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Dynastes granti September 2023


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Hi, 
We are three guys coming over from Norway August 26th; setting up basecamp in Portal in Coronado National Forest (where we have stayed several times before, one of us more than 40 times).  Used to stay with Barney Tomberlin (Hatari Invertebrates), who some of you might know.  Sadly he passed away in 2021.
Mostly we will be on nature walks and do some light trapping, mainly for the purpose of photograpy.

We would also like to take an excursion to the Flagstaff and Payson areas, in the hope of finding some Dynastes granti.  Will probably be there just after Labour Day.
Can I ask you good folks with know how of the areas if you can direct us to a sure location of this species? Preferably a pinpoint were the granti occurs for sure
(send me a p.m. if you would rather not reveal your "secret place" to everyone 😉 ).
Whether we are lucky or not doesen't matter, as long as we know we at least have been in the right place; having come half around the world for this.
 And probably we will just have a day or two here to our disposal.
Would love to bring home a couple of live females and a male or two for breeding.  Have been very fond of this mini Hercules, since I obtained a pair some 40 years ago.

Another question: 

I just now invested in a LepiLED UV-LED Maxi Switch lamp for this trip.  Any of you know if this Led lamp will attract Dynastes granti?
It does well with moths and other insects.  -  As it is very light weight and runs on a powerbank, it is easy to bring along anywhere into remote areas.
Anyway, it will be interesting to try it out on this trip...

Any tips and advise will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and kind regards
Hans
NORWAY

LEPI-LED 2..jpg

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What you want to do when finding D.granti is first find their favorite plants. There favorite plants are Ash and Sycamore which can be found mostly around rivers neer Payson and Prescott AZ. The Adults feed on ash and the larvae feed on Sycamore. You want to shake these ash trees in the hopes of some D.granti falling to the ground. As far as light traping goes, you would want to go to a clearing near this type of environment with both trees neer by. I have found around 30 individuals by using the tree shaking method at my friend's cabin over the course of a single weekend. Here is a good article on how to find them 

http://arizonabeetlesbugsbirdsandmore.blogspot.com/2014/06/dynastes-granti-largest-arizona-beetle.html?m=1

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There are other neat scarub beetle species which can be found in the same habitat as D.granti. These species include Chrysina gloriosa, Lucanus mazama, Xyloryctes thestalus, Euphoria monticola, Strategus aloeus and many more. This list is based on the Payson location. The larvae of these species will feed on Sycamore accept S.aloeus and E.monticola which more than likely feed on oak.

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On 8/15/2023 at 11:44 PM, DynastesDee said:

What you want to do when finding D.granti is first find their favorite plants. There favorite plants are Ash and Sycamore which can be found mostly around rivers neer Payson and Prescott AZ. The Adults feed on ash and the larvae feed on Sycamore. You want to shake these ash trees in the hopes of some D.granti falling to the ground. As far as light traping goes, you would want to go to a clearing near this type of environment with both trees neer by. I have found around 30 individuals by using the tree shaking method at my friend's cabin over the course of a single weekend. Here is a good article on how to find them 

http://arizonabeetlesbugsbirdsandmore.blogspot.com/2014/06/dynastes-granti-largest-arizona-beetle.html?m=1

Thank you very much for good tips and link to a very interesting article 🙂

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On 8/16/2023 at 12:00 AM, DynastesDee said:

There are other neat scarub beetle species which can be found in the same habitat as D.granti. These species include Chrysina gloriosa, Lucanus mazama, Xyloryctes thestalus, Euphoria monticola, Strategus aloeus and many more. This list is based on the Payson location. The larvae of these species will feed on Sycamore accept S.aloeus and E.monticola which more than likely feed on oak.

Great! 🐞

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On 8/15/2023 at 6:07 PM, DynastesDee said:

Keep in mind that every single one of those species are easy to breed with the exception of X.thestalus.

Thestalus is easy, just seems they lay eggs in spring, so gotta hibernate the adult and they’ll breed like any other dynastid

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should I use fluorescent black lights? Or do you think the reptile black light works too? because the fluorescent ones are only 15 watts but the reptile light is 75. Also do you think this year is a bad timing because of the heat wave

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If this light that you use has attracted medium to large scarubs, then it should work just fine. There has been some sightings within a month so you still might be able to find some. If light traping is not an option, you could always try shaking a bunch of Ash trees until some adults fall off or look for larvae in rotting Sycamore. I've found 30 individuals by shaking Ash trees in a single weekend. Heat waves do not really affect D.granti much because they stay cool in shaded areas next to ice cold water from mountains. 32 degrees celsius is normal weather in Payson.

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On 8/20/2023 at 12:43 AM, DynastesDee said:

If this light that you use has attracted medium to large scarubs, then it should work just fine. There has been some sightings within a month so you still might be able to find some. If light traping is not an option, you could always try shaking a bunch of Ash trees until some adults fall off or look for larvae in rotting Sycamore. I've found 30 individuals by shaking Ash trees in a single weekend. Heat waves do not really affect D.granti much because they stay cool in shaded areas next to ice cold water from mountains. 32 degrees celsius is normal weather in Payson.

A little off topic, but have you used this method at all for D. Tityus?  I was thinking about trying it, but not sure it works, and actually I'm not sure how to identify ash trees.  Do you have any tips on this?

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I would definitely setup your uv led off the road somewhere in Payson. There are lots of places off the road just north of the Home Depot in Payson to set up lights. As Dee has mentioned, even if you don't get D grantii, there are other nice beetles that will come to your lights. Also some longhorns and nice moths. 

I personally have never got a lot of D grantii to my black lights. Maybe 2 or 3 in an evening. High wattage mercury vapor lights and metal halide lights have been much more productive for me and other collectors I know. However, you need a generator, etc which can be a pain.

Good luck and have fun! It's the perfect time of year to find them! Try to go when there is no or very little moon and a warm evening. This increases your odds. If you are going around Sept 5th that will be almost perfect for the moon phase. The moon is large but won't start rising until 10.30 pm, which we will give you plenty of complete darkness to night collect. A full moon can really hamper night collecting.

Besides setting up your uv led and using the tree method that Dee mentioned (I have never done that but it sounds amazing! I have talked to Margarethe about it many years ago, I guess I'm too lazy and would rather just sit in a chair next to big light, haha). I would still drive around to a few lights. I personally know collectors who still find them at lights in the city. Maybe not as much as the good ole days but still some here and there. I hope you enjoy your time in the US and welcome!

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On 8/21/2023 at 7:19 AM, Garin said:

I would definitely setup your uv led off the road somewhere in Payson. There are lots of places off the road just north of the Home Depot in Payson to set up lights. As Dee has mentioned, even if you don't get D grantii, there are other nice beetles that will come to your lights. Also some longhorns and nice moths. 

I personally have never got a lot of D grantii to my black lights. Maybe 2 or 3 in an evening. High wattage mercury vapor lights and metal halide lights have been much more productive for me and other collectors I know. However, you need a generator, etc which can be a pain.

Good luck and have fun! It's the perfect time of year to find them! Try to go when there is no or very little moon and a warm evening. This increases your odds. If you are going around Sept 5th that will be almost perfect for the moon phase. The moon is large but won't start rising until 10.30 pm, which we will give you plenty of complete darkness to night collect. A full moon can really hamper night collecting.

Besides setting up your uv led and using the tree method that Dee mentioned (I have never done that but it sounds amazing! I have talked to Margarethe about it many years ago, I guess I'm too lazy and would rather just sit in a chair next to big light, haha). I would still drive around to a few lights. I personally know collectors who still find them at lights in the city. Maybe not as much as the good ole days but still some here and there. I hope you enjoy your time in the US and welcome!

Hi Garin,  Thanks very much for helpful info and tips. We indeed look forward to our upcoming visit 😃

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi! I was just wondering if anyone has actually been to Payson yet this year? I'm planning on heading out in the next week or so and hope to collect a few D. grantii. I was just wondering - what with the weird weather and heat waves and everything we've had this year - has that affected the beetles? Were they out earlier (or later) than usual this year? Is it a good or a bad year for them? Thank you!

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On 9/4/2023 at 10:12 PM, chandalowe said:

Hi! I was just wondering if anyone has actually been to Payson yet this year? I'm planning on heading out in the next week or so and hope to collect a few D. grantii. I was just wondering - what with the weird weather and heat waves and everything we've had this year - has that affected the beetles? Were they out earlier (or later) than usual this year? Is it a good or a bad year for them? Thank you!

I would highly recommend you post that question in the facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SWInsects

 A lot of people in the group live in Arizona and some live in Payson.

 

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On 9/5/2023 at 9:08 PM, Garin said:

Just FYI, I copied this from the facebook forum. I know nothing else.

image.png.964daac9997ca069d3402c9c8c33f546.png

 

That was a reply to my post in the group hahah. We found one female Grantii, 2 female ox beetles, 2 female rhinos, 3 male rhinos, 4 blue pleasing fungus beetles, and some neat moths. Going back up this weekend to find some grantii males

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