A Giant Among Beetles: Hercules Beetle, Dynasties Titus

In Roman mythology, Hercules was a hero of extraordinary strength and courage known for accomplishments like s.l.ay.ing the Lernaean Hydra, exterminating man-e.a.ting birds, and cleaning a massive stable in a single day by rerouting two rivers to wash away waste. One of our previous pupils once discovered six extremely enormous beetle grubs named for this fabled hero in the hollow of a ro.tting cherry tree.

A rowdy male Hercules beetle nearby tried unsuccessfully to capture the attention of an appealing female insect. The Hercules beetle is the most massive insect in eastern North America. This insect is as tough as its namesake. The male Hercules beetle effortlessly raised the cover of a terrarium with a firmly fitting lid on my kitchen counter, crawled out, and went on a walk about my house. Our local Hercules beetle is a member of the Scarabaeidae family, which includes pests like the Japanese beetle and Oriental beetle from previous episodes.

These scarabs are also known as rhinoceros beetles because of the abnormally large horns present in the males. Male rhinoceros beetles in the tropics have extraordinarily lengthy horns that they utilize to compete with other males for the privilege to ma.te. Males challenge each other with a series of squeaking sounds during battles. This may be followed by a scuffle including horn dueling. The winner generally gets the girl, while the loser leaves, often with more than just his dignity at jeo.pardy.

Adult beetles feed mostly on tree sap and fruit in the wild. Beetles cause sap to flow by scraping away the tree’s sensitive bark. Adult Hercules beetles in captivity consume both fresh and decaying fruit, such as apples, oranges, cherries, and bananas. Adult beetles may survive for months and deposit huge eggs in the decaying wood of hollow or fallen trees. Larvae may take 12 to 18 months to fully grow, reaching a length of around two inches. The larvae, known as grubs, feed on decaying wood and organic debris. They develop into pupae, from which new adults emerge.

These creatures are intriguing pets and are rather simple to raise. The page provided below has directions for raising and caring for these critters. Unfortunately, Hercules beetles are drawn to light and can be seen around porch lights or in lighted parking lots, where they are eaten by animals or killed by people. Although these enormous insects seem frightening, they are completely safe for people. If you come across one or come across the grubs, enjoy them and release them to the wild uni.nju.red. They are vital recyclers of nutrients stored up in wood and one of Mother Nature’s most incredible inventions.

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