Mecynorhina (Chelorhinella) kraatzi (Moser, 1905)
Mecynorhina kraatzi, commonly known among breeders and many entomologists under the older name Chelorrhina kraatzi, is a very beautiful representative of this group of tropical beetles. It is not common in its homeland, Cameroon, but it is relatively abundant in its localities, so Cameroonian hunters often offer it in large numbers, whether live or collectible. Our goal should therefore be to master the breeding methodology so that the need for new imports is at least partially reduced.
First a few words about the past.
Until the early 1990s, this species was considered extinct, as you can find in older literature. However, in the early 1990s, it was rediscovered in several small localities in southwestern Cameroon. Shortly afterwards, it fell into the hands of breeders and the first more or less successful attempts to breed and maintain a viable population began. Many of these experiments ended with either pupae dying in the cocoons, or deformed, non-viable beetles hatching, or beetles not laying eggs.
So what is the key to success? The basis is the food of larvae and temperature. It’s basically simple.
I keep adults in well-ventilated terrariums. Humidity ranges from 30% during the day to 70% at night, air temperature 20/26 ° C (night / day). I use a substrate composed of crushed beech leaves and garden compost in a ratio of about 3: 1 in a layer of at least 15 cm and I keep it in the lower 2/3 still moderately to slightly moist. I select eggs and small larvae once every 2 – 4 weeks. I keep the larvae individually in a substrate from fermented sawdust (Falke Soil). I keep the first and second instars at temperatures from 18 to 23 ° C and medium to higher humidity of the substrate and from 3 instars until the hatching of images at a temperature of 14 – 18 ° C and medium humidity. In 3 instars, I feed Gammarus dried shrimps and add chitosan about once a month.