Saturday, August 22, 2015

Meet Hercules



The Eastern Hercules Beetle is the largest beetle in the United States. This one turned up on the porch this afternoon and believe me, he's BIG!


The lens cap is about 2 1/2 inches across so he's pretty much average as far as Hercules beetles go.


I know he's a male because only males have the horns on the side of their heads.

I think that's his wings dragging behind him.


Hercules beetles live an ordinary insect life and when they change into the pupa stage they make a case for themselves out of bits of wood and debris stuck together with their saliva. They emerge in the spring and live about 3 months over the summer.


We were careful not to rile this guy up because they release a foul-smelling odor to discourage poking and prodding and, one would assume, being eaten by owls, crows, and woodpeckers and mammals looking for a crunchy treat. In spite of that less than friendly habit, they apparently make interesting pets and are available in pet stores for purchase.

Thank goodness my kids never wanted to spend their allowance on one of those!


  1. He is a big fellow and very handsome.

  2. Cynthia, luckily in Poland we don' have them. They are nice and as a pet awful insect at home

  3. A PET !!!!! ?????
    Yes thank the heavens that your children and the Anna/Don quartet are not
    into beetle collections!
    I think a broom might be handy - outside, thank you.
    Do beetles eat mossies???? If so then your mate "Hercules, the stinky-poo" just
    might have saved his "bacon".

  4. It would be a bit of a surprise to run across this guy on your deck. Nice post.

  5. He is very handsome for a bug! And big too! :)

  6. At first I thought he was your pet and you had named him Hercules. I'm kidding. Good grief, what a bug! You do post the most interesting things.

  7. A pet?!!! What do you do with it? Take it for walks or ride it?

  8. You have me puzzled! Why would someone keep one of these beetles as a pet!
    It does look big..

  9. Oh my. I am not into bugs of any type at all and when they get big I think they are a bit scary ... and I know that they can grow very big the further south you go. I once saw a common house cockroach at a university that was about 4 inches long - probably was called something else at that size but that was what it looked like - a roach on steroid. Made quite an impression on me then - and now over 40 years later I can still see it.

  10. He lives up to his name. He's really hercules with that size. I just wonder how can it be pet?

  11. When I saw your photos of this fellow I thought how like our 'Aussie' rhinocerous beetles he was! Turns out they are related. Outside my childhood home we had a street various times of the year these beetles would be attracted to the light and some would end up on the footpath(sidewalk) much to my delight as they are quite quirky creatures!

  12. We had plenty of pets but this is one I'm glad my boys never asked for either. :-) That's one big bug.