General notes to breeding tropical beetles

Breeding tropical beetles has became a popular hobby among entomogists all around the world. Many species of coleoptera are now being bred and reproduced in captivity. These are mainly restricted to family Scarabaeidae, Dynastidae and Lucanidae. This manual contains information how to keep beetles of subfamily Cetoniinae, particularly those from Afrotropical area. There are about 3000 species of Cetoniinae known worldwide. The most popular and attractive belong to African tribe Goliathina. This group includes the largest, most beautiful and often horned beetles variable in colours, shapes and biology.

Theory of captive breeding

Breeding beetles is supposed to simulate natural conditions they have in their wild habitat. It includes many climatic, ecological and genetic factors. It is necessary to realize we cannot provide beetles the same conditions they have in the nature, we can only copy such an environment and estimate what might be done in a different way to be still good for them.

For past ten years I`ve intensively bred over 200 cetoniinae species. Many of them are presented and briefly described on this website. I`ve also made a few trips to Africa to see their wild habitat and try to gain some knowledge about their biology and ecology. Having such an experiences one must realize how simple the natural process of beetle development is, but how difficult and sometimes even impossible it is to do the same at home in the terrarium. In total amount of 3000 cetoniinae species - I would say only less than 10% can be relatively easily kept in breedings, about 30% could be once successfully reproduced, but not further anymore, and the breeding of remaining 60% is almost impossible or just the question of luck.

Fig.1: Captive breeding difficulty division

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