Rhinoceros beetle

Rhinoceros beetle on person's hand
Rhinoceros beetle on my fingertips. Both of us were reasonably comfortable.

Our Rhinoceros beetles are amongst our largest, heaviest insects. They grow as grubs underground and emerge as adults during the wet season. They are scarabs – Xylotrupes gideon, Dynastinae, Scarabaeidae, in fact – and the sexes are quite dramatically different. The male, which is what I have in the picture above, has two large horns used in mating battles, the lower one projecting from the top of his head and the upper one from the thorax. The beetle can pinch the horns together, but rather weakly and they can’t harm anything because are blunt anyway. Females, on the other hand, are hornless and a little smaller (you can see both sexes here).

They are all clumsy fliers, often barging into furniture and people when attracted to house lights at night. Some people are timid about dealing with such large, heavily armoured creatures but they are quite harmless vegetarians. The only problem can be detaching them from hair or clothing without hurting them: their legs are long, wave wildly and seem to have hooks everywhere. The best way to hold the males, I have found, is by the horn:

Rhinoceros beetle in the hand
Holding a Rhino beetle safely (for both parties) so that he can be carried outdoors and released

More: Wikipedia and, though not particularly about this species, Animal Corner.

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