Breeding of Tiger Beetle Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis De Geer, 1774
Cicindela chinensis is brightly coloured and relatively big species of the family Cicindelidae
Size of the body is about 20 mm.
Four species are known:
Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis chinensis (De Geer, 1774)
from China, Japan (Ryukyu Islands ), Vietnam
Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis flammifera (W.Horn, 1920)
Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis okinawana Nakane, 1957
from Japan (Amami-Oshima, Okinawa)
Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis japonica (Thunberg, 1781)
Keeping this beautiful Tiger Beetles is relatively easy. They can be placed in a nice setup terrarium, which is decorative like an aquarium or small room-greenhouse with exotic plants.
For keeping is good terrarium with front access, preferably with sliding panes. Space between the panes should be caulked that smaller beetles could do not escape. Size of the terrarium is chosen according to the number of reared beetles and given the fact that they are very agile and well and quickly flies.
Pour minimal 1O cm high layer of fine sand at the bottom of the terrarium. Put freely a few pieces of bark, flat stones, twigs, dry lichen and the like on the surface of the sand. The sand must be slightly wet, never can dried.
If we want to have the terrarium in the living room, we can nicely planted it with various plants, which we put with flowerpot into the sand. But we must leave at least 1⁄2 space of surface free so that the beetles can be moving freely.
Tiger Beetles are beetles with day activity and very love the sun. Terrarium must be well lighted and good ventilated. Fluorescent tube or LED lights are ideal in combination with a small spotlight that direct to the stone or free sandy surface. I had very good experiences with UVB halid spotlight. Lighting period is 10 hours (spot lamp 2-3 hours during midday ). The spot lamp must be saved by a net cover.
Optimal temperature is 23 – 26°C with night decrease.
Although these beetles are predators, they can be kept in together a group. They do not attack members of their own species.
Beetles are feeding by an insect of reasonable size. Mostly they are fed by crickets, mealworms and flees.
Females lay eggs into the wet sand. After 2 weeks we can see small holes in sand and in these holes black coloured heads of larvae about 1,5 – 2 mm in diameter.
Larvae build vertical burrows and in in the entrance to this burrow are lurking for a prey.
The larvae can be kept in terrarium together with beetles, but in this case, can be caught any of them by other larvae and by beetles anytime. The thing is that some larvae in their burrows don’t stay permanently and they move to other place. It is the moment when they can be easy prey for other lurking larvae. I recommend therefore to keep the larvae separately in jars or in crucibles with cover. For small larvae (of first and second instar) is sufficient capacity 300 ml, for big larvae of 3rd instar 1000 – 1500 ml with minimal 10 cm high layer of mixture slightly wet sand and clay (10:1). On the bottom of this layer larvae build their pupal chamber.
The larvae are fed, like as adult beetles, by fruit flies, crickets and mealworms.
Total lenght of development period is variable, mostly from 7 to 12 months. It depend on the nutrition of larvae. On the nutrition is very depend size of adult beetles too.