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Moneilema gigas care and housing?


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Has anyone kept cactus beetles (Moneilema gigas)? I know I can find them in my area, but providing a proper environment would be the tricky part, as any larvae would need a rooted prickly pear cactus to feed on, which would probably not grow too well in an enclosed glass terrarium. Maybe with a UV light overtop? Finding a tank tall enough to manage a growing cactus would be a pain. I'm thinking I could hack up a plastic trash can or storage box on a few sides and rig it up with netting, so the cactus would be able to grow, and the beetles wouldn't escape.

 

Am I overthinking this? Any advice from anyone who has raised these guys would be great. Orin's book has some info on raising the beetles and the larvae, so at least someone somewhere has done it ...

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You can try taking some heavy duty wire mesh to make an enclosure put over a small cactus outdoors. It would be like rearing caterpillars on host plants in a net cage or a sleeve. You just need something heavy duty that the beetles can't chew through.

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You can try taking some heavy duty wire mesh to make an enclosure put over a small cactus outdoors. It would be like rearing caterpillars on host plants in a net cage or a sleeve. You just need something heavy duty that the beetles can't chew through.

 

Lord, I hadn't even thought about them chewing through it. But I suppose if they can eat a cactus they can probably chew through netting pretty easily if they wanted to.

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