Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Xyloryctes jamaicensis - Rhinoceros Beetle

Xyloryctes jamaicensis - female unknown - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Rhinoceros Beetle - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Blackish brown in color.  Found on its back on the top step to a deck, apparently flipped while trying to reach the ground. - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Rhinocerus Beetle - Xyloryctes jamaicensis - male Dynatinae Beetle - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Don't Cry for Me, West Virginia - Xyloryctes jamaicensis - female Scarab - Xyloryctes jamaicensis
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
Superfamily Scarabaeoidea (Scarab, Stag and Bess Beetles)
Family Scarabaeidae (Scarab Beetles)
Subfamily Dynastinae (Rhinoceros Beetles)
Tribe Oryctini
Genus Xyloryctes (Rhinoceros Beetles)
Species jamaicensis (Rhinoceros Beetle)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Xyloryctes jamaicensis (Drury)
Orig. Comb: Scarabaeus jamaicensis Drury, 1773
Explanation of Names
Specific name means "of Jamaica", of course--but not clear if the species is actually found there.
Numbers
2 spp. n. of Mex. (1)
Size
21-38 mm (1)
Identification
Large reddish-brown scarab, mandibles small, sides fringed with hairs. Male has squared-off pronotum, large horn. The similar "Ox-beetle", Strategus antaeus, has a horn projecting from each side of thorax in the male, and has no striations on elytra (2).
Range
TX-GA-NH-NE / Ont. (and not in UT-AZ-w.TX / Mex.) (1)
Habitat
eastern deciduous forests with sandy soils
Season
Jun-Oct (3)(4)
Food
Stephan (1967) observed adults feed and oviposit on or near roots of white ash trees, (Fraxinus americana) (Oleaceae) (5)
Life Cycle
Ratcliffe (1981) observed a large emergence of X. jamaicensis in August in southeastern Nebraska, where a farmer had reported that thousands of these beetles were congregating on a white ash tree and then burrowing into the grass at the base of the tree. This had happened in the previous two years, to a lesser extent, on the same tree. In August 1981, Ratcliffe observed literally thousands of these beetles flying to this one tree beginning at dusk. After landing, the beetles crawled down the trunk and proceeded to burrow into the ground, presumably to feed or oviposit on or near the roots of the ash tree. The tree appeared healthy with no trunk or foliage injuries. Within 30 meters of the tree were two other ash trees, but these were untouched by the beetles. These beetles were so abundant that 40 liters of them could easily have been gathered in a few minutes. They were reported to have been even more numerous the evening before, when the trunk of the tree was black with them. (1)(3)
Remarks
Breeding them is easy - put males & females together and nature runs its course. The larvae like rich soil with a mix of soft rotting wood and the life cycle takes a year or 2. The substrate should be 5 to six inches deep or slightly more for the females to lay and for the larvae to mature. You will likely need to add rotting wood every couple months or so to make sure the grubs have adequate food.
Adults seem to like apple. Most wild collected individuals do not seem to be "long lived" as adults (only a few weeks to months). We have had a few live > 1 year.
See Also
The other US species, Xyloryctes thestalus, occurs from Guatemala and southern Mexico northwards to Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. There has always been the problem of how to differentiate the two species in their supposed area of sympatry in the American Southwest. In nearly all collections in the US, specimens from the Southwest are invariably identified as X. jamaicensis.
Print References
Ratcliffe, B.C. 1981. Xyloryctes jamaicensis (Drury) in Nebraska. Scarabaeus No. 4: 8.
Seastedt, T.R. 1983. The rhinoceros beetle, Xyloryctes jamaicensis Drury (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): a locally abundant detritivore of a Kansas riparian forest. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 56: 543-546. JSTOR
Stephan, K. 1967. Notes on the ecology of Xyloryctes jamaicensis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in southern Ontario. Michigan Entomologist 1: 133-134.

Arnett et al. illustrate male, female, fig. 439, page 179 (2)
Arnett--illustrates male, fig. 24.73, p. 420 (5)
Borror and White illustrate male, p. 195 (6)
Brimley, p. 207 (4)
Dillon and Dillon, p. 550, plate 53 (7)
Harpootlian, p. 112, fig. 225 (8)
Ratcliffe and Paulsen, pp. 460-462, fig. 639 (3)
Sikes, p. 130 (9)
Works Cited
1.Xyloryctes Hope, 1837 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae: Oryctini) in the United States. Qui es et ubi fuisti et quo vadis?
Ratcliffe, B.C. 2009. Insecta Mundi 0100: 1-11.
2.How to Know the Beetles
Ross H. Arnett, N. M. Downie, H. E. Jaques. 1980. Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
3.The Scarabaeoid Beetles of Nebraska
Brett C. Ratcliffe & M.J. Paulsen. 2008. University of Nebraska State Museum, Vol 22, 570 pp.
4.Insects of North Carolina
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
5.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
6.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
7.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
8.Scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) of South Carolina
Phillip J. Harpootlian. 2001. Clemson University Public Service.
9.The Beetle Fauna of Rhode Island, an Annotated Checklist
Derek Sikes. 2004. Rhode Island Natural History Survey.