Rearing of Dynastes tityus
Dynastes tityus is certainly one of the most beautiful of the Dynastidae.
Depending on areas of capture adults can range from brown, to yellow, to
army green. Also, major males have nice side horn development. Adults are
found throughout most of the US from Florida to Washington D.C. to Texas.
Unfortunately very little old growth forest (which is needed for larval
development in tree holes of usually 200 yr old or more trees) is intact
in these areas so they are often difficult, if not impossible, to find.
Dynastes tityus adults, like most other dynastids, accept most sugary
liquids. Feeding adults watered down real maple syrup appears to give them
a longer life. The larvae of Dynastes tityus prefer to have a combination
of rotten wood, leaves, and compost. Dry dog food buried in the substrate
from time to time can help one to rear large adults.
Dynastes tityus are very strange in that the time from egg to adult
is nearly always either 12 or 18 months, not in-between. Under bad conditions
time to adult can take as much as three years. If given time for hibernation
on the 18 month D. tityus, adults begin to feed and mate 2 years total
after the eggs were laid. Eggs take 30 days to hatch; if fed properly L2
is 30 days later and L3 is another 45 days. Head size (side to side) for
a major male L3 larvae is 11mm+
Dynastes tityus have less than 20% die-off from ova to L2 and after
that have little trouble. If females are not hibernated they will produce
few or no ova. Hibernation lasts an average of six months.
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