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Hi from Michigan, getting into Phanaeus vindex


Archetype
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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and to beetles but have many years of experience keeping and breeding freshwater and marine aquariums. In terms of pet insects I also keep different types of mantises but have never kept any beetles. I recently came to find that keeping non-native species in the USA is illegal, but luckily we have some awesome species we can keep. My first venture into beetle keeping is with Phanaeus vindex, which I will be attempting to breed. I have been very active on aquarium forums for many years (under a different username) and it's great to have found a forum geared towards this specific topic.

 

Here's our scarabs:

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13244603_10208415159711104_8767749867169

 

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Welcome, P.vindex are very cool, and are a beautiful species! Hope you are successful in breeding them! Luckily they are accepting of a wide variety of dung, so it shouldn't be too hard. :)

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Welcome and very nice - that sure is quite a few Phanaeus. I have never found more than one or two at a time, and I used to hunt extensively on some Texas cattle ranches with LOTS of dung. So that is an impressive haul to me.

 

Did you purchase them or did you find that many?

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Hello, I have been trying to breed them for a bit and I have had egg laying, but no brood balls produced for the eggs. You will want to have a deep container, because they are the burrowing type, with a dirt/sand mix. You will want to have a constant supply of dung for them, since you want to breed them. You will also want to separate the males and divide the females with them, otherwise the males will rip each other apart. If they are wild caught, even when purchased online, the females will possibly have mated already in the wild. Let me know if you want more help and I can try to.

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Welcome, P.vindex are very cool, and are a beautiful species! Hope you are successful in breeding them! Luckily they are accepting of a wide variety of dung, so it shouldn't be too hard. :)

 

Thank you! We plan to try using horse dung since a friend of ours has lots readily available.

 

Welcome and very nice - that sure is quite a few Phanaeus. I have never found more than one or two at a time, and I used to hunt extensively on some Texas cattle ranches with LOTS of dung. So that is an impressive haul to me.

 

Did you purchase them or did you find that many?

 

Thank you! We purchased them online. I read that they could be found in Michigan, but in all my years of looking for bugs in our hot summers, I've never seen one.

 

Hello, I have been trying to breed them for a bit and I have had egg laying, but no brood balls produced for the eggs. You will want to have a deep container, because they are the burrowing type, with a dirt/sand mix. You will want to have a constant supply of dung for them, since you want to breed them. You will also want to separate the males and divide the females with them, otherwise the males will rip each other apart. If they are wild caught, even when purchased online, the females will possibly have mated already in the wild. Let me know if you want more help and I can try to.

 

Thank you for the info! They currently are in a tank with about 8" of substrate, mostly coconut fiber but with some soil, sand, and leaf litter mixed in. We have yet to give them any dung but we will soon. In the mean time we have given them some "beetle jelly" but they don't seem to have touched it. They usually sit in their burrows for most of the day but sometimes a few can be seen walking around.

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Thank you for the info! They currently are in a tank with about 8" of substrate, mostly coconut fiber but with some soil, sand, and leaf litter mixed in. We have yet to give them any dung but we will soon. In the mean time we have given them some "beetle jelly" but they don't seem to have touched it. They usually sit in their burrows for most of the day but sometimes a few can be seen walking around.

I do suggest getting a deeper container. When they are caught, they are found at least a foot down. And since they are dung beetles, they may try to nibble on the jellies, but they will not touch them often or until they get dehydrated/hungry.

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Hi Archetype,

 

A few things...

 

First: Welcome!

 

Second: One of the great things about keeping any Scarabaeinae (dung beetle) is that there are no restrictions for US species. You can buy, ship and collect to your heart's content from anyone and from any state without the need for any permits!

 

Third: that male vindex looks like he's actually a difformis. Here is a graphic I put together a while back:

 

http://bugguide.net/node/view/155571/bgimage

 

 

Fourth: Here is a link to the vindex breeding book Orin and I wrote:

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Rearing-Rainbow-Scarab-Beetles/dp/0980240158

 

 

Two large things from your posts above, your substrate does need to be a lot deeper, as Zeiss mentioned. And, although I love using and importing beetle jelly - you need to get them some dung pretty quickly. You can try some moistened dry dog food if you can't get them dung right away, but many dung beetles are similar to Cetonids in that they burn through their energy pretty quickly and don't last very long without food.

 

Let me know if you have any questions..! Best of luck!

 

Steven Barney

Lafayette, LA

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Hi guys thanks for the added info! I got the book and am working through it. Since I won't have any horse dung for at least a week I gave them some dog dung and at least one or two seem to like it. I will also make their substrate deeper and the only reason I didn't from the start was that I read that 6-8" might be ok. Thanks again!

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