken down woods do not have ANY nutrients for mycelium to continue to colonize. SO once colonization is completed, you can add larvae into your new kinishi.

On 3/20/2020 at 12:33 PM, Boris The Beetle said:

Additionally, if I let the mycelium go on forever without fruiting, would the sawdust eventually reach a point of degradation that would be suitable for megasoma/dynastes? 

YOU MUST AVOID IT TO BE FRUITED! THAT'S NO-NO!! Fruit, the mushroom that we know of, is containing most of nutrients of entire colonization, meaning your kinishi no longer has full of nutrients for your larvae. As soon as you see mushroom on your kinishi, cut it off and remove it.

And an answer to your original question, it is rather unworthy to feed your rhinoceros beetles. Once it is completely degraded, meaning no nutrition left over, why would you feed a junk food? Wouldn't you want a rather larger (or at least well developed) beetles than poorly fed beetles? You would rather want to mix up a portion of still-active kinishi to the substrate your rhinoceros beetle larvae are already feeding on. HOWEVER, many studies have already been done that no kinishi actually do anything for the rhinoceros beetles, meaning it is completely a waste of time.

 

One thing I want to mention regarding to your kinishi you are working on. The Kinishi commercially available in Japanese beetle stores are different from the kinishi you can make from the mycelium from mushroom stores. The commercial ones used for beetles can be considered as a variation of species. It is not a pure species of mushroom, it is a GMO fabricated for beetle rearing. So the result of your production may not be as good as the commercial ones even if colonization is very successful. Good luck with it! You are making one step forward for the beetle rearing hobby in the United States. I've seen couple friends of mine in the States has successfully colonized it and used it. 

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