A new visitor to Storza Woods!
Coming in at up to 60 mm (2.4 in) in length, the largest beetle in North America known as the eastern hercules beetle (Dynastes tityus) is a true sight to behold! Males sport large horns used to battle rivals competing for a mate and the size of the horn reflects the availability of food when the beetle is growing. Adults emerge from underground in late spring and live for 3-6 months. Eggs are oviposited in decaying wood and litter within rotten trees and will continue to grow for 12-18 months. Larvae will pupate in late summer and remain underground throughout the winter.
Original named by Carl Linneaus in 1763, this species is quite docile towards humans and does not bite or pinch. Consider yourself lucky if you stumble upon this terrific decomposer as while their distribution throughout eastern U.S. woodlands is widespread, they are scarcely seen in large numbers ~ certainly a welcome member of Storza Woods’ biodiversity!