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Looking for information on farming catso cafe

I am looking for information on farming Paulosawaya ornatissima, which is in the Sacarabaeidae family. Called catso cafe in Ecuador, this beetle lives in the Andes highlands. It is a popular food at the beginning of the rainy season in October and November. I am wondering if this beetle can be farmed. I would appreciate any available information!


  • Hi Catzo, - These belong to the family Melolonthidae & feed on roots. Different kinds pupate as deep as 40 cm (16.75 inches) to avoid drying out & new born larvae burrow down into the soil in order to feed on roots; the larvae usually go through 3 instars (stages).

    If want to dig up some larval grubs ("chisas") &/or pre-pupae/pupae don't give up after just a shallow soil shifting. It is more practical at the start of the wet season to set out lights (12 volt bulbs can be wired to a battery if site remote) from around 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. This way you can gather adults that natutally come out to mate & lay eggs.

    Use these adults as your breeding stock. In captivity their life cycles do best in soil with at least some organic matter. Thus, steam sterilze soil you dig up from the area & use that for their living substrate (you don't need to give them a really deep substrate to live in if keep it from drying out).

    Feed them with pieces of roots that are not all dried out & chopped pieces of carrots. As per Pardo-Locano, et al. (2005) "Structure and composition of the white grub complex (...) in agroecological systems of northern Cauco, Colombia", originally published in journal Florida Entomologist, 88.

  • Thank you very much! While planting trees in April, we found many larval grubs residing in soil with lots of grass roots (just a few centimeters below the surface. We suspected that they were feeding on the roots, but we weren't sure.

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