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Chalcosoma atlas
Range: Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia
Size: 35-115mm

Chalcosoma atlas is extremely similar in form to C. caucasus, which also occurs on the Malaysian peninsula. C. atlas is readily distinguishable from the latter by the shape of the terminal point of the cephalic horn.  In C. atlas, the end of the cephalic horn has a rather broadened, upward curving hook-like section bearing very distinct, raised ridges.  This feature is lacking in C. caucasus.  Also, unlike the case C. caucasus, there is no dorsal spine on the cephalic horn of C. atlas.  Another feature of note is that the elytra usually more brilliantly bronze in color than in C. caucasus, which generally has a darker, bluish tint.

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A male C. atlas (top) shown with a male C. mollenkampi.  Notice the prominent hook that exists at the terminal end of the cephalic horn in this species.  This feature can be used to immediately distinguish C. atlas from the closely related C. caucasus and C. mollenkampi.  These two species have overlapping ranges in Malaysia, and hybrids between the two may possibly occur.

Photo courtesy of Wayne Hsu.

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Chalcosoma atlas and C. mollenkampi (males) - Image  Wayne Hsu

 
Chalcosoma atlas and C. mollenkampi (males) - Image  Wayne Hsu
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Another comparison photo of the same two males shown above.  Note that the thoracic horns of C. mollenkampi curve distinctively downward, readily distinguishing it from both C. atlas and C. caucasus.  Also, the form of the cephalic horn is different, and does not bear the widened, rather sharply curved terminal hook which is typical of C. atlas.

Photo courtesy of Wayne Hsu.

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The 3rd instar larva of C. atlas.  Rearing methods for this species are the same as for C. caucasus.  Care must be taken when handling Chalcosoma larvae of any species, as they tend to writhe around considerably when picked up and can deliver a strong bite with their powerful mandibles. Chalcosoma larvae are not nearly so mild in temperament as are some other genera such as Dynastes and Megasoma.

Photo courtesy of Al O Myrrhina.

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Chalcosoma atlas (3rd instar larva) - Image  Al O Myrrhina

 
Chalcosoma atlas (male pupa) - Image  Al O Myrrhina
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A large male pupa of C. atlas, here removed from its protective cell for photographic purposes.  If done very  carefully, it can be placed back inside its cell undisturbed, but ordinarily, pupae should not be removed from their cocoons for observation by anyone except the most experienced of beetle breeding hobbyists, as this is a very delicate process.

Photo courtesy of Al O Myrrhina.

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