9 largest beetles in the world

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Beetles are one of the most common insects in the world. Perhaps, one way or another, every person met them. Someone every summer trying to overcome the invasion of the striped Colorado potato beetle; someone in childhood, he caught snacks and tied them with a thread on the foot (and still ashamed of this, remembering with some awkwardness); someone is being treated from everything in a row, eating a blackbody; and someone tried to prove insurance company that damage the car windshield from a night meeting with a rhinoceros beetle is quite an insurance case, requiring cash compensation.

However, most of those met on the street, outside the city or in the forest of beetles – relatively small. Even the memorable rhinos reaching the length of a matchbox seem quite crumbs in comparison with the largest representatives of the family. Some specimens are so large that they do not even fit on palm of an adult man.

And about them – the biggest bugs in the world – and this will be discussed the material. Moreover, several species are quite found on the territory Russia, although quite rarely.

The biggest beetles in the world

Nomination a place name Length
The biggest beetles in the world 9 Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) 95 mm.
8 Duplyak Atlas (Chalcosoma atlas) 110 MM.
7 Relic Lumberjack (Callipogon relictus) 110 MM.
6 Goliath beetle (Goliathus regius) 116 MM.
5 Elephant Beetle (Megasoma elephas) 120 MM
4 Barbel Xixuthrus heros 150 MM.
3 Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) 171 MM.
2 Brazilian Lumberjack (Macrodontia cervicornis) 178 MM.
1 Lumberjack Titan (Titanus giganteus) 220 MM

9th place: Stag beetle (Lucanus cervus), up to 95 mm

Rating: 4.2

Lucanus cervus

The stag beetle is the largest of the beetles found on the territory. Of Europe. Individual individuals are able to grow up to 95 mm in length – this is taking into account the horns on the head, which in themselves can reach up to half of the dimensions of the insect.

In Russia, it is easiest to meet in the south and in the middle lane. The stag beetle prefers to settle in oak forests and broad-leaved forests, because it lives in rotten wood, and coniferous too tough for him. Despite the wide distribution area, the insect is found locally, in small colonies, and therefore listed in the Red Books of almost all post-Soviet states. Deforestation and beetle harvesting also affect population decline. collectors.

The deer beetle got its name thanks to the characteristic “horns” on to the head. Mandibles in males grow to impressive sizes and become like deer horns. They are used for fights – in mating period males are territorial and aggressive characters, therefore, every now and then enter into skirmishes for females. “Women”, in turn, do not have “horns” and are distinguished by smaller sizes, so it’s difficult to recognize representatives of the species stag beetle.

The stag beetle males also tend to fly. Moreover they are able to spend quite a lot of time in the air and go on trips up to 3 kilometers long. However due large mass and large dimensions of the stag beetle requires vertical surface for take-off – with a horizontal “tear” can be difficult and not always successful.

Brown stag beetle is characteristic for forest insects. colors with glossy gloss of chitin. However, some subspecies almost black.

8th place: Duplyak Atlas (Chalcosoma atlas), up to 110 mm

Rating: 4.3

Chalcosoma atlas

Duplyak Atlas – one of the largest beetles in Asia. Separate instances of this insect are able to grow up to 110 mm in length with taking into account “horns” and “proboscis”. Chalcosoma atlas meets on territories of Malaysia and other southeast Asian regions.

Chalcosoma atlas got its Latin name thanks to its impressive size. It is believed that the name he came up with the honor of Atlas – the mighty titan, a character in Greek mythology. AND here the Russian name “duplyak” the insect acquired thanks the desire to live in hollows and other “defects” of trees.

Like many other beetles, the Atlas is reproductive dimorphism. Males are much larger than females and have two on their heads long “horns”. The purpose of these growths is not entirely clear, since Chalcosoma atlas during the mating season does not suit massacres with other representatives of the species. Both males and females are colored in black color, however “men” are covered with glossy chitin with characteristic metallic luster, and “women” matte.

While adult insects are peaceful character, the larvae of the Atlas duplex are aggressive and very dangerous. They bite, both during defense and during an attack. Some entomologists also report that Chalcosoma larvae atlas are capable of killing each other if they lack space or food for a comfortable life.

7th place: Relict lumberjack (Callipogon relictus), up to 110 mm

Rating: 4.4

Callipogon relictus

Relict lumberjack, also called the Ussuri relict barbel due to its habitat – the largest beetle among regularly met in Russia. He is able to grow up to 110 mm in length. In principle, almost all barbel large sizes – and representatives of this family will still be meet in our ranking.

The relic lumberjack is one of the oldest bugs on the planet. The view has been preserved since the so-called “Tertiary period”, ended about 2 million years ago. In those times In principle, some gigantism was peculiar to insects. And beetles barbel families have kept it to date.

A relic lumberjack is found in the Southern Primorye of Russia (especially often in the Amur Region), both Korea and northeastern regions of China. It is entered in the Red Book, is protected by states. Inhabits mixed and deciduous forests where it stands as a pest – its larvae (whose life span is up to 6 years) not only bore trunks and subcortex, but also infect trees spores of fungi.

Adult beetles are characterized by sexual dimorphism. Mandibles males – large, massive and overgrown, similar to “horns”, while time as a female is no different. Beetles are painted in black-brown colors with translucent brown elytra. Mustache – long, calm even reaching the last third body.

In nature, it is easier to meet a female than a male. “Women” behave more actively, from July to September are in a state summer. Therefore, they are often found outside forests. Males more passive and rarely rise into the air.

6th place: Goliath beetle (Goliathus regius), up to 116 mm

Rating: 4.5

Goliathus regius

Goliath beetle Goliathus regius – the largest representative subfamilies of bronzes, which includes the golden bronze, in the South Russia called the “May bug”, and in other places – the “May Khrushchem. “And both of these species are very similar. Unless the goliath beetle able to grow up to 116 millimeters in length.

Goliath beetle lives in equatorial African countries. The insect is painted in contrast, in black and white, with variable elytra pattern. Males are brighter because on the chest they have more spots with clear boundaries between them. Besides, the “men” on the head have a Y-shaped growth that looks like a horn.

Goliathus regius is infrequent – primarily due to that rarely descends to the ground. Most of the time beetles spend in the crowns of trees, where they feed on the juice of overripe fruits and other plant products. But on the “vegan diet “go only adult insects – the larvae living in Earth needs protein food for growth and development. Therefore, for kept in captivity they feed well on cat foods and dogs.

When the larva grows to 130 mm in length and reaches 100 grams of weight, she pupates. In this state, she holds up several months, while the dry season lasts in Africa. And then the beginning of rains, an adult Goliath beetle hatches from the pupa. IN captive insects live for about a year, and in the wild, most likely only a few months.

5th place: Elephant beetle (Megasoma elephas), up to 120 mm

Rating: 4.6

Elephant Beetle (Megasoma elephas)

Another member of the duplex family, one of the the largest beetles in the world. Megasoma elephas is able to grow to 120 millimeters in length – however, only such dimensions reach males with proboscis, and females several times shorter.

The elephant beetle lives in South America, meeting in rain forests. In addition, he was met in Mexico and several Central American states. The color of the insect varies in depending on the region of residence – there are also black specimens, and chocolate brown, and even golden. However the shape of the head same for all subspecies.

The elephant beetle got its name not only because of its size, but also thanks to the “trunk” – a long horn in front of the head. how as a rule, it is somewhat pointed and bent towards the end. Around the edges the head of the insect has “tusks” – two horn-shaped process.

Despite its impressive size, the elephant beetle is quite light – even the largest registered specimens weighed no more 35 grams. The insect leads a nocturnal lifestyle in daylight days preferring to relax in hollows, under exfoliating bark or in heaps of leaves.

In 2009, the University of California at Berkeley as part of Pentagon sponsored research checked opportunity the use of elephant beetles for military and intelligence purposes. Insects introduced special electrodes into their heads, which allowed to control the flight of animals, controlling them moving.

4th place: Xixuthrus heros barbel, up to 150 mm

Rating: 4.7

Barbel Xixuthrus heros

Barbel Xixuthrus heros (who does not have a Russian name because of small and endemic population) – one of the largest beetles in the world. Males of this species grow to 150 millimeters in length.

Xixuthrus heros is found only in Fiji. Population so small that some researchers suggest that This species of barbel has long died out. However, with bugs every now and then locals meet, why status Xixuthrus heros so far quite controversial.

As usual with bugs, Xixuthrus heros males significantly larger than females. Yes, and outwardly different. The body of the beetle is dark brown, elytra in males – sandy-cream, in females – brown. Justifying the name of the subfamily, Xixuthrus heros may boast of a huge mustache, calmly going over the last third of the body – and in some cases even exceed body length.

One of the reasons for the rarity of the beetle is extermination. Natives the highlands of Fiji catch larvae of the barbel and eat. Adults bugs of local residents are not interested – chitin is thick and tough, and biting an insect while trying to catch. Also a scared beetle can make a frightening hissing sound of high volume, pressing elytra and pushing air out from under them.

3rd place: Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules), up to 171 mm

Rating: 4.8

Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules)

Hercules beetle – the largest representative of the genus lamellar, in which also includes, for example, the goliath beetle. Maximum the documented body length with the horn was 171 mm male, but, as a rule, beetles grow a couple of centimeters in short.

The Hercules Beetle boasts not only an impressive length, but also with a huge wingspan – up to 22 centimeters. Painted the insect is bright and noticeable. Head with a horn – black and glossy. Elytra – light brown with dark dots, somewhat reminiscent of unpeeled almonds. However, their color may vary from medium. habitats – from yellow to olive-black. The female is less mottled, but also noticeable – the head and chest are matte black, elytra – light brown with dark veins.

Hercules beetle is found mainly in South America, as well as in a number of Central American states and islands The Caribbean. Prefers moist rain forests. Larva dwells underground, pupating in dry periods and turning in the adult beetle with the onset of the rainy season.

Hercules beetle larva in two years of life can grow to 180 mm in length and reach 100 grams of weight. After that she pupates. An adult insect lives up to six months.

2nd place: Brazilian Lumberjack (Macrodontia cervicornis), up to 178 mm

Rating: 4.9

Brazilian Lumberjack (Macrodontia cervicornis)

The Brazilian lumberjack is one of the largest representatives of the barbel family, more than once “lit up” in our rating. True, he differs from “relatives” in huge mandibles, thanks to which he got his name. bug able to grow up to 178 mm in length – these are the dimensions he had the largest of the caught specimens.

The Brazilian Lumberjack, as the name implies, found in South America. Prefers to settle in tropical rainforests. It has a bright, unusual color – reddish-brown head, chest with a spiked shield, and yellow elytra with a black “geographical” pattern. Some subspecies are slightly lighter, which makes them look even brighter.

Most of the life of a Brazilian lumberjack is spent in in the form of a larva. This phase can last up to ten years. Then in a certain climatic period and having gained enough weight, the larva pupates – and literally a few weeks into the world an imago appears. The adult beetle lives only a few months, and its the task is reproduction. Soon after laying eggs and the female, and the males die.

1st place: Lumberjack-titanium (Titanus giganteus), up to 220 mm

Rating: 5.0

Titanus giganteus

Lumberjack-titan – the largest beetle in the world, the largest representative of the barbel family and just one of the most “overall” insects on the planet. Maximum registered length, according to various sources, is 210-220 millimeters, but most of the specimens encountered are several centimeters shorter.

Like many of the world’s largest beetles, the titan woodcutter lives in the Amazonian forests, meeting in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and other South American states. Settles on trees, but leads a nocturnal lifestyle. Prefers to sleep in the afternoon in shelters, hiding in hollows, rotten stumps and under the forest litter.

It is painted softly. Head and chest are dark brown, almost chocolate color, elytra slightly lighter. Differences between male and a female minimum – the first ones maybe a little smaller than the second ones. The mustache is shorter than the rest of the family, and reach half body length.

Interestingly, adult titan woodcutters do not feed. Live only due to the accumulated fat reserves in the larval phase. because of this the duration of their existence is extremely short and is no more than 3-5 weeks. Perhaps most of life a lumberjack-titanium holds in the form of a larva – however, researchers have so far could not find any of them.

In 1959, National Geographic magazine published a photograph. of this life-size beetle – and it filled a whole page. However, some researchers believe that publishers have mixed up insects – the picture showed not a lumberjack-titanium, but closely related Brazilian lumberjack.

Despite some rarity, carcasses of titan woodcutters are actively sold in online stores. Usually, entomological collectors collect dead beetles, dry and are selling. The cost of an instance reaches 600-800 dollars.


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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