Species Phileurus truncatus - Triceratops Beetle
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
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)
Species truncatus (Triceratops Beetle)
Other Common Names
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
(Palisot de Beauvois
Explanation of Names
Specific name truncatus probably refers to the rather short horns. (Plausible speculation.)
Black, distinctly flattened, both sexes with three prominent horns on head. Elytra deeply striated. Resembles Xyloryctes jamaciensies, but has three, not one, horn. P. valgus is similar, but smaller, and has very short horns.
Both genders have horns. This is unusual among horned scarabs.
Southern United States, Virginia, west to Oklahoma, Arizona, southwards to Florida, Texas, into South America.
Woodlands. Adults have been reported causing cabin fires by coming down chimneys, presumably attracted to fireplace smoke and spreading embers.
April-September (South Carolina), reported July-September (North Carolina)
Adults of this genus will take fruit and meat in captivity. One sources says adults eat other insects.
Adults come to lights. Larvae feed in rotten logs, reported, in particular, from dead oaks. Presumably, males (?) use horns to defend breeding sites. Lifespan of adults is reported to be quite long (up to two years) in captivity. Reported to have structures for sound production (stridulation) (1)
. Stridulate softly when handled (P. Coin, Durham, NC 11 July 2007).
Larvae and adults are also "carnivorous" and will - if not preferentially - feed on grubs & pupae of other scarabs (incl. D. tityus)
A southeastern and tropical species, not illustrated in most North American guides on beetles.
-smaller, with horns reduced to bumps
, Xyloryctes jamaicensis
Brimley, p. 207--occurrence in North Carolina (2)
Deyrup, p. 96, has photo of this species but does not name it--states they live in rotten logs (3)
Harpootlian, p. 115, fig. 229 (4)
Taber, p. 147, discusses life history briefly, photo, fig. 127. (1)
(Original citation is Glaser, Coleopterist's Bulletin, 1976; 30: 133-8.)
--illustration of P. truncatus
photo gallery for this species.
has sequence of photos showing development.
page says adults of both sexes identical.
Elytra and Antenna
--says adults eat other insects.
Beetles of Oklahoma
--museum holdings for that state
|2.||Insects of North Carolina|
C.S. Brimley. 1938. North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
|3.||Florida's Fabulous Insects|
Mark Deyrup, Brian Kenney, Thomas C. Emmel. 2000. World Publications.
|4.||Scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) of South Carolina|
Phillip J. Harpootlian. 2001. Clemson University Public Service.