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Common Name:
Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle
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Common Name:  Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle

Other Common Names:  Giant North American Rhinoceros Beetle, Western Hercules Beetle

Scientific Name:  Dynastes granti  (Full Taxonomy)

Group:  

Origin or Range:  Southwest United States

Relative Size:  Larger Than Average  
    (as compared to other beetles)

Average Lifespan:  1 year(s)

Compatibility:  Non-Aggressive   
    (as compared to other beetles)

Category:  Insects » Beetles
Animal Description:  

The Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle, also known as the "Giant North American Rhinoceros Beetle" or "Western Hercules Beetle", can only be described as magnificent. It is the largest beetle found anywhere in the United States. Its impressive size and ease of care make it a popular pet among hobbyists.

Unlike many invertebrates, the Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle makes an excellent hands-on pet. Unlike many other invertebrates, they don't seem to mind being gently handled. They are also relatively easy to care for in captivity, and easy to breed as well. In addition they pose no serious health threats as far as bites or stings are concerned. In spite of their large size the Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle will only live about a year, but this should not deter potential beetle owners. This species moves surprisingly fast, they are also incredibly good fliers. Both of these facts should be taken into consideration when handling your Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle. In the wild these large creatures feed on tree sap during the night hours. They do so by rubbing the softer parts of branches of hard woods, such as Ash. The rubbing motion causes liquids to flow from the injuries to the branches, allowing the beetle to feed. This would be near impossible to duplicate in captivity, luckily this species will feed readily on peeled, juicy fruits. They seem to prefer fruits like cantaloupes, pears, bananas, watermelon, and apples. Some of the Grant's clan will even appreciate an occasional piece of the tropical fruit such as pineapple. The most important thing is that all fruit be peeled. They will also feed on watered-down maple syrup placed in a shallow dish with paper towels. The maple syrup diet more closely resembles their natural diet, and may be better for their overall well-being. Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle larvae need a high protein diet. Some recommended foods for larvae include, decaying wood, hardwood leaves, and manure found in decomposing soil. They grow very quickly, and will thrive in temperatures between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Proper housing for these beautiful scarabs is a large glass container with air holes in the top to allow enough oxygen in. A five-gallon tank is perfect for a single Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle. For housing multiple specimens a twenty-gallon tank should work just fine. It is important that a secure, ventilated lid is used, since this species can fly. The container should be as tall as it is wide. Fill their tanks so that the tank is about four inches full of soil substrate. These beetles like to bury themselves under the soil, so providing ample substrate is important. They will be seen coming out of the soil to feed. Make sure that the tank is moist, but not wet. Logs, driftwood, and cork bark, are recommended additions that give the Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle places to climb. In order to mimic their natural environment they will need to remain in a temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle is the largest of all American Beetles and is among the larges of all insects of this region. They are named as such because the males have "rhinoceros horns" protruding from their heads. Females of this species lack the horns. At maturity, they will reach a length of two to three and a half inches in length. The Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle can only be described as handsome. Their heavily built bodies are typically blue-gray. They have striking spots on their elytra. The spotted markings differ between all individuals; no two are ever exactly alike. The have long, fierce looking thoracic horns. The underside of the top thoracic horn has thick light pile hairs. Juveniles of this species have black thoracic regions, as they mature they turn paler until they are grayish white at maturity. The actual horns themselves remain dark. Their legs are dark, similar in color to the horns. Humidity levels can affect coloration of this species.

The Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle is said to be found only in Arizona, though there have been reports of sightings as far east as New Mexico. It is very rare to see one in its natural habitat. There have been some reports of Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle sightings in the north and souteastern United States, but it is quite likely that these are Eastern Hercules Beetles (Dynastes tityus), which are quite similar in appearance to the Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle. Dynastes tityus is also quite large and has a similar color to that of the Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle. These two species are quite difficult to distinguish, the Eastern Rhinoceros usually have short, stout horns with no "fork" at the end, whereas the Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle usually has longer horns. Unfortunately you can have a "lesser male" granti that also has short horns, so, this is where another clue comes into play. Eastern Rhinoceros are almost always greener in appearance while Grant's Rhinoceros are generally grayer.

Specific Care Information: Relative Care Ease: Relatively Easy

The Grant's Rhinoceros Beetle has a short lifespan of only a year. They are relatively easy to care for, and make an impressive part of both the beginner and the experienced hobbyist's collection.

Breeding and Propagation: Relative Breeding Ease: Average

This species will mate readily in captivity. Substrate choice is important if you want to breed the Grant's Rhino Beetle. They do not breed in soil; rather, they choose rotten wood. Many commercial potting soils contain the necessary rotten wood, however, they also tend to have pesticides and excessive fertilizers. It is often recommended to seek your own substrate. Any decomposing softwood should work just fine. If the wood easily crumbles into fine flakes it should be perfect. The tank should be filled with four inches of the decaying softwood substrate. Fairly large areas are recommended for breeding females. They need a lot of space because they pack the substrate after egg laying. In small spaces eggs are often crushed. After the female has laid her eggs, the males should be removed from the tank. If left in the tank the males can, and often will, break eggs. It is important that humidity levels be monitored during incubation. The substrate must remain moist at this time. Incubation lasts somewhere between three to four months.

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Friday, 31 October 2014