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Pachnoda ephippiata
Range:  eastern equatorial Africa 
Size:  20 mm

In the tropical environs of Kenya lives Pachnoda ephippiata.  Two bright yellow bands frame the sides of the insect's body, and the rest of the dorsal surface is black.  There are many different species of Pachnoda across Africa, and they are among the most commonly encountered of the continent's cetoniine scarabs.  They are also among the simplest of all tropical beetles to breed in captivity, and the larvae are not at all particular about the constituents of their rearing substrate.  A substrate containing a 50/50 mixture of decaying leaves and wood will work well.  The larvae will also eat slices of ripe fruit placed on the substrate surface.  A species of Pachnoda that is even more commonly seen in public displays of living insects is Pachnoda flaviventris, the "yellow-bellied" Pachnoda of western equatorial Africa, so named for the bright yellow colouration of its ventral surface.  P. flaviventris has been captive reared for many generations.

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In P. ephippiata, and in most other species of Pachnoda, the sexes are not especially sexually dimorphic.  To distinguish them, one must look for a small groove which is present on the underside of the male's abdomen.

Photo courtesy of Roman Kocina.

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Pachnoda ephippiata  - Image  Roman Kocina

 
Pachnoda sinuata
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Another species of Pachnoda, P. sinuata.  The basic markings of this species are very similar to that of P. ephippiata.
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