A couple of our largest local beetles are the male Giant Stag Beetle (Lucanus elaphus) and the Eastern Hercules Beetle (Dynastes tityus), both of which may reach 40-50 mm in length, excluding the so-called antlers or horns.
- The giant stag beetle (above) inhabits local woodlands and feeds on plant juices and secretions from aphids; grubs or larvae feed on the
juices of wet decaying wood.
- The male hercules beetle (below) with the curved horn is distinguishable from the female which has no horn. Its color may vary from spotted green-gray to chestnut brown. Adults are known to rub the tender bark on new plant growth until the sap begins to flow, providing a source of food. Hercules beetles are also called “unicorn” or “rhinoceros” beetles.
Large beetles are attracted by night lights, to the great joy of student collectors.
- This article was first published in the Danville Register and Bee, Danville, VA, on Sunday, September 23, 2001.
- See also Bill Hathaway's PittPaths website.
- Bill Hathaway's online photographs and descriptions are sponsored by Mitchells Publications.
Copyright © 2001–2002 William T. Hathaway.