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Dynastes granti
Range:  southwestern United States, primarily Arizona 
Size:  35 to 70 mm

The western counterpart of the Eastern Hercules beetle is Dynastes granti, the Western Hercules beetle.  This species is rather limited in distribution, as it occurs mainly in Arizona, USA.  The primary differences between D. granti and D. tityus are in their colouration and horn development.  Whereas the background colour of D. tityus is olive green to grey-green, D. granti is of a blue-grey hue.  Also, the western Hercules has horns that are proportionately much longer than those of the eastern species.  The two species are quite similar in body size, although D. granti is longer due to the difference in horn structure.  D. granti is somewhat like a miniature version of the far larger D. hercules of the American tropics, although the pronotum of D. granti is mostly of a pale grey colour, rather than solidly black as in D. hercules.

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An excellent example of a large male D. granti.  Note the many black spots on the elytra.  No two individuals have exactly the same set of markings.  Also readily visible is the short, thick band of brown hairs which project from the underside of the thoracic horn.  All species of Dynastes share this peculiar feature.

Photo courtesy of J. Lai.

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Dynastes granti (male) - Image  J. Lai

 
Dynastes granti (males) - Image  Robert and Linda Mitchell
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Two male D. granti fighting.  Like other rhinoceros beetles, Dynastes males use their horns in contests of strength.  However, their battles tend to be far less severe than those of genera such as Chalcosoma, in which males are far more vicious upon encountering a rival.

Photo courtesy of Robert & Linda Mitchell.

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Another strikingly beautiful example of a male D. granti.  At the time this photo was taken, this individual had been an adult for about one month.  Note that the thorax is still very black, and has not yet changed to its final, greyish-white color.  Changes in humidity level can also temporarily affect colors in this species.

Photo courtesy of J. Lai.

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Dynastes granti (male) - Image  J. Lai

 
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