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Does anyone here find or breed any Megasoma?


Jordan
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I've kept them in the past but have never had success getting the females to produce any eggs. That being said it was years ago when I caught them (they were collected in Nogales AZ. using a 15 watt black light collecting light) and I was mostly just keeping them for fun with no real intention of culturing them.

 

I am however planning a trip down to Southern AZ. for next summer to do some serious collecting. No more 15 watt black lights! I'm going to be bringing my 250 watt mercury vapor collecting light and portable generator. Planning on embarking either late July or early August for the beginning of the rainy season. Should be able to get a vast array of moths for my dead collection and a multitude of new coleopteran stock for culture. Not to mention all the other fantastic invert life Southern AZ. has to offer for "bug nuts" like us!

 

I know this doesn't help you right now, but I just wanted to let you know I might be able to help you out late next summer :lol:

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im planning to go AZ in 2 years... maybe catch some stags, rhinos, megasta, water bugs, tiger beetles... is there any place with lots of beetle??? also what do i need for light collecting?

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Hardshell, there are many places with good beetle populations and diversity in AZ. Southern Arizona is widely considered the "hot spot" (no pun intended!) for insect collecting. Timing is the most critical part of collecting there though. The rainy season is the best time to collect most species. This usually takes place from late July through late August (you get occasional "early birds" and "late bloomers" every year though). Every year is different however. Arizona has been in quite a bad drought for the past several years with the rainy season not lasting as long, and not being as intense. I've never seen heavier rainfall than in Southern Arizona during the monsoons, not even Southern Florida can come close to the torrential downpour! Last year however proved to be quite productive for several friends of mine, with the rains being long lasting and fairly consistent. So hopefully next year will prove to be productive. Just make sure you check the weather reports for a week or two prior to departure!

 

My favorite place in Southern AZ to collect is Nogales. This area has however turned into the "wild west" in recent years with drug runners and illegal immigrants causing quite a lot of problems for the town. I personally wouldn't even consider going down there to collect without my .38 revolver! However this is not to scare you, it is simply to let you know that there's some pretty bad stuff that goes on down there, but if you're with a group of people and at least one of them knows the area you should be able to avoid danger. In my opinion the invertebrate and reptile diversity down there makes any risks worth it!

 

Also, in Central Arizona is the town of Payson. If you're heading down to Arizona to do collecting you cant pass up Payson! This is the best spot to collect Dynastes granti in the country! There are many reports of collectors acquiring 50+ granti in a single night! 10-20 is more typical though, but that's still a great haul!

 

As far as light collecting goes, there's many different methods. The use of a 15 or similar watt black light is a tried and true method. It has been used for years and years with great success. This method isn't without it's drawbacks though. The black light tubes are only able to throw "light" a small distance, and they're very "one dimensional" in terms of the spectrum they produce. Not all insects are attracted to the same spectrum's of light, black light for example produces light in the UV spectrum. So it will only bring in species that are attracted to that spectrum, and other species will ignore it entirely. The true "end all be all" light for collecting is the mercury vapor bulb. These bulbs have an -extremely- strong light source and have a wider color spectrum than the black light while also producing ultraviolet light. In short, the mercury vapor bulb will bring in all the same bugs (in much larger quantities) as the blacklight, but will also bring in a vast multitude of other species not attracted to UV. Basically if a bug is attracted to any kind of light, it'll come to mercury vapor. This method is also not without it's drawbacks. The units are very expensive ($250-300) and require the use of a generator (also very expensive) if a plug in isn't available. The type of light you use while collecting depends on how much money you want to spend and how often you plan on light collecting. If you're only going to do it once or twice a year, it's probably not worth spending the money on a high end unit. On the flip side, if you plan on being a true "bug nut" and collecting every other weekend (guilty!) it's well worth getting a higher end unit to increase productivity!

 

I knew this would turn into a lengthy reply :rolleyes:

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god damn it... bad people ruin the fun... :angry: is there a nice place with nice people and a nice rhino beetles??? haha i dont want to risk my family's life for a bug trip... safety comes first... ill go down to catch granti... payson here i come!!! after i get my license for firearms and get ak47 with a riot shield i might go to payson... lol thanks for the reply and heads up on the area :)

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I think you've been playing to much Call of Duty! Not all of Arizona is dangerous, it's mostly just the border towns that get the bad press (not all of it undeserved!). Payson is a perfectly normal town, no need to worry ;) Even Nogales can be perfectly safe so long as you use common sense and avoid sketchy people when traipsing around in the middle of nowhere! Arizona has a lot of truly amazing scenery to offer and should be explored by all invert and reptile enthusiasts!

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I've wanted to use a MV light to0 but the cost cancels that idea quickly. This link seems to be a great source for people who have some electrical knowledge (unlike myself) My link Does anyone understand how the ballast works? I just can't wrap my head around it but it seems that is replaces the need for a generator? I could be missing something though.

 

Jordan

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Jordan, it's funny you posted that link, I was actually planning on assembling a unit based off those exact instructions! You still need a generator though for power. Unless that is, you were to run it in your backyard and had a 50-100 foot extension cable to a power source. I'm unfortunately not electronically inclined in the slightest and would be building it with my father who knows all about that kind of stuff :lol: If you have a friend that is good with wiring I'm sure they could help you figure it out. The main allure of a home made unit like this is the amount of $ you save as opposed to buying a "plug and play" unit.

 

I was however able to purchase a generator for VERY cheap from Harbor Freight Tools. $79.99 on sale to be exact! This is the generator I got. It's 800 rated watts and 900 max watts. Not bad for under $100! It's Chinese made and comes with a crummy spark plug, but once replaced with a nice NGK spark plug it runs quite nicely. It only weighs about 40 pounds and is very small making it extremely portable. Hopefully this proves itself to be a good investment on my AZ. collecting trip next summer!

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