It is possible though that they may have had a much wider distribution in the past. Certainly other islands in the Seychelles group are likely localities, and there are two specimens known which are labelled as having been collected from Round island near Mauritius. There has not been a lot of work done on the entomological history of Indian ocean islands, but sifting of soil samples might yield remains of these extremely tough insects – they are said to be so solidly built that you can stand on one without crushing it!
|Seychelles Magpie Robin|
Fortunately, the beetles have proved to be adaptable to a captive breeding programme, which is currently managed by The Zoological Society of London as a safety precaution. The beetles are bred in large tubs with a deep substrate (at least 30cm minimum) composed of leaf litter, decaying wood and coconut coir compost. The only furniture required is a climbing branch for the beetles to get above the substrate as they would in the wild during the day. A temperature range of around 240C is sufficient to maintain them. As the beetles cannot fly, as long as a smooth unclimbable edge to the container is provided the beetles will remain in place. The beetles are fed fruit, mushrooms, and potatoes, with the types changed daily. It is important that there are enough pieces dispersed around the container to enable the beetles to feed easily without competing, although they show little aggression to each other.
For more information on the husbandry of these beetles, see here: http://www.islandbiodiversity.com/Phelsuma%2013-2.pdf
Here at Bristol, a few have just gone on show at the revamped Bug World - visitors please note
(Images from wikipedia, zsl website)