It is obviously up to you what to buy. You need to follow your interests, decide what you particularly like and move on from there. What we are doing in this article is a bit of gentle advice on where to start and what to expect.
1. Adults are great.
It is not only really their complex shapes that are like something out of an Alien film and superhuman strength that attracts people to keeping these wonderfull animals but they also have great temperments and no logner have their sharp mouth parts which they have during their larvae phase making them easy to handle. With some species it can take over a year of rearing larvae to get to an adult beetle so some people prefer simply to buy the adults or are intrested in breeding their own larave. depending on the species adults life span can range from a few months to 1.5 years and then they die.
We do breed adults but compared to far east suppliers our stocks OF ADULTS are very low. Therefore we obtain stocks from our suppliers when you order from us, receive them, check their health and the ship to you. This is no different to almost any other shop, but it does result in perhaps a fortnight delay between ordering and you getting your beetle. We would rather be explicit and then let you decide what to do. What you get from ordering from us rather than the far east yourself is: a) we do the work b) we only use trusted legal providers we have worked with c) we only use sellers who breed in captivity and dont collect from the wild d) we check the health of arrivals, feed them and care for them before shipping on. e) we get better discounts (passed on to you) as we buy regularly from them.
Adults that we breed ourselves are significantly cheaper than those we import. The main reason for the increase in price is the shipping cost from the far east which is a significant amount. Shipping for single adults IS expensive and as you buy more at a time the shipping per adult reduces. When neither we or our suppliers have no stocks of an adult species we will mark that species as out of stock.
Stocks change on a weekly basis so please ask if you are interested in an out of stock species. Also availability of an adult is seasonal. Where possible we explain what the season is on our information pages.
2. Larvae initially look quite daunting.
But they are actually very easy to care for, you can watch them grow and finally change (metamorphosise) into adults. (beware some larvae have sharp jaws which are lost upon becoing a adult to help the eat the decaying wood in the substrate so if provoked they could give you a nasty pinch). A major advantage of buying a larvae even if you want an adult is that you will have them for the full adult lifespan.
In practice most hobbyists start with an adult (male) but usually this develops into a breeding pair and then some larvae. As we said it is all up to you. It might be obvious but adults are more expensive than larvae as we have had to look after them for some time.
Food is easy for both larvae and adults (jelly for adults and a decayed hardwood/leaves diet for larvae). You will also need bedding material and containers - see separate articles on the site for help - or ask me if you need specific advice.
4.Make it simple
For beginners we have tried to make things simple by creating a series of kits. Each kit contains everything you need for keeping larvae or adults - except the animals themselves. We have kept the animal out of the kit so that you can pick the species you like rather than take what we pick.