Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mecynorrhina torquata or mecynorrhina ugandensis: which one is which?

Initially it was very confusing for me how to call these beetles correctly: mecynorrhina torquata or mecynorrhina ugandensis. It was a bit easier with a similar green beetle with no white stripes in the centre on the top called mecynorrhina torquata immacullicollis, which was one of my first beetles. Later I found out that according to (one of the) latest classification the mecynorrhina torquata has at least 4 subspecies: immacullicollis, poggei, torquata and ugandensis. So the full names of these subspecies will be mecynorrhina torquata immacullicollismecynorrhina torquata poggei, mecynorrhina torquata torquata and mecynorrhina torquata ugandensisI knew that ugandensis and torquata can easily interbreed and produce  fertile offspring so there was not much of a surprise there:).  The existence of m.t. torquata and m.t. poggei was new information to me, although I saw the brown m.t. advertised as m.t. immacullicollis, which would fit into the description of m.t.t subspecies. Here I came across a wonderful map of the distribution of all 4 subspecies plus another popular related beetle from the same genus, mecynorrhina oberthueri ssp.    Unfortunately, I cannot find the original resource, so if anyone knows it's German source, please let me know. 

It is quite obvious that Mecynorrhina torquata ugandensis (often called Mecynorrhina ugandensis) and Mecynorrhina torquata immacullicollis (often called Mecynorrhina torquata) are the most popular species kept by hobbyists and breeders.  Mecynorrhina torquata ugandensis has a massive variety of colourations and therefore is the most sought after by collectors, particularly large male specimens. Someone even said that there are no two Mecynorrhina ugandensis of the identical colour and pattern in the wild:)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Sneak peek preview: a goliath beetle, Goliathus Orientalis Preissi

Recently obtained a few goliath beetles, Goliathus Orientalis Preissi, Origin: Tanzania. Hopefully will get some grubs from them:) 
Two good sized females eating banana...

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

A stag beetle lamprima adolphinae larvae for sale

Some L2 larvae of a tropical stag beetle Lamprima adolphinae available for sale
Parents- Blue female vs blue green male
Care similar as for the rainbow stag beetle
£7 each or £6 if you buy 10 larvae , parents photos here

please email me, if you are interested

Monday, 28 April 2014

Tropical beetle larvae for sale

I have following larvae for sale now

1)  Mecynorrhina ugandensis - harmless massive giant African flower beetles, can reach up to 85 mm, very easy to keep and breed, have massive colour variety, so it is fun to cross breed different colour forms
Larvae from brown-green-orange-white parents on photo below, L1 £3 each and L2 £3.50 each, 10+ available

2) Mecynorrhina ugandensis, L1  £3.50 each and L2 £4 each; larvae from the blue male and orange female parents shown on photo below
10+ available    ALMOST ALL SOLD, only a few L2s left!!!

3) Mecynorrhina ugandensis, orange parents, male orange red with white stripes
 L1 £3.50 each larvae from the parents on photo below
10+ available

4) Rainbow stag beetlePhalacrognathus MuelleriL1 larvae £7 each, L2 £8 each 10+ available, these are always in high demand so hurry up.
These Australian beetles are excellent pets as they can live up to 2 years.

Discount on orders of 10+ larvae. 

Some dynastes granti larvae will be available in a few months and a few other species.

Also have trio adults of MU 1 male +2 females. Females are not mated yet 2 weeks old and male is one week old, £40 for all three. 
Photo of the trio below

payment by paypal
Please contact me regarding the availability of the grubs at

The rainbow stag beetle, Phalacrognathus Muelleri, care sheet

Temperature ~23-28C. 
Humidity: High. 
Can be kept in small containers, if no breeding is required. If you  keep your beetles in small containers, better to keep them individually or at least in pairs, male and female.  The aggressive males will kill other males and the same thing may happen with females: aggressive females may kill other females in a very small enclosure.  For big groups it is better  to keep them in large containers with lots of hiding places created by placing pieces of wood or bark on the top of the soil. The beetles spend most of the day time hiding underground, and often become more active in low light conditions. They will escape if they have a chance, so the box should be kept tightly closed, and a few pen-size holes need to be provided in the lid or the top part in the side of the container for better air circulation.

They feed well on banana or other ripe sweet fruits or beetle jelly.  They seem to like banana more, perhaps due to a high protein content. Some breeders believe that adults of these species require a lots of protein and add some yogurt into the mashed banana.  I feed them with my home-made beetle jelly (  


     Initially I had a massive issue with mating my first rainbows. They were placed into a properly organised large container designed for egg laying and after six months of waiting I discovered no eggs:(.  After several discussions on forums I came to the conclusion that the major male (with massive horns), could not simply catch the females which were normally hiding underground. The solution was to place them in a small enclosure with no hiding places and provide food in one spot.  Male normally feeds and guards the food at the same time, so catching hungry female for him was not a problem in the small box. Egg laying setup is pretty much the same as for many stag beetles: decayed oak or beech log partially buried into garden soil or mulched wood. The female burrows the hole inside of the log and deposits eggs, simultaneously filling the hole with mulched wood and with parts of the substrate. If mulched wood or fermented flakes are used to fill the box, the female may lay eggs in the substrate too, normally in the bottom layer. If there is more than one female in the container, they may clean up each others holes to lays their own eggs. After about 3 months logs are carefully split with a knife or a screwdriver and the larvae are removed. Eggs can also be removed and placed in the tubs filled with the larvae substrate. 


Mulched white rotten oak will be sufficient to produce minor healthy adults. However, to grow major adults, good quality fermented wood or even better, kinshi substrate, are required. I found the procedure making kinshi a bit disappointing,  as every 3rd tub I made with kinshi was contaminated, and the procedure itself was rather time- and resource-consuming. Some hobbyists use dog food
 as a supplement to grow bigger larvae, but I did not like this approach, as it attracts parasitic mites. In the late L3 stage the larvae  will create the pupal chamber and transform to the pupa. I found that the rate of survival of the pupa is much higher if pupa is transferred into the artificial pupa container, which I normally make from floral foam. After beetles come out of the pupa, they will stay in their  cells inactive for a couple of weeks and then they will be ready to mate again.

homemade kinshi
To see more photos of beetles, please visit my flickr page at
You can also contact me via regarding any related issue and availability of these beetles.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Colourmorph of Mecynorrhina ugandensis; Japanese blue male vs green brown yellow female

Last year I cross-bred two green-brown-yellow females with a blue Japanese line male of mecynorrhina torquata ugandensis and left several larvae from these parents for myself. The larvae pupated about 2 months ago and now some of the pupae started to hatch. The result has exceeded my expectation; the beetles came out with the dark green velvety pronotum and  a dark red elytra,  with some white stripes preserved on both the pronotum and the elytra. Below is the photo of the pair of such beetles, male left, female right. Now I am wondering what body colour will have the next generation from these parents, and will I be able to get blue beetle strain back?

Monday, 20 January 2014

The European rhinoceros beetle, oryctes nasicornis breeding report

Last spring I obtained some L3 larvae of the European rhinoceros beetle, oryctes nasicornis.  These beetles are fairly large and can grow up to 4 cm or even bigger for some subspecies such as oryctes nasicornis grypus.  In nature their larvae live in rotten wood and their distribution is often associated with compost heaps and sawdust mills.  Moreover, the relatively higher temperature during winter in compost and sawdust heaps allowed these beetles to spread far north in Europe and Asia.  Remarkably, the oryctes nasicornis is absent in the United Kingdom and has not been reported breeding in the wild in this country.  The larvae feed mainly on decayed wood, but any decayed vegetation, like the one that can be found in compost heaps, can serve as a food source. The adult beetles do not feed, however, can live several month using reserves accumulated during the larval part of the life cycle of the  beetle.

My larvae were in late L3 when I obtained them, so they turned into the pupa pretty soon. Interestingly, the pupal stage lasted only 2-3 weeks, perhaps because the containers were kept with my tropical beetles, and the temperature there was around 22-25C.  Adults (2 males+2 females) were transferred into an egg laying container (40l plastic box) where they stayed inactive for about 5-7 weeks. The egg laying container was set up as follows. Bottom layer- 15-20 cm of the garden soil mixed with mulched oak leaves and rotten wood (oak, poplar, willow). The proportion of wood:leaves:soil=80%:10%:10%. This layer was pressed hard. On the top of this layer, I placed another layer (about 15 cm) of the soil with the higher contents of mulched wood and leaves. All was finished up with individual chunks of well-decayed wood, bark and oak leaves on the top.  

The adults spent about 3-4 months inactive in the garden shed. After that I transferred them into my beetle breeding cupboard where they stayed inactive for another couple weeks.   After one night I discovered that big chunk of softwood was split into a few pieces, which suggested that something is going on there:)  I waited patiently for about two months and then checked the content of the box.  Firstly I found one female dead :( and then a reasonably big L1 larvae in a top layer. When I started digging further I found quite a few (40+:) L1s and eggs.  Eggs and smallish L1 larvae were in clumps of substrate about the size of a large cherry that was tightly packed by the female during oviposition, so it was not very difficult finding them :)  Some clumps had not just one larvae/eggs inside (please see photos below). I was surprised how big the egg of this rhinoceros beetle is; the fresh laid egg was about 3-4 mm long which then expand to about 5 mm ball. The remaining female was placed into another smallish container, hopefully she will lay a few more eggs.

Left: substrate clump (2.5 cm size) with L1 larvae ; center and right- two newly hatched L1 larvae discovered in the clump:)

From left to right: freshly laid egg, egg that about to hatch, newly hatched L1, and older L1. Same head size confirms that bigger larva is still in L1 stage. 

You can also contact me via regarding any related issue and availability of beetles.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Prosopocoilus bison breeding report

I recently obtained a few of these beautiful beetles, so I tried to breed them. The male can reach 60 mm, females are smaller (see photo below). Just a few observations which you may find helpful. As for food they were feeding well on the home-made jelly for stag beetles, that I use for all my beetles. You can find this recipe in the topic below. (  They also seem to prefer the jelly to ripe fruits, such as grape, banana or sweet clementine.  They stayed active at temperatures between 19-25C. I kept a male together with the females;  the male was not aggressive towards the females. The interesting thing about these beetles, is that they regularly played dead when I opened the beetle enclosure and they could stay like that for minutes, and often upside down:) So you have to be very careful not to "discard" the live beetle, thinking that it has died. As an egg laying substrate I used decayed softwood chunks and logs from various deciduous trees. The females of prosopocoilus bison seemed to prefer a softer wood for the egg-laying, much softer than one which is preferred by the females of rainbow stag beetles (phalacrognathus muelleri). 

Prosopocoilus bison  pair;
male left, female right.

Few pieces of bark were also  placed in the enclosure as hiding places for the male.  Interestingly, females did not do much wood boring: the eggs were deposited into small gaps and holes close to the surface of the wood chunks. I observed female depositing eggs in a container with clear plastic sides. Female made a shallow hole/"incision" in the wood chunk and then deposited an egg. Female often did not bother covering such holes, sometimes just pushing  a little amount of softwood around it. Some L1 larvae  were also found in the substrate (garden soil mixed with mulched wood). I am not sure whether the eggs were deposited in the substrate, or just fell out of the wood chunks. Unlike some of my other stags, prosopocoilus bison larvae did not get too excited:) when I transferred them into the individual containers filled with original wood and fermented oak sawdust and initially preferred to keep chewing the original wood rather than the treated oak flakes. Only a few of them switched to the fermented sawdust right away. Would be interesting to see what size males I will get on my fermented flakes and whether these flakes are any good for the prosopocoilus bison larvae