Titan Beetles – A Quick Guide

The Titan beetle, Titanus giganteus, is found is the South American rainforest. It is a type of longhorn beetle.

Are titan beetles big?

They are one of the largest beetles. The name ‘titan’ refers to an exceptionally large-sized being – one that eclipses all those that step in its path. This insect takes on this name given how big it is. The titan beetle can grow to 167 millimeters in length, making it second to the Hercules beetle as the world’s longest beetle. It’s worth noting that the Titan beetle actually has a larger body than the Hercules. The Hercules Beetle’s large horn makes up about half of its size, so the Titan Beetle is actually larger in stature.

Do titan beetles have strong jaws?

Their jaws can bite through a pencil. The word ‘titan’ is seemingly synonymous with the ability to crush things. That concept is no different in the jaws of this creature. The titan beetle possesses some unbelievably strong jaws that can bite through a 2B pencil, a plastic ruler, and even through human flesh. The jaw strength is supported by a sturdy and very sharp spine. This adaptation helps protect them against any predators – not using any mimicry or camouflage like some other beetles in this family such as the much smaller wasp longhorn beetle.

Are titan beetles aggressive?

Despite the titan beetle being a colossal sized insect with much strength – it is not aggressive. The insects spend most of their lives with the mission of reproduction, to keep their species thriving. Their tough exterior deters predators from attacking it, but they won’t go looking for any trouble. They will, however, fight back if provoked. Should a predator or anything threaten their daily business, they will use their strong jaws and spine to fend off any aggressors. Humans should be wary that they will bite – and it will hurt.

Titanus giganteus
Titanus giganteus -Balazs Ferenc Dr Szucs@123rf.com

How do titan beetles find mates?

They find their mates by following a scent trail. Titan beetles will start looking for mates as soon as they mature. Instead of following other beetle rituals such as combat (see the Atlas beetle), males will fly around searching for females by the scent of their pheromones. The beetles are only localized to the tropical regions of South America – where the hot and humid climate perfectly catches the chemical attractants produced by females.

What do titan beetles eat?

One of the most intriguing features about the Titan beetle is that it does not eat anything during adulthood. All of its nutrients are consumed in its larvae form. Like other beetles, larvae grow up in deadwood, where they feed on the decay inside. Once it matures, the beetle has not been observed to eat a single thing. Considering that the Titan beetle has such strong jaws and a big body – it’s a strange idea to think that they don’t use their natural traits to consume food.

Are titan beetles attracted to lights?

Titan beetles are attracted to electric lights. Those who sign any bright light source within the rainforest may find that males will find their way around the emanating rays. Females, however, are not so attracted to the light. As the Titan beetles are harder to find than other beetle families, not much has been established as to why males are attracted to the light and females are not.