Sunday, 13 September 2015
The underneath photo of the rose chafer, cetonia aurata, female
Although it is considered that the rose chafer is widespread in the UK, I have never seen one in nature feeding or flying. Some photos found on internet showed the presence of these beetles in relatively close places, mainly big parks, such as Richmond Park. So I assumed that their habitat in London is mainly associated with woodland and park areas. However, about 3 or 4 years ago I left a big plastic box that I used for breeding of my beetles outside in our back garden; the box was filled with some garden soil mixed with rotten wood and leaves. The box was not covered and stayed outside for about 6 weeks. When I decided to reuse it, to my surprise, I found about 40 small larvae in the soil with a female of the rose chafer on the top the soil. This suggested that this female, which was flying in the area, found the box with substrate rich in decaying wood and leaves and decided that it is acceptable for her offspring.
I normally remove quite a lot of the used beetle larvae substrate from my boxes and I usually "discard" it into the vegetable patch in our back garden. This used substrate apart from larvae's frass still contained a significant part of uneaten material such as rotten wood and decayed leaves. This spring I was digging soil for the tomato patch and discovered 5 larvae similar to appearance to rose chafer larvae. We have plenty of summer chafers (amphimallon solstitiale) flying in spring and summer in our garden, so automatically I assumed that these are the larvae of this species. However, I decided to keep these 5 larvae and put them in the box with some decayed leaves. About 2 month ago these larvae pupated all together and later emerged as 5 beautiful rose chafers, 2 females and 3 males, which seems almost a perfect ratio! I made and break with these species about couple years ago but it seems that I will be starting with them again. The males of the rose chafers, as many other flower beetles, have a distinct "invagination" on their abdomen, which often appears longitudinally divided (please see the photo below)
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A giant rhino beetle, Dynastes hercules lichyi,
L1-L2 larvae, £8 each or 10 for £75
One of the longest beetles in the world, larvae grow on the mixture of decayed leaves and wood
A golden chafer, protaetia (cetonischema) aeruginosa, L1-L2 larvae £1.5 each or 10 for £13
(a medium size (~30 mm) beautiful flower beetle, larvae feed on decayed leaves) from mixed colour parents
(a medium size stag beetle (up to 60 mm), larvae grow on decayed mulched oak or beech wood)(SOLD!)
Megasoma gyas porioni (extra rare!), Huge megasoma, absolutely massive beetle, larvae grow on leaf litter, L1, £15 each, available now
Megasoma anubis (extra rare!), large size megasoma, larvae grow on leaf litter, L1, £15 each, coming soon
a medium size (~30 mm) chafer, just amazing beautiful flower beetle, looks surreal, very rare in the UK, larvae feed on decayed leaves (SOLD!)
Small amount of leaf litter (almost pure decayed leaves, mainly oak, no soil) is available, 10L for £18 delivered, UK postage
A few ~0.5l kinshi tubes is available for sale; £5 each, UK p£p £3, suitable for late L1 early L2 larvae of majority stag beetles such as rainbow stag beetle
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