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Beetle Breeding Guide

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Content copied from the T3 wiki

  • Pictures of the wild varieties Beetles

Unfortunately Dr. Dave, the all-time best beetle expert, no longer plays.

Hints for Improving Beetle Breeding

These guidelines on beetle breeding assume the player has access to only one Khefre's Locker. There would be some additions made to these guidelines if greater storage access were possible. The guidelines described below were developed after more than 10,000 beetles in T2 and (so far) still apply to breeding in T3.

The goal of beetle breeding is to produce a clean pattern (see page of various clean beetle pattern types) that will be pleasing to the judges. Of course this is art, so what is pleasing to some is not pleasing to all. I personally think it should be pleasing to you and that you should enjoy the process of creation. In addition to a clean pattern (no extra dots, dashes or broken pieces) the beetle should have good color contrast. In order to get a clean pattern and good color contrast the player needs some control over color and pattern.

Starting Off

There are basically two ways to set up the beetle terrarium to help control for pattern and color. At the very start of breeding your aim should be to head toward getting these two terrariums established.

  • Terrarium 1: Male Pattern Terrarium (MPT)
  • Terrarium 2: Female Pattern Terrarium (FPT)

These will contain 2 males and 9 females in each. The first terrarium should be set-up as follows:

  • Male – native, 100% ownership, plains
  • Male – native, 100% ownership, speckled
  • Female – native, 100% ownership, burrowing
  • 8 females of solid colors

You can either generate the solid color beetles over time, or borrow them (when you generate your own you will no longer need to use the borrowed ones).

The breeding process will generate more males than females and it will take time to set-up the FPT. Its set-up is as follows:

  • Male – native, 100% ownership, burrowing
  • Male – solid color (generated from MPT or borrowed)
  • Female – native, 100% ownership, speckled
  • Female – native, 100% ownership, plains
  • 7 Females with patterns (generated from MPT or borrowed)

This use of the MPT and FPT set-ups can be expanded to 4 terrariums (44 beetles) leaving just enough room in your locker. I like to have a 5th terrarium that I use to help with sorting – comparing beetles that I want to keep and mulching the others.

Gradually you will want the MPT and the FPT to have the following set-up:

MPT: 2 male beetles with similar patterns (don’t mix patterns in the early stages) 9 female beetles of solid color (watch for hidden patterns under the color)

FPT: 2 male beetles of solid color 9 female beetles with patterns (initially these will be mixed patterns)

The third and fourth terrariums can follow the MPT/FPT set as your needs dictate.

Beetle Rotation

In addition to the MPT/FPT set-up, proper beetle rotation is critical for good breeding. There are several different goals to consider when rotating beetle in and out of the MPT/FPT set-up:

  1. Increasing percent ownership – rotate in beetles with a higher ownership, but CAUTION, do not sacrifice your favorite pattern or color to do this.
  2. Cleaning, or perfecting, a solid color – look closely at a solid color beetle and there will often be some hidden pattern or minor dot/slash.
  3. Different colors – rotate to improve the quality of the color of your solid beetles (bright, dark, hue, saturation).
  4. Cleaning, or perfecting, a pattern – this is where most of the rotation occurs. At the start most patterns are either mixed or not mutated enough or both. In general rotation for patterns is done a) to extract something from a mess, b) to relocate an existing pattern or c) to mutate a pattern (see below).
  5. Changing colors – rotation can be used for changing the color of the background or the color of the pattern.

Pushing the Mutation

This is probably one of the hardest part of beetle breeding to grasp. There is an element of “genetic mutation” built into the breeding process. It is possible to “push” a pattern toward mutation. CAUTION – do not do this on your favorite beetle pattern without a back-up copy. The best way to push the mutation is with 2 males and 9 females that all have very similar patterns. This is called the MFPT set-up.

The MFPT can be used for the following:

  1. Changing a desired pattern – you can change the location or arrangement of a desired pattern.
  2. Mutation of a pattern – you can “push” the pattern to mutate into another pattern.
  3. Mixing patterns – you can take two different patterns and mix them for special effects (some examples on T2 page).

In all three of these cases skilled rotation is important. You are looking for the “right” direction in which to push the mutation. Often mutations occur as very small changes. If you see this you might wish to rotate it in and breed with it for a while. Sometimes when a pattern is about to change it will “fall-apart”. You may want to breed with this “broken” or “fuzzy” pattern for a while to see what happens. Again CAUTION – if you have a pattern you like save a back-up beetle so it is not lost while pushing the mutation or mixing patterns.

I would not use the MFPT set-up with patterns that are not clean.

Some patterns are quite resistant to mutation. There is a random element involved, but a good set-up and skilled rotation (check at least every 20 minutes) can make the breeding process more enjoyable.


  • Some notes I would add to this are, if you like a pattern but its only on one beetle breed it with plain colours to get a copy or two.
  • Breeding similar patterns of opposite sex works and dont be afraid to chuck a few variations in together to see what happens.
  • If you like the colours on a beetle but not the pattern (or the pattern is broken), breed it with plain colours and more often than not you get plains with those shades that you liked (this will also fix broken patterns).
  • A lazy persons breeding scheme which i havent tried but was told works is, fill the terranium to max with cabbages - 10,000 then leave the beetles you have in there to breed, come back in a few days and take the one you like to the Beetle Garden...
  • Happy Breeding - http://www.atitd.org/wiki/tale3/Users/Mortality
  • Guild members of Beetle Mania have come to the conclusion that beetle patterns are Fractual in nature.