Titan Beetle (Titanus giganteus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Titan Beetle (Titanus giganteus). Location: Muzeum ewolucij, Warschau. Date: 25.08.2005. Author: Hauke Koch (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Karmesinkoenig).
|Copyright (C) 2005 Hauke Koch|
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The Titan beetle
) is the largest known beetle
in the Amazon rainforest and one of the largest insect species in the world. It is from the family Cerambycidae
s). The titan beetle
is the only member of its own genus. It is known from the rain forests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, the Guianas, and north-central Brazil, where it is most commonly collected by the use of mercury-vapor lamps, to which the males are attracted.
Adults can grow up to 6.5 inches (16.7cm) in length (or 8 inches (21cm) including antennae). It is said that their mandibles can snap pencils in half and cut into human flesh. Adult Titan Beetle
s do not feed, they simply fly around to find mates. They are attracted to bright lights after dark.
The larvae have never been found, but are thought to feed inside wood and may take several years to reach full size before they pupate. Boreholes thought to be created by titan beetle
larvae seem to fit a grub over two inches wide and perhaps as much as one foot long.
The adults defend themselves by hissing in warning, and have sharp spines as well as strong jaws.
There is an extensive sequence towards the end of Sir David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth series (in the version released in the UK) which prominently features a hunt for this beetle
. In it, an adult specimen was found and brought back to Oxford University. Because the adults do not eat, this specimen was cared for until it died.
A famous "life-size" photograph of a putative larva of this beetle
appeared in National Geographic Magazine, filling an entire page, but it was of a different species of beetle
, possibly Macrodontia cervicornis
There is a local "cottage industry" in French Guiana of leading tours specifically to collect specimens of this beetle
(which can command prices over US$500), and other countries' ecotourism agencies mention these beetle
s in their advertisements.
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