NFGworld

Australian Rhinoceros Beetles

Yesterday afternoon I spotted a rhinoceros beetle on the side of the road. I screeched to a halt and picked it up, but it was dead. I was heartened, however, by the thought that beetles were around the area, and that I might actually find one or two. As you may or may not know one thing I spent considerable time with in Japan was the beetles, large rhinoceros beetles that had massive scoops on their heads, with which they did battle, trying to scoop and flip other beetles off tree branches. I raised them, from store-bought larvae to adults, and then the offspring of those adults.

When I left Japan it was one of the things I knew I’d miss the most. I knew there were beetles here in Queensland, but I worried that they wouldn’t be near where I lived, and that they’d be more like the Atlas and Hercules beetles which were much stronger and far less fun to play with.

I’m pleased to report they are more like the Japanese Kabuto than any other beetle I’ve found. They’re not very strong, move when you scratch ’em on the back, and are content to just sit on your hand as long as you want them to.

I found three of these great little beetles last night while out at the office xmas party. They’re currently in a cardboard box clinging to a plush Santa, which is kind of inglorious. I picked up a plastic box to keep them in, and as soon as I find out what they use as a base material I’ll throw in some feed (they’re happy to eat syrup, it seems) and some branches for them to cling to.

There are some images in the gallery.

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