Please identify this extra large beetle

Asked August 13, 2019, 4:23 PM EDT

Would you please identify this two inch long robust olive drab beetle with black spots and yellow eyes? I photographed it next to a June bug for size comparison. Thank you

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Hercules beetles are the largest insects on the East Coast and, like their fabled namesake, they are strong. They can push the lid off a terrarium and take off. Both sexes are shiny and beautifully marked, but only males have the two horns. In the tropics, they grow even bigger horns and compete for females, squeaking and wielding horns. Our Hercules beetles (Dynastes tityus) feed harmlessly on tree sap and lay eggs in rotting wood. The resulting larvae (grubs) can be even bigger than adults--another astonishing sight. The grubs feed on decomposing wood or organic matter. Since they don’t live in lawns gnawing grass roots, there is no cause for concern. Adults are attracted to light at night. If one shows up, be sure to conserve it by escorting to a natural spot, preferably with a nice rotting tree stump. Without our insects with a taste for decay, we’d be up to our eyeballs in rotting matter.