Hercules Beetle

Hercules Beetle Dynastes hercules

Type of Animal:
Scarab Beetle


Ranges from S Mexico to Bolivia. Also found in Lesser Antilles, Trinidad, Tobago, Guadeloupe, & Dominica.

One of longest beetle species in world, males have horns (1 on head, much larger one on prothorax)-males black in color except for hardened forewings which can have olive-green shades, females black to brownish-black in color & lack horns, males much larger than females

Adults eat fruit, sap, & nectar, larvae eat rotting wood

Status in Wild:

Captive breeding & habitat monitoring


Additional Info:

Young: Larva
Group: Solitary
Male: 1.2 oz
Female: 0.6 oz
Young: 3.9-4 oz

1 month 

Life Span:
2.5-3 years

Male: 1.7 in
Female: 1.2 in

Body Length:
Male: 7 in
Female: 2.4 in
Young: 4.5-6 in

Main predators are birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, & predatory ants. Mites & maggots eat eggs.
Females lay around 100 eggs which hatch approximately a month later.
Beetle larvae go through 3 metamorphosis stages (instars)-stage 1 lasts around 7 weeks, stage 2 around 2 months, & stage 3 around 15 months. After 3rd instar stage, larvae go through pupal stage which lasts a month. After pupal stage, beetle finally reaches maturity.
Mostly nocturnal or crepuscular.
Males use their 2-3 in long horns to fight other males & attract females. Males try to grab/pin rival between horns to lift/throw them off balance.
Adults create huffing sound by rubbing abdomen against elytra (forewing) to ward off predators. Besides huffing sound, hard exoskeleton & horn-like pincers on males also help deter predators. They can also emit bad-smelling odor.
These insects are highly beneficial to their ecosystem, especially in their larval stage when they feed on rotting wood. This helps w/ biodegradation & nutrient cycling.
Though they can fly, they’re not good fliers.
Communicate through mix of chemoreception/sight/mechanical perception.
Mating lasts for up to an hour.
Breed in rainier periods.

Fun Fact(s):
Dynastes Greek for master/lord/ruler.
Beetle fights between males source of entertainment throughout the world.
Some people think these insects are venomous due to horns which is not true.
Called Hercules Beetles due to strength-they can carry up to 100 times their own weight.
Change elytra (forewing) color based on humidity levels.
These beetles sometimes kept as pets & can sell upwards of $400, especially males.
These beetles are very good escape artists in captivity due to their strength.

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