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Trypoxylus dichotomus

  • Live collection
Photo: Insectarium de Montréal, Jacques de Tonnancour

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Description

This is one of the largest species of rhinoceros beetles in Southeast Asia, sometimes exceeding 7 cm in length.

As is the case with many large scarab beetles, sexual dimorphism is very obvious in this species. The males have well developed horns, while the females have none at all. The male’s horns are not identical: one is forked, and projects over the insect’s head, while the second is smaller, and attached to its thorax. The length of the horns depends greatly on the beetle’s diet as a larva.

Country of origin

Japan
Scientific name
Trypoxylus dichotomus
English name
Antelope beetle
Class
Insecta
Order
Coleoptera
Family
Scarabaeidae
Living environment

Diet

In the wild, the adults feed on ripe fruit, sap and secretions from tree wounds.

The larvae eat humus and rotting wood.

Habitat

These beetles live in tropical and subtropical deciduous forests. They are also found at low altitudes in mountainous regions.

Geographic distribution

China, Japan and Taiwan

Ecological role

The larvae are decomposers.

Special behaviour

They are considered harmful to gardens, since they feed on sap and ripe fruit and gnaw on leaf stalks.

Interesting facts

Status

The species is relatively common in its range and is frequently raised in captivity.

Interesting facts and curiosities

They are very popular with Japanese collectors and are raised as pets. In fact they are so sought after that in large cities like Tokyo people can purchase them from vending machines!

These rhinoceros beetles are a symbol of power and strength in Asia. Beetle fights are often staged, in which people bet on one of two males. First a female is placed inside a bamboo stem, then two males are placed on top of it. They can smell the female, and fight to knock each other off.

At the Insectarium

In captivity they are fed bananas and other ripe fruit.

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