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Dynastes hercules (page 2)

The female and larva of D. hercules.

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This is the female of Dynastes hercules.  In comparing her to the images of the males shown on the preceding page, one can see that there is a great deal of physical difference between the sexes in this species.  Like the male, the female often has some black elytral spots, although they are more faint and not very distinct.  Also, the female has a layer of short, soft hairs covering much of the body.

Photo courtesy of Fan Lin.

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Dynastes hercules (female) - Image  Fan Lin

 
Dynastes hercules (female) - Image  Fan Lin
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Another view of the same female D. hercules.  In this photo, the short covering of brownish hairs can be better seen on the pronotum.  The female D. hercules compares in form to the male of its species in roughly the same way as the female Chalcosoma caucasus of the southeast Asian tropics does to its male, in that it is the smaller and hairier of the sexes.

Photo courtesy of Fan Lin.

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The massive 3rd instar larva of D. hercules.  Scarab larvae such as these are best kept in a very rich compost substrate containing a reasonable amount of nutrition in order to ensure proper growth.

Photo courtesy of J. Lai.

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Dynastes hercules larva - Image  J. Lai

 
Dynastes hercules larva - Image  J. Lai
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Rhinoceros beetle larvae of this size eat a large volume of compost material, and care must be taken to change out portions of the rearing substrate as needed.  A considerable amount (at least 50%) of the old substrate should always be left in the terrarium and mixed into the fresh material, to ensure that the beneficial bacteria in the substrate are not completely removed.  Mixing half of the old material into the new maintains this important bacterial culture and prevents digestive system shock to the larva.

Photo courtesy of J. Lai.

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The result of months of proper care and feeding, this enormous D. hercules larva  weighs nearly 100 grams.  This larva will certainly develop into an impressive adult.  The larvae of this species have been known to occasionally grow to over 140 grams.

Photo courtesy of J. Lai.

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Dynastes hercules larva - Image  J. Lai

 
Dynastes hercules larva - Image  J. Lai
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A 9 month old male Dynastes hercules larva weighing 109 grams.  Like the individuals shown in the previous three photographs, this larva is of D. hercules hercules, one of the largest of the various subspecies.  This larva is very near the time when it will create a pupation cell out of surrounding substrate particles.  Inside this structure, it will transform into the adult form of one of the world's most impressive insects.

Photo courtesy of J. Lai.

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