Hercules beetle Facts

Hercules beetle Facts
Hercules beetle is one of the largest beetles in the world. Hercules beetles can be found in Central and South America. There are 13 known species of Hercules beetles. They live in tropical rainforests, hidden in rotten tree trunks. Although very strong, Hercules beetle has a lot of predators. Other threats to the survival of Hercules beetle include deforestation (loss of habitat) and pollution of the water and air. Hercules beetle is listed as threatened species.
Interesting Hercules beetle Facts:
Size of Hercules beetle depends on the species. Length of Hercules beetle can vary from 1.5 to 6.7 inches. Smaller species live in the Appalachian valleys of Kentucky while larger species live in Honduras.
Body of Hercules beetle is covered with strong shell, which acts as outer skeleton.
Color of the Hercules beetle body depends on the species and gender. Females are usually brownish-black, while males have black head and black, brown or green body covered with black spots.
The most prominent feature on the body of Hercules beetle is large, horn-like pair of pincers. They are located on the forehead of the males. Pincers can be 2 to 3 inches long. Sometimes, they can be longer than the body.
Pincers are used in mating rituals. Males fight with each other, using the pincers to pick up and slam the opponent onto the ground. Male with bigger pincers has a better chance to win and to mate with female.
Hercules beetles are very strong animals. They can lift load that is 850 times heavier than their own weight.
Until recently, Hercules beetles were considered to be the strongest insects on the planet. Latest experiment showed that dung beetle can lift a load that is 1,141 times heavier than its own weight.
Hercules beetle eats rotten plants, such as decaying wood, fallen leaves and fruits. Sometimes, they consume other insects.
Hercules beetle has a lot of predators on every step of its development. Mites and maggots eat the eggs of Hercules beetle. Skunks and raccoons eat Hercules beetles while they are in the larval stage. Bats, rats and birds eat adult beetles.
Mating season of Hercules beetles takes place during the rainy season.
Males are really aggressive toward each other when they are fighting for the attention of females.
Female can lays up to 100 eggs in the ground. Hercules beetle undergoes complete metamorphosis. Eggs will turn into larvae and larvae will turn into pupa that will transform into adult insect.
Larval stage is the longest stage in development of the Hercules beetle. It lasts around one year. During that time, larva digs tunnels in the ground, while looking for decaying wood that is used as a food.
Adult stage of Hercules beetle lasts only couple of months. Beetles in this stage are mainly focused on reproduction.
Whole lifecycle of the Hercules beetle lasts between 11 and 16 months.

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