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How to catch/find scarabs?

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Hey everyone! I've become very interested in scarab beetles, does anyone have any tips on how to find or catch them? Also, what kind of species can I expect here in Arkansas?

 

thanks again! 

-Joshua

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Guest AlexW

Using UV and other insect-attracting lights (avoid yellow ones) is a good idea. Also, some scarab groups, like flower beetles, should be captured with other methods, such as searching fruit/flowers and putting sweet baits. Flower beetles may come to lights but many of them are day-active. Range and season of activity can be determined with bugguide under the data tab.

 

 

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On 7/21/2017 at 9:11 PM, Guest AlexW said:

Using UV and other insect-attracting lights (avoid yellow ones) is a good idea. Also, some scarab groups, like flower beetles, should be captured with other methods, such as searching fruit/flowers and putting sweet baits. Flower beetles may come to lights but many of them are day-active. Range and season of activity can be determined with bugguide under the data tab.

 

 

Awesome, thanks a ton Alex!

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So I've tried my luck at using a UV light in my backyard and caught a ton of some kind of June beetle (I will post pics as soon as I find out how,) a grapevine beetle, and a Cotinis Nitida. Does anyone have any tips on catching different species? I am trying to get more grapevine beetles and more C. Nitida but after a week I haven't had much luck... any help? Thanks!

-Joshua

To answer your beetleforum request: Cotinis mutabilis, which is very similar to nitida, can be found drinking from soft fruits in trees and certain kinds of sap. They do not seem to know that transparent objects are a barrier, and I've mostly collected them from a deer-netting fence used for unrelated purposes (accidental flight-intercept trap!). But beware of flight-intercept traps they can get tangled up in, like deer and tennis nets, because they may get trapped and die if not saved (see my blog at popular cockroach section). Also remember that Cotinis is a flower beetle and normally buries itself in dirt at night, so you should hang or "paint" fermenting (NOT moldy) fruit/other sugary stuff (some markets may give you fermenting fruit for free) in trees during the day if you have no fruit bushes/fruit trees around.

As for grapevine beetles, Orin's Ultimate Guide to Breeding Beetles says that they should be collected at lights and that grubs live in various rotten woods.

He also says somewhere else in the book that Dynastes tityus occurs at low densities, so gas station lights are better than blacklights because there are a lot of gas stations and all those stations combined cover a wider area than one blacklight can. I suspect you are facing the same problem with your grapers and you should check gas stations and other public lights to get a good haul of grapeviners.

Remember, the best way to catch insects is to figure out their behavior, habitat, diet, hosts, etc. and then use or invent strategies that exploit one or more of those aspects. Cheers!

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12 hours ago, Guest AlexW said:

To answer your beetleforum request: Cotinis mutabilis, which is very similar to nitida, can be found drinking from soft fruits in trees and certain kinds of sap. They do not seem to know that transparent objects are a barrier, and I've mostly collected them from a deer-netting fence used for unrelated purposes (accidental flight-intercept trap!). But beware of flight-intercept traps they can get tangled up in, like deer and tennis nets, because they may get trapped and die if not saved (see my blog at popular cockroach section). Also remember that Cotinis is a flower beetle and normally buries itself in dirt at night, so you should hang or "paint" fermenting (NOT moldy) fruit/other sugary stuff (some markets may give you fermenting fruit for free) in trees during the day if you have no fruit bushes/fruit trees around.

As for grapevine beetles, Orin's Ultimate Guide to Breeding Beetles says that they should be collected at lights and that grubs live in various rotten woods.

He also says somewhere else in the book that Dynastes tityus occurs at low densities, so gas station lights are better than blacklights because there are a lot of gas stations and all those stations combined cover a wider area than one blacklight can. I suspect you are facing the same problem with your grapers and you should check gas stations and other public lights to get a good haul of grapeviners.

Remember, the best way to catch insects is to figure out their behavior, habitat, diet, hosts, etc. and then use or invent strategies that exploit one or more of those aspects. Cheers!

Wow... thanks for all that info man! Hopefully I'll be able to find something now lol. I'll go see what gas stations are closest to forrests/fields in my area. Thanks a ton man!

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EDIT: This is rather gross but does anyone have any suggestions for dung beetle trapping? I have only caught flys in my bait... dog crap...
I have never felt so ridiculous and questioned my sanity so many times while these setting traps...

More from the Ultimate Guide: "Catches will be severely limited if there are only dogs and rodents in the area." He also recommends searching near horse/cattle areas (that don't use antiparasite medicines) I think.

And do not feel ridiculous while setting traps. When I joined beetleforum I said "But I can't keep a 1 cm lawn carabid as a pet!" Several years later (right now), I find myself drooling over arthropods even shorter or commoner than that small carabid (the ladybug rule: ladybug-sized or larger + interesting behavior = automatic pet)!

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Guest AlexW

If you or anyone else is not aware already, I'm replying in this strange roundabout way due to account-related issues.

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15 minutes ago, Guest AlexW said:

If you or anyone else is not aware already, I'm replying in this strange roundabout way due to account-related issues.

Yes I believe @Hisserdude mentioned this on a previous post if I am correct. It's totally fine with me. For now I am locked out of my account on the Beetle forum (typed in my password incorrectly too many times lol.) Someone asked me if I ever found any Lucanus elaphus to send them a message. Literally five minutes later I found a dead female L. Elaphus in my backyard covered in ants... bummer... on the bright side though, I checked iNaturalist for stag beetles and found a nearby town has several observations on giant stag beetles, I might have to check that place out! Any tips on this species meaning how to find/catch one? Thanks Alex!

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Guest AlexW

I don't feel comfortable with paraphrasing the entire Ult. Guide into my posts due to possible plagiarism and other legal problems (Orin, inform me if you don't mind). All I will say is that elaphus adults can be found the same way as tityus adults (searching gas stations). Ask people ( @Cariblatta lutea? His beetleforum name is Lucanus after all) who have personally caught the stags for further advice.

 

Another possibly good way to capture stags or dung scarabs is to email Peter from bugsincyberspace and see if he can catch some as a special order.

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Guest AlexW

Edit: Buy the book if you can afford it, it's a good read for scarab-ophiles. Unfortunately for darkling and poorly-known insect lovers like me those sections are a bit too short (but certainly informative).

(A review is coming up soon on the blog)

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You can simply set up a light trap or check gas station lights (can't be LED lights). You can also find them by flipping logs. I caught a female L. elaphus and L. capreolus today while flipping logs. 

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Guest AlexW

Also, I forgot to mention:

Cotinis is part of the Cetoniinae (flower and fruit scarabs), not Melolonthinae (May/Junebugs) even though it is called a june beetle. I don't think it is physically capable of eating leaves, petals, or any non-slushy solid food (mouthparts non-chewing?) despite internet claims, so I think you should probably dunk a few non-pesticide lettuce leaves in there only to check for bite marks and feed mostly fruit/sugary liquids. You might see them licking the lettuce but they have only eaten it if there are bite marks.

In my area the sun gets hot during noon and at this time they will fly very close to the ground before burrowing into it. They do not really avoid humans, so they can be slapped to the ground and then easily picked up. Not sure this happens in Alabama but it's worth a try.

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