.
Chalcosoma caucasus (page 2)

On this and the next four pages will be shown the entire life cycle of Chalcosoma caucasus, from egg to adult beetle.  It is especially important to give this species high protein food through all three larval growth stages, or "instars", otherwise they will not grow to produce adult beetles of especially large size.  Also, it is best to keep each larva separated in its own rearing container, as they can often be aggressive toward one another, with fatal wounds sometimes resulting.  Also, in this way each larva will not have to compete with any others for food, and this will help aid its growth.

.

 
.
A newly emerged larva and unhatched egg shown next to a US 25 cent piece for size comparison.  The eggs slowly expand in size over about 14 days after being deposited by the female, and just prior to hatching, the egg membrane becomes rather transparent and the form of the larva can be seen within.  The newly hatched larvae are extremely delicate, and it is best not to handle or otherwise disturb them for a time after they emerge from their eggs.
.
Newly hatched Chalcosoma caucasus larva and egg - Image  C. Campbell

 
Young 1st instar Chalcosoma caucasus larva - Image  C. Campbell
.
A young 1st instar (L1) larva.  Measurement is shown in centimeters.  The larva has eaten just enough material to increase in size to the extent that its skin has become tighter and developed a more glossy appearance.  If caution is used, the larva can be safely handled at this stage of growth, and moved into a permanent rearing container to complete its larval cycle.  Larvae this small should actually be picked up using fingers, as they can easy be injured in this way.  Instead, carefully scoop them up from below along with some of the rearing mulch upon which they are sitting.
.

 
.
A 1st instar larva several weeks after hatching.  The head is starting to become small in relation to the size of the body.
.
1st instar Chalcosoma caucasus larva - Image  C. Campbell

 
Young 2nd instar Chalcosoma caucasus larva - Image  C. Campbell
.
A larva that has just graduated to the 2nd instar (L2) phase.  The larva has shed its old 1st instar skin to reveal a new one.  The skin is now loose and wrinkled again, but the larva will soon be eating, causing it to stretch and become smooth.  The exoskeleton of the head is also replaced during shedding, and as can be seen, the size of the head is now large in relation to the body size once again. 
.

 
Forward to Chalcosoma caucasus page 3
Back to Chalcosoma caucasus page 1


Website copyright © C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
Photographs and other illustrations (where indicated) are © C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
Other photos and images are © their respective owners.