Hercules Beetles – A Quick Guide

The Hercules beetle, Dynastes Hercules, is found in rainforest environments in Central and South America.

Are Hercules beetles big?

The Hercules Beetle is one of the largest in the world. It comes from the ‘Rhinoceros’ family of beetle – where the name would give a hint about the creature’s size. The adults can grow between 50-85 millimeters in length and 29-42 millimeters in width. If you included the horn, the males possibly reach 173 millimeters in length. That would also make it the longest beetle in the world. That’s quite a few size records that this beetle is setting, putting them on an entomologist’s interest list. Despite its bulk, it is still able to fly.

How strong are Hercules beetles?

They are one of the strongest insects on the planet. Classic Greek mythology has given the name Hercules to this beetle. The legend tells of the man that had unsurpassed strength. The Hercules Beetle, while it can’t move mountains, is one of the strongest insects in the world. The creature can lift around 850 times its own weight. That is much more than most other rhinoceros beetles, where the estimates are only 100 times their weight. However, the Atlas beetle can lift similar weights. The Dung Beetle is also capable of dragging over 1000 times its weight.

Are Hercules beetles rare?

Hercules Beetles take residence in Central and South America in tropical rainforests. Their habitats stretch from Mexico, traveling the way down to the Amazon in Brazil, where over 13 different Hercules Beetle species have been found. They do not vary too much in physical features – they are all quite large insects. Variants have been spotted in their size, colors, diets and behavior, and life cycles. This may depend on the climate and environmental differences where they are found.

Do male and female Hercules beetles look the same?

Males and females have different colors. Unlike many other insects, the males and females have easily distinguishable markings and colors. The male Hercules Beetle usually has a black head, with a black, brown, or green body covered in dark spots. Females commonly are brownish-black throughout their exterior. The colors and markings can also differ by sub-species, but almost universally are different in their gender. Most experts agree that the visual aesthetics of the Hercules Beetle depend on the humidity of their environment.

Hercules beetle
Male Hercules beetle -Isselee Eric Philippe@123rf.com

Why do Hercules beetles have horns?

Males are also easily distinguished by their large horns, which they use for mating rituals. These horns are known to be over twice the size of the beetle’s body. The Hercules Beetle will use their horns to fight another male over the rights to mate with a female. They will attempt to grab their opponent during combat and throw them away from the mate they desire, where the victor will take the female.

Does the Hercules beetle have predators?

Wherever the Hercules Beetle is, and whatever stage the insect is in its life cycle – it always has predators. Given its size, the beetle is a target for creatures of all species. Maggots and small bugs are known to eat away at the Hercules Beetle when it is an egg or early in its life – skunks and raccoons also consume them in their childhood stages. Adult predators include birds, rats, and bats. Being one of the strongest insects in the world comes with a few challenges.