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Goliathus goliathus

  • Live collection
Photo: Insectarium de Montréal, René Limoges

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Description

Goliath beetles are giant scarab beetles from 50 to 110 mm long. Their upper bodies and heads are black and white, with brownish-red elytra. The second pair of wings, protected by the elytra, allows them to fly.

Only males have horns on their heads.

Country of origin

Kenya
French name
Goliath
Scientific name
Goliathus goliathus
English name
Goliath beetle
Class
Insecta
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Scarabaeidae
Living environment

Diet

In the wild, they eat pollen, nectar and ripe fruit. In captivity, they are fed fruit jelly and sap.

Habitat

Goliath beetles live in moist tropical forests.

Geographic distribution

They are found in Central Africa.

Ecological role

As part of the food chain, they help maintain a balance in their natural habitat.

Special behaviour

If overly crowded with other insects and/or larvae, a larva may become predatory.

Males can use their horns to battle rivals for possession of a female or to defend their stores of food.

Another means of defence is to open the sharp-edged elytra and then snap them shut on an adversary.

Interesting facts

Status

This is a common, abundant species.

Popular beliefs

Despite their size, Goliath beetles are not in the least dangerous to humans.

Interesting facts and curiosities

Some species of Goliath beetles have long been considered rare. Goliath beetles have been bred only recently, in fact, and only in the past few years has the whole rearing cycle been successfully completed.

They are so large that they sound like a tiny helicopter in flight.

Along with Megasoma elephas, Goliath beetles hold the record as the world’s largest insects: up to 11 cm long and 100 g!

Scarab beetles account for a large proportion of the world’s insects.

At the Insectarium

These scarab beetles are highly prized collector’s specimens.

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