| Welcome to Family
SCARABAEIDAE, an educational web site dedicated to scarab beetles.
The family Scarabaeidae is a large and diverse group of beetles with many
representatives worldwide. They range in size from diminutive to
truly massive. Their colors vary from dull brown to metallic gold.
Among the largest species are those in the genera Dynastes, Megasoma,
and Goliathus. The types of scarab beetles depicted on these
pages will primarily be members of the subfamilies dynastinae and
The dynastine group is comprised of the "Rhinoceros beetles", and the cetoniine
group contains those species often referred to as the "Flower beetles".
There are many thousands of species in the family Scarabaeidae, and this
site give you a glimpse of their diversity by presenting profiles of some
of the better-known members of this beetle group.
are best known for their immense size and the amazing horn-like structures
that the males of many species possess. These structures are used
mainly for defending feeding sites and during strength contests with other
males over mates during the breeding season. Although the vast majority
of these "Rhinoceros beetles" are found within the planet's equatorial
rain forests, there are a few species that live in more temperate latitudes
such as North America and Europe. Some of the tropical South American
species are giants of the insect world, reaching lengths of 4.75 - 6.75
inches (120 - 170 mm). However, much of their length consists of
the enormously long horns which project from the thorax and head.
The larvae of dynastines primarily feed on the soft, decaying wood of dead
trees. The larvae increase in size greatly as they progress.
They often require months to complete their growth, undergo metamorphosis
within a protective cell, and then re-enter the outside world as adult
are usually characterized by brilliant coloration. Some species are
highly iridescent, or are covered with a smooth, velvet-like texture patterned
with stripes or spots. Some of the heaviest insects in the world,
the Goliath beetles of tropical Africa, are members of the cetoniine
subfamily. Weights of nearly 100 grams (larval stage) have been recorded
for Goliathus. Like the dynastines, the larvae of cetoniines
are usually found within decomposing trees and other accumulations of old
plant material such as composting piles of fallen leaves. A few specialized
ones live within the nests of ants, where they feed on bits of organic
debris within the detritus piles which the ants accumulate.
much anticipated book "For the Love of Rhinoceros and Stag Beetles (Third
Edition)" has been published. Details
& purchasing link.
McMonigle's new book "The Ultimate Guide to Breeding Beetles" is
now available. Details
& purchasing link.