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  1. These are so interesting and beautiful. I’m very glad you’re working with them. What are Some of their behaviors? Do they stay under cover most of the time? Do they climb? Are they active at any Particular time of day? Such great beetles.
  2. holy moly those look WONDERFUL!! Best of luck Learning how to keep them, they’re a terrific looking beetle.
  3. Different Eleodes species have their own quirks, and some are easier than others. My basic arid Eleodes breeding setup is deep substrate (4 to 7 inches, depending on the size of the group and enclosure) of 50/50 sand/cocofiber, with a handful of decaying leaves and wood bits mixed in. A vertical humidity gradient is usually helpful. Lately I’ve been experimenting with a layer of packed damp cocofiber at the very bottom of the enclosure. this is a starting point for me and I tweak conditions as I learn new things about whatever I’m trying to keep.
  4. My group has become very active recently, eating more, moving around more, and mating. They definitely enjoy fungus, especially softer white shelf fungus. Mine also nibble at summer squash. Their enclosure is woody and misted Weekly, rather than a desert setup.
  5. Thanks for this information! I'm very sorry about your AC issue and losing so many animals. I can try planting grass seed on the surface to see if they enjoy that 🙂
  6. @JKim, what substrate are you rearing your larvae in? And are they living communally? (I’m beginning a Dyscinetus project, and would like any advice if I can produce larvae. Thanks!
  7. Update: Beetles have taken to the new fresh bracket that I placed in to give an alternative to the bracket from Feb. that was growing mold. I’ve set it into a dry corner of the enclosure and the mold appears to be fading. however, on the bottom stump of the moldy fungus, many beetles are burrowing into it. sometimes beetles graze the surface. Other times they burrow deep into the bracket. Why? Is the burrowing to create egg chambers? just recording my observations as time goes by in case they become helpful in the future. photos below: 1. beetles grazing the surface edge of a fresh bracket while the moldy bracket off to the side is ignored... 2. ... except for under the stump of the moldy fungus all this burrowing is going on with 3 beetles packed into one of the holes.
  8. Update: Too dry? Too moist? Who knows? After a year all original beetles remain alive. Honestly they seem able to adapt and deal with many environmental conditions, but how to induce egg laying remains a challenge. Either I haven’t yet cracked the code, or the brackets contain larvae that I can’t see. My local weather turned very hot and very dry. Worried about these beetles, I believe I over-misted them. I noticed this week they have left the new, fresher fungus they were enthusiastic about in February, and returned to the older, cruddier fungus from last year. Inspection revealed a kind of mold or something growing on the newer fungus, I assume a hazard from too much moisture. I hiked out to the source tree, retrieved another fresh fungus bracket, and will allow the extra moisture to dry a bit. Photo: the fluffy pale growth that appeared after over-misting.
  9. So things seemed to be lagging the last couple months. It became hard to locate the beetles in the enclosure. The soft brackets were getting funky, the hard brackets were frequently dry and rarely had beetles on them. I cracked open the edges of a couple more pieces and still no sign of larvae inside. It was hard to know how to keep the humidity and I felt maybe something was off. so I decided to freshen the whole thing up. I tidied up the enclosure, and moved the moss to one side to keep one half consistently humid. Added a little dry leaf litter. most importantly I hiked out to the source tree and brought home a fresh bracket. This seemed to be what they were waiting for. The next day all the beetles had found the new bracket and nibbled the surface And it looks to me like mating in the upper left of the below pic It’s been about 10 months with no fatalities. My hopes are still high that I can crack the egg laying code?
  10. Even news of normal downtime is interesting to me 😊. Thank you for sharing and archiving the process here. I hope you get another brood!
  11. Any further updates on this successful project? 🙂
  12. Glad this thread was revived, so i could reply. These really gotta be among the most special to me. Mostly because of the ways they've been part of my home and life, forming good memories and emotional connections.
  13. Update: After about 8 months, the majority of these Phellopsis (perhaps all?) appear to be healthy. I began this project with 8 adults collected in May-June 2019. They continue to feed/burrow on multiple species of shelf fungus. The softer ones have been gnawed to dust. I keep them on a vertical humidity gradient — I keep the thin bottom layer of leaves/wood/moss slightly damp, and let the pile of brackets above become more dry. They move around the enclosure a lot, mostly at night. They’re incredibly shy, I’ve basically never directly observed them eating or walking because simply the act of removing the lid causes them to tuck and freeze for extended periods of time. I've seen no mating, egg laying, or larvae. Larvae are likely to be in the bracket interiors. I’ve broken open a couple pieces but so far haven’t seen any definitive larval tunnels. Obviously I don't want to rough them up too much, so I'm trying to be patient. Photos below: - Adult just hanging out on a dry piece of moss - Powdery remains of one if the older/softer brackets - Individual wedged into a crack on a harder bracket - The approximately 12-inch wide enclosure - Individual burrowed more deeply, head first, into a bracket
  14. Hi - I thought I’d update about this fun Allobates project. At 7+ months, most of the beetles I collected remain alive and active, mostly at night. They cluster together under wood pieces or burrowed into wood during the day. i keep the enclosure humid (damp substrate, low ventilation) but not soaked. I keep them supplied with very old well-decomposed wood (soft, white, and easily broken apart by hand). Wood remains Slightly damp on the outside due to the humid enclosure, but internally it’s mostly dry. adults constantly chew the wood. As Noted above, I don’t know whether they’re eating it. When I set out grain based foods they are gone in the morning. However the enclosure contains stray isopods that may be eating it. breaking apart the wood shows larvae living inside. I find only one larva per chunk, so I suspect cannibalism. I’m trying to alleviate this by adding lots more wood. Pictures below show an adult wandering at night, a small larva, and a large larva.
  15. Hello - here's an update on this fun and interesting project. The L2-ish larvae I originally collected in May 2018 emerged as adults in March 2019 (about 10 months). Of the original 20 larvae, I estimate 9 or 10 survived to adulthood. This 50% mortality was maybe expected, because i did a lot of handling and messing around with them trying to get their enclosure set up and just poking around to see what was happening with them. I also badly neglected their substrate in the final months. i didn't prepare enough material to replace the substrate before the winter was over. Whatever survived basically did so on frass for the last couple months. The new adults were dead by mid-summer 2019. I let the enclosure sit undisturbed, and finally saw a few grubs through the clear plastic sides in September 2019. Huzzah! Several new adults have now begun to emerge in January 2020 (about 6 - 7 months). This is my first experience collecting a local native beetle species, educating myself about its needs, and successfully running a breeding project. Shout out to the helpful folks here who have helped me along the way with good advice and encouragement. Notes: - Adults spend lots of time out of sight under the substrate surface. I guess they're called "Hermit" beetles for a reason. - My adults prefer apple. I've tried pear, banana, and peach. Apple is what gets most of their attention. - My adults don't seem to feed frequently – certainly not as frequently as Gymnetis thula, which spend hours-long stretches on fruit. Perhaps Osmoderma are more active at night when i miss them? - As I was warned, pupal cells have thin, fragile walls. A few times (mostly during substrate changes) I've broken the cells and the larvae eventually eclosed while exposed on the surface. Often there were no ill effects, but a couple of these exposed eclosures resulted in mis-shapen elytra.
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