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Interesting behavior I observed on Oregon stag beetle.


Lucanus
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So...about a year ago I purchased a pair of Platycerus oregonensis from Hardshell. This pair yielded me about 13 ish larvae and grew fine till the summer came. During summer, my room got hot very often and that apparently killed many insects in my room, including all of my P. oregonensis larvae save for 1. That one survivor managed to live and it eventually grew into healthy L3.

 

When the summer passed and the temperature started going down, this lonely survivor started building a chamber, emptied its gut, and turned white. This made me believe that the larva was preparing to become a pupa so I waited for months after months, but my larva did not become a pre pupa so I ended up neglecting it. Today, I remembered that I had the oregonensis so I decided to check on the larva to see if it pupated and in my surprise I found a healthy larva feeding normally on the substrate. The whiteness of it was gone and bluish hue was over its body, and the stomach that was empty was now filled with brown woods, indicating that the larva has been doing some feeding activities.

 

So it appears that P. oregonensis use the same tactic that some of the Asian species use for hibernating through winter : Draining all the gut contents out of its body (a friend of mine told me that this was to prevent the bacterias in the gut from taking over the larva while the larva is hibernating) and filling it with antifreezing liquid to prevent frost formation within the body.

 

Has anybody noticed this in their P. oregonensis culture (assuming that at least one person has bred this species before)? Oh and if you happen to be near a place where these guys live, please PM me as I'm desperately looking for more specimens to continue my breeding project this year.

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I used to find lots of these in rotting wood at a place about an hour from where I live, but all trips the last ten years or so turned up none. I don't go there very much in the warmer months anymore because their is such a horrific mosquito swarm that it's not worth the loss of blood I used to sacrifice when I was younger (and faster). Mainly, I would find several dozen larvae and only a few adults each time. I never made any interesting observations on them besides what I've just shared above except that they seemed to do really well in captivity on the oak wood I collected them in. It's neat to read that a couple other people are working with them.

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I used to find lots of these in rotting wood at a place about an hour from where I live, but all trips the last ten years or so turned up none. I don't go there very much in the warmer months anymore because their is such a horrific mosquito swarm that it's not worth the loss of blood I used to sacrifice when I was younger (and faster). Mainly, I would find several dozen larvae and only a few adults each time. I never made any interesting observations on them besides what I've just shared above except that they seemed to do really well in captivity on the oak wood I collected them in. It's neat to read that a couple other people are working with them.

 

Sounds like the population have declined in that area. I wonder what caused their decline in that area. I really hope there are still some colonies hiding in deep bushes.

 

Thank you for sharing your experience :)

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Collecting season is just starting to ramp up here in OR. I'm convinced I'll turn up some relatively soon. If I do end up raising them, I'll be sure to give them a second chance if they look sickly, Thanks for the info.

 

If you find a lot, could you sell me some? I really need to get more specimens to continue breeding this species.

Thanks.

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