Named after the giant adversary of the cunning David, Goliath, the African Goliath beetles are the largest and the heaviest insects on earth today. They are the first species classified as 'beetles'. They have been walking the earth since the past 300 million years. They belong to the scarab family and are a part of the subfamily Cetoniinae. These beetles are mainly found in the tropical region of Africa. Not only are they the heaviest insects and beetles, they can also carry relatively huge weights. They are also excellent climbers and fliers, despite their weight.
Here is some basic information about this interesting creature.
Though there are beetles that are longer than it, it's the Goliath which takes the top position in the size charts, and that's because of their heavy weight. These beetles have a first pair of wings called the elytra. These protect the second pair of soft, membranous wings and also the abdomen. The male beetles have Y-shaped horns on their head, which they use to fight with other males over territory or mates. The females do not have any horns, but have a wedge-shaped head, which helps them burrow and lay their eggs. These beetles can be found in different colors, such as black, blue, gold, and bronze. The length of the male beetle varies from 2.5 - 4.2 inches, while the females are usually 2.1 - 3.4 inches long.
Habitat and Food
They are mainly found in the tropical regions of Africa―mainly in the temperate southeastern parts of Africa―and in the equatorial rainforests. Warm temperatures are optimal for the survival of these insects. They mostly feed on the remains of dead plants, fruits, dung, and sugary foods. If you are looking to keep these beetles as pets, they will do well on protein-rich food, such as commercial dog or cat food.
The female beetles usually lays their eggs underground. When the larva comes out from the egg, they take time to develop, due to their size. The larvae usually grow up to nearly 5 inches. They usually feed on foods which are rich in proteins. The next stage is the formation of cocoons, and for that they burrow themselves deep underground. When the dry season comes in, they have already changed into an adult. After remaining inactive and wrinkly for nearly 3 weeks, they finally shed their outer covering, open their wings, and put them in the normal position.