HomeNews & LifestyleTitan Beetles: Meet The Largest Beetle In The World

Titan Beetles: Meet The Largest Beetle In The World

The astonishing Titan Beetle ranks as the largest known variety of beetle on Earth. And while many believe that it looks like and resembles a large cockroach, it’s confirmed that this is a true beetle.

Meet Titanus Giganteus 

One of the most interesting facts about the Titan Beetle is that despite years of effort by researchers all over the world, its life cycle remains a complete mystery. In other words, no larvae for it has ever been found!

This cringe-worthy, yet amazing creature is known for its strength, especially in relation to its size. Because of this, researchers need to use a lot of caution (and thick gloves) when they’re handling live specimens.

Although it’s not aggressive by nature (it’s a relatively peaceful beetle) its powerful mandibles have been known to be able to snap pencils. So given this fact, they of course can also pierce human flesh in a very painful way.

If something can snap a pencil, it can most likely also do major damage to a finger, right?

In addition to this, the remarkable and mysterious Titan Beetle is in serious danger. The threats of habitat loss are very real for them, with climate change presenting the largest threat.

It may be scary looking, but the Titan Beetle is beautiful in its own way.

Titan beetles
Photo: @carim_nahaboo on Instagram

Are Titan Beetles The Largest Beetles In the World?

The adult Titan Beetle has a size that’s true to its name. It’s an enormous size for an insect. It’s body length reaches as much as 6.5 inches. There’s only one beetle that is longer and larger, and that’s the Hercules Beetle.

When it comes to determining the largest beetle in the world, however, researchers need to consider that much of the length of the Hercules Beetle is its horn.

In other words, it’s technically debatable whether or not the Hercules Beetle is larger than the Titan Beetle.

Further to this, on the subject of size, researchers believe that the larvae of the Titan Beetle may actually be much larger than the adult beetle itself.

A borehole is a tunnelled hole made by certain moths and beetles. Multiple boreholes have been found under fallen tree which suggest that the larva could potentially reach lengths as much as 12 inches.

Yet still, even though there is much evidence to support this theory, the fact remains that the larvae of the Titan Beetle has never actually been discovered or studied in the history of research of insects.

Titan beetle
Photo: @hb_waters on Instagram

What Do Titan Beetles Eat To Get So Large?

Titan Beetles are so large, so it’s understandable that we’d be curious to know what they eat to get so big.

It’s believed that the larvae stay underground and feed on decaying wood. This period may last for years! However, once the beetle reaches adulthood and emerges, they mate. After this, they only live for a few weeks. During this mating period, the adults do not feed at all.

Despite its huge size, the Titan Beetle still remains capable of short flights. This is not common for an insect of its size! Due to the energy required for flight, however, it rarely flies.

Lastly, while it’s alive, the adult form of the beetle is entirely nocturnal and only comes out at night time. Personally, I think this not only adds to its mysterious nature, but also to its overall creepiness.

No offence, Titan Beetle, but looking at your profile pic gives me the heebie-jeebies up my spine.

Titan beetle
Photo: @rogueroger8 on Instagram

Where Do Titan Beetles Live?

Titan Beetles represent the only species in the genus Titanus. They have a highly specific habitat type and range.

This enormous insect appears to only be endemic to areas of tropical rainforest in certain portions of South America.

Are These Mighty Beetles Endangered? 

Because of their natural habitat, the Titan Beetle could be in serious trouble. Researchers have noted that while the beetle itself is not endangered, its surroundings are very much at risk.

Because of this, the Titan Beetle is at a high risk of becoming more and more threatened as a species because of the rapid destruction of its rainforest habitat.

Are Titan Beetles Dangerous?

Titan Beetles actually appear to be extremely reclusive and pacifistic by nature. However, as we discussed, you don’t want to be putting your fingers close to its mandibles. It can inflict a dangerous bite if handled the wrong way.

I don’t see any reason ever at all that I’d want to handle one of these giants. However, if you’re so inclined, just make sure you wear proper protective gear. While it’s not considered ‘dangerous’, the Titan Beetle’s defence strategies include biting with its powerful jaws.

And to add to its overall creep-factor, this defensive action is also preceded by loud hissing noises.

The short, curved mandibles of the Titan Beetle are powerful as both tools and weapons. These help to aid the insect in both self-defence, as well as feeding.

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