Ox Beetle (Strategus anteus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ox Beetle.
Updated: 1/7/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.