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   Breeding of:
Phalacrognathus muelleri

Setup of the breeding container:

   Breeding containers used for one pair have the following measures: 30 cm wide x 45 cm long x 30 cm high. First fill soil (the kind used for sowing) at the bottom of the container, press it (it should be about 5 cm high). Then place some white foul pieces of wood in the container (3-4 branches of about 5-10 cm diameter and a length that is fitting in the container). Then fill the container with a mixture of fine chopped white foul wood and softer wood (1 part and 1 part), press it, the substrate should reach 20-25 cm in height. The used substrate needs no sterilisation.

Food for the adult beetles:

   The beetles are fed with a mixture of mashed banana, yogurt, honey and maple syrup (3 parts, 3 parts, 1part, 1part). The yoghurt is used as supply for proteins (advice from J.T.Lai). The beetles will hunt larvae if they lack proteins, even the males. I did recognize this first when I had an excess of males. I kept them separately in breeding containers of different flower beetle species and fed them exclusively with banana. The result was a significant loss of larvae in the containers.

Temperature and Lighting:

   This species does not need special lighting if it is placed near a window. The temperature should be around 22 C (72 F).

Raising of larvae:

   I do not recommend to retrieve small L1 larvae. If you retrieve eggs, wait until the hatched larvae have grown some weeks. Disturbing small L1 larvae resulted in high losses (in my culture), probably burrowing back in the compressed substrate is to exhausting for small larvae. It is possible to retrieve older L1 larvae and raise them separately, so you can feed them with dog food. This leads to major adults. Another possibility is to change the breeding container and to add more white foul pieces of wood to the old one. You have to change substrate one time (after about 4-5-month). This way is less time-consuming, but leads to smaller adults.

If you keep the larvae separately, I propose the following setup:

   Each larva needs a PET-bottle (the kind used for 1,5 l Cola). The upper part of the bottle is truncated. Put 3-4 pieces of dog food at the base of the container and fill it with fine chopped, white foul wood. Finally compress the substrate, lay the larva on top of it and fill 1-2 cm substrate loosely over the larva. Change the dog food once a week. The substrate used needs no pretreating like heating, freezing... I got problems with mites solely in sterilised substrate (after some mites had been introduced to it).

   Felix Knoth
   March 28, 2004


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