Saturday, July 2, 2011

Eastern Hercules Beetle

My parents are always sending me photos of the wonderful critters in and around their house in Maryland. Here is their latest submission--a beetle found in the basement: 

(photo by Nile and Katy Oldham)

I'm going to take a stab that this is an Eastern Hercules Beetle (Dynastes tityus)! This must be a female, because the males have 3 horns on their heads (which you can see here) while the females have no horns. These guys are in the Rhinoceros Beetle subfamily of the Scarab Beetle family--the beetles in this group are generally large! The Eastern Hercules Beetle is a detritivore; as a grub, it feeds on rotting plant animal matter on the ground. As an adult, its diet is supposedly not well known. What a beautiful gal this is!


  1. Adults feed on human remains kept in basements.

  2. Oh, my parents must have a new hobby!

  3. When the British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane was asked by theologians whether there was anything he could ascertain about the Creator from the study of creation, Haldane replied (and this is possibly apocryphal) - "an inordinate fondness for beetles."

  4. Your id is right on...this is in fact the largest beetle species we have in our country.