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Introduction

The Sun Beetle( Scientific name: Panchnoda Marginata) is a commonly kept beetle in the insect trade. It's bright, it's beautiful and easy to keep. I actually recommend it as a beginners insect or beginners beetle. I personally feel stick insects are better to keep as someones first insect, but these are certainly in the top five as easy to keep insects.

There are approximately nine subspecies of sun beetles, but  we will focus on Panchnoda Marginata.  Most Sun  Beetles have very similar care anyway.

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Location:  The Sun Beetle(Pachnoda Margiata) are commonly located in West Africa. They are often found perching on  Acacia trees. 

Diet:  Sun Beetles(Panchnoda Margiata) feed on ripe fruit such as bananas. I did try them on apple, but they didn't seem to like this.  In captivity, I feed my insect jelly. I prefer feeding them the jelly as it's easy and more time-efficient. Also, fruit can sometimes encourage pests.   

Enclosure:   In the wild, they hide in trees and bushes. However, as an owner, it is your job to provide them with a good environment.  

In captivity, they need a medium-sized vivarium to live in, light bulbs to provide heat and light, a heat mat and a suitable substrate( preferably flake soil). 

The size of the enclosure will depend on the number of beetles you want to purchase. For example, I currently have six Sun Beetles. My enclosure is 30cmx30cmx 30cm. If you want to keep more, you will go bigger. 

Lighting wise, using a canopy on top of your glass vivarium will massively benefit your beetles. It will provide that extra heat they need and let them know it's daytime and that they can be active. Sun Beetles are diurnal( come out during the day, sleep at night).  

The average temperature for a Sun Beetle is 25°C all around the enclosure, but one part should be up to 30°C. At night, you can drop it to around 25°C; any lower can be detrimental to the beetles' health.

It is best also to use a heat mat to boost the temperature up, but remember, beetles like to burrow, so placing the heat mat under the tank on the outside as placing it on the inside will make the environment too hot.

As for relative humidity, keep it 50%-60%. Spray, so it's damp but not too wet. Spray the enclosure daily.

For substrate, used flake soil. Flake soil is a common substrate for most beetles. It is used to raise the grubs. Some people use potting soil, but it can be hard to find a chemical-free brand, so I strongly recommend that you purchase flake soil. 

Enclosure setup example

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The image here shows my current Sun Beetle setup:

It is a simple setup, but it really works for my Sun Beetles. You can go bigger, put logs, and more hides, but as I am attempting to breed mine, I wanted my beetles to be able to find each other.

The canopy is vital. As discussed, it provides light and heat. It gives the beetles a clear indication of when it is night or day.  

Amongst the flake soil, I have placed rotten oak, so when my beetles lay eggs and they become Larvae they can start feeding within the tank.

Sun Beetle adults can be kept with their larvae, but never do this with Stag Beetles. Even Stag Beetle larvae need to be separated, and placed in individual pots as they are incredibly prone to cannablism. 

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