GOLIATH BEETLE ©Museum de Toulouse
- The Goliath beetles (named after the biblical giant Goliath) are among the largest insects on Earth, if measured in terms of size, bulk and weight.
- Native to Africa, they are capable of growing up to 250 millimetres (9.8 in) in length, and reaching weights in excess of 100 grams (3.5 oz).
- Though they are believed to be primarily vegetarian in the wild, they have shown a voracious appetite for protein in captivity, and captive beetles are often fed dog and cat food.
- Each of the beetle’s legs ends in a pair of sharp claws (called tarsi) which provide a strong grip useful for climbing on tree trunks and branches.
- Males have a Y-shaped horn on the head which is used as a pry bar in battles with other males over feeding sites or mates.
- Females are without a horn, and instead have a wedge-shaped head which assists in burrowing when they lay eggs.
- Apart from their massive size, Goliathus beetles are strikingly patterned as well.
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Giant Walking Stick insect