Rainbow Stag Beetle
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium began displaying the rainbow stag beetle for the first time in 2012. Most insects do not have a long life span but if they produce a lot of offspring that mature quickly, certain bugs are good candidates for on-site breeding. Rainbow stag beetles are native to Australia but Audubon's entomology staff was able to encourage their courtship and mating so egg-laying would be possible and larvae would flourish. Raising these insects on-site reduces the need to ship them from remote locations and increases Audubon's self-sufficient potential.
After a rainbow stag beetle pair has mated the female is placed in a separated habitat where she can lay her eggs and they can grow in optimum conditions. Iridescent rainbow stag beetles like the ones at the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium can lay three clutches of eggs with up to 30 eggs per clutch. Audubon is excited to report that our first generation of rainbow stag larvae, as of August 2013, are close to forming pupae.