Goliath beetle a sweet freak

About as big as a man’s palmthe Goliath beetle is the longest insects and one of the heaviest flying insects in the world. They have been known to grow up to 13 cm (4.5 inches) and can weigh up to 100 grams (3.5 ounces).
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These beetles have been known to grow up to four and a half inches long. Males have a horn on their head used to battle other males, whereby females lack this piece of anatomy.

Since they are vegetarians and do not suck blood (thank goodness), children in the tropics find them fascinating to as. There are 5 known species of the Goliath beetle. All are native to Africa with four of the species living in the tropical rainforests around the equator, and one in the temperate zone.

“The female Goliath beetle lays her eggs on rotting wood. When the larvae hatch they feed on this dead wood. By feeding on dead plants they are recycling this material by returning the nutrients to the soil. The larvae also feed on other insects; it is unusual for larvae of any kind to do this. After spending a few months in the larval stage, where they grow to 15.25 cm (6 inches) in length, the larva spins a cocoon where it will spend many months while it is in the pupal stage. Complete metamorphosis takes place and the adult beetle breaks out of the cocoon. Adult male beetles usually have patterns of black and white, but some of them are marked with yellow and brown and some females may be white in color.
goliathus_orientalis_preussi_1
As adults, the beetles eat anything sugary, but prefer fruit and sap from trees. The adults live only a few months. The Goliath beetle is an important part of the rainforest; it helps recycle dead matter and keep the earth clean. A hearty species, they do well in both the wild and in captivity.

Excerpts from: Goliathus goliatus – female “Goliath Beetle”
Family: Scarabaeidae – Katherine Ellingson ENT 301, Fall 2000
1.http://entweb.clemson.edu/museum/webonly/exotic/ebeetle/ebtle39.htm
2. http://www.naturalworlds.org/goliathus/index.htm

images and text courtesy of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goliathus
image 2 : http://www.dannesdjur.com/bilder/goliathus_orientalis_preussi_1.jpg
Video clip of Goliath Beetle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HjGdNpTR0E

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