Hercules beetle


The world's strongest animals

This beetle lives in rainforests in Central and South America and is one of the world's largest beetles.

Appearance and characteristics

The males can be up to 17 cm long, including its big pliers. Only the males have the strange pliers. It is formed by a protrusion from the head and a protrusion from the back of the body. When the male bends up the head, the pliers grips.

The Hercules beetle is said to be the world's strongest animal in relation to its size. It can carry objects weighing 850 times its own weight. It is a good thing to be strong if you want to rip away an opponent from a branch and throw him away. The Hercules beetle’s scientific name, Dynastes hercules, hints that it reign with its strength.

Det är lätt att se skillnad på honor och hanar. Honorna har ingen tång och de är håriga på ovansidan, till skillnad från hanarna som bara har hår på insidan av det övre hornet. Storleken kan variera betydligt mellan olika individer. Skillnader i storlek mellan vuxna skalbaggar av samma kön kan bero på att de som larver har fått olika mycket näring (eller att kvaliteten på näringen varierat).


The pliers are used in mating combats between the males. They try to grab their opponent with the pliers and throw him away. The winner gets mating rights with the female. Most often, though, both females and males mate with several partners.

Feeding and catching

The adult Hercules beetles are capable of creating a 'huffing' sound, generated by stridulating their abdomen against their elytra to serve as a warning to predators. The beetles are night-active and lives on mushy plant parts and fruits.

The eggs are laid in decaying wood which the larvae then feed on. The larva stage lasts for 1-2 years and the larva can reach 11 cm long and weigh 120 grams!  Before the metamorphosis, the larvae build a safety chamber which provides protection for the pupae while it is developing into an adult beetle.

Our partners