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what does beetle larva eat?


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This is what it confuses me the most. Some people say the larva eats the microorganisms in the substrate.

Then others say that they eat the cellulose of the wood. I heard that phileurus valgus doesn't need rotten oak, and can feed on fresh sawdust. So what do they really eat?

Also, why do some rhino species need leaf litter? while stags can do well on 100% wood sub. are there different kinds of fungi in the leaves that rhinos need?

lol sorry for asking alot of questions :P

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Microorganisms in the substrate may provide nutrional value if they can be digested or they can be ingested and be used in the gut to ferment and break down substrate to release nutrients that can be absorbed. Many herbivorous animals have enlarged parts of their digestive systems to house symbionts that help break down cellulose to a form that their digestive systems can absorb.


It's possible that some species may be able to form symbiotic relationships with microorganisms that are capable of breaking down certain forms of plant matter. For example, Odontotaenius rely on microorganisms that they farm in their feces and masticated wood to help break down the wood to the point where they are capable of using it for nutrients.


Different types of beetles have different digestive systems capable of handing different forms of food. Leaves contain more nutritional content than wood and are more easily broken down than wood. Leaves are loaded with a tree's waste materials before a tree sheds them and they retain some of the sugars and proteins found in leaves, so they naturally contain more nutrients than wood which is largely cellulose and lignin.

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Very interesting! I wonder if I can culture some of the strains of bacteria. I like how they compare the scarab larval gut to a sheep or cows rumen as a biological reactor. I'm sure other larvae have very similar bacteria. So many chemical processes, very cool.

I looked and there are a plethora of other papers dealing with fuel production from different insects, like 3 subterranean termites that produce hydrogen.

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