Fun Rhinoceros Beetles Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Feb 09, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
Fact-checked by Shreya Yadav
Interesting facts about the Rhinoceros Beetle.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.5 Min

The beetle rhinoceros, hercules beetle, or horn beetles are very unique shaped and large-sized insects. There are about 1,500 species and 225 genera of this beetle in wildlife. Some famous examples of this beetle species are the atlas beetle, Japanese rhinoceros beetle, coconut rhinoceros beetle, ox beetle, and the Eastern hercules beetle.

These beetles are among the largest of all the beetles in the wildlife. They can grow up to be as big as 6 in (15 cm), which is roughly the size of our handspan.

These herbivore beetles with their horn-like projections are completely harmless to humans because they do not bite or sting.

One horn is on the head while the other is pointing forward from what is known as the thorax center, and curved from behind the head. This horn distinguishes the males from the females and is used to fight other males during the mating season or for digging.

These pest species are the parts of wildlife all around the world on every continent except Antarctica. These beetles have found hideouts like leaf litter, plants, and fallen down logs to protect themselves from the wildlife's stronger predators.

To know more about the world of beetles, we have amazing articles published on the weevil beetle and the blister beetle that you can refer to.

Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a rhinoceros beetle?

The subfamily Dynastinae, or the beetle rhinoceros, come under the scarab beetle family (also known as Scarabaeidae).

What class of animal does a hercules beetle (rhinoceros) belong to?

Rhinoceros beetles belong to the order Cleopatra of the class Insecta.

How many rhinoceros beetles are there in the world?

The exact number of rhinoceros beetles is extremely difficult to collect, but over 1,500 species and 225 genera are known to us.

Where does a rhinoceros beetle live?

Rhinoceros beetles are spread all around the world on every continent but Antarctica. Leaf litters, plants, and fallen logs are the preferred environment of these beetles which can help protect their species from other wildlife.

What is a rhinoceros beetle's habitat?

Rhinoceros beetles are spread in the wildlife worldwide, ranging from Fiji, Hawaii, Mauritius, Réunion in Africa, Bangladesh to Vietnam. Some anecdotal reports also place these beetles in Iran and Yemen.

Who do rhinoceros beetles live with?

These rhino beetles usually live alone, aside from breeding season when the males and females mate. These rhino beetles can also live away from wildlife and be kept, by humans, as pets.

How long does a rhinoceros beetle live?

The average lifespan of these rhino beetles can range from about three months to six months.

How do they reproduce?

Rhino beetles reproduce in a similar manner across the various species. Male rhinoceros beetles possess horns that help them dominate site gaps.

Males use these horns to drive away other males from their territory. This gives the rhino beetle the chance to mate with females. The larger males often dominate this method of mating that involves defending mating sites.

Larger rhino beetles with larger horns tend to win more contests and therefore mate much more frequently. The small males with small horns have interestingly been observed to use other strategies and methods to mate successfully.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these beetles comes under Not Extinct. Although humans exploit some species of these beetles for their personal capitalistic ventures, their population is under no major threat.

Rhinoceros Beetle Fun Facts

What do rhinoceros beetles look like?

Dynastes (hercules and rhinoceros beetles) are black, grey, or greenish in color covered with soft hair and possessing two heads.

Rhinoceros beetle larvae are white with a red head-like structure. The biggest larvae can grow up to 4 in (10 cm) long.

Rhinoceros Beetle

How cute are they?

They are often kept as a pet by humans. Photographers have been fond of capturing these beetles all around the world. So we can say these beetles are definitely considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Rhinoceros beetles communicate using chemicals, scents, and vibrations depending upon the species.

How big is a rhinoceros beetle?

Rhinoceros beetles are the biggest of their species. These beetles can be as big as 6 in (15 cm).

How fast can rhinoceros beetles move?

The recorded speed of the rhino beetle ranges from 2-8 mph (3-12 kmph).

How much does a rhinoceros beetle weigh?

The weight of these insects is between 0.03-0.06 lb (18-28 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There isn't any defined name for the males and females of their species.

What would you call a rhinoceros beetle?

Rhino beetles can be referred to as 'hercules beetle' due to its sheer strength.

What do they eat?

The adults feed on tree sap while the larvae feed on rotting wood.

Are they harmful?

No, rhino beetles do not sting or bite in any way and are mostly safe.

Would they make a good pet?

If you do not have entomophobia of any sort, then these insects can be a very good pet to have.

Did you know...

If rhinoceros beetles are disturbed in wildlife, they produce hissing squeaks as a defense mechanism. These sounds are not vocal but produced by the beetle rubbing the wing covers and the abdomen together to scare away predators successfully.

Strength and weight of the rhinoceros beetle

Rhinoceros beetles are among the strongest creatures in the wild, and all prior anecdotal evidence suggests that these creatures can lift an estimated 850 times their own weight.

Different types of rhinoceros beetle

The types of rhinoceros beetles known to us are far too many. The most common and famous types are the coconut and Japanese rhinoceros beetles.

The coconut rhinoceros beetle facts are somewhat similar to the general facts discussed above with minor differences. These differences range from the size of the horns to the dominance of black color or other minor variance in the larval stage or in the rhinoceros beetle grub.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including western conifer seed bugs, or atlas beetles.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our rhinoceros beetle coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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Fact-checked by Shreya Yadav

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Psychology

Shreya Yadav picture

Shreya YadavBachelor of Arts specializing in Psychology

Shreya has developed a diverse set of skills through her experience in client servicing, email marketing, content and e-commerce management, digital marketing, and creative content writing. Her educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Indira Gandhi National Open University, Delhi. Shreya's passion for ongoing learning and development is a testament to her commitment to excellence.

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