The Breeding/Rearing of Prosopocoilus giraffa keisukei (page 2)
- Yasuhiko Kasahara -

3. Breeding/rearing9

3.1  Getting started 

To begin with, what you need are:

  1) A pair of adults (or several larvae);
  2) Containers for breeding/rearing;
  3) Food for adults;
  4) Substrate for breeding;and
  5) Decaying wood logs (length: about 15 cm; diameter: about 10 cm)

1) Please obtain a pair of adults (or several larvae). In choosing which individuals to buy, the following criteria are useful:

  a) Wild-caught individuals:
          Make sure: - When were they collected?: Avoid older individuals.
                  - Are they healthy-looking?: Check if there is no scar, injury
                    or missing part.

  b) Captive reared individuals:
          Make sure: - When did they emerge?: Avoid individuals of 8 months or older.
            - Are they healthy-looking?: Check that there is no scar, injury 
             or missing part.

* Note that these two criteria are for imagoes. For choosing larvae, you can skip steps: - When were 
  they collected? and - When did they emerge?

2) Oviposition (egg laying) requires some space; e.g. a container with a capacity of at least 5-6 liters (a lid is a must to stop the beetles from escaping). Get one and fill it with substrate (Also, see 4.  A substrate for rearing Lucanid beetles). 

- Put substrate into the container up to 5 cm high from the bottom, and press it hard by hand or any other means. Next, place one or two decaying wood logs on the top. Then, another layer of substrate should be added, unpressed, up to a point where the log(s) is/are almost covered. The female digs holes into the log(s) and lays eggs in it/them.

- Then, place a mated female alone into the container. A male is vicious and may hurt a female in a stressful environment. A hand pairing would be good for mating. Feed them regularly (for food, see 3)).

- Keep the temperature at 20-26 degrees C. and moisten the substrate and log adequately.

decaying wood logs
Figure 3.1.1  An example of decaying wood logs (dimensions: 15 cm in length; 5 cm in diameter)

breeding container for Prosopocoilus giraffa
Figure 3.1.2  An example of a breeding container with substrate and a decaying wood log

3) For maintaining adults, you need to feed them with a peeled banana. It is better to place its pieces or slices on a small tray instead of applying them directly on the substrate, which causes them to spoil faster or prompts an occurrence of fruit flies or ticks (mites). A peeled apple or a peach also serves as a suitable food. 

4) See 4.  A substrate for rearing Lucanid beetles. A substitute can be garden soil. But it serves for a breeding purpose only, not for rearing by any means.

5) Find a fallen decaying wood log in your area (a hardwood tree only - preferably, Fagus sp. or Quercus sp.). Cut it into pieces of about 15 cm in length. Then, keep them under fresh water for a day. This moistens the log and kills any beetle predator organisms in it. 

(continued on next page)


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