Range: The Hercules beetle is found in the jungles of Central and South America, although they are available throughout the world except Antarctica. They are found throughout the tropical forest and rainforest of Costa Rica.
Size: Hercules Beetles males can be up to six and a half inches long, inclusive of the horns. Females often have a greater body length but are not as long overall. 4cm – 17cm (1.5in – 6.7in)
Diet: They are Omnivore. The adults feed on tree sap, sweet fruits, and decaying plant matter. Larvae develop in or around rotten logs and eat decaying wood.
Average life span: Hercules beetles life cycle is about one year and a half. They live underground as larvae for about 10 to 16 months, but only live for 3 – 4 months as adults.
Habitat: Hercules Beetles are mainly found in the tropical rainforests in Central and South America including Costa Rica but live as far north as Mexico as well as on some Caribbean islands.
Breeding/Reproduction: It is easy to differentiate between males and females. Adult males have an upper horn that protrudes forward from the thorax and a lower horn that protrudes forward from the head, while females do not have horns altogether. Hercules beetles typically mate during the rainy season.
Amazing Facts: Hercules beetles are the strongest animal in the world. Some can lift as much as 850 times their own weight.
Related Animals: Beetle, Ladybird, Stag Beetle
The Hercules Beetle is also known as Dynastes Hercules which belongs to the family of Scarabaeidae in the order of Coleoptera. They are known to be the famous and the biggest of the rhinoceros beetle family. Hercules beetle has an average of four (4) to seventeen (17) centimeters in length. It’s known as the strongest living thing in the world since it can carry a load eight hundred fifty (850) times its body weight. It got its name after the Roman demigod Hercules which is known for its immense strength. These kinds of beetles are omnivorous in nature. Their main diet includes decayed plants like fruits, leaf litter and tree saps, but they fancy more on rotting woods. Also they feast on small insects as well. Hercules Beetles are endemic in the rainforests of Central and South America including Costa Rica. But they were also seen inhabiting Mexico and Caribbean Islands, and even parts of southern Arizona in the U.S.
These species of beetles are mostly nocturnal which means they do their activities like hunting and gathering food at night time. But they were believed to be also active on day time especially on the stage where they are looking to mate. Male Hercules beetles are very aggressive during mating season. They fight another male to gain the right to mate with females. They used their huge upper and lower horns to attack on each other. They can pick an opponent using its horn or can slam it to the opponents head and killing or paralyzing its foes. After the male and female Hercules beetle mate, the female lays its eggs and after it will hatch and became larvae. These larvae have roughly ten millimeters (10 mm) in length and will grow to weigh almost one hundred and twenty grams (120 g). At this stage the larvae mostly used their lifetime in tunneling to find its food source which is decayed wood. After almost 16 months, the larvae will change into pupa. On this level of their life cycle, pupa will engaged in molting and transform into an adult Hercules beetle. The life spans of the adults are from three (3) to four (4) months.
Hercules beetles have sexual dimorphism which means there is a variation of features between the male and female of the same species. So it is not difficult to distinguish male and female Hercules beetle. The male has a large upper and lower horn. These thoracic horns can even grow up to much longer than the body of the beetle itself. Their bodies are much smaller than the female without counting those horns. Females are born without horns at all. If you measure them from eyes to abdomen, females are more elongated than the male. But because of the horns of the male, females seems tinier than the male. Males have black heads and a set of fore wings that can be shades of green, brown or black, while females are entirely brownish black.
Birds, rats, bats, mammals and reptiles are their predators. At present times, these Hercules beetle existence were threatened by human’s actions like deforestation of rainforest to pave way for modern dwellings as well as the air and water pollution brought to by human’s quest for expansion and modernization