Cicindela chinensis

Breeding and rearing of Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis De Geer, 1774

Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis flammifera

Cicindela chinensis is a brightly colored and relatively large species of the family Cicindelidae. It reaches a size of about 20 mm.

Four subspecies are known:

Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis chinensis (De Geer, 1774)
from China, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Vietnam

Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis flammifera (W.Horn, 1920)
from Korea

Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis okinawana Nakane, 1957
from Japan (Amami-Oshima, Okinawa)

Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis japonica (Thunberg, 1781)
from Japan

Breeding these beautiful snails is relatively easy. The beetles can be placed in a nicely furnished terrarium, which is as decorative as, for example, an aquarium or a indoor greenhouse with exotic plants.

The best is a terrarium with sliding glass. The gap between the panes should be sealed so that smaller beetles cannot escape. For sealing, it is possible to use, for example, a glued narrow strip of carpet. The size of the terrarium is chosen according to the number of reared beetles and with regard to the fact that the snails are very lively and that they fly very well and quickly.

Pour a layer of fine sand at least 10 cm high on the bottom of the terrarium. Loosely place a few pieces of bark, flat stones, twigs, dry lichens and the like on the surface. Keep the sand slightly moist, it must never dry out completely.

If you want to have a terrarium, for example, in the living room, we can nicely plant it with various plants, which you can dip into the sand with a flower bed. However, leave at least 1/2 of the terrarium area free so that the beetles can fly freely.

Svižníci are beetles with daily activity loving the sun. The terrarium must therefore be well lit and well ventilated. Fluorescent or LED lighting is ideal in combination with a small spot light that points directly at a stone or loose sandy surface. I had very good experience with UVB lamps. We shine 10 hours a day (spot light 2-3 hours during noon). The lamp must be protected by a mesh cover to prevent the beetles from burning.

The optimal temperature is 23 – 26 ° C with a night drop.

Although these beetles are predators, they can be bred together in a group. He does not attack individuals of his own species and, like many other cruisers, he builds shelters in which he can spend the night or the cold season together.

Beetles feed on insects of appropriate size. Crickets, flies, mealworms are well received in farms.
Females lay eggs into the wet sand. After 2 weeks we can see small holes in the sand and black colored larval heads with a diameter of 1.5 – 2 mm.

The larvae can be kept in a terrarium together with beetles, but in this case some can be caught by other larvae or beetles. The larvae sometimes do not remain in their burrows permanently and move to another place. It is a time when they can be easy prey for other lurking larvae. I therefore recommend leaving the larvae separately in jars or pots with a lid. For small larvae (first and second instar) a volume of 300 ml is sufficient, for large larvae 3. instar 1000 – 1500 ml with a minimum 10 cm high layer of a mixture of slightly moist sand and clay (10: 1). At the bottom of this layer, the larvae build their pupa chamber. The larvae are fed, as are adult beetles, octopuses, crickets and mealworms. The total length of the development cycle is variable, usually from 7 to 12 months. It depends on the nutrition of the larvae. The size of adult beetles also depends on nutrition.

Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis flammifera
Cicindela (Sophiodela) chinensis flammifera