Actaeon beetle

Actaeon beetle (Megasoma actaeon) is a rhinoceros beetle belonging to the Scarabaeidae family.

Actaeon beetle
Megasoma acteon MHNT male
Male of Megasoma actaeon
Megasoma actaeon MHNT Femelle
Female of Megasoma actaeon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Subfamily: Dynastinae
Genus: Megasoma
Species: M. actaeon
Binomial name
Megasoma actaeon
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Scarabeus simson Linnaeus, 1767
  • Geotrupes crenatus Leach, 1817
  • Megasoma janus Felsche, 1906
  • Megasoma argentinum Höhne, 1923
  • Megasoma janus ramirezorum Silvestre et Arnaud, 2002
  • Megasoma janus fujitai Nagai, 2003 [1]


The species name actaeon derives from the name Actaeon of a famous Theban hero, son of the priestly herdsman Aristaeus and Autonoe in Boeotia, trained by the centaur Chiron.


Actaeon beetle is one of the largest of all beetles, measuring up to 7 centimetres (2.8 in) across, with a body length of about 5–12 centimetres (2.0–4.7 in). The males can grow to be 13½ cm (5.4 in) long by 4 cm (1.6 in) thick .[2]

The dorsal surfaces are glabrous, matte or shiny black. The legs are powerful, with large tarsal claws. Males have appendages resembling horns on the pronotum and on the head. The two parallel horns on the pronotum are short, acute and forward pointing, while a much longer horn with a small tooth is present on the head. In the females the pronotum and the elytra are rugose and the horns are missing.[1]

Life cycle

Females lay eggs into soil and eclosion and eggs develop in about 30 days. Larval development and pupation takes in total almost 3 years. Larvae at the 3rd instar can reach the weight of 200 grams, the highest weight among insects. Life expectancy of adults in captivity reaches about 100–150 days. The heaviest actaeon ever recorded was found in the northern regions of South America weighed 228 grams (8.04 oz) in 2009 nearly equivalent to a female rat. This not only makes it the heaviest beetle but the heaviest insect of any kind.[3]


This species can be found in South America, particularly in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela [1]


  1. ^ a b c Generic Guide to New World Scarab Beetles
  2. ^ "What is the World's Biggest Insect?".
  3. ^ Glenday, Craig (2013). Guinness World Records 2014. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-908843-15-9.

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