Goliath Beetles – A Quick Guide

The Goliath beetle, Goliathus goliatus, is found across central Africa. It is a type of scarab beetle.

Are Goliath beetles heavy?

They are one of the heaviest beetles. Goliath Beetles take their name after the biblical figure – large and stocky in stature. This insect ranks in size with the other colossal beetles such as the Titan – however, the Goliath Beetle is one of the heaviest known in nature. The creature can grow well over 100 grams in weight and 250 millimeters in length, including all body parts. Their bulk comes from their hefty exoskeleton for protection and more expansive wings adapted to carry their weight.

Goliath Beetle
Goliath beetle -Jiri Vaclavek@123rf.com

How do Goliath beetles spread their wings?

Goliath beetles spread their wings differently from other beetles. Flying beetles are not uncommon in the rainforests of Africa. Most of these insects spread their wings by lifting up shield-flaps from their bodies and expanding the wings. The Goliath Beetle does things a bit differently, however. The creature extends its wings from the side of its bulky body – almost like a Swiss army knife. They possess the same forewings and hindwings as all beetles in the family but only use the hindwings for flying.

Can Goliath beetles climb?

Not only have Goliath Beetles mastered the art of flight, but they are also beetles that are quite adept at climbing. Each of the leg-ends on the insect has a set of claws that have a strengthened grip. Making use of their natural strength, they can be seen climbing tree trunks and branches. They will also use their combat-ready claws to battle opponents for the attention of females. Like other beetles in this family, they spend much of their lives searching for mates and reproducing.

Are Goliath beetles susceptible to predators?

Unlike some of the other large beetles, the Goliath Beetle does not have a natural defense mechanism. Its size makes it very identifiable to predators such as birds and bats. They also have markings that are often vibrantly colored and distinguishable, making them an easy target. Their bulky qualities and strong exoskeleton do assist in protecting the insect against those who feed on it.

What do Goliath beetles eat?

Goliath Beetles have been quite secluded in their natural habitats of the tropical rainforests. Little is known about their life cycle in the wild except for eminent details from the same beetle family. These insects are known to feed on decaying wood and rotten fruit like other beetles. In captivity, however, they prefer protein-rich diets. Common foods in their enclosures include commercial-grade cat and dog food. The Goliath Beetles are frequently kept as pets – explaining where they have acquired their taste for domestic pet food.

Are Goliath beetles strong?

Much like the Titan Beetle and the Hercules Beetle, the Goliath Beetle is exceptional in strength. It is ranked as one of the robust insects in the world. Should they go head-to-head in a strongman competition – the Goliath wouldn’t be the strongest, but it would certainly come close. The insect has been known to carry up to 850 times its body weight, looking very impressive out in the field.