Rhinoceros Beetle

rhinocerous beetle
A female rhinocerous beetle. The rhinocerous beetle has a shiny exoskeleton.

The rhinoceros beetle is the largest beetle in the world. It can grow up to six inches (15 cm) long. It’s also the strongest.

A rhinoceros beetle can be black, brown, or greenish in color. The body of an adult rhinoceros beetle is covered by a thick exoskeleton. The exoskeleton can be shiny and almost metallic or covered in short hair, like velvet.

The rhinoceros beetle has a pair of thick wings that lie atop another set of very thin wings. These wings allow the rhinoceros beetle to fly away from danger, but not very far or efficiently, owing to its large size.

Male Rhinocerous beetle
Male Rhinocerous beetle with single horn and wings spread

The Rhinoceros beetle gets its name from horn-like structures that protrude from the heads of male rhinoceros beetles. Most species of rhinoceros beetle have two horns, but some have one and some have more. A male rhinoceros beetle uses its horns to battle other beetles and to dig. It can dig quickly, usually in response to danger, burrowing itself into hard soil.

If disturbed, the rhinoceros beetle releases a hissing sound. This noise is produced when the rhinoceros beetle rubs its abdomen against its wing covers. The hiss is merely a warning though. Despite its intimidating size and horns, the rhinoceros beetle does not sting or bite.

The Rhinoceros beetle is an herbivore. It eats fruit, nectar, and sap usually at night. During the day, the rhinoceros beetle hides among plants or fallen leaves and logs.

The rhinoceros beetle is also known as the “Hercules beetle.” That is because the rhinoceros beetle is very strong. Some adult rhinoceros beetles can lift up to 850 times their body weight.

Rhinoceros beetles can be found on every continent except Antarctica. In the United States, they live in the south from Arizona northeast to Nebraska and eastward.

The scientific name for the rhinoceros beetle is Dynastinae.

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