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Arizona Resident


Sean C
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Hello everyone,

 

As the topic suggests, I am in Arizona, and from what little I have read, this is good for beetles.

 

I have quite a few tarantulas, a scorpion, millipedes, snakes, fish, cats....too much really. I dabble in a bit of everything I guess, with cats and fish being socially acceptable =p.

 

My sudden interest in beetles actually came from my garden.

 

I was moving a bunch of garden soil to a raised bed I have and ended up running across large white grubs. I have seen them before in my hunt for the all elusive (for me anyway) millipede here in Arizona. I didn't think much of the first couple I found, but after that, I became curious given their abundance. While I haven't completely gotten past appearance, I know ironic considering my current pet collection, I did start searching for answers as to what these creatures were. Research led me to the possibility of them being Dynastes granti. I still have no clue if that is what they are since the garden has only existed since sometime in the fall of last year, I want to say September/October, but I doubt I would be lucky enough to have a bunch of them in the garden. Regardless of what they are, I have collected about 25ish of them from the small patch of garden soil I was using and currently have them in that soil from the garden mixed with more wood. My assumption is that they were laid there for the abundance of woody material in the bed, not for the delicacy that used to be my pumpkin plants. I am trying to grow pumpkins and due to native critters, lost most of the plants, except 2, to either rabbits or squirrels/chipmunks. Lots of birds digging in the soil too despite my frustrations with them! Quail etc. Now I know why! Most of those plants came up about an inch, then had most of their 2 leaves missing, and disappeared after that.

 

So here I am hoping to be incredibly lucky and have Dynastes granti brewing in a container and that story above is how it started. If they are not Dynastes granti, then maybe I can figure out how to care for the species and find some adults and start a....colony? Given the number of critters I already have, I have no intentions of telling my wife about yet another project! They will be my dirty little secret! Probably June bugs though...which my wife will not appreciate.....

 

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Welcome to the forum :)

 

The grub in your pic actually belongs to subfamily Cetoniinae, meaning it is a type of flower chafer.

My best guess would be Cotininis mutabilis, but it could be different species.

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While experience is probably the defining factor here, how can you tell? If you are right, that is a surprisingly attractive beetle.

 

Any suggestions on acquiring D. Granti other than buying? I might be getting beetle fever. I have read a big light and white cloth stretched out attracts all sorts of critters.

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What Larvahunter said. But, i believe D.Granti doesnt come out yet, they usually come out during mid August, which is after the Monsoon. However, i think Chrysinas are out atm. Where in AZ are you located in?

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Yavapai county. I am in the Prescott area which has a lot of pine. If I have seen these guys before, I did not recognize them since I was not interested at the time. I have seen larger June bug colored beetles here, but they were one inch for sure.

 

The other large beetle I have seen, just the other night actually, was a palo verde beetle. Can't say it was that species specifically, but it was quite large and I assume female given it's swollen.....abdomen which seemed to pulsate as it walked. Maybe I missed an opportunity in not collecting it?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Payson, AZ is suppose to be the the motherland for Dynastes Granti. If I lived in AZ I'd certainly make the trip there to get some. Even if you only get females then put them in a container with beetle larvae substrate and you have a good chance at getting some eggs. Good luck with your hunt!

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Greatwun : I will try to make it out to Payson for those guys. I do not understand how they can be so plentiful there given the amount of pine forest in the area, if pine is indeed toxic for them. Why would they travel there if they did not develop as grubs in the area? I have some oak crushed, but I do not have much compared to what I have read about the depth they need. Even using a large hammer, crushing is tedious. I have no leaves either. Essentially, I am not ready for grantii =(. The only other wood I can confirm as potentially safe, albeit in limited quantity, is sycamore. All research suggests that is what the tree is.

 

Greatwun, is that an Ox beetle? I found something similar dead in my garden on its back =\.

 

I feel really really foolish right now. Absolutely stupid!!!!!

 

The grubs at the top of this post that I was trying to ID? ......I wanted to see how they were progressing size wise but could not find any. I thought they either died or grew and somehow coordinated an escape out of my small creature room.

 

This is not the case but I was convinced it was. I was sure my substrate was too damp. I was wrong.... In an effort to determine moisture content, I squeezed a couple handfuls.....

 

If you didn't already realize what happened in those last 5 words, let me tell you.....

 

I crushed the chamber of one of them....they are all pupating if that is the right word.....and I feel HORRID! I only crushed one as far as I know, but judging from the foamy white liquid at it's backside, its a gonner. SIGH!

 

I THEN learned to Identify the balls of soil as more then just clumps and found 10ish so there is likely more in the container.

 

Live and learn, but it still really stinks.

 

Having arranged funeral services (I have to joke about this a bit because I feel so stupid and guilty), lets assume they are mutabilis as Lucanus suggests, is it reasonable to assume they will become beetles next year?

 

Do I risk causing more harm and put them in a different substrate? Doesn't seem logical.

 

Also, it finally occurred to me that beetles fly...... I assume you just keep a lid on them and get them to breed, lay eggs, and let them go and start the cycle anew? I have many unanswered questions!

 

I should also note that the remaining suspected chambers have been placed on top of the substrate. Should they be buried?

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Sorry I am posting like a machine.

 

Also, I hope it is alright but I have a link I would like to share and get some feedback on from the experienced keepers. Though my introduction post might not be the best place to post such a thing.

 

Well I can't seem to paste any links at all on the forums.....

 

Google search "scarabaeidae breeding" and you should get a website called naturalworlds.org guide. Has anyone read this and if so, does it seem to be reliable information? It does to me and I planned on using it. I have printed 2 other guides for lack of a better word that seemed to have valuable information.

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Many D. granti are collected Payson every year. I've never been although all the dried specimens I bought from eBay were all from this area. Search on google "Dynastes granti Payson Arizona". I do not know if D. Granti can survive off pine wood however here in FL I've collected Phileurus truncatus in pine trees and Lucanus has found Dynastes tityus in pine trees in Alabama. It is possible for them to feed on pine if it's at the right level of decomposition.

 

Megasoma punctulatus is not an ox beetle but an elephant beetle. It's is one of only three species of elephant beetles found native to the U.S. The beetle in my avatar is Megasoma vogti which is an elephant beetle found in south Texas.

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