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Jordan
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I can't be alone when I say this is one of my favorite sites and I check here on a daily basis. I'm always excited to see new content but the amount of new content never seems to be constant. This site is a great resource and without it I probably would have never made any connections to drive me deeper and the passion I now have for beetles probably would have faded.

 

How can we create new content constantly and make this an even stronger resource?

 

First off we need more members. I know some people might be against that idea and think that it is better to have no new content rather than poor new content to clutter the forum. I disagree and think even "poor" content will help others learn and lead to great content. I know many people on this forum are part of other forums and run pages with thousands of viewers so why can't this site also take off like that? If we share the word enough it will gain members but that is going to take all the current members help.

 

I hope others will expand on this based on their own opinions and preferences but I think some of the strong content is stuff like: photos, breeding updates, care sheets, tutorials, videos, classified offers, and most of all QUESTIONS! Questions create the most new material because without them all the comments would just say, "Very cool!" One of the best things about this site is the strong interactions between people who are just getting into beetles and the people who have been breeding for years and have vast amounts of knowledge to share. With that being said I also think some of the more experienced members should show a little more patients and respect to the newer members. I will start trying to post more and answer others questions myself even though I only have a little over a years experience.

 

Let me know what you guys think about trying to create great new content constantly and any ideas you have. If anyone disagrees with this post and would rather the site be small and close knit let me know and I will remove it.

 

Additionally I am considering doing a giveaway if there is enough interest.

Maybe larvae, maybe adult beetles, maybe dried beetles, or jelly. Something along those lines.

If there is interest it will work like this..

 

To be qualified to get the free item(s) from me you most pick a BF member and ask them for their address and send them something beetle related. It can be anything as long as it relates to beetles. (If it is live make sure it is OK with them and the are expecting it) The person you send stuff to is not required to send you anything back but you will be entered in my random drawing. You should only do this if you are participating out of pure kindness and don't expect anything in return, but hey, you may get something back! :]

 

Let me know what you guys think!

 

Jordan

 

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great post jordan! my plants freinds WERE interested but the problem was the grubs.... they didnt like how they had to wait couple of years for the grubs to become a beetle and die few month later... but ill try :D some people wanted to go fishing with giant grubs... <_<

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I don't even know how many years this forum has been up now, and we're always sort of hoping that it will explode and that's why I personally pay $25 or so a month to keep it up. I'd love to see it take off like mantidforum or beetleforum or other hobby forums. I do agree with hardshell about the issue with the long larval phase. At least for people in the Lepidoptera hobbies the larval phase lasts like one season, rather than years.

 

Another issue we confront is the issue with not being able to keep exotic beetles here in the US and this is primarily a US hobby forum. While we have many great species in this country, our members don't seem to get out in the field or have the same level of passion for our natives they do for exotics. This is understandable and I'm just grateful that we have a handful of enthusiasts to share the hobby with. But I always hope it will grow.

 

I know I could post content on here for 3 days straight with no breaks, but I personally run 5 websites and that's just in addition to my family and day job at UPS.

 

So, I say, Jordan, take the reigns and make this hobby what you want it to be! I'll keep the forum up, Orin will keep writing books, Ryan and Oscar and Alan will moderate and engage the Facebook communities and various groups they are involved with and we'll hope that more people will see what we see in beetles.

 

There is some seasonal variation in terms of people thinking about beetles. Summer tends to get me thinking about them more. Plus, I am more interested in identifying small, obscure beetles from my backyard than ones that most people would like to make pets of.

 

I'm all for change, by the way.

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I was thinking about some issue like larvae phase length and this time of the year not being the busiest.

 

I also understand with what is being said about nonnative insects which I also agree with. I wish the efforts people are putting into trying to get nonnative species would go into finding and working with more of the less common yet fascinating US beetles. At the same time I have to give the people rearing nonnative species a little bit of credit for having the passion to do so.

 

I think that all the site you run are great and I know you have a lot going on! The books are great sources and I own a few. I just wish more of that information was posted freely for everyone to have access to but I understand the business aspect as well. I think the Facebook communities are where this idea to grow this site is coming from. The Coleoptera facebook page run by members of this forum has 2000 likes! I don't see why this site could gain at least a handful of new members. I think the thing that the Coleoptera page and other facebook pages lack is the ability to let all users post and have their words seen. It seems that the pages content has priority and the other users content is just pushed to the side.

 

Unfortunately I don't think there is much possibility for large growth with only US members since the number of US hobbyist are so small. I think foreign members would help and allow us to learn a lot but I don't know if it would go over well with it being more of a US forum. People might not like the content of nonnative beetles and materials not as easily accessible in the US. I think the learned processes and techniques would be strong though.

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Hi Guys,

 

I just joined here and this will be my first post. I recently got interested in large beetles and while the exotics look very cool and very large, there seems to be much more legal issues and issues with scams outside the country, which brought me here. I like the two larger species of beetles availabel in US, and consider it a wonderful place to start and learn. I am trying to learn as much as I can and be able to dive in and start trying to raise and breed beetles both for my own enjoyment and to share with my son's school.

 

From my personal standpoint, I can certainly ask lots of beginner questions, but am a little afraid of boring all of you here. It would be great to see more photos and expanations of how you guys are setting up your habitats for breeding, etc.

 

Also while I am here, I have had one thought recently. When an adult beetle dies, does it whither away and look bad, or do they just tip over in great physical looking condition and then become a mounted specimen? Also are people that mount specimens whaiting for them to die, or are they helped along in order to get a clean mount faster??

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This is really a great post!!!

 

I personally believe that the lack of beetle enthusiasts is due to the substrate problem. I know quite a lot of people willing to breed beetles in the U.S. but they couldn't breed them because they had no access to the good substrates. If there were substrates with great quality available readily within the U.S., beetle breeding would have been much easier and more people would have bred them.

 

So we need to find a way to get the substrates readily available within the U.S.

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Also while I am here, I have had one thought recently. When an adult beetle dies, does it whither away and look bad, or do they just tip over in great physical looking condition and then become a mounted specimen? Also are people that mount specimens whaiting for them to die, or are they helped along in order to get a clean mount faster??

 

The condition of dead beetles can very within the environment they are in. If they die in substrates, they are likely to become decomposed and their segments will start to break away. If the die in somewhat dry places, they might dry up nicely and end up in fine condition.

 

People who mount specimens usually kill the beetles as soon as possible so that they can get high quality specimen.

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This is really a great post!!!

 

I personally believe that the lack of beetle enthusiasts is due to the substrate problem. I know quite a lot of people willing to breed beetles in the U.S. but they couldn't breed them because they had no access to the good substrates. If there were substrates with great quality available readily within the U.S., beetle breeding would have been much easier and more people would have bred them.

 

So we need to find a way to get the substrates readily available within the U.S.

 

I think in most cases people should have access to wood and leaf litter. Maybe it is just strange to me to think that people don't since I live in an area full of dead logs and hardwood trees. I have heard people complain about lack of materials especially on the west coast.

 

People have asked to buy substrate from me. I always decline because the price of shipping and you are not supposed to ship plant materials which I'm pretty sure includes leaves. I think wood is ok though but I could be wrong.

 

I think the use of the homemade substrate would be great for distribution.. I have never used it and don't really know the qualities well but it seems to be a very clean source which won't be carrying pests and can be made in controlled quantities.

 

If need be I could start making up huge batches of basic naturally sourced all wood substrate and ship it by the flat rate box. If that is legal that is..

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Hi Guys,

 

I just joined here and this will be my first post. I recently got interested in large beetles and while the exotics look very cool and very large, there seems to be much more legal issues and issues with scams outside the country, which brought me here. I like the two larger species of beetles availabel in US, and consider it a wonderful place to start and learn. I am trying to learn as much as I can and be able to dive in and start trying to raise and breed beetles both for my own enjoyment and to share with my son's school.

 

From my personal standpoint, I can certainly ask lots of beginner questions, but am a little afraid of boring all of you here. It would be great to see more photos and expanations of how you guys are setting up your habitats for breeding, etc.

 

Also while I am here, I have had one thought recently. When an adult beetle dies, does it whither away and look bad, or do they just tip over in great physical looking condition and then become a mounted specimen? Also are people that mount specimens whaiting for them to die, or are they helped along in order to get a clean mount faster??

 

I wouldn't worry about asking questions! The thing people seem to get frustrated with though is when people post the same questions over and over that have been answered over and over. Just do a quick search first to see if you find anything. I think more in depth breeding posts are needed also. There are often photos of the beetles actually breeding but not many photo explanation of the set up. Unfortunately I am out of town for the next week and a half but when I get back home I will be sure to post some stuff like that.

 

What two species are you interested in?

 

All of my specimens I keep as pets ALWAYS loose limbs when they die. I personally can't kill them to keep them in good shape though. It just doesn't feel right to me. Specimens that die and nature are sure to have some sort of damage to them when found. The abdomen tends to shrink and wrinkle a bit on all dried specimens but the hard shell holds up. You won't notice the shrinking and wrinkling unless the wings are spread.

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The books are great sources and I own a few. I just wish more of that information was posted freely for everyone to have access to but I understand the business aspect as well.

 

 

It's not a business aspect, it's a mode of transmission. There's little to no money in making tiny print run bug books and it can cost a lot to make a book without ever getting the money back. You have to have a job to pay your bills. The cost is the production and mode of transmission (retail markup). If retailers can't make money they won't sell it and a great book means nothing if nobody ever buys one or knows it exists. If you don't want to pay anyone to make or sell a book you can kindle it.

I like books because they are almost permanent whereas I've posted ten times as much info on the internet and most of it is like whisps in the wind. The internet may be forever but use and access are ephemeral. Also, I believe many people get excited about beetles through books wereas the boards may help maintain interest but rarely initiate it.

I imagine you've never seen the caresheets that have been online for some different beetles since 1998. I've paid out of my own pockets to keep them up for that long though I probably should just take it all down.

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The books are great sources and I own a few. I just wish more of that information was posted freely for everyone to have access to but I understand the business aspect as well.

 

 

It's not a business aspect, it's a mode of transmission. There's little to no money in making tiny print run bug books and it can cost a lot to make a book without ever getting the money back. You have to have a job to pay your bills. The cost is the production and mode of transmission (retail markup). If retailers can't make money they won't sell it and a great book means nothing if nobody ever buys one or knows it exists. If you don't want to pay anyone to make or sell a book you can kindle it.

I like books because they are almost permanent whereas I've posted ten times as much info on the internet and most of it is like whisps in the wind. The internet may be forever but use and access are ephemeral. Also, I believe many people get excited about beetles through books wereas the boards may help maintain interest but rarely initiate it.

I imagine you've never seen the caresheets that have been online for some different beetles since 1998. I've paid out of my own pockets to keep them up for that long though I probably should just take it all down.

 

That is a great point made about the book being more permanent. I do enjoy that aspect of being able to always know where the book is to refer to it. The thing I prefer about internet sources though is the ability for a wider range of people to access it freely and the ability to share that information freely. I think many peoples interest is gained from a board like this. At least for me that's how it went. I saw a beetles that struck my interest and decided to search online about beetles because it's so easy to access. I feel like a lot of people start that way.

 

I did not mean for my comment to come across as offensive at all if that's how you took it. I appreciate the care sheets and I have used them. They are actually what led me to want more info and then to buying your books. I personally just think the more information that is shared on forums like this the better. Like you said it helps people who are interested stay interested. The main point I was trying to get across is that books are a good source and people should buy them if they have the resources too but additionally you are very knowledgeable in this field and it is obvious that this forum would benefit from slightly more frequent posts from you.

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when usda knows more about these harmless beetles, they might allow to get tropical species...(like how u can get exptic mantis) than im sure someone will make an rhino beetle company that sells substrate and all the supplies we need... i personally dont care about giant stag beetles that is exotic... sometimes small beetles can still have really interesting looking horns and pincers.... like rugose and cercerus...

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That is a great point made about the book being more permanent. I do enjoy that aspect of being able to always know where the book is to refer to it. The thing I prefer about internet sources though is the ability for a wider range of people to access it freely and the ability to share that information freely. I think many peoples interest is gained from a board like this. At least for me that's how it went. I saw a beetles that struck my interest and decided to search online about beetles because it's so easy to access. I feel like a lot of people start that way.

 

I did not mean for my comment to come across as offensive at all if that's how you took it. I appreciate the care sheets and I have used them. They are actually what led me to want more info and then to buying your books. I personally just think the more information that is shared on forums like this the better. Like you said it helps people who are interested stay interested. The main point I was trying to get across is that books are a good source and people should buy them if they have the resources too but additionally you are very knowledgeable in this field and it is obvious that this forum would benefit from slightly more frequent posts from you.

I've spent years building this forum into something useable, but there's a time to watch how it fares on its own. I stopped working on the sites many years ago because other people started to put up good content, they were there originaly because there was nothing else.

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I've spent years building this forum into something useable, but there's a time to watch how it fares on its own. I stopped working on the sites many years ago because other people started to put up good content, they were there originaly because there was nothing else.

 

That is true, without you this forum surely wouldn't be where it is today and many people now in the hobby probably wouldn't have stayed as interested as they have. I respect the amount of effort you have put into the forum but I still feel that if you have the expertise and knowledge to constantly make the forum better and increase the content then you should. Even if people are posting good stuff it never hurts to have more.

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Dynastes Granti and Dynastes Tityus are the two beetles I am interested in starting with. I have some adults of one and some larvae of another located and am working on getting them here. I am just worried about getting them, and like a new parent at first, not knowing what to do or where to start. How do you know when the substrate and or food are working OK? Are there signs of things going bad?

 

I will be working on substrate over the weekend. I am not sure if I can get decayed oak, but am reasonably sure that decayed birch is available. Worst case scenario, I can get oak leaves and make something up. Thinking of using a 15 gallon fish tank to start with.

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I don't think any exotic insects can be imported, even mantis.. I don't think USDA will ever fully allow it. They are always going to say "what if.." which is always going to make all exotic insects look harmful.

 

Being new to the hobby, I was immediately drawn to foreign sellers selling big exotic beetles. I contacted a couple and was told they could send anything I wanted to me in the US. I later learned that these beetles were illegal for me to import so I steered clear. My question is: are these people actually sending and getting away with illegal importing? Or do they simply charge you for them, send them, and know customs will seize them?

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Dynastes Granti and Dynastes Tityus are the two beetles I am interested in starting with. I have some adults of one and some larvae of another located and am working on getting them here. I am just worried about getting them, and like a new parent at first, not knowing what to do or where to start. How do you know when the substrate and or food are working OK? Are there signs of things going bad?

 

I will be working on substrate over the weekend. I am not sure if I can get decayed oak, but am reasonably sure that decayed birch is available. Worst case scenario, I can get oak leaves and make something up. Thinking of using a 15 gallon fish tank to start with.

 

When it comes to larvae you just have to use your best judgement on what will work well on top of the info you have read. It's clear that you understand the general ideas of using hardwood. If you are extra worried you can always make a few different mixes and separate them to see if some grow better than others. Some signs to look out for are darkening of the larvae and if they start wandering a lot and rising to the surface they may be rejecting the substrate and searching for other food. I would keep the larvae separated. I have had bad experiences putting larvae together and then suddenly there are less than I started with. That never happens to me when they are alone though.

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Being new to the hobby, I was immediately drawn to foreign sellers selling big exotic beetles. I contacted a couple and was told they could send anything I wanted to me in the US. I later learned that these beetles were illegal for me to import so I steered clear. My question is: are these people actually sending and getting away with illegal importing? Or do they simply charge you for them, send them, and know customs will seize them?

 

I also hear that all the time from foreign sellers and it is not true from a legal stand point. However, yes the packages do make it into the US and some how get past customs most of the time it seems. That is a huge risk on the buyers behalf and people do get caught. There are plenty of articles online about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I really think the smallness of the beetle hobby here in the US can be 100% attributed to the fact that it IS small, and it is practically invisible.

 

I just got in to this stuff. I've only spent not even a month getting in to it. I am an experienced husbandry researcher and can weed through all sorts of websites and information nuggets to find everything I need to maintain and breed just about anything - reptiles, amphibians, other inverts, fish, even exotic mammals. You can find husbandry information, breeders, and communities within the first couple links of a relevant google search. Not with beetles. With beetles, I had problems. I took it as a challenge, but most people would probably find it frustrating and think husbandry techniques are far too young.

 

To top it off, once you find the information, finding a source is difficult. Beetles are not really widely available through common pet vendors across the states, and they aren't even available in specialty shops or at specialty shows - I see tons of inverts at the reptile shows I frequently attend, for instance. Not only do people have to come across the idea of keeping beetles on their own (you can have the idea to research tarantula keeping by seeing a tarantula for sale, but not so for beetles) but should you manage to glean enough scraps to feel prepared to keep one from the bowels of the internet, you are on to the second stretch of the challenge - finding and securing stock.

 

The entry level for beetles is very high when it comes to information finding, and only the people with information will find vendors, and only people who can find vendors eventually enter the hobby. What the beetle hobby needs more than anything here in the US is definetly visibility. It needs to seem way more accessible than it currently does. Things like substrate will follow - after all, things like that already exist outside the US (premade and presupplemented substrates, beetle jellies, etc) but importation won't seem appealing to pet product vendors if the market isn't visible. Same for in-country producers. Information needs to be more available. Forum topics should be viewable by non-members. Beetle vendors could also stand to be more visible in general. I sort of feel like I'm wiggling my way in to a very exclusive club right now, trying to get in to beetle breeding, and a hobby that has the potential to explode definetly shouldn't feel that way.

 

Once I get started on all of this, I do plan to extensively document and make information readily available in easy to understand, effective, accesible ways. I'd love to make a website centered on providing everything that I found lacking while trying to get my foot in the door. Visibilty and ease of access! That's all we really need, and the cute beetle faces will do the rest!

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