Elephant Beetle: The Trending Beetle’s Facts

When most people hear about the elephant beetle, most of you will wonder and suppose that this beetle has trunks and large ears, but that is far from why they are called this.

For a start, these beetles have horns that look somewhat similar to the trunk of an elephant and are considerably large. That may be a reason why they are called elephant beetles, don’t you think?

Let us now find out all we need to know about this beetle.


What is an Elephant Beetle?

Elephant Beetle
Picture of the Elephant Beetle

First of all, do not expect that the elephant beetle will look like an elephant. Are you one of those expecting this insect to have trunks and large ears? lol! please don’t.

Here we will be describing what the this beetle looks like as well as providing you with the elephant beetle pictures so that you will be able to identify it if you ever come across one.

These beetles belong to the genus Megasoma and bear the scientific name Megasoma elephas. One thing that gives it its name is its ability to grow to large sizes. Yes, the elephant beetle can grow up to 12 centimeters in length.

Ever heard of horned elephant beetles? yes, that is what the males are called. In truth, these males have a horn that protrudes above the front of their heads. Distinguishing the male and female elephant beetles is quite easy, knowing that only the males have these horns.

These horns grow in two distinct places:

  • One on the head
  • Another on the prothorax (this is the foremost of the three segments in the thorax of the beetle that bears the first pair of legs)

The horned elephant beetle has these horns for two distinct purposes:

  1. To defend itself from predators
  2. To compete for food and mates

Note: These horns are only common in males and will never be found in a female elephant beetle.

You may have seen a yellow elephant beetle and thought that these insects were yellow, but you are wrong. These beetles have black-colored bodies but are covered by fine, thick, microscopic hairs that give them yellow colors.


Read also: How To Care For Dermestid Beetles


Elephant Beetle Size: How Big is an Elephant Beetle?

Now, how big is an elephant beetle? In terms of size, the male elephant beetle is bigger than the female. Of course, adding the horns—what else would you expect?

Elephant beetles generally measure 7 to 12 centimeters in length, including their horns. The largest elephant beetle ever recorded measured 13.7 centimeters in length.


Elephant Beetle Weight: How Heavy is an Elephant Beetle?

How heavy is an elephant beetle? This beetle can generally weigh up to 100 grams, as they are large beetles.

If you guessed the males to be heavier than the females, then you sure guessed right. Coupled with their horns, male elephant beetles tend to weigh more than their female counterparts.

These beetles are large and can weigh up to 100 grams as adults. They grow to be between 7 and 12 centimeters long. The males are typically heavier and longer than the females.


Elephant Beetle Lifespan: What is the Elephant Beetle Life Cycle?

Elephant Beetle
Picture of the Elephant Beetle Larvae

What is the elephant beetle’s life cycle? It should be noted that this beetle has 4 stages of its lifespan, namely:

  • Egg
  • Larvae
  • Pupae
  • Adults

If you have ever come across this beetle, it will be in its larval stage, as these beetles tend to spend most of their time in this stage.

As adults, the horned elephant beetles (males) have multiple horns, which they use to defend themselves, protect themselves, and compete for food and mates.


Read also: How To Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles In 4 Easy Ways


Elephant Beetle Diet: What Do Elephant Beetles Eat?

These beetles are known to feed mainly on plants and fruits. Of course, what else would they feed on when they live in the tropical rainforest?

As adults, they consume sap from these plants, which is always nutrient-rich for them. The sap transports required nutrients throughout the plant’s leaves, fruits, and even branches, so these beetles go to tap from the sap. Lol! You sure get the joke, don’t you?

Besides these, these beetles also feed on the bark of trees as well as the fruits.

Remember, we previously mentioned that these beetles spend most of their lifetimes as larvae? Well, the female beetle lays her eggs in fallen tree logs. The eggs hatch after 2 to 3 weeks and grow to larvae, where they spend 3 years in this stage.

Yes, they stay larvae for 3 years, feeding on:

  • The decaying, fallen log
  • Leaves
  • Fruits
  • Plants

After these 3 years are complete, they move on to become pupae for only a few months and then adults.


Elephant Beetle Habitat: Where Do Elephant Beetles Live?

Elephant Beetle
The Tropical Rainforest is Home To the Elephant Beetle

We earlier mentioned that these beetles are known to inhabit tropical rainforests because of the abundance of logs, fruits, and plants.

Because of the abundance of food in the southern part of Mexico, these beetles have also been known to populate that area as well.

South America is another region where this beetle can be commonly found.


Read also: Flour Beetles: Facts and How to Get Rid



The elephant beetle is quite an interesting top pick. Known for the distinctive horns that protrude from their head and prothorax, and even their large sizes, these beetles are a beauty to be talked about.

What do you think of our description of this beetle? Do you have anything you would love us to add? Do well to let us know via the comments section below!

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