• Freeze the substrate for 3 days before use to kill of any other Invertebrates
that may be living in the substrate.
• When setting up a breeding tank mix larval frass (Poo) into the substrate
as it will stimulate females to start laying
• When make substrate for larvae use a kitchen blender or remove larger
wood flake with a sieve. The finer substrate the less energy is used in consuming
• When moving larvae into new rearing tubs add 250ml of substrate
from the egg laying tank as this contains beneficial bacteria.
• For the same reason as above only replace 50% of the larval substrate
at a time.
• Check the moisture level before use. When the substrate is squeezed
it should bind momentarily, if water is released it is to wet.
Making Beetle Substrate
Below are general guideline for suitable substrates for
the most popular families of beetle kept in captivity. Some species might prefer
a slightly different ratio of substrate so it is recommended you research the
species you are trying to rear.
Fruit/Flower Beetles (Centonidae):
4:1 Leaf/Wood Ratio.
Larvae: A Composition of 80% Leaf Humus & 20% Decayed
Wood flake. For most small to medium species you will need 0.5ltr of substrate
per larvae and on average each larvae will consume 1ltr until pupation.
Adults: Use the same composition as larvae though you can
bulk out the substrate with organic compost (up to 20%). Adding an inch of leaves
on top of the substrate encourages some species to lay more eggs. Substrate
needs a minimum depth of 15cm.
Rhino Beetles (Dynastidae): 1:4 Leaf/Wood
Larvae: Substrate should comprise of 20% Leaf Humus &
80% Decayed Wood flake.
Adults: Use the same substrate as larvae though organic compost
(up to 50%) can be used to bulk out the substrate for larger species. The substrate
needs to be a minimum depth of 25cm though larger species like Megasoma, Chalcosoma
and some Dynastes will need 50-90lts of substrate. Compress the first 10-20cm
of substrate as hard as possible and then add the rest of the substrate on top.
This replicates a rotten tree stump and encourages females to lay eggs. Check
for larvae after 6-weeks.
Stag Beetles (Lucanidae): 100%
Larvae: Use Fermented decayed wood flakes for optimum growth
and males in major sizes. Larvae can also be reared on Decayed wood flake that
have not been fermented and major males can still be produced by feeding the
larvae additional protein supplement. Fill 80% of the rearing jars with wood
flakes compressed as much as possible, make a hole in the center for the larvae
and fill the hole with substrate from the breeding tank. The substrate needs
changing every 3 months until pupation.
Adults: As Stag Beetles lay eggs into rotten logs though don’t
need a large volume of substrate just enough to cover the logs. Add 5-10cm of
Decayed wood flakes, compressed as hard as possible into the enclosure. On top
of this add the logs used to egg laying and then fill the enclosure with more
wood flakes until they cover 2/3rds the height of the logs.