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Eastern Hercules Beetle - Dynastes tityus - male

Eastern Hercules Beetle - Dynastes tityus - Male
Hwy 55 & Sedwick, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
June 26, 2004
Found under a light, 6:30 a.m. (This feisty male latched onto my hand when I picked it up--I had to drive home with it clinging to one hand. It rasped me a bit with its mouthparts, but did not break the skin.) Chilled and posed for this photo. I used a polarizing filter to reduce some of the glare on this shiny beetle. Natural light was hazy, further diffused by a white umbrella. The beetle was released in suitable habitat after this photo session.

Images of this individual: tag all
Eastern Hercules Beetle - Dynastes tityus - male Eastern Hercules Beetle - Dynastes tityus - male

Hard to find, yet easy to stumble across.
I saw a female one of these in an elementary school playground back when I was in elementary school (in Jefferson, MD). I'm 26 now and I've been searching for another one for years now with no luck.

I always hear they're typically found at playgrounds and parking lots by accident. I've been digging under old logs and stumps in the forests around my home; (Which is nearby the elementary school I went to.) and although I have found many different beetles during this hunt, I still have yet to come across one of these beautiful creatures.

Anyone got any tips onto how to run into one of these guys? They're my absolute favorites and I would love to see some again.

Dynastes tityus
Found one while playing tennis at night, in Tuscaloosa, AL. I was fascinated and have been trying to find another one for a while now. Been searching in logs, digging in the ground, searching lights at night, but no luck. I found the one I got when he was smashing his head at a light and fell down and I picked em up. You can look at em here; (I brought him home and let him outside)

Would you be willing to send me Dynastes Tityus?
Hello, I was reading the comments here, and noticed most were from a year ago or longer, except for you, you just posted within the past month!

I made an account on this website specifically so I can contact you! there is no system of PM'ing here, so I have to reply to your comment.

I was wondering if you are interested in mailing any live adult Dynastes Tityus you catch to me! If you are interested, please email me at

I really hope you will be able to help me out here, I will gladly cover shipping costs and even pay you per beetle!

Dynastes tityus
Dear STELLAR, I would love to do that, but unfortunately I have released the beetle back in the wild already, but if I find another and still remember this comment I may contact you further. If you want to find one you can try digging in the ground for grubs but other than that I can't help you. Sorry!

Found one at work
I went out to my car earlier today at work and found one hiding out under the rain gutter runoff. I didn't know what kind it was. When I googled for it, this site came up and there it was.

A treasure to have found this marvelous beetle
My husband found a Hercules Beetle when he was picking up the remains of a tree that had fallen. We live in Houston TX! When he text me the picture I knew exactly what it was...HOW EXCITING! My question is: Are these beetles hard to find? I have lived in Texas all my life and have never seen this beautiful specimen. I feel extremly blessed to have had interaction with the stronges animal on Earth (by proportion)!

Hercules beetle nests?
This past spring me and my boyfriend were walking the dog when she started digging like crazy in an old stump. We didn't think anything of it until I saw her fling a huge beetle into the air- we got her to stop and then took a closer look. There were several male's and a few females and I can only imagine the stump was their nest? I was curious to see if anyone else has encountered a hercules beetle nest. I told the story to a friend of ours who is into entomology and he was dumbfounded- I am tempted to go back to the site and see if they are still there. Really great pictures- made ID'ing our bugs very easy!

Hercules beetle nests
We found at least 10 adult Hercules beetles, both male and female on a tree Ina preschool playground in central Maryland last late June. Within the last week, around 50 or more 4 inch Hercules beetle larva (3rd instar?), have emerged or been uncovered in the mulch near the same tree. From what I can tell, they should not emerge until they reach the adult stage, and we are concerned the preschool may kill the larva, since many kids find them frightening, and they need the playground for play. Any advice on how to help the larva reach adulthood- should we rebury them? Are large groups of larva like this common? Why are they above ground at this stage? Are they protected in Maryland? Any info or advice would be very helpful in trying to protect these amazing animals! Thanks!

To rocketville
Hi I live in Maryland and I am searching to catch one of these for my little cousin who absolutely loves bugs! Can you tell me where the location is??? Thank you!

cousin found one in a parking
cousin found one in a parking lot in Pine Grove , WV. It was dead, we had never seen one before

Found in Chantilly, VA
When my Dad came home from work last Tuesday and said "Jon, come here! Look what I found in the parking lot!" When I saw the Beetle, I immediately looked it up and saw it was a Hercules Beetle.

Eastern Herc Found in Tallahassee, FL
I found an Eastern Hercules Beetle near my outdoor pool. I almost left it where it was because it was laying on its back and it just look like a big bug. I turned it over and found out that I was blessed with the presence of this beautiful and unique creature. Unfortunately, I think I found it during its last day alive, I took him in and tried to feed it a piece of tomato and some water in a cage that I made for it, but it's just getting weaker and weaker by the hour. Most of the time, I think he's dead but when i pick him up he'll wiggle a little bit.

I live in GA and we have had
I live in GA and we have had a few of these at our swimming pool. He tried to hide in the door jam to our bathrooms. I didn't pick him up, just put him on the end of a broom and put him in the bushes. I've found him a few times on his back. Last summer we found one that died, but it had wings. Very interesting.

Saw in daylight on a tree in Oklahoma
We were on our way out to the car this afternoon when we saw the cat playing with this thing. I had no idea what it was. Had to do some research and it is good to know these things are harmless to humans, but what about animals?

pretty harmless...
Well, it might be able to pinch a cat with its mandibles or maybe poke it with the horn, but I can't imagine it could do substantial damage to a pet cat or dog, except under unusual circumstances.

I found one of these huge beetles on our bathroom floor in northwestern Arizona last night! After researching this site I noticed that all of the sitings were in states down in the southeast like GA, NC, SC, KY, AL, etc. CAN ANYONE TELL ME IF THEY HAVE SEEN THESE IN ARIZONA? I have lived here in Kingman, AZ for 26 years and work in construction so I am outdoors alot, so I should have seen one of these before. We just got back from Utah and it may have come in on our luggage possibly, but I can't find the beetle listed under their insects either. Thanks for any help.

close relative in AZ
That is, no doubt, the closely-related Dynastes granti - Grant's Hercules Beetle:

Thank you for getting back to me on this. You must be right because the picture of the WESTERN HERCULES BEETLE looks exactly like the one I found on my bathroom floor.

spotted this morning in Chapin, SC
Saw this beetle this morning on its back on our driveway in Chapin, SC. It caught my eye because I had never seen such a large insect! We turned it over and put it in the grass. It was a male, and was more of a cream color with green spots. Really interesting!

Nice find!
My son spotted a male outside our local grocery store on a hot, muggy summer afternoon here in Millersville, Md.... Never seen this guy before, so we brought him home where we can release him on our 3 acres safely. Only saw one other MD sighting, most in NC or SC. Very cool!

Eastern Hercules
Got a live male Dynastes tityus today found by a friend in Aberdeen, Maryland. Once it's on my hand it clings to it with its strong legs. No biting or pinching. Put beetle in plastic aquarium filled with dirt. It burrows its way throughout aquarium. So far it loves to eat watermelon and natural maple syrup. It picked up the watermelon piece with its horns to move it. It hasn't eaten the strawberry, blueberry or apple at all yet. It drinks water from sponge. It's very active at night. It didn't have an odor at first but gives off a distinct smell - is that to attract a mate or warn other males of its presence?



Eastern Hercules Beetle
I found both a male and a female Eastern Hercules Beetle in my flower bed as I was preparing it for spring.Both were no longer alive. The male measured 2 inches in length - the female a bit shorter. The female had similar black spots but was a light bluish color rather than green and had no pincher. Very interesting. Maryville,TN 2/15/09

I found a beetle identical to this one lying upside-down in a gutter in the Winston-Salem, NC office park where I work. It was dead, but certainly the largest insect that I have ever come across. I found it yesterday (8/18/08). It appeared completely intact - so I believe it had died within a day or two of me finding it. It is now proudly displayed in my cubicle at 120 Club Oaks Court in Winston-Salem.

Eastern Hercules Beetle
Western Kentucky, July 22, 2008
I found one flipped over on his back at work, just outside an overhead door; so, I rescued him and carried him around to show him off, then released him in a small patch of wooded area by the business. He was almost big enough to fill up the bottom of a standard size plastic cup!

hercules beetle
I walked up on one while running an errand yesterday. I have never seen anything like it. I am in Winston Salem, NC. It looked like a polished rock. It had a longer body and a lighter shell than this one. I think it was dead, but I did not touch it since it looked like it could bite my finger.

Eastern Hercules Beetle
20 February 2008
SFC Dodd found this beetle today in front of our office building located in Anniston, Alabama. We had no idea what this was and after some initial research found your website. She found out that this was a male and was not indiginous to the area. I just thought this was an interesting find!

Is indigenous to Alabama
Good find--I've only found them in the summer in North Carolina. There are indigenous to Alabama, being found all over the east, west to Texas.

Hercules Beetle
My wife and I recently found what we think was a rhino beetle, but after we found this site we believe that it is a Hercules. It was sitting atop a broom handle and was about 2 1/2 inches long. We were so ecstatic because neither of us had seen one and we knew because of the size of it that it was something special. We have a pic, but i am not sure how to attach it here. Its not a real clear one because it was taken with a cell phone. We are located in Elkmont, AL. I thought I never would say a bug was pretty, but this one captured our attention.

Hercules Beetle
I just found a female hercules beetle in Birmingham, Alabama. My husband and I were making a run to Publix and found it sitting by the building. It was already dead so of course I collected it for my classroom nature center! My students are going to LOVE it!

This Huge Beetle
I live in Pulaski, TN and found one of these female hercules beetles in my den. How in the world does such a huge bug get into the house? Anyway, it was crawling out to the middle of the room as if to say..."here I am". I captured it and released it into the yard. I had never seen one before. I don't know anything about it something to be concerned with...especially since it was IN my house? It was beautiful but BIG!

No concern
These beetles are totally harmless to humans and structures. Getting inside a house is really something--I'm not sure how that could happen. My guess is that it was attracted to a light at night, perched on the house, and then later crawled in (through a crack?) as it sought shelter during the day. (That's only a guess.)

Found one in virgina never seen one before let it free

eastern hercules beetle
I searched the internet today and found this site. I unlocked the door at my work today and encountered one of these beautiful beetles. I took pics with my camera phone. I am trying to upload them. He was huge(about 2 1/4" long). I am in Conroe, Texas and never seen them here before. Tell me more about them if you have more info. It would be greatly appreciated

July 2007 Charlotte, NC
i just found one today in charlotte, nc. he was crawling around the parking lot during the day. i picked him up with a stick a put him under an oak tree. he was about 31/2 inches and had the spotted wings.

More info on beetle
More information is on the guide page for this species.

Excellent find Mr Coin! I hop
Excellent find Mr Coin! I hope to collect a couple of this species in the future for photography and possibly to establish a breeding population. Your specimen looks almost identical to one I found in the early 90s further west in Rutherford County, NC

America's Biggest...
Beautiful shots of a magnificent creature Patrick,

If I am not mistaken,this is the largest beetle in the US...isn't it?

I've tried locating it's relative, the Ox Beetle (also a biggie), while here in Florida, but to no avail...

great shots!

Thaks, Ox beetle, on my list too
Thanks for compliments on photos. I'm getting better at beetles. The shininess is real tricky--you end up just photographing glare. The polarizer helps. Oddly, my camera overexposes with it--I don't know why. Maybe the meter is adjusted to always have some glare.

Unfortunatley, most of the Hercules I find are dead--they hit lighted walls real hard, I guess. I just found a dead male and female today at the same site I found the live male a few days ago. (They were below the very same wall, in fact--all of them have been at the same spot!)

Ox Beetle--Strategus aloeus. It's not here in NC, though we do have Strategus antaeus and Strategus splendens, according to the NCSU entomology collection. I guess those are similar. I didn't know we had those--will have to be on the lookout. Sounds like coastal plain species, according to Scarab Beetles of South Carolina. Now I have a new beetle to long for.

I have seen the related Xyloryctes jamaciensis--a couple of live females, and one freshly dead male. All found at lights. I think the photos are here on bugguide.

Patrick Coin
Durham, North Carolina

Live Hercules at Imagination Station in Wilson, NC
We just found a beautiful male Hercules beetle in our yard. We thought he was so unusual. We took him to the local Museum (Imagination Station )where they have exhibits of live beetles. They were thrilled. He was about 2 inches long. Your photos helped us identify him.
Wilson, NC

Ox Beetles
I love the males with the 3 long horns, I used to see them quite a bit when I was growing up here. Usually they are seen after rain as (I believe) they burrow in the sand.

The Hercules Beetles don't make it to South Florida (and not up in Mass. either) so I'll hafta come visit if I wanna see a live one:)

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