General care instructions for fruit beetles
There are many colourful species of fruit beetle from both Africa, South America and Asia. As their name suggests fruit plays a larger role in their diets, but luckily for those in the hobby, their care is very similar; both as grubs and as adults. Fruit beetles range from the commonly kept Pachnoda beetles (sun beetles) to the larger Mecynorrhina (african flower beetles)
Room Temperature 25-30 C. Adults like to bask under lamps. Grubs can be kept around 20-25 C. Ensure substrate does not dry out or become to wet.
Well lit enclosures.
Avoid direct sunlight
For Grubs: an ice cream tub container for the larger grubs or braplast container for the smaller species. A deep layer of rotting wood, oak leaf litter, peat moss and flake soil is ideal as grubs will eat this and then use the material to form a cocoon. Depending on the species, some grubs will need to be housed individually. Species such as the pachnoda species will happily live together, other such as the goliath beetle grubs need housed on their own as they will predate on other grubs.
For Adult Beetles: Fruit beetles will do well in a plastic or glass enclosures or any suitable sized enclosure with good floor space. We would recommend a storage type box or glass viv around 30x30cm (LxW) They do like to climb so providing lots of height is an advantage. We would advise a nice deep layer of substrate for egg laying. Substrate should be made up from rotting wood, oak leaf litter, flake soil and peat mixture. The more white rotting wood the better. Most fruit beetles can also fly so ensure enclosures have lids and good ventilation.
There is very little maintenance required other than to remove any old uneaten food. They should keep themselves quite clean. Try not to disturb the substrate too much as the adult beetles will lay eggs and you might destroy these.
As the name suggests fruit beetles LOVE fruit. The softer and more ripe the better. We find lots of banana, melon and orange is well received. Most fruit beetles will also take some vegetables such as cucumber and mushrooms (which they love). If you have a nice colony of beetles, grubs will chew at the fruit from below and the beetles will eat from the surface. If fruit is particularly ripe, you may get some stray fruit flies appearing. These are harmless and will die off once the fruit is eaten. An alternative to fresh fruit is the use of beetle jellies. These are made with fruit and fruit juice, but don't grow mould or attract pesky flies.
Sexing grubs is relatively straight forward. Check out the beetle sexing guideline on our Bug Guides page for more detailed diagrams on this. With regards to sexing adults. This is dependent on species. In some males grow horned and females do not, in others males have a slight line on their underside.
Most grubs can take 3-8 months to pupate dependent on the species. The larger species take longer. As adult most fruit beetles will live 4-6 months depending on temperature.