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Hercules Beetle

Hercules Beetle (Dynastes Hercules )Hercules Beetle (Dynastes Hercules )Hercules Beetle (Dynastes Hercules )Hercules Beetle (Dynastes Hercules )
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Hercules Beetle Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Arthropoda
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Insecta
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Coleoptera
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Scarabaeidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Dynastes
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species
Hercules Beetle
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Dynastes Hercules
Found:Central and South America
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
4cm - 17cm (1.5in - 6.7in)
Number of Species:
The total number of recorded species
13
Average Lifespan:3 - 5 months
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, Brown, Green, Blue, White, Yellow
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Shell
Favourite Food:Decaying wood
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Tropical Rainforest
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
100
Main Prey:Decaying wood, Fruit, Leaves
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Bats, Rats, Birds
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Hard, armoured shell and horn-like pincers

Hercules Beetle Location

Map of Hercules Beetle Locations
Map of South America

Hercules Beetle

The Hercules beetle is one of the largest species of beetle in the world, and is natively found in the jungles of South America. The Hercules beetle is the largest and most well known of all of the rhinoceros beetles, a group of large beetles that are closely related to the famous scarab beetle.

The Hercules beetle is found throughout the tropical jungles and rainforests of Central and South America, where the Hercules beetle spends the majority of it's time foraging through the leaf-litter on the forest floor in search of something to eat. The fallen debris also helps to hide this enormous insect as it moves about.

There are thirteen known species of Hercules beetle found in the jungles of South America and the Hercules beetle was named for it's sheer size as some males have been known to reach nearly 7 inches in length. Although it is quite rare for these beetles to get quite so big, the average adult Hercules beetle is usually between four and fifteen centimetres long depending on the species.

The most distinctive feature of the Hercules beetle has to be the enormous horn-like pincers which protrude from the forehead of the males. These horns can grow longer than the Hercules beetle's body and are mainly used for solving disputes with other male Hercules beetles. Female Hercules beetles do not have horns but their bodies are thought to be larger, but shorter than their male counterparts.

The Hercules beetle is an omnivorous animal but it;'s diet both in it's larvae and adult stages, is primarily made up of decaying plant matter. Rotting wood is the favoured meal of the Hercules beetle, along with fruits and other plant matter and the occasional small insect.

The Hercules beetle is said to be the strongest creature on earth for its size, able to carry 850 times its own body weight but these enormous insects are still hunted by numerous animals throughout the jungles of Central and South America. Bats, rats and birds are the main predators of the Hercules beetle along with reptiles and omnivorous mammals.

The larval stage of the Hercules beetle will last one to two years, with the larva growing up to 4.5 inches in length and weighing up to 120 grams. Much of the life of the Hercules beetle larva is spent tunnelling through it's primary food source of rotting wood. After the larval period, transformation into a pupa, and moulting occur, with the Hercules beetle then emerging as an adult.

Today, the Hercules beetle is threatened as much of it's natural habitat has been lost to deforestation or been affected by both air and water pollution.

Hercules Beetle Comments

katie
"I think there kind of creepy looking but there really cool I like to study beetle's."
hantheaguan
"hercules beetle are really cool. I never knew they were such interesting creatures"
CJ
"i love looking and learning about the lifes of beetles. my favorite is the titan beetle. i saw one about 4 inches long in my garden in WV a month ago."
Anonymous
"Saw one about 4 inches long tonight in Lexington ky. "
Anonymous
"Saw one in Memphis TN yesterday. Didn't know exactly what it was. It was about 4 to 5 inches long. Cool looking creature. "
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First Published: 2nd August 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Aug 2010]

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