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    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, Chalcosoma and Goliathus.  The types of scarab beetles depicted on these pages will primarily be members of the subfamilies dynastinae and cetoniinae.  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.

    Dynastines 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 beetles.

    Cetoniines 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.

NEW - 29 Jun. 2012:  O. McMonigle's new book "The Ultimate Guide to Breeding Beetles" is now available.  Details & purchasing link.

NEW - 31 Dec. 2008:  The much anticipated book "For the Love of Rhinoceros and Stag Beetles (Second Edition)" has been published.  Details & purchasing link.

Scarabaeidae species:
 
    On this site, I present profiles giving basic natural history information about a selected variety of scarab beetle species.  Information on the individual species pages will include distribution, measurements, biology, and when possible, photographs of both the adult and larval stages of each species.  To enter the selection page, click on the Dynastes hercules image to the right.
click to go to the species selection page

Other Scarabaeidae topics:
 
go to: scarab beetle rearing manual go to: my GOLIATHUS web site go to: beetle links
Scarab breeding/ rearing manual
Visit my other beetle site - "GOLIATHUS"
Links to other web sites about beetles
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go to: Suggested reading Suggested reading
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Family Scarabaeidae
Website copyright © 1998-2006 C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
Photographs and other illustrations (where indicated) are © C. Campbell's NATURAL WORLDS.
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