Megabugs: 9 Biggest Beetles In The World


There are over 350,000 beetle species in the world, and you will see the biggest beetles today. Some beetles can grow so large they are the size of your palm, a bug of this size is huge. If you love beetles, you are going to love what you will see below. Let’s see which are the biggest beetles among the 350,000 species and find out what they are.

9Great Capricorn Beetle

image: Tony Ernst

Size: 4.1 – 5.5 centimeters (1.6 – 2.1 inches)

Despite being smaller than most beetles in the list, this one is among the biggest beetles among European beetle species. The unique thing about them is the elongated and robust bodies along with the long antennae that these beetles have. Those antennae are usually longer than the beetle’s body, and the males are smaller than the females. The great Capricorn beetles live in old and large trees such as birch, chestnut, white oaks, and more. Because they live in trees, the adults feed on the bark while the larvae feed on the wood. Adults of this species are weak flyers, and they rarely fly further than 500 meters from the tree they were born. However, their population is declining due to the lack of old forests with old decaying trees.

8Stag Beetle

Size: 5 – 7 centimeters (1.9 – 2.7 inches)

Here we have Britain’s largest native ground-dwelling beetle, and of course, one of the biggest beetles in the world. The jaws of the males look exactly like the antlers of a stag, hence the name. Those mandibles help them to wrestle other males over mates and territory, and the winner throws the loser to the ground. Apart from fighting, male stag beetles use their large jaws in courtship displays during mating season. Both males and females are capable of flying despite being ground-dwellers, but the females rarely do so. Stag beetles spend between 3 and 7 years as grub, and their adult lifespan is only a few weeks.

7Flower Chauffeur

image: pinterest

Size: 5.5 – 8.5 centimeters (2.3 – 3.3 inches)

Goes by the scientific name Mecynorhina torquata, flower chauffeur or flower chafer is the largest flower beetles in the world. These large bugs are very beautiful with their bright green markings on the elytra, and their colorations vary sometimes. Enthusiasts love keeping males as pets, and they are super easy to keep. Just like the name suggests, flower chauffeurs feed on flower nectar and pollen. The cool part is that these beetles play a part in pollination just like bees do which is very helpful for the environment.

6Goliath Beetle

Size: 6 – 11 centimeters (2.4 – 4.3 inches)

These are not only among the biggest beetles but also the largest insects on Earth. With a size as big as an adult’s palm and vivid colors, Goliath beetles are very easy to recognize. At the same time, these fascinating beetles have unusual markings that look like skeletons on the pronotum. They have 6 legs in total, and each leg ends in a pair of sharp claws that help with climbing.

They can be very aggressive, and it is normal for males to fight for food, mate, and territory. During the fight, males lock their horns together, and the winner gets the female, food, or the domain. Although Goliath beetles don’t have teeth, their mandibles can still deliver a sharp and painful pinch that can draw blood when handled. As tough creatures, no doubt why they are among the strongest beetles in the world.

5Atlas Beetle

Size: 6 – 13 centimeters (2.4 – 5.1 inches)

Native to Southeast Asia, this is a very large beetle species with a super cool origin of the name. Atlas is the name of the giant who supported the skies from Greek mythology. The males of this species are larger than the females, and they have 3 prominent horns. Their horns are so long that they can be a third of their body length which is very useful during the fight. When the mating season comes, two males will fight for dominance and the winner will get to mate the female. They are not only big but also strong, and they have very fierce behavior. Even the larvae are capable of biting if you touch it. At the same time, the larvae that live together will fight each other to death if there is not enough food or space.

4Elephant Beetle

Size: 7 – 12 centimeters (2.75 – 4.75 inches)

With horns that look like tusks, these beetles got just the perfect name for themselves. These beetles are pretty hairy, with a coat of fine microscopic hairs covering their body. The males of this species have 3 horns which they use for competition and defense while the females don’t have any. Male elephant beetles usually fight for food and mates, and those horns are very useful tools. Elephant beetles live in rainforests, and they are active at night. The destruction of rainforests affects their population while people in some countries catch the males for their heads as a charm necklace.

3Hercules Beetle

Size: 5 – 17 centimeters (2 – 7 inches)

The Hercules beetles are the biggest beetles in the rhinoceros beetle species, and they have extraordinary strength for their size. These beetles are very easy to recognize, with the large pincer shape of their horns. The name already tells you about strength because these beetles can carry things 850 times their mass. Not different from other male beetles, this species also use its large horns to fight each other. During the fight, the opponents use their horns to lift and slam each other into the ground. The battle ends when one opponent gets tired and gives up the fight. Despite the fact that females can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, the larvae still have a lot of predators. This is why the population of these beetles has been decreasing lately.

2Sabertooth Longhorn Beetle

Size: Up to 17.7 centimeters (6.9 inches)

The large body is already impressive, let alone the long and enormous mandibles that these beetles have. These are the reasons why they are one of the biggest beetles in the world. Sabertooth longhorn beetles are quite unique when it comes to coloration with a black and tan body. These two colors help to blend perfectly into the surroundings in their habitats which are rainforests. This species is Vulnerable, and its life cycle plays a part in that. The female lays eggs under the bark of dead or dying softwood trees, and the larvae burrow into the rotting wood once they hatched. A larva of this beetle spends up to 10 years in this stage, and it lives at most 3 weeks in the adult stage.

1Titan Beetle

image: pinterest

Size: Up to 16.7 (6.6 inches)

It is true that other beetles are large in size, but that is because of the length of their mandibles. When it comes to the true biggest beetles, titan beetles win them all. This species has a larger body while the mandibles are rather short. So basically, the titan beetles are large because of their size not from the help of their jaws. Speaking of jaws, those of titan beetles are sharp and strong enough to snap pencils in half. Let the idea of what they can do to our flesh sink in, it is going to be very painful. Along with the jaws, their spines are also very sharp. The adults are not aggressive, and they will hiss to warn intruders before they start to bite. Due to the rapid rainforest destruction, the population of these large beetles is also threatened and declined.

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