Thursday, 1 August 2013

Jacob's Jungle

What a spoilt boy I am! As a birthday treat, the back bedroom was turned into a room where I could keep all my insects. I keep various species to help with my studies, and I must admit, it was getting pretty crammed in my bedroom! The name of the room was originally the 'Bug Room', but it has now been changed to 'Jacob's Jungle Room'.
3 large cupboards were moved into the Jungle Room, perfect for placing study tanks upon. The first new tank was an impressive Exo Terra, which are specially designed tanks (thanks to Barry Warrington for getting us discount on the enclosure and paying for so much of it as my birthday gift), that was 60cm tall and 90cm long. Now for the fun bit: landscaping!

 Creating the habitat!

We used a substrate of rotten wood, leaflitter, and coconut husk. Several pieces of wood were added, and after some fiddling and several trips to the pet shop, it was complete! This was going to be the Beetle Tank. We already had several Spotted Sun Beetles (Pachnoda marginata peregrina), which originate in Africa, and these were going to be the first beetles to be added to the enclosure!
Unfortunately, the Sun Beetles had a parasitic mite infestation, which isn't a good thing. The mites irritate the adult beetles and block up the breathing holes, called spiracles, of the larvae. Because mites can only survive in a moist environment, we placed the mite-infested beetles in a dry container for a while. Unfortunately it didn't help, and the already sickly beetles were all dead or close to it by the next day. We managed to rescue 6 beetles, but one was still too mite-infested to be moved into the new tank.

In the end, only 5 Sun Beetles were moved into the new Beetle Tank.

You can only just see the Sun Beetles on the right hand side, feeding on a slice of apple.

A while later we bought 3 new Sun Beetle species: Pachnoda trimaculata, Pachnoda sinuata, and Pacnoda aemula. The first species is particularly nice, being bright orange!

Pachnoda trimaculata!

There's other new beetles on the scene too. We now also have 4 Stephanorrhina julia and 4 Coelorrhina hornimani!

 Coelorrhina hornimani male. The males have a distinctive horn on the face!

  Stephanorrhina julia.

 Pachnoda aemula.

Jacob's Jungle Room is now also home to a Coconut Palm, my tank for Giant Millipedes, and a temporary breeding enclosure for Green Jewel Beetles (Chlorocala africana africana).
Future tanks for Jacob's Jungle Room include an Arboreal Insect Enclosure, housing Katydids, Horse-head Grasshoppers, and Stick Insects, and possibly a Terrestrial Crab tank.
My Dad has recently created a sign for my Jungle Room too.

A picture of me next to my Coconut Palm and the Jacob's Jungle sign.

Look out for updates on Jacob's Jungle Room!

In the meantime, keep on the wild side!


  1. What a collection!! I would have loved my own jungle back in the day! P. aemula is a beaut!

    Hope the remaining sun beetles are doing well,


  2. Happy belated birthday and what a birthday gift! Excellent collection you have. I would like to do something similar, but I don't think the wife would allow it. Do you keep all the beetles in the same tank, or do you have to keep the different species separate?

    1. Thank you for all the great comments! I keep all the beetle species in the same tank.