Beetles Around the World

Zhao Li2008/2017

Insect Museum of West China

Insect Museum of West China
Chengdu, China

Beetles belong to the order Coleoptera. The common feature is that the whole body is covered with hard shells. With 330,000 species known, it is the largest of all orders, as the total number of vertebrates on the planet is less than 44,000. These small creatures wearing armors have strange appearances, disparate body sizes, different living habits and endless variety of bright colors, living almost everywhere on the Earth.
In the middle of the picture, there are two beetles with large horns and strange black stripes on the orange backsThey are Macrodontia cervicornis, the world's longest beetle, with a maximum individual body length of 17.8 cm. The male has huge horn that can be up to 5 cm in length, hence the name Macrodontia, meaning “long horn“. But its tentacles are relatively short compared to other longhorn beetles, less than half the length of the body. The genus is native to South America, and the 11 species currently known are distributed from Guatemala to Argentina. It is currently listed in the red list of threatened species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Resources (IUCN). The male specimen is 16.5 cm long and is the largest longhorn beetle specimen among all the museums and research institutes in China.
The two giant Scarabaeidae on both sides of the longhorn beetles are Goliathus goliatus, the largest beetle in Africa, whose name comes from Goliath, the African giant who fought against King David in the Hebrew Bible. The body of its adult can reach more than 11 cm long, and the larva can weigh more than 100 grams. They have a greater need for high protein foods than other chafers. Some breeders have found that their larvae particularly like to eat dog food. If the newly hatched larva is fed with dog food, it will grow to more than 3 cm in two weeks. This weird discovery sounds incredible, but it has been repeatedly verified.
The beetle that spreads its wings in the upper-right corner of the picture is the five-horned rhinoceros beetle (Eupatorus gracilicornis), the largest Dynastinae in China. There are five species of this genus, all distributed between Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces of China and the Indo-China Peninsula.


  • Title: Beetles Around the World
  • Creator: Zhao Li
  • Date Created: 2008/2017
  • Type: Insect specimen

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