The Hercules Beetle (Dynastes hercules) is an insect in the Dynastinae family of rhinoceros beetles.
The Hercules Beetle is a long beetle with six legs and elytra (wing cases) that covers its wings. The male has two horns – one on its head and one on its prothorax. The male has a black body with iridescent olive-green elytra. The female is usually all black.
It measures about 5-8 centimetres (2-3 inches) long, with a wingspan of 25 centimetres (10 inches). It is one of the largest beetles in the world.
It is native to countries in Central America and northern South America. It prefers tropical rainforests.
The Hercules Beetle is mainly frugivorous, because it eats fruit.
The female lays up to 100 eggs in soil or in dead wood. The eggs hatch into larvae after about 30 days. The larvae stay in the soil and feed on decomposing wood and plant roots. After about 2 years, the larvae undergo metamorphosis to become adult beetles.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM