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Species Xyloryctes jamaicensis - Rhinoceros Beetle

Large Larva - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Horned beetle - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Black Beetle - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Rhinoceros Beetle - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Xyloryctes jamaicensis (Drury) - Xyloryctes jamaicensis Xyloryctes jamaicensis - male Geotrupes hornii? - Xyloryctes jamaicensis rhino beetle - Xyloryctes jamaicensis - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga
Superfamily Scarabaeoidea
Family Scarabaeidae (Scarab Beetles)
Subfamily Dynastinae (Rhinoceros Beetles)
Tribe Oryctini
Genus Xyloryctes (Rhinoceros Beetles)
Species jamaicensis (Rhinoceros Beetle)
Explanation of Names
Xyloryctes jamaicensis (Drury 1773)
Specific epithet means 'Jamaican'
21-38 mm(1)
e NA (QC-ON to GA-TX)(1)(2)
deciduous forests with sandy soils
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, with thousands 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 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)
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. --Bill Reynolds
at high risk of endangerment due to the EAB(6)
Print References
Ratcliffe B.C. (1981) Xyloryctes jamaicensis (Drury) in Nebraska. Scarabaeus 4: 8.
Seastedt T.R. (1983) The rhinoceros beetle, Xyloryctes jamaicensis Drury (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): a locally abundant detritivore of a Kansas riparian forest. J. Kans. Ent. Soc. 56: 543-546. Full text
Stephan K. (1967) Notes on the ecology of Xyloryctes jamaicensis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in southern Ontario. Michigan Entomologist 1: 133-134.
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.Checklist of beetles (Coleoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Second edition
Bousquet Y., Bouchard P., Davies A.E., Sikes D.S. 2013. ZooKeys 360: 1–402.
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.Ecological impacts of the emerald ash borer. Pp. 15-62. In: R.G. Van Driesche (ed.), Biology and Control of Emerald Ash Borer.
Wagner, D.L. and K. Todd. 2015. USDA Technical Bulletin FHTET-2014-09. Morgantown, WV.