Friday, August 11, 2017

Click Beetle & Pasimachus Updates!!

Finally, after years of waiting, my Alaus melanops grub has matured!! 😁 I could have gotten it to pupate months after I originally caught it in 2014, but I never provided it with a little log to dig into before, apparently larvae of this species will refuse to pupate without a block of wood to bore into and construct their pupal cell in, they'll even put the process off an extra two years if they need to!

Well, I must say, for a larva that put off it's pupation so long, it turned into a nice sized adult male!! (at least I really think it's a male). It emerged from it's log after a lengthy three month or so inactivity period, honestly I was beginning to wonder if it had died or not! I have it housed with my Pyrophorus adults, (more on them shortly), since they have pretty much the same care requirements and can't hybridize.

Here are some pictures of the Alaus adult:

And here are a couple shots of the Alaus adult with my small Pyrophorus male, for comparison:

I'm so happy I was finally able to rear this specimen to maturity, too bad I don't have any females for him...

In other click beetle related news, another one of my original three Pyrophorus noctilucus has matured and dug it's way up to the surface, so now I have two active adults! This second one is quite a bit bigger than my original adult, and may be a female! I know my older, smaller adult is a male, since once it came into contact with the new adult, he chased it around and tried to mate with it, even exposing and extending his genitalia.

The new individual just ran away from those mating attempts, and never attempted to mount and mate with the smaller male, which makes me think it's a female! Time will tell I suppose! 😊

Here is a picture of them both snacking on an apple slice:

My last remaining individual from the original trio has also eclosed now, and will hopefully claw it's way up to the surface in a week or two! With any luck, I may have offspring from this species soon!

The other day, I decided to move my Pasimachus sp. "Arizona" to a smaller container, the reason being that they were having a hard time finding food in the larger container I had them in. They are quite old now, both individuals have lost most of their tibia, and while the female is still largely intact, the male is on his last legs, literally, a few of his legs are just little nubs now.

Anyway, I moved the adults to a smaller enclosure, and dumped most of the remaining substrate from their old enclosure into a ziplock bag for a few days, since I was planning on using it for a future Tenebrionid rehousing, (hey, waste not want not! The substrate was pretty clean and suitable for future use). Well yesterday I went to rehouse those Tenebs, (specifically Embaphion cf. contusum), and as I was adding the old Pasimachus substrate to their new enclosure, a long, dark shape came crawling out... A first instar Pasimachus larva!!! 😮

The LAST thing I was expecting from my old, run-down Pasimachus adults was offspring, especially since my female already laid an egg a few months ago that never hatched. I'm thrilled to have gotten a larva from this species, I'm really hoping I can rear it to adulthood, but with my previous track record breeding Carabids, I'm a bit doubtful.

I have moved it to a little deli cup with some of the substrate from the old Pasimachus cage, (a coconut fiber and sand mixture), which I am keeping fairly moist. I will be trying to feed it pre-killed mealworms and small roach nymphs, and maybe some live Trichorhina tomentosa.

Here are some pictures of the little bugger:

Very cool looking Carabid larvae, will be keeping you guys updated on it's progress! Considering how hard Carabid larvae are to rear, I'm not getting my hopes up too high that I will be able to rear it to adulthood, however, I do know of someone who has successfully done so before, so who knows? 🙂

Well, that is going to do it for today, I hope everyone enjoyed, will see you all next time! 😉


  1. Many difficult or new marine fishes have become captive-bred. Can you learn from those experts?

    1. Not quite sure what you mean by that lol! Fish and beetle husbandry needs are quite different, comparing the two wouldn't really lead to any breakthroughs for me!! XD

      The main difficulty in getting Carabids to breed in captivity besides inducing oviposition, (which is usually just a matter of providing certain seasonal cues or certain prey availability), is getting the larvae to survive. Carabids larvae usually have extremely high die off rates in captivity, some are specialists that will only accept very certain types of prey, others have specific substrate needs, etc., so "normal" adult setups rarely work for the larvae.

      However, I know someone who successfully reared a larva of Pasimachus to maturity, he just kept his on a sand/coconut fiber mix, fed it various pre-killed insects, and kept it moist, hopefully the same method will work for me! :)

      I also know someone who got a larva from his female that died before maturing though, he kept his much the same, but I think he kept his on plain sand, which may have been the problem. Besides these two people, I don't know of anyone else who's gotten larvae from this genus, so I don't have too much to go on here! Hopefully I can rear it successfully, we'll see! :)

      (This is the second time I'm writing this BTW, was almost finished with my original comment, but I was writing it on my tablet, and my pinky just slightly tapped the "Sign Out" button, and everything was deleted... -_-).

    2. They are more similar than you think. I know one expert got some longnose filefishes (Oxymonacanthus) to not only survive but reproduce. The fish is apparently supposed to be a corallivorous specialist and often dies in aquariums; he managed to save them by teaching them to eat shrimps/roe as a supplement, I believe. You will not be getting mottled coral carabids anytime soon, but you could adapt or modify the techniques the fish experts use for your own use. Imaginary and likely inaccurate example: You discover carabid larval deaths are mainly caused by failure to detect (not inability to digest) prey due to specialized antenna receptors. Like the expert who smudged shrimps onto coral, you apply juices of Buggus specialfoodius onto a cricket and the larva survives till adulthood.

      And yes, I've run into accidental deletes too.

    3. That's true, and scenarios like the theoretical one you suggested may actually be needed for certain Carabids, some have very unusual care requirements. Pasimachus larvae may not be all that difficult to rear compared to some other species, mine is accepting pre-killed mealworms with zeal, but for whatever reason, Pasimachus females only ever seem to lay one or two eggs in captivity per year, if you are lucky! Whereas wild females supposedly lay no less than three per year...

  2. Congrats on the clicks, that Alaus in particular is a real breath-taker! :D

    Would be nice if those were as easy to culture as the poor man's Pasimachus, Scarites. lol

    1. Thanks! I'm really happy I was able to get that Alaus to finally mature, he's quite the beauty! :)

      I didn't know Scarites were easy to breed, why can't Pasimachus be easy to breed consistently!? :(

    2. Definitely. Those glowers aren't too shabby either. ;)

      Well, I don't exactly know for sure, but I got mine to lay eggs and was able to get at least one of my 2 or so larvae to second instar when I kept them. But I do have a WC third instar that I'm currently trying to pupate so we should know soon. :)

    3. Where did you see that Scarites breeds easily? It is a carabid after all.

      And the Alaus is stunning, but being in the same photo with a glower makes both of them much more attractive even though the glowclick is brown and not glowing.

    4. Did I accidentally doublepost? If not, where did you hear that Scarites was easy? It may only be a lucky batch if only one semiexpert reared them.

      (Guess what, my comment was deleted too)

    5. @All About Insects The glowers are definitely far from shabby lol, and a lot easier to get to pupate for sure!

      Huh, interesting, did your L2 larvae die or did you release them? What did they accept as food? Nice, if you can get that one to pupate, please do snap some pictures of the pupa! :D

      @AlexW I wish I could have gotten better pictures of them together, I still may try actually, it's a neat comparison for sure! :)

  3. @AlexW, from personal experience they seemed easy. A simple, moist mix of coconut fiber worked well for both adults and larvae, even getting females to oviposit and the resulting eggs to hatch. Feeding was also no trouble, so if I can get my WC larva to pupate and eclose successfully, I think all the "Easy Species" boxes would be checked! :)

    @Invertebrate Dude, if memory serves me correctly, I believe I released them. Guess I might have to start breeding them again to make sure. ;)
    They accepted the same food that my adults gorged themselves on, pre-killed roaches, isopods, and mealworms. :)
    Will do, although they pretty much look like what you'd expect from seeing the adult beetle. lol

    1. Good to know!
      So not too picky then, that's nice!
      Thanks! I know, but I really like seeing what pupae of beetles look like in comparison to the adults, I don't know why!

  4. Hey I'd love to know how you reared Pyrophorus larvae. Posting from the Peruvian Amazon, where we have a particularly large species.

    1. Hello there! I've got a caresheet for the Pyrophorus right here:

      I'd love to visit the amazon one time, you have such amazing roach and beetle species there! 😍