Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Ox Beetle - (Strategus anteus)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/7/2016

The hefty Ox Beetle makes a grand first impression, though their larvae are quite ordinary.

The male Ox beetle has horns growing off of the pronotum ('shoulder plate'). In young males, they are more like bumps. Females do not have either. Males use these horns to fight over females.

Ox Beetles are dense-looking beetles and are quite hairy on their ventral side ('belly'). They are nocturnal, and therefore usually seen at night. Their habitat is pine forests and they can be found in most of the gulf and Atlantic coastal states. Adults eat decaying tree roots.

Nocturnal larvae are C-shaped grubs that hatch from a burrow in the ground. Females lay eggs there and bring leaf litter into the burrow so the newly hatched larvae have a food supply. As they mature, they begin to eat decaying tree roots like adults.

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Category: Beetle
Common name: Ox Beetle
Scientific Name: Strategus anteus

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Coleoptera
      Family: Scarabaeidae
       Genus: Strategus
        Species: anteus

Adult Size (Length): 31mm to 60mm (1.22in to 2.36in)

Identifying Colors: black; brown

Additional Descriptors: hairy, horn, rhino, bump, flying

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Florida; Georgia; South Carolina; North Carolina; Alabama; Mississippi; Texas

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.