Sand Scarab Larva's new 'home'.
Sand Scarab Larva’s new container to over-Winter in, until it hatches out as a mature Beetle in the coming Spring, (which was pretty much a certainty considering it’s size) consisted of a 10 litre plastic paint bucket. Holes were drilled in the bottom to allow the rain through and the bucket was sat on a flat concrete surface with a paper towel beneath so that sand would not continually wash out with any rains. (or if any sand did, it would be minimal)
The inside was filled to within 50 mm of the top (sand depth about 225mm ) with dune sand and mixed with it was chopped up seaweed and the smaller high tide twig debris along with a couple of small sand dune plants with plenty of roots to bury into the sand. (and yes, they will be returned to the dunes in due course.)
The lid of the bucket had the centre cut out and replaced with fine aluminium gauze for ventilation and silicone sealed on. The bucket was kept out of direct Sunlight and left in such a position as to be able to accept any rain.
These 10 litre pales are not particularly deep and next migration; Spring perhaps, will be replaced with the taller types which allow 350 mm of sand depth. ( 50 mm left free at the top for small plants)
On the 16th of October the Sand Scarab larva surfaced for its new year of activities. I had in my mind, the thought that it would emerge from the bucket as a beetle, but of course the larva was simply over wintering, following its submersion in the sea water. As Dr Patrick Dale points out in his thesis notes,…
‘ The beginning of pupation is therefore probably in late January and early February but the end which can only be estimated from the pupa collected on January 24 and metamorphosed on March 16 probably occurs from March to April. ‘
So the sand pit and buckets with Sand Scarab Larvae within, were all in all, very much a waste of time & effort.
For a further update on the next and final bucket experiment, see Diary of 22nd Of June 2002.