The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Huge grub becomes big beetle

Pupating beetle

Somehow in the rush of early June, I seem to have forgotten to post about the world's largest grub, found by Bradley in the horse manure as he shoveled the biomass into buckets to be transported to our worm bin.  While I do exaggerate slightly, the grub Bradley found was significantly larger than a June bug larva, and we took the time to toss it in a flower pot in hopes of learning what the plump youngster would turn into.

Beetle cocoonSaturday, I decided to find out whether there was any life left in my fig cuttings, so I dumped out the contents of that pot.  And broke open a fist-sized ball of dirt that housed a pupating beetle!  The insect was even larger than it had appeared on last viewing, so I carefully fit its pupal chamber back together and refilled the pot, hoping the tween will manage to make it to adulthood despite my poking and prodding.

Mark's original idea after seeing the size of the grub was to raise the species for chicken feed, but I suspect the experiment wouldn't really work out.  Stag beetles usually spend several years in the larval stage, which would make propagating them a slow affair, despite the amount of nutrition each beetle would provide for our flock.

All utilitarian reasons aside, we're itching to see the adult version of this hefty critter.  I suspect the stag beetle it turns into will be awe-inspiring.

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock hydrated with clean water while they wait for tasty grubs.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Just had a stump of a monster in my front yard removed yesturday. Earlier this year I was picking away at it by hand and every peice of root or rot that poped out had two kinds of grubs bigger than half my hand sometimes. Smelled like old fermenting wine. Was a 3.5' wide maple tree. 200+ years old.
Comment by Marco Tue Sep 4 08:28:26 2012

Marco --- We had a stump with grubs too. We figured ours were horned passalus, which is related to stag beetles. They made some great compost!

Comment by anna Tue Sep 4 13:37:56 2012

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