Hunting Dynastes granti (and other beetles) in Payson, AZ

billrogers

Arachnoknight
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Jan 18, 2016
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For years I have wanted to visit Payson, Arizona. For those who don't know, collectors from all over the country come to Payson in August and September to collect beetles. Specifically Dynastes granti. If anyone is considering going, do it. It was awesome. It lived up 100% to its beetle reputation.

I have kept and bred Dynastes tityus for a few years (you can read about how I got them here: http://arachnoboards.com/threads/my-dynastes-tityus-story.286374/), but I have always wanted to have the Dynastes granti.

On Friday, when I got home from school my dad and I started driving. We live pretty far away so we didn't get there until after 10. We then drove around beetle hunting until after 12. Let me just say that the best spot to beetle hunt is in the Home Depot parking lot. It's on the north side of the town (which is more forested than the south). The library (which is kind of on the east) was the only other place we found anything (I found three Dynastes granti there!). Home Depot had Longhorns, Xyloryctes thestalus, Chrysina gloriosa, some sort of Carabidae beetles, and Dynastes granti. There were billions of Xyloryctes thestalus. They were everywhere! There were also a good amount of insects that looked like owl flies (idk what they were) and a few sphinx months at the lights.

Besides insects, on our drive we saw a squirrel, a flock of turkeys, what looked like an owl, a fox, a herd of deer, a herd of elk or something (not deer), an unknown small animal with a death wish (it ran in front of the car and we barely missed it), and a bunch of bats. The mountains around Payson are a wildlife hotspot! Besides animals, there are so many beautiful trees! It's amazing up there!

The final beetle count is:

1.1.0 Chrysina gloriosa (I'm guessing gender based on body size)
5.4.0 Dynastes granti
2.1.0 Xyloryctes thestalus

I also found two dead (well, one was dying) Dynastes granti, and two dead Chrysina gloriosa.

Here are the pics!

Tenebrionidae sp.
I found this guy under a light. Any idea on what the species could be?
IMG_9206.jpg

Chrysina gloriosa
IMG_9234.jpg IMG_9232.jpg IMG_9235.jpg

Xyloryctes thestalus
Here are the males:
IMG_9239.jpg IMG_9241.jpg
And here is the female. She would not hold still so this is the best pic I could get (Terrible, I know).
IMG_9243.jpg

Dynastes granti
Female #1
IMG_9223.jpg

Female #2
IMG_9225.jpg IMG_9226.jpg

I can only attach 10 files :D I'll ad another post
 
Last edited:

BobBarley

Arachnoprince
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Sep 16, 2015
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1,487
Awesome! These are truly amazing beetles that I'd love to keep one day. Good luck breeding!
 

billrogers

Arachnoknight
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Jan 18, 2016
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216
Female #3
IMG_9229.jpg IMG_9228.jpg

Female #4 (still dark from the humidity of being burrowed)
IMG_9230.jpg IMG_9231.jpg

And now for the males... (starting at the least impressive)

Male #1
IMG_9216.jpg

Male #2
IMG_9213.jpg IMG_9214.jpg

Male #3
IMG_9218.jpg

Male #4
IMG_9220.jpg IMG_9219.jpg

One more post...
 

billrogers

Arachnoknight
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Jan 18, 2016
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And now... The pride of my trip... my best find... He is truly magnificent.

Male #5
IMG_9207.jpg IMG_9210.jpg IMG_9211.jpg

Please exuse the poor photos, I'm having trouble with my nice camera so I had to do all these with my iPhone.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Jun 27, 2010
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2,177
Wow!!! Great finds! Now I want to go to Payson, too! I need to visit my brother in Phoenix one of these days... and Payson is only a couple of hours further... Hmmm....
 

BobBarley

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Those would make amazing preserved specimens (as you know, their adult lifespans are rather short).
 

billrogers

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Jan 18, 2016
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Those would make amazing preserved specimens (as you know, their adult lifespans are rather short).
This is my eventual plan for D. granti and D. tityus. I don't feel comfortable shipping live specimens so I plan to raise and sell mounted pairs. I'll for sure post a link here when I start.
 

BobBarley

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This is my eventual plan for D. granti and D. tityus. I don't feel comfortable shipping live specimens so I plan to raise and sell mounted pairs. I'll for sure post a link here when I start.
Try the hand sanitizer method. Definitely my favorite for preserving.
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Apr 18, 2015
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VERY nice finds man, looks like your trip was a total success! :D

That Tenebrionid is a Stenomorpha species, it's a big genus that has many similar looking species, so I don't think you'll be able to get an ID beyond that. Hope it's a gravid female, that'd be awesome! :)
 

billrogers

Arachnoknight
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Jan 18, 2016
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VERY nice finds man, looks like your trip was a total success! :D

That Tenebrionid is a Stenomorpha species, it's a big genus that has many similar looking species, so I don't think you'll be able to get an ID beyond that. Hope it's a gravid female, that'd be awesome! :)
Thanks for the ID! Can they just live on sand with some wood as cover? I have a velvet ant that lives by itself in a large tank set up that way and I was considering putting them together they are both eat fruit/vegetables (I assume for the beetle) and live in the same habitat area. The tenebriodid also likes dog food, right? Would it be a potential disaster to house the velvet any and beetle together?
 

billrogers

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Also, does anyone have any info on care for the C. gloriosas? I assume they just eat fruit/sap?
 

Hisserdude

Arachnoking
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Thanks for the ID! Can they just live on sand with some wood as cover? I have a velvet ant that lives by itself in a large tank set up that way and I was considering putting them together they are both eat fruit/vegetables (I assume for the beetle) and live in the same habitat area. The tenebriodid also likes dog food, right? Would it be a potential disaster to house the velvet any and beetle together?
Yes that setup should be fine, darklings and velvet ants can be housed together with no problems. :) Darklings love dog or cat food, and it should be a regular part of their diet.
 

Jacob Ma

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Feb 2, 2016
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I have tried to feed C. gloriosa on sweet foods. It didn't work out too well.
They will only eat juniper fronds that are somewhat still fresh.
 

Jacob Ma

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Feb 2, 2016
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I'm not quite sure if that is a juniper frond or not, but I would try experimenting with several different kinds of fronds and see which one seems to work the best.
 

PuckMonk

Arachnopeon
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Dec 23, 2007
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Very impressive specimens. I think it's awesome your father was willing to travel so far to collect them with you. He sounds like a keeper too.
 
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