We can divide cetoniinae into the 3 groups "easy","medium","hard" or rather say "difficult" (fig. 1). Group easy is supposed to be very well adapted to the common breeding conditions, larvae widely accept normal rotten organic matter, adults hatch without any pupal diapausis, vital, active, starting to mate and lay eggs soon after hatching. These species could be recommended for breeders beginners as they do not need any further treatment. Among african cetoniinae example is genus Cyprolais (all species), Eudicella (all species), Smaragdesthes (mainly eastern tropical subspecies of sp.africana), Dicronorhina (all species) and many of Stephanorrhina.
Group medium covers beetles with some problematic habits either connected with pupation, oviposition or larvae demand. However these habits are widely eliminated with increasing number of artificially reproduced generations. Newly imported african Megalorrhina or asian Jumnos were both supposed to be very difficult to breed with lots of troubles with pupating and laying eggs - have been in breeding for about 5 years both are now being kept very well. Captive breeding is developing process so sometimes population in culture tends to be kept easier, sometimes into reverse. This changes (or often fluctuations) demonstrate arrows on fig.1.
Mainly attractive species of tribe Goliathina like largest african scarab Goliathus, have unfortunately unknown breeding habits and mainly due to highly specific larvae feeding demand these are placed among difficult to breed species.
Breeding conditions and factors
Temperature: should be about 22-25C for larvae, for adults itīs worth to heat up using fluorescent tubes or common bulbs. Mainly tropical beetle adults are obviously used to longer light period than we have in Europe and temperature should ideally drop to 15 degrees during the night.
Moisture : Referring to the absolute range of moisture 1(dry)-5(wet) the best is 3-4 for larvae substrate with continuous drying up to 1,5-2 when larvae pupate. Beetles in cocoon are generally less vulnerable when the moisture of breeding substrate is kept low. Too wet cause elytra deformations, mites infestation eventually support fungal and mould infection. These mentioned mainly affect pupas.
Feeding and substrate composition: African Goliathini are commonly diurnal insects, feeding on sap coming from wounds on trees, many of them are found in blossoms of Protea , Vernonia or Acacia sp., although some other species of the Cremastochelini develop in symbiosis with social insects, another big amount of species are found in dung and termite nests. Most of the cetoniinae in culture do accept mixture composed of old leaf litter (any deciduos trees) with addition of rotten wood (preferably white wood, like beech or oak). You can add some leafy vegetable for some particular species (Eudicella, Pachnoda). Also dung or manure supplement is welcomed as some genera do develop in such substrate (Cremastochelini, Oryctes sp., Rhabdotis, Mausoleopsis etc.). Adults in captivity feed on fruit (widely bananas), might be substituted by jelly equivalent for easier maintenance. Fruit should be changed every second day and put on a glass tray to avoid having plenty mites and Drosophilas in it.previous page 1st page 2nd page 3rd page next page