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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Rhinoceros Beetle

Photo: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey
BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Subfamily Dynastinae

Other Names:  Goliath, Hercules or Elephant Beetles

  • Rhinoceros beetles attract more interest than almost any other beetle species.

  • The males develop long, horn-like mouthparts which are used in jousting matches between rivals competing for a female.

  • The size of the 'horns' depends entirely, on how well the beetle feed, in dead wood or compost, during its larval stage. (see variations, right )

  • The fearsome appearance of these beetles, along with the loud hissing sound they produce when stressed, seems to act as an effective deterrent against many predators.
    (Script Source: Environmental Protection Agency.   illustrations: Insects of Australia courtesy  CSIRO)

Additional Information:

  • When males fight in trees, the loser may end up falling to the ground.

  • Their hooked, serrated claws give the beetle efficient grip on trees, but also on humans and their clothes.

  • They can often be seen in large congregations when attracted to a shared food source such as when chewing the bark of Poinciana trees on the side of the Cape Tribulation road.
    Script: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
PH & Fax: 07 4095 3754 International: 61 7 4095 3754

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