Monday, October 27, 2014

Eastern Hercules Beetle

This massive beetle never fails to draw attention. The eastern Hercules beetle (Dynastes tityus) is among the largest beetles in North America, second only to the western Hercules beetle (Dynastes granti) which has longer horns but is otherwise about the same size.

Only the males have horns which they use in combat against each other against over access to females. The adult beetles feed on tree sap and fruit while the larvae feed on decayed wood inside dead or dying trees.

It may take several years for a Hercules beetle grub before they pupate and change into adult beetles.

These insects are called Hercules Beetles because, pound for pound, they are probably the strongest animal in the world, capable of lifting over 850 times their own weight. That’s like you trying to carry six African Elephants at once.

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