The Goliath beetle is the largest beetle on the planet. There are a few other beetles with longer bodies, but they are either lighter or weaker than the Goliath beetle. Goliath beetles are classified into seven subspecies. They have been present on Earth for the past 300 million years. These amazing creatures can be found in Africa’s tropical and subtropical regions. They prefer living in dense rainforests in warm climates. Although Goliath beetles are popular as pets (which reduces their population in the wild), they are not listed as an endangered species.
Goliath beetles are typically 2.1 to 4.2 inches long and weigh up to 1.7 ounces when fully grown. Goliath beetles can weigh up to 3.5 ounces as larvae.
Goliath beetles are also known as the world’s largest beetles due to their incredible strength: they can lift a load 850 times their own weight.
The color of the Goliath beetle’s body varies depending on the subspecies, but it is typically a combination of black, brown, and white.
Males and females can be distinguished easily. Females do not have Y-shaped horns on their heads. Females, unlike males, have a wedge-shaped head.
Males with Y-shaped horns fight for territory and during the mating season.
Goliath beetles have six legs with sharp claws. They come in handy when climbing trees.
Goliath beetles have elytra, which are a pair of wings that protect the softer wings beneath them. They are extremely long (two-thirds of the total body length) and are located on the back of the body. When an insect spreads its flying wings, a second pair of wings appears.
Goliath beetles eat a variety of plant material, fruit, dung, and the remains of dead animals.
Goliath beetles go through a full metamorphosis that includes the following stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult insect.
Females will lay their eggs in protein-rich soil. They are required for normal larval growth.
During a 5-month period, the larva digs a burrow and hides underground. Larvae can grow to be 5 inches long. When the monsoon season begins, the larva will stop growing and transform into a pupa.
The pupa-to-adult transformation takes place underground. Adult beetles will hibernate until the weather conditions improve (until the start of dry season).
At the start of the dry season, the adult beetle emerges from the ground and begins looking for a mate. Goliath beetles die soon after mating in the wild.
The Goliath beetle has an average lifespan of one year in captivity and several months in the wild.