Coptomia mauritania fasciata is a beetle species from Madagascar. For some reason most Madagascan species, I was lucky enough to deal with, were very tricky to breed. A long time back I was successful in breeding two species of Bricoptis through a few generations. They were rather productive with high egg numbers, larvae were absolutely easy, but pupation was a headache. Luckily someone mentioned that dry sand on top of the substrate will do the trick. And it did: Larvae always went into the sand and pupated.
Last year spring I managed to get a set of 20 L2 – beginning of L3 Coptomia mauritania fasciata larvae from France. They preferred a woody substrate, I kept them on a mix of flake soil and white rotten wood (ratio: 70-30). I had them separated in 500ml plastic boxes and they were growing really fast. After about 3 months I noticed them getting nervous and start wandering around. I prepared a 20 liter box for pupation. Bottom layer was clay (5cm), then flake soil and a big piece of white rotten wood, and the top 10cm were covered with sand. The larvae were always staying in the sand. And tried to pupate there. However, either the sand was too dry, or the larvae were disturbing each other – I only managed to get 6 complete cocoons, out of which only 1 beetle hatched. It seems that larvae, which left their cocoon simply died after a certain time.
So, what would I do differently next time?
1. I would make sure to add a bit of clay powder to the sand to make it more stable
2. Increase the moisture of the sand a bit. It is too difficult to build a cocoon inside dry sand.
Other than that, I think they are a very productive species, and rather common in Madagascar from what I heard. So, should you come across some Coptomia, please think of me…
Here are some more pictures of my only beetle