This is my longest-running rearing to date -- just over 1 year from start to finish. It was such a delight to discover yesterday that the rearing was a success!
05/22/2016 Hiking up to a hill prairie, I notice a pile of dark frass accumulated on a leaf in front of me, at about waist height.
Hmmm.... Dead twig of recently fallen walnut tree suspended just above leaf. Small hole in twig. Sure enough, small wood-boring beetle larva inside very tip of twig.
About 7 twig tips with borer sign collected from the recently dead tree and kept separate in individual rearing containers. Only the very tips of the twigs were brought home -- anywhere from 2.5-inch to 5-inch lengths.
05/23/2017 A year and a day later, I'm impatient...haven't those beetles finished up yet? I tear into the twigs, and find that, of 4 larvae that reached maturity, 3 successfully developed into adults! And all 3 adults are alive and well! But none of them had emerged from their twigs. Curiously, each one is found tucked motionless inside its twig, presumably in the same position it had been in since the moment it finally completed its transformation from pupa to adult. The first adult I free from its twig makes a clearly audible, repeated clicking or buzzing noise (crepitation?) as I pull away the twig remnants surrounding it.
Why would an adult beetle wait to emerge from its twig? I wonder how long these beetles had been adults, and how much longer they would have remained inside their twigs.