By Josie March 10th, 2023
The Hercules Beetles is not only the largest beetle on the planet – but also one of the most unique.
The Hercules Beetle is a remarkable insect found in Central and South America.
This beetle is the largest species in its family, known as Rhinoceros beetles.
They can range in color from browns to greens.
Only males have horns.
Its exoskeleton is covered with small craters that resemble miniature volcanoes.
The Hercules Beetle is an imposing figure with a length of around 4.5 inches and a weight of over 2.2 ounces when fully developed.
Its mighty wings allow it to fly up to 200 feet – an incredible feat for such a giant insect.
This beetle is also known for its strength, as it can carry objects weighing 850 times its body weight.
They live in tropical rainforests in Central and South America.
It is often found in the upper regions of trees sheltered by thick foliage.
They often reside near rivers or streams, with lots of vegetation providing plenty of food sources.
The female beetle lays her eggs in moist, decaying matter such as decomposing wood or leaves.
Larvae shed their exterior shells up to twelve times.
The larvae transform into adults during this stage, lasting approximately two months.
The final emergence of adult beetles with their intricate horn-like structures demonstrates how impressive these insects are.
In the wild, they can live for up to two years (including all the stages in their life cycle,) but in captivity, they typically only survive for 3-6 months.
They are common prey of centipedes and tarantulas.
Birds, especially toucans, sometimes feed on these giant beetles as well.
The larvae are also subject to predation by small lizards such as geckos.
As you can see, the Hercules Beetle certainly lives up to its namesake!