While most breeders prefer the big and showy species, this article is aimed at the smaller species, that are not often named in articles about flower beetles. These small ( up to 1,5 cm in size) species have many advantages. For instance: You don´ t need much space to breed and keep them: Boxes of 1 to 2 litres are enough for 10 to 20 animals. On the other hand smaller species often compensate their size with brilliant colours and/ or a real interesting behaviour, which I will report about in the species descriptions that will follow. Another advantage is the relatively short time of Larval development (Less than three months is not unusual!!). So, it is possible that the parents are still alive, when their offspring is hatching and that IS unusual for to breeders of beetles!
Convince yourself of the advantages of smaller species, their coloration, behaviour, whatever. A small species oversight will be given.
If you keep small beetles and would like to write your own species report, or in the case of interest for these small species, please write to me.
Glyciphana horsfieldi sinensis
Glyciphana horsfieldi sinensis reaches sizes between 8 and 10 mm. The larvae are kept in a mixture of white soft rotten wood and leaves. As small larvae and eggs are very sensitive and a good prey for other insects that might have been living in the substrate (for example mites of prey, centipedes), it is recommended to crumble the substrate in a kitchen aid machine. I don’t like the method of disinfecting the substrate in the oven or microwave, as there are also good fungi, etc. being killed and after some time there will be an overpopulation of small flies and mites… Glyciphana horsfieldi sinensis prefers warm temperatures (around 25 – 30 degrees) and only then shows on the surface and full activity. Larvae are pupating after 2 – 5 months in a free cocoon. The golden spots on the wings of this species are very beautiful. Another interesting feature is the long life of this species. because of this it is possible to have imagos, eggs, all stages of larvae even after one generation…
A weird thing in all Glyciphana is their love for apples (Sweet ones). Imagos will eat on these apples until everything is devoured….
Glyciphana tonkinensis and G. nicobarica
Another two interesting Glyciphana species from Thailand (tonkinensis) and Malaysia (nicobarica). Their size ranges between 5 and 8 mm. Their colour is of an intense green (like the green of Mecynorrhina torquata imaculicollis) and small yellow to white spots on the wings. Breeding and keeping resembles that of G. horsfieldi, but a higher content of wood is very important. Breeding containers of 1 litre are quite ok (like those glasses Cucumber sometimes is sold in )
Glyciphana fulvistemma is a small species from Japan. Their colour is a velvety black, and the body is covered by many golden spots, the biggest of which are on the wings, what makes them look quite interesting… Keeping of this species is alike to that of other Glyciphana species, but breeding seems to be more difficult, maybe they need a diapauses or more wood in their substrate… I only had a very few eggs of this species, but I keep on trying…
Gametis forticula is a species from Taiwan, resembles the green Glyciphana species, but is a little bit bigger (1- 1,5 cm). Keeping and breeding seems to be difficult, many pupae died and I managed to get only a few eggs…
This small species comes from Madagascar and this is quite an interesting fact. Breeding is quite difficult, but worth a trial… Their colour is of a blackish blue, and there is a fascinating structure on their wings ( looking like valleys and mountains). It seems that Bricoptis is the only species in breeding having this. The problem in breeding is the pupation. larvae are extremely choosy and will only pupate in dry sand on the surface of the breeding container. still there are many larvae dieing… But the females of this species are laying big amounts of eggs so continuous breeding should be no problem. This active species easily gets scared and then hides in the ground…
This about 1 cm big species comes from Thailand. It seems, that Ixorida regia is imitating wasps, as her moves, short and fast and then waiting , resemble those of wasps perfectly. This species is extremely active and it often happens that they escape from their container, when I am opening it to through food in. Catching them is difficult and when you finally got them they are acting like dead just to use their chance to escape, when you are looking what happened to them. Keeping and breeding like Glyciphana. the duration of development is extremely short.. It is a pity that I lost this species. Should you come across this any time, please let me know.
Most of the Oxythyrea come from Europe. Their coloration ranges from dark brown to black to grey, their body is covered with white spots and sometimes very hairy. I kept them in one litre glasses, on a substrate of crumbled leaves, and had good success using this method. In captivity adults feed on banana or peach, whereas, in wild they are often found on thistle flowers..
Sadly, I was not able to successfully breed this species. After being in pupal stage for quite along time, the imagines hatched out and lived quite long, but did not lay any eggs… As far as I know at least P. Malec was successful on that species. For a few breeding inputs check out his pages.
This is a small species from in Thailand. I found them first two years ago in Krabi and in Phitsanoluk on trees of Indian almond, where they visited the flowers of this tree quite frequent, together with Protaetia fusca. This year I found a single pair on bushes sucking tree sap on Kho Pha Ngan. They are very easy to breed, they need a substrate of crumbled wood and will lay many eggs. I have them in my breedings again this year, and the larvae are L3 after one month of eating.