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Larvae colors and stages.


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Just wondering what are the common colors for Dynastes larvae? I know they tend to be white/green with a blue bottom hue. The reason I asked was because I had a female L3 Dynastes tityus that was sent from a friend in the same state and she seemed fine when received, but was a bit darker than usual not drastically, but enough to tell. So the next day I checked she wasn't moving..and was dead. I figured it could have been caused due to the shipment and have read and experienced larvae in shock from the trip due to frigid weather so decided to keep her near a heater and waited. No luck and two days later burried her. After those initial days she slowly started to turn into a darker shade of green which I figured was the body naturally decaying. So my question is this, what makes the larvae undergo certain colors? At time I have darker skinned larvae and the others are not white but close enough and then have the blue bottom. Others seem to be a light green and then have a blue bottom. Sorry for the long post just curious..I have skimmed through the "For the love of Rhinoceros and Stag beetles version 2" with no light into the subject. (incredible book by the way)

 

Thank you in advance! I will post a picture up soon.

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Sometimes a bacterial infection will kill the larvae and turn it an all over dark blue shade. Heathly Dynastes larvae are normally transparent when small (the gut is visible, as are the trachea). As they grow white areas of fat begin to build up around the spiracles, this eventually turns the whole body white. Larvae close to pupation go a more yellow white colour. The "blue bottom" is just the contents of the gut visible through the thinner body wall in this area of the larvae, though eventually the fat build up hides this too.

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Okay that makes sense thanks a lot Matt. What's the bacteria infection caused by? Any way to fight it?

 

Not sure, I've only come across it once or twice myself with my own rearings, I just remove any other larvae from the container, dispose of the dead larva and substrate and disinfect the container before using again. It does not appear to be highly contagious in the same way as some of the virus infections you sometimes see when rearing caterpilars, where by the time you see 1 sick black larva all the rest are infected..

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Okay thank-you for the input Matt this is my first time experiencing this and my other larvae seems fine and is more active than the last so hopefully this will not happen again and or often. Interesting with the caterpillar thing as well seems somewhat tragic with how such bacteria could kill almost all and some of the larvae.

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