The Breeding/Rearing of Prosopocoilus giraffa keisukei (page 3)
- Yasuhiko Kasahara -

3.2  Rearing larvae

After a couple of months, take the female out of the container.* Then, carefully break down the log(s) to see if larvae have already hatched inside. If so, transfer them singly into plastic/glass bottles of about an 800 cc (0.8 liter) capacity, which is filled with substrate (see 4.  A substrate for rearing Lucanid beetles). When you stuff substrate into empty bottles, the substrate should be pressed hard. Some female larvae may undergo emergence in the first bottles without the substrate changed. Meanwhile, male larvae have a greater appetite and take a longer time before their emergence. When the substrate in the first bottles is almost eaten up, you need to transfer them singly into the second bottles. For females, use bottles of the same dimensions, but for males, you need to transfer them to larger bottles (e.g. 1,500 cc (1.5 liter) with a diameter of at least 15 cm). Repeat this process, if need be.

 * If you wish to obtain more eggs, place the female into another breeding container. 
    Repeat this process if you want.

Prosopocoilus giraffa eggs
Figure 3.2.1  Eggs in cups are to be maintained for about one month

rearing bottle for a Prosopocoilus giraffa larva
Figure 3.2.2  An example of a 1,500 cc (1.5 liter) glass bottle, which is filled with substrate

When changing substrates, it is safer to stuff unused (new) substrate first from the bottom of the bottle, and then the used one. The capacity ratio of the new to the used is 2-to-1. By so doing, beetle's symbiotic bacteria, if any, would grow steadily in the substrate and promote an ideal feeding environment for better larval growth10. From the author's rearing, the duration of larval periods are: Male: 9 or more months; and Female: 4-9 months.

3.3  Larva sexing

For sexing, see the following picture, Figure 3.3.

Prosopocoilus giraffa female larva
Figure 3.3  Yellowish ovaries may be visible underneath the 7-8th abdominal segment of the dorsal side of a female larva after its mid-L2 stage. There are no ovaries in a male larva, as a matter of course. Besides, an L3 male reaches 40-60 grams in weight when it is fully grown, whereas the female remains below 20 grams.

3.4  Maintaining pupae

After larvae turn noticeably yellowish in colour, stop changing substrates. Some time soon, the larvae will make pupal cells and undergo pupation in them. Often times, you can see pupae through the (transparent) bottle wall against which their pupal cells are made. The best advice I can give you at this point is patience: wait until one month after their emergence, and then take them out carefully. Newly emerged adults need 3-4 months for maturity. The life span of the adult is 10-12 months after its emergence. 

3.5  Breeding

Repeat the process: 3.1  Getting started

(continued on next page)


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