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Insect Spotlight: Eastern Hercules Beetle

Picture this- you are walking down your neighborhood sidewalk enjoying a nice summer day. You look down and see a giant beetle! It has a hard shell and a long horn on its head. You don’t know what it is, but it looks like something out of a sci-fi novel.

Male Eastern Hercules Beetle (Right) and Female Eastern Hercules Beetle (Left)

Have you ever seen a beetle that fits this description? If you have, you were in the presence of Dynastes tityus, more commonly known as the Eastern Hercules Beetle. These beetles can live along the eastern coast of the U.S. and can be found right here in the panhandle area.

About The Eastern Hercules Beetle

Eastern Hercules Beetle larvae are large white grubs. These grubs feed on decaying leaves, rotten fruit, and other decaying vegetation. The life cycle of the Eastern Hercules Beetle is as follows: larvae become pupa in the summer, and the pupa become adults in the winter. Adults stay underground for the winter to emerge in the summer and live for around 3-6 months. Females lay their eggs in the soil during the summer and stay active underground until winter. Eastern Hercules Beetle adults eat the bark and sap of Ash trees and fallen rotten fruit. If you have fruit trees and allow the fruit to rot, you may be lucky to see one of these behemoth beetles!


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