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Dynastes


JCK206
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That will do for a young L2 D.h.h for a month or so, then they will need a bigger container. They can be kept together without problems.

 

Thanks Matt....Gonna move them all to 15 gallon containers down the line. I have 2 male / 2 female. I prefer to keep them separate as I'm going for size, but I may do 2 together as I have read that they will emerge at different times if kept separately.

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Thanks Matt....Gonna move them all to 15 gallon containers down the line. I have 2 male / 2 female. I prefer to keep them separate as I'm going for size, but I may do 2 together as I have read that they will emerge at different times if kept separately.

 

If you keep them apart then there is a risk that the males will spend a much longer time in the L3 stage than the females, I have had separated male larvae of Dynastes hercules pupate 18 months later than their female siblings. The suggestion is that the female larvae release a pheremone when pupating that stimulates nearby male larvae to pupate as well if they are large enough. This way there is a good chance that the females will find a mate easily when they emerge. I tend to keep at least some male Dynastes larvae in with the females so as to try to ensure I will have a pair to breed for the next generation.

 

If I were you I would keep all the larvae together this time round. You may end up with smaller males but you have a better chance of a pairing at the end of it. Dynastes hercules is not difficult to get to breed provided you set the laying tank up right, and its easier to try for a big male adult when you have 50 or more larvae to play with rather than 4.

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They can be kept together without problems.

I find it interesting how vastly experiences differ among keepers in the cannibalism area. I know a few people who claim Megasoma cannibalize which sounds impossible while others claim very aggressive species don't. I'm betting conditions are paramount but it's strange people have experiences that differ and even reverse when a number of different species are kept but supposedly stay the same for each person.

I know I've published information quite a few times over the years on the pheromones that cause larvae to pupate together when kept in the same substrate (not under all circumstances and relative to species and growth) but do you have another source for that information?

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I know I've published information quite a few times over the years on the pheromones that cause larvae to pupate together when kept in the same substrate (not under all circumstances and relative to species and growth) but do you have another source for that information?

 

The Dynastes comments are based on my own personal experience of rearing D.h.lychi. Looking at it objectively, from a beetle point of view I think it is one of two alternative strateies adopted by the males of the species to raise the chance of a them mating sucessfully, I can expand on that if needed.

 

A friend of mine did a Phd working on the Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus including looking at some of the chemicals produced by the adults, larvae and the wood decay fungi. She found that even different aged cohorts of larvae could be induced to pupate at the same time if reared together, stongly suggesting chemical cues are used as a pupation trigger. Next time I see here I'll ask if this observation is published in a paper or buried in the depths of her thesis.

 

Wow, I didn't realize that the males would pupate that much longer! So, you suggest that I put all 4 into one container? At what point should I do that, and how large should the container be? I have read to use about 60 liters for one.

 

I happily rear up to 6 Dynastes larvae in a tub 50 x 30 x 30 cm filled 3/4 of the way full of substrate, so that equates to about 32-33l of substrate - I've got 6 larvae of another Dynastes species currently pupating in one such tank now - 3 males and 3 females. Put them in the tub when they get to middle sized L3.

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This link was were I was getting my info. What you all think?

 

http://www.naturalworlds.org/scarabaeidae/manual/hercules/Dynastes_hercules_breeding_3.htm

 

This info is fine, pretty similar to what I was saying. About the only thing I havn't done is provide my larvae with a layer of "non-substate" potting soil in the bottom of the container to provide a pupation area, all my larvae have happily pupaded in the rearing substrate.

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This info is fine, pretty similar to what I was saying. About the only thing I havn't done is provide my larvae with a layer of "non-substate" potting soil in the bottom of the container to provide a pupation area, all my larvae have happily pupaded in the rearing substrate.

 

Yes, it is very similar to what you were saying. Well, that's cool, one extra expense that I don't have to make! Thanks!

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The Dynastes comments are based on my own personal experience of rearing D.h.lychi. Looking at it objectively, from a beetle point of view I think it is one of two alternative strateies adopted by the males of the species to raise the chance of a them mating sucessfully, I can expand on that if needed.

I wouldn't be surprised if the phenomenon were discussed and researched 50 years ago but I haven't seen anything on it so I wondered if you knew of something pre 2000, especially in scientific literature. Also, I'm curious if there are any details on the exact chemical at work. I would guess it's just the pupation signal and it's certainly not airborne.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the phenomenon were discussed and researched 50 years ago but I haven't seen anything on it so I wondered if you knew of something pre 2000, especially in scientific literature. Also, I'm curious if there are any details on the exact chemical at work. I would guess it's just the pupation signal and it's certainly not airborne.

 

Not sure if the chemical responsible for this was identified, but chemical signalling does seem to play a big part in the ecology of a lot of these sorts of beetles. In Lucanus cervus both the adults and larvae produce the same chemical volatiles as the wood decay fungus. At low levels this acts as an oviposition cue for female beetles and helps explain why the presence of larvae or well galleried "staggy" wood encourages the female to lay. However, abouve a certain level the same chemical acts as an deterrent to laying, I presume the message here is "this stump is full up".

 

Phd extract - Harvey 2006

 

The volatiles given off by the breeding site seem to be critical in determining whether the female lays her eggs or not. Larvae produce longifolene, which, in large quantities, seems to act as an oviposition deterrent (Hilker, 1989). Since many females lay their eggs in an already occupied stump, this ensures that there will be sufficient resources to see the larvae through their development. The same chemical is also produced by the female beetle as an attractant to males. This means that, prior to the emergence of females, males may be attracted to stumps which contain females, ensuring that in such a short mating season, when the adult does not feed, time is not wasted in securing mates.

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how long has it been l2 for do you know??

 

I don't know. When I ordered them it said L1/L2. I received them on 9/24/12 and the photo above was taken on 10/17/12. This is my first run with beetles, so I'm not exactly sure how you tell. I am assuming that they moult in between stages?

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