ANIMAL: Hercules Beetle Dynastes hercules Type of Animal: Scarab Beetle Habitat: Jungle Location(s): Ranges from S Mexico to Bolivia. Also found in Lesser Antilles, Trinidad, Tobago, Guadeloupe, & Dominica. Appearance: 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 Food/Diet: Adults eat fruit, sap, & nectar, larvae eat rotting wood Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Captive breeding & habitat monitoring Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Larva Group: Solitary Weight: Male: 1.2 oz Female: 0.6 oz Young: 3.9-4 oz Gestation: 1 month Life Span: 2.5-3 years Width: 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.