Christmas Day Mrs Bella joined Mr Bella in Beetle Heaven. I was saddened to see her go. The Bellas were my very first exotic beetles and such a joy to watch and care for.
Aphelorrhina Stephanorrhina generally live (as adult beetles) for 4 – 6 months.
I will never forget my excitement at opening the package Andre sent me that August day. Everything was carefully packed so the journey for the 2 bellas (or rather, stephs!) and their travelling companions, 6 x Smaragdesthes Africana Oertzeni children (grubs), was comfortable and safe.
I put both tubs containing the exotic insects on the table and pondered in which the bellas were. I was afraid of opening the tub and the bellas flying out – and thus losing them! But I needn’t have been nervous: after a couple of minutes, I detected movement, and the most beautiful beetle I’ve ever seen came to the surface.
As a Christmas present, the inhabitants in the Bella abode received a tiny metal ladder, which is propped up on the heather pot. These ladders are advertised for pet mice but are equally excellent for exotic beetles – as they love to climb!
Unfortunately we had another beetle death, the female Dicronorhina derbyana layardi. I expect this was due to old age. I don’t know whether she had successfully mated with the male of her species, but we’re sure to soon find out. I now have a lone male Dicronorhina derbyana layardi… and a lone Mecynorrhina ugandensis.
Such a shame adult beetles have a short lifespan.