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Alaus cf. lusciosus (Texas Eyed Elater)


Hisserdude
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Alaus cf. lusciosus "Dallas/Fort Worth, TX". Another HUGE click beetle, not quite as large as A.zunianus, but almost! I got two females from @Peter Clausen, which will hopefully produce lots of offspring for me! :)

Alaus lusciosus are often referred to as the "Texas Eyed Elater". As the common name would suggest this species is found in TX, specifically south, central, and parts of east TX, but their range also encompasses CO, KS, NM and Mexico. Their easternmost range overlaps with that of A.oculatus, the "Eastern Eyed Elater", however the white markings on the elytra of A.lusciosus are more clumped and patchy than those of A.oculatus, which has smaller, more evenly dispersed white spots.
Despite that, it can still be a bit hard to differentiate them where their ranges overlap, and these ones were collected in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which is in the overlap range between the two... they look quite different from most A.oculatus I've seen, and bigger too, so I do think these are true A.lusciosus. I did upload pics to Bugguide though, and the resident Elateridae expert there, Blaine Mathison, said they'd need to see the genitalia to actually ID these down to species, so I'll just label these as cf. lusciosus for now until they pass away and I can get pics of their genitalia for a better ID.

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On 8/9/2021 at 6:50 AM, Ratmosphere said:

DANG that's a beautiful beetle bro.

Yeah, super freakin' pretty for sure! :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

WOOHOO, after a mere 21 days, I have successfully bred my Alaus cf. lusciosus!  The eggs of this species are actually quite large, so I can actually see them in the substrate, there are a TON in there! Their L1 larvae are the largest hatchling click beetles I've ever seen, about 3 mms long! (Tiny, I know, but for comparison most of the bioluminescent click beetles I breed hatch out at 1 mm or less). Guess it makes sense they'd be so large in comparison, considering this species is likely the second largest US click beetle species (my females are both about 54mms long). Since my gals have been pretty prolific, I have excess groups of small larvae for those who are interested in them, see my classifieds ad!
The larvae of this genus are fully predatory as soon as they hatch, and apparently only feed on live or pre-killed invertebrate prey. Since they are fully predatory, what I take the time to isolate out from the breeding setup in the immediate future is all that's gonna be available for a long while, the rest will cannibalize each other. So if anyone is interested in getting a group of this species, don't wait!

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I've isolated what larvae I've found so far into 2 oz deli cups filled with a thin layer of moist coconut fiber, and am feeding them pre-killed Compsodes schwarzi, which I've buried partially so the larvae can easily access them.

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Congratulations - that's great news!  I often find this species on tree stumps in my backyard, but have never attempted to breed it.  I've occasionally come across the full-grown larvae, which are quite large and have a really vicious bite.

Looking forward to hearing your progress with them!

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On 8/30/2021 at 5:46 PM, Goliathus said:

Congratulations - that's great news!  I often find this species on tree stumps in my backyard, but have never attempted to breed it.  I've occasionally come across the full-grown larvae, which are quite large and have a really vicious bite.

Looking forward to hearing your progress with them!

Yeah, I've reared large Elaterids before, their larvae definitely have a very good chomp on them as they get to be large LOL! 😄 Fun to watch them destroy darkling beetle larvae lol!

Thanks, they should be relatively easy, mine are already eating the pre-killed roaches I gave them! :D

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