Dynastes tityus feedback please

InvertsandOi

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I bought two Dynastes tityus larvae about a month or so ago. This is my first time rearing any beetle, so I'm not 100% that I'm not making any terrible mistakes. I'm hoping that anyone with experience can let me know if I'm doing something wrong. I believe they're L2, but I don't know for sure. I put them in these containers the size of worm containers (actually one of them is a worm container) with 100% ground up decayed hardwood. D tityus.jpg D tityus2.jpg D tityus3.jpg

I went to some woods and found a very decayed old fallen tree that was teaming with isopods, slugs, millipedes, centipedes, and little black beetles. I mean TEAMING. The wood was decayed enough that I was able to break a bunch of chunks off pretty easily with my bare hands. I used a cheese grater to grind the wood into fine little chunks, so it had a soil-like consistency, and then I microwaved it, one bowl at a time, in case I missed any unwanted inverts. So that's what I'm using as substrate. The larvae seem to be doing fine, but I'm a little concerned that the containers might be too small. I know I'll have to put them in something bigger eventually. Any experienced feedback will be much appreciated. I don't want to screw this up.
 

Hisserdude

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I would them in something a little bigger, add a fair amount of crushed, decaying hardwood leaves to the substrate, and maybe keep them a little bit more moist since that substrate looks a little dry to me, but other than that it seems like you have a good setup going on. :)
 

InvertsandOi

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I would them in something a little bigger, add a fair amount of crushed, decaying hardwood leaves to the substrate, and maybe keep them a little bit more moist since that substrate looks a little dry to me, but other than that it seems like you have a good setup going on. :)
Thanks for the feedback. You think something about the size of a 32oz deli cup should work?
 

Hisserdude

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Thanks for the feedback. You think something about the size of a 32oz deli cup should work?
Yeah, something like that should work. :)
Also, just went though Orin's "Ultimate Guide To Breeding Beetles", and he says the best substrate for rearing the larva of this species is a mixture of rotten wood, crushed decaying leaves and compost manure in a 1:1:1 ratio.
 

InvertsandOi

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Yeah, something like that should work. :)
Also, just went though Orin's "Ultimate Guide To Breeding Beetles", and he says the best substrate for rearing the larva of this species is a mixture of rotten wood, crushed decaying leaves and compost manure in a 1:1:1 ratio.
The reason I used 100% hardwood is because that's what Peter sells on bugsincyberspace as the professional grade rhino & stag beetle substrate, but it seems that everyone else mixes leaves and soil (or in this case manure) in there. I'm so confused!! :bigtears:
 

Hisserdude

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The reason I used 100% hardwood is because that's what Peter sells on bugsincyberspace as the professional grade rhino & stag beetle substrate, but it seems that everyone else mixes leaves and soil (or in this case manure) in there. I'm so confused!! :bigtears:
For most stag and some rhino beetles you do want a substrate of 100% rotten wood, but for this and most other rhino beetles I think you really want a mix of rotten wood, compost and dead leaves. His substrate may have additives like yeast that make the larva grow bigger and faster, but your wood doesn't, so it's probably best to mix in compost manure and dead leaves, at least that's what I've read.
 

InvertsandOi

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For most stag and some rhino beetles you do want a substrate of 100% rotten wood, but for this and most other rhino beetles I think you really want a mix of rotten wood, compost and dead leaves. His substrate may have additives like yeast that make the larva grow bigger and faster, but your wood doesn't, so it's probably best to mix in compost manure and dead leaves, at least that's what I've read.
I just want to say that I really appreciate your continuing willingness to help, thread after thread.

That makes me feel better about what I did. I wanted to do something about this tonight, because once the work week starts, I know I won't have time. So I put each larvae in a tupperware container (about the equivalent of 40oz) with about 50% ground hardwood and 50% decayed leaves and compost soil (don't have compost manure and I know a lot of people use compost soil). I figured this would be a good compromise, and will definitely rear the larvae, even if it isn't perfect. I also got it good and moist, about as moist as it would get without being able to squeeze drips of water out of it. Once again I really appreciate your help.
 

Hisserdude

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I just want to say that I really appreciate your continuing willingness to help, thread after thread.

That makes me feel better about what I did. I wanted to do something about this tonight, because once the work week starts, I know I won't have time. So I put each larvae in a tupperware container (about the equivalent of 40oz) with about 50% ground hardwood and 50% decayed leaves and compost soil (don't have compost manure and I know a lot of people use compost soil). I figured this would be a good compromise, and will definitely rear the larvae, even if it isn't perfect. I also got it good and moist, about as moist as it would get without being able to squeeze drips of water out of it. Once again I really appreciate your help.
No problem, I'm happy to help out where I can! :happy:

That sounds like a great substrate mixture, they should really love it! Keep us updated on your grubs, really hope they grow big and strong for you! :)
 

billrogers

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To be honest, I have raised this species on various mixes. I have used a mix of decomposing leaves and rotten wood, but I have also used almost completely hardwood and the grubs seemed ok both ways. But there might be one that's better than the other, it has just been my experience that they can do either.
 

Ranitomeya

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I raised these guys on just decayed hardwood without leaves and supplemented with a dollop of wheat bran that I'd prepared by mixing with boiling water. I buried it deep in the substrate and they stayed near it and were seen feeding on it. They did pretty well and ate quite a lot of the wheat bran.
 

Ratmosphere

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Definitely going to try the wheat bran method. How big were the clumps? The size of a nickel? Did it mold or attract mites?
 

Jacob Ma

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Is it possible you can raise Dynastes tityus larvae on plain compost and rotting leaves? It really is a pain to keep on gathering the right type of hardwood, and I can never get a culture growing on hardwood.
 

Ranitomeya

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Some people have had success using just compost and rotting leaves, but that depends on what the compost is made up of. Remember that compost is just made up of discarded organic matter and could contain all sorts of material that larvae might not find palatable. It may even include plant matter that's come into contact with herbicides and pesticides. If you can produce your own compost of just rotting hardwood leaves, you can use that instead.
 
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