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Dak.the.bug

Sales of A.dichotoma in the US?

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Hey folks. 

So I am posting this to see if this is legal. I have noticed that there are a rather large number of facebook "beetle breeders" who are selling A.dichotoma, which admittedly is the first horned beetle I ever saw and got me interested in beetles in general. 

Considering how popular they are, and to my understanding they are pretty common, it strikes me as odd that some of the bigger bug suppliers in the US do not have them. I would have surely thought that Bugsincyberspace or even someone on here would have tried to sell them if they were legal, but I also know how hard it is to get exotic species shipped to the US. 

So what do you guys think? Is it legal if it is legitimate sales of A.dichotoma? 

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Nope. Not legal. You need a permit to keep them too. If you are not hardcore just stick to native species. Granti gets to the same size so what’s the point? 

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Correct: "..if they were captive bred in the US they are still illegal " - I hear people try to use this line to sell/own exotics.

..but not ALL exotics are illegal

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Let me add more to what two above has said:

Just because a particular beetle is hatched and reared in the U.S., does not make it NATIVE INSECT, especially when kept indoor by a person on purpose. If they are somehow introduced naturally, unintended, and reproduced in the U.S., they can be considered as "introduced species," but I haven't heard anything like that in case of scarab beetles in the U.S. Such things happening in Japan, has been a problem to agriculture they got more more and more pests to deal with... (messed up)

Parents of those offspring were illegally brought in, so all their offspring are illegal as well. Origin of those offspring matters greatly.

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Some of the exotic coleopteral exceptions include:
Scarabaeinae (Dung Beetles, as long as they are not from a country with a history of "Hand, foot, and mouth disease")
insectivorous beetles like Carabidae (Ground Beetles, Tiger Beetles)
and the three aforementioned species of Goliathus.
 

Actually JKim, one Scarabaeidae that much of the U.S. is having trouble with is Popillia japonica - "Japanese Beetles", they have not made it to Louisiana yet.

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Thanks for the responses everyone. I had a sneaking suspicion that they were not legal, but just had to ask since I see many breeders on Facebook openly selling A.dichotoma and people mentioning where they bought theirs from in the captions whenever they upload pictures of them. I thought it was super odd when I kind of confronted one of the sellers asking them how they were able to sell these beetles and got this whole run around of "well most beetles aren't legal in the US" and then their "explanation" never adequately answered my initial question of legality of the beetles.

I have always wanted A.dichotoma, I grew up with many shows depicting the Japanese rhinoceros beetle in some way shape or form; Medabots, Digimon, Pokemon, etc so I have always been super into that beetle as it is the first horned beetle I remember seeing. I would never try to buy a living creature that is illegal, and would make sure that if I do purchase one it is 100% legal. Maybe I can own some some day once I acquire the proper permits from APHIS? 

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"Well most beetles aren't legal in the US". Yea, that seems to be a common thing said just to make a quick buck putting others in a bad predicament.  Even though the chances of getting caught are low it is never worth the risk. 

 

Acquiring the proper paperwork is extremely hard, many people have tried to no avail. If you don't work in a museum or educational program its difficult.

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Beetle-Experience wrote:
Some of the exotic coleopteral exceptions include:
Scarabaeinae (Dung Beetles, as long as they are not from a country with a history of "Hand, foot, and mouth disease")


And this exception would presumably include the giant metallic South American species such as the blue Phanaeus lancifer and green P. ensifer (which, although they are true dung beetles of the tribe Phanaeini, are actually carrion scavengers)?

insectivorous beetles like Carabidae (Ground Beetles, Tiger Beetles)

Including large African genera such as Mantichora and Anthia?  I've seen both of these in zoos and museums a couple of times (many years ago), though I've not heard of any successful captive breeding of either of them.

and the three aforementioned species of Goliathus.

I assume that at least part of the reason why Goliathus was de-regulated in the US is because, almost uniquely among cetoniine scarabs, the larvae of this genus are carnivorous rather than herbivorous?  Certainly, all that I have ever read about captive breeding efforts with these beetles clearly indicates that they simply cannot survive without a specialized, very high protein diet.  Without this, the larvae fail to develop.  While they will readily accept protein-rich food pellets in captivity, it is strongly suspected (because of dietary requirements, behavior, and certain morphological characteristics) that in nature, the larvae of Goliathus feed primarily on the larvae of other beetles - quite possibly those of Melolonthinae ("June" beetles), or of smaller Cetoniinae (e.g. - Eudicella, StephanorrhinaPachnoda).

Incidentally, Goliathus is not completely unique in being a predatory cetoniine - captive breeding has shown that the larvae of its closest relatives, Argyrophegges, Fornasinius and Hegemus (all of which are also Afrotropical) also have such dietary requirements (although, as is the case with Goliathus, exactly what they prey on in the wild is not currently known).  An interesting taxonomic paper on Fornasinius was recently published - LINK.  I note that many European coleopterists commonly refer to Fornasinius (and related genera within the subtribe Goliathina) as "Goliath beetles"; I myself consider only the genus Goliathus to be true Goliath beetles, but that's just my preference.  I've also sometimes heard Strategus, Dynastes, and various other Dynastinae (Rhino beetles) referred to as "Elephant beetles", but I only call Rhino beetles Elephant beetles if they're actually in the genus Megasoma.

In the US, there is at least one genus of cetoniine scarabs that are known to be carnivorous rather than herbivorous - Cremastocheilus.  They are associated with ant nests, and adults are known to feed on ant larvae.  It seems that the larvae of Cremastocheilus may also feed on ant larvae / pupae.  Possibly, these beetles produce an odor that causes the ants to not recognize them as strangers within their colonies.  I've only ever encountered one specimen of this unusual genus (in Arizona), but they are many species found across the US, and they are not uncommon.  Each Cremastocheilus species is specialized to a particular host species of ant.

Actually JKim, one Scarabaeidae that much of the U.S. is having trouble with is Popillia japonica - "Japanese Beetles", they have not made it to Louisiana yet.

P. japonica has been in the US for over 100 years now.  Clearly, there is some environmental factor that prevents it from extending its range beyond the eastern third of the country.  It seems that this species has never been able to spread very far west of the Mississippi River.  It may be that as you go toward the Great Plains, the decreased amount of rainfall simply isn't adequate for them, or the summers are too hot and dry.

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54 minutes ago, Goliathus said:

Including large African genera such as Mantichora and Anthia?  I've seen both of these in zoos and museums a couple of times (many years ago), though I've not heard of any successful captive breeding of either of them.

Anthia have been bred successfully by @wizentrop, as seen in this thread. It's challenging, and larval output is naturally quite low, but if enough effort were put in one could theoretically establish a colony in captivity over several years. 

Mantichora have not been successfully bred as far as I know, tiger beetles in general are quite picky in captivity, and I hear the bottleneck with Mantichora is getting larvae to pupate, they probably need some sort of seasonal cues to do so. 

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I am/was hoping to find more literature and breeding reports on things like Argyrophegges, Fornasinius and Hegemus to try to help my case for also allowing these species in the U.S. I have talked to a few breeders but need more concrete evidence.

I have also been searching for a reputable source for some of the South American Scarabaeinae.. there is a whole bunch of interesting species like Phanaeus lancifer ! Most of the people I have found deal in heavily in Lepidoptera.

 

 

19 hours ago, Goliathus said:

 

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9 minutes ago, Beetle-Experience said:

I am/was hoping to find more literature and breeding reports on things like Argyrophegges, Fornasinius and Hegemus to try to help my case for also allowing these species in the U.S. I have talked to a few breeders but need more concrete evidence.

I have also been searching for a reputable source for some of the South American Scarabaeinae.. there is a whole bunch of interesting species like Phanaeus lancifer ! Most of the people I have found deal in heavily in Lepidoptera.

 

 

 

I'd imagine you have a strong connection to beetle breeders in Japan, but do you happen to know people who breed them in Europe? It seems like flower beetles are much more popular in Europe, but I have never seen anyone post about those species in the international pages. I wish you great luck, thank you for your great contribution so far to the hobby!

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I am/was hoping to find more literature and breeding reports on things like Argyrophegges, Fornasinius and Hegemus to try to help my case for also allowing these species in the U.S. I have talked to a few breeders but need more concrete evidence.

Fornasinius fornasini and Hegemus pluto have both been bred in captivity by hobbyists in Asia and Europe, using the same methods as for Goliathus.  I've not heard anything about the other species in the two former genera being kept in captivity, though.  For some of them, this may simply be due to the difficulty of obtaining live specimens (e.g., Fornasinius aureosparsus).  I've heard less regarding Argyrophegges kolbei, though Benjamin Harink says a few words about itA. kolbei is the only member of its genus, and was once classified as a species of Goliathus, and indeed, it's probably morphologically closer to Goliathus than Fornasinius and HegemusA. kolbei is quite common in parts of Tanzania.

I have also been searching for a reputable source for some of the South American Scarabaeinae.. there is a whole bunch of interesting species like Phanaeus lancifer ! Most of the people I have found deal in heavily in Lepidoptera.

While the beetle fauna of the South American tropics is tremendously diverse and includes a huge number of large and colorful species, the demand for Neotropical Lepidoptera (as both dried specimens, and as live pupae for butterfly houses) is much greater, and many butterfly farms have been set up down there to supply this market.  For Phanaeus lancifer, possibly the best countries in which to try to find a source would be French Guiana and Suriname.  Incidentally, Phanaeus lancifer has been through some taxonomic changes over the years, and you'll often still see it called Coprophanaeus or Megaphanaeus.

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On 6/19/2020 at 9:26 PM, JunkaiWangisme said:

Nope. Not legal. You need a permit to keep them too. If you are not hardcore just stick to native species. Granti gets to the same size so what’s the point? 

Actually, the native Dynastes, Lucanus, and many of the other common pet species also require a permit. The main difference is that the permits for native species are usually easier to acquire than the permits to own an exotic, even if they have the same requirements at the various stages in their life cycle. 

On 6/23/2020 at 10:57 PM, Beetle-Experience said:

Some of the exotic coleopteral exceptions include:
Scarabaeinae (Dung Beetles, as long as they are not from a country with a history of "Hand, foot, and mouth disease")
insectivorous beetles like Carabidae (Ground Beetles, Tiger Beetles)
and the three aforementioned species of Goliathus.
 

Actually JKim, one Scarabaeidae that much of the U.S. is having trouble with is Popillia japonica - "Japanese Beetles", they have not made it to Louisiana yet.

Unfortunately, I have been told by the USDA Senior Entomologist that all of those group are also regulated (dung beetles fall under strict Veterinary Service regulations), except for the three Goliathus. Those three Goliathus are practically the only members of Insecta that can be imported without a PPQ 526 permit, at least probably the only ones that would interest hobbyists. 

On 6/26/2020 at 10:18 AM, Ratmosphere said:

"Well most beetles aren't legal in the US". Yea, that seems to be a common thing said just to make a quick buck putting others in a bad predicament.  Even though the chances of getting caught are low it is never worth the risk. 

 

Acquiring the proper paperwork is extremely hard, many people have tried to no avail. If you don't work in a museum or educational program its difficult.

The necessary permit is the PPQ 526, and it is free to apply for. I hold several valid permits, and I am allowed to own a number of species of exotic millipedes and regulated native beetles. I am in the process of acquiring the permit to own Cyclommatus metallifer that was captive-bred in the US at a local museum. Because this species does not require living plant matter at any point and because I am getting a particular bloodline that has been in the US for multiple generations (as a museum volunteer, I have helped rear some of them), I have been told that the permit will likely be granted. 

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1 hour ago, The Mantis Menagerie said:

I am in the process of acquiring the permit to own Cyclommatus metallifer that was captive-bred in the US at a local museum. Because this species does not require living plant matter at any point and because I am getting a particular bloodline that has been in the US for multiple generations (as a museum volunteer, I have helped rear some of them), I have been told that the permit will likely be granted. 

This is fantastic information. As you know I also have permits for a variety of millipedes and am working to get permitted for beetles as well, so this is super helpful.

Thanks,

Arthroverts

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16 hours ago, The Mantis Menagerie said:

Actually, the native Dynastes, Lucanus, and many of the other common pet species also require a permit. The main difference is that the permits for native species are usually easier to acquire than the permits to own an exotic, even if they have the same requirements at the various stages in their life cycle. 

Unfortunately, I have been told by the USDA Senior Entomologist that all of those group are also regulated (dung beetles fall under strict Veterinary Service regulations), except for the three Goliathus. Those three Goliathus are practically the only members of Insecta that can be imported without a PPQ 526 permit, at least probably the only ones that would interest hobbyists. 

The necessary permit is the PPQ 526, and it is free to apply for. I hold several valid permits, and I am allowed to own a number of species of exotic millipedes and regulated native beetles. I am in the process of acquiring the permit to own Cyclommatus metallifer that was captive-bred in the US at a local museum. Because this species does not require living plant matter at any point and because I am getting a particular bloodline that has been in the US for multiple generations (as a museum volunteer, I have helped rear some of them), I have been told that the permit will likely be granted. 

That's dope. Let us know how that plays out! 

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19 hours ago, The Mantis Menagerie said:

(dung beetles fall under strict Veterinary Service regulations),

I had done research on importing Scarabaeinae (Dung Beetles) with several emails and calls to APHIS/FWS and USDA Veterinary Services, and as I mentioned earlier, all Scarabaeinae are ok to import (with FWS license) as long as they are not from a country with a history of "Hand, foot, and mouth disease". This came from the head of USDA Veterinary Services and the head entomologist at APHIS/PPQ. Any dung beetle native to the US is free to move about without permits. Anything else that doesn't come from the list of countries with "hoof and mouth" and is imported under FWS is free to move after it is imported (like tarantulas).

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