Image Credit: Richard S. taken in Red Rock Crossing, Sedona, AZ
The large, hefty Western Hercules Beetle thrives in desert landscapes and can easily fit in the palm of your hand.
Western Hercules Beetles are a horned Scarab Beetle found most commonly in Arizona and the surrounding arid U.S. and Mexican states. Patterns of dark spots on the elytra (wing coverings) vary per individual. The beetle can be an earthy yellow color, or it may appear almost completely black, depending on how wet the beetle is. Males have a long 'horn' used to fight with other males over territory needed for mating. Females do not have horns. Younger males have a darker thorax and head that becomes lighter as they age. Both genders are attracted to light at night. They are not particularly aggressive toward humans.
Adults feed on ash tree sap and can be found at higher elevations or in canyons. Grubs can be found in rotting wood, especially sycamore trees. It may take a few years before they mature into adults.
Scientific Name: Dynastes granti
Other Name(s): Southwestern Hercules Beetle, Grant's Hercules Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 45mm to 60mm (1.76in to 2.34in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.