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