ARTHROPOD MUSEUM NOTES

Number 20 • July 28, 2003 • Jeffrey K. Barnes


Eastern Hercules beetle

Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Genus and species: Dynastes tityus (Linnaeus)

 eastern Hercules beetle


The eastern Hercules beetle is relatively common in Arkansas. It also occurs from southeastern New York south to Florida and from southern Illinois and Indiana south to the Gulf of Mexico. Western Arkansas and eastern Texas are the western limit of its range. The adults are the most massive beetles in the eastern United States. They range in length from 1.5 to 2.5 inches long, and they are usually greenish-gray or tan, except for blotches of black. The male has a large pronotal horn that projects forward and almost meets another horn projecting upward from the front of the head. The unarmed females are somewhat smaller than males. Adults have been observed feeding on sap at wounds on ash trees. Eggs are laid in summer. Larvae can be found especially in cavities at the bases of oak trees, although they are sometimes found in other kinds of decaying wood. They feed on the granular debris that collects at the bases of the cavities. Development may require 2 or 3 years. Adults overwinter in pupal cells and emerge the following June or July.

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References:

Glaser, J. D. 1976. The biology of Dynastes tityus (Linn.) in Maryland (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Coleopterists Bulletin 30 (2): 133-138.

Ritcher, P. O. 1966. White grubs and their allies. Oregon State Unviersity Press, Corvallis.

Links:
Natural Worlds
Ask Dr. Jay
Rearing D. tityus