Rearing Cryptocephalus beetles in captivity
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Cryptocephalus leaf beetles possibly have some of the most interesting life histories of any of our resident beetles. Aside from many UK species being nationally rare or endangered, Cryptocephalus beetles are also renowned for their larvae living in purpose built 'pots' constructed from their own faeces.
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These pots are initially constructed by the female immediately after egg laying, with the egg being held between the rear metatarsi and then covered by faeces produced by the female. Construction of the pots varies between species, some being more articulate than others. Once covered, the pots are then dropped to the ground amongst the leaf litter, which (in the wild at least) generally forms the larvae's staple diet.

Finding photographs of both pots and the larval stages on the internet has also proved to be a very difficult task and to help fill the gap, we are currently rearing five species in captivity, for the purpose of photographing their various stages of development.

 
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Available photographs of the species we have reared in captivity include C. coryli, C. fulvus, C. labiatus, C. moraei, C. querceti and more recently C. pusillus. Clicking on any of the thumbnail images for the species below, will take you to pages showing larger images with some accompanying notes.
     
Cryptocephalus coryli
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Cryptocephalus fulvus
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Cryptocephalus labiatus
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Cryptocephalus moraei
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Cryptocephalus querceti
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Cryptocephalus pusillus
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