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Flower Beetle Coccoon Damage 😦

I felt awful when I heard a distinct ‘crack!’ sound upon pressing the little ball – of what I thought was just compost.  I knew at once what had happened.  I held the 2cm diameter coccoon – that had been so carefully and meticulously made with bits and pieces of compost and plant bits – for a moment, in the palm of my hand.  With a sinking feeling I knew I had clumsily cracked the first coccoon I have ever come across, from one of my smaller beetles, the Smaragdesthes (a beautiful irridescent purple + blue creature, the size of the Bellas).

Smaragdesthes africana oertzeni - pet_insects

I inspected the damage done: a tiny hole of maybe 3 mm in diameter.  The little grub had given a little wriggle in shock at the time of the accident.  Now, he was playing dead.  I just hoped he wouldn’t die.

Thinking in his best interests, it would be a good idea, I quarantined him in another smaller container.  Sat the damaged coccoon on a clean make up pad (the type for cleansing the face) in an egg cup, inside an old earbud box. 

(Those earbud boxes are brilliant for quarantining and transporting small beetles as they already have a few handy air holes!)

Well, that incident happened late in the evening, and the following day I noticed that the little grub had actually completely broken out of his coccoon and was frantically searching for compost to hide in.  Poor thing.

What was the best thing to do?  It appeared that the little fellow was intent on coccooning into beetle-hood; I didn’t think he wanted to be a grub anymore.  Picking him up gently I showed him the ‘doorway’ of the coccoon and at once he jumped inside!

Using a strip of aforementioned make up pad, I taped it over the hole, before replacing the repaired coccoon in the egg cup, back in the ear bud quarantine room.

Let’s hope he will survive!

Copyright Stephanie Faith 2010