Goliaths: the largest and strongest beetles the size of an avocado

There are more than 1 million species of insects on Earth, making them one of the most diverse classes of animals. There are so many of these amazing creatures that for every person there are approximately 250 million (!) bugs. The total mass of all insects on the planet is 40 times greater than the mass of all humanity. Insects come in different colors, sizes, etc. – some of them resemble alien creatures, especially when viewed closely. Among them, goliath beetles (Goliathus) stand out, which are impressive in size. They can grow to the size of an avocado and can be compared to the size of a human palm. Well, are you ready to look at photographs of these giants? Or maybe there are even larger insects in the world?

Goliaths: the largest and strongest beetles the size of an avocado. A goliath beetle on a human palm. Photo source: apus.ru. Photo.

Goliath beetle on a human palm. Photo source: apus.ru

The largest insects in the world

Goliath beetlesis not the name of a specific type of insect, but a whole genus of Goliathus beetles. Goliaths are divided into five different species: G. goliatus, G. regius, G. cacicus, G. orientalis, and G. albosignatus. They are part of the scarab beetle family, which includes approximately 30 thousand different creatures.

The largest member of the goliath genus is the Goliathus regius beetle, which is also known as the king goliath. It differs from other relatives not only in its large body, but also in its black and white color. The authors of the scientific publication IFL Science compared the pattern on his body with the Rorschach test – this is a psychological test in which a specialist shows the patient “blots” and determines a diagnosis based on the answers.

The largest insects in the world. Royal goliath with a black and white pattern on the back. Photo source: animaljournal.ru. Photo.

A king goliath with a black and white pattern on its back. Photo source: animaljournal.ru

Royal goliaths grow up to 10 centimeters in length and live in hot areas of equatorial Africa. Their relatives Goliathus goliatus can also grow to this size, but they live in other African regions.

How much do goliath beetles weigh, it’s difficult to say – scientists do not have a consensus on this matter. For example, some sources say that the heaviest beetles in the world weigh up to 100 grams. At the same time, the Guinness Book of Records states that the body weight of goliaths reaches a maximum of 50 grams. This may seem like an insignificant indicator, but for insects it is a lot.

The largest insects in the world. A huge beetle of the species Goliathus goliatus. Photo source: beatlename.ru. Photo.

A huge beetle of the species Goliathus goliatus. Photo source: beatlename.ru

What do goliath beetles eat

Goliath beetles are very large, which means they need a lot of food. To generate enough energy to live, they eat everything from tree fruits to the bodies of decomposing animals.

What do goliath beetles eat? Goliath beetles are not at all picky about food. Photo source: animaljournal.ru. Photo.

Goliath beetles are not at all picky eaters. Photo source: animaljournal.ru

This gluttony means that the huge beetles have a lot of strength. Indeed, goliath beetles are capable of lifting objects that are approximately 850 times heavier than their own body weight. This is the same as if a person could lift two sperm whales weighing 40 tons at once.

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The largest beetles on Earth

So, goliath beetles are large, heavy and strong representatives of the insect world. Do they have competitors? Of course they exist.

Elephant beetles (Megasoma elephas), titan lumberjacks (Titanus giganteus) and Hercules beetles (Dynastes hercules) can compete for the title of the largest insect on Earth. The latter are the largest, because their body length reaches 17.3 centimeters. But why did not they, but goliaths, get into the Guinness Book of Records? And all because the majority of the Hercules body is represented by a large horn on the head.

The largest beetles on Earth. Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules). Photo source: scientificrussia.ru. Photo.

Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules). Photo source: scientificrussia.ru

Despite their colossal size, Hercules beetles are capable of flying. Unfortunately, it is impossible to meet Hercules and Goliaths at the same time, because they live in different parts of our planet. However, they can be presented in terrariums, so some people still have the opportunity to compare the sizes of these creatures in person.

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We really hope that we were able to surprise you with at least a couple of interesting facts. And if you knew almost nothing about goliath beetles and greatly expanded your horizons, great. There are many other interesting articles on the topic of insects on our website. For example, relatively recently we published material about caddisfly larvae, which are capable of building shells for themselves from precious stones. One artist was able to use this skill of tiny creatures to start making big money.