Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Horned Black Beetle (dung beetle?)

I love when I find a beetle who's tougher then me! This bugger was so hard to get a picture of, because not only could he move really fast, but he was digging holes in the blink of an eye, and his legs were SO strong when I'd try to pick him up he'd slip out my fingers just by pushing himself away.
He is pretty much a bruiser of a beetle (check out his size compared to a dime) - I swear he was lifting weights and going to the gym before I found him - he would hold onto the ground so tightly with his legs I was afraid if I pulled him up i'd hurt him....
Check out that horn! hawt & handsome.
Can any of you dear readers identify whether this is some kind of rhino beetle, dung beetle, and importantly whether this is a beetle native to the Appalachian Mountains??? I would love to know more about him....



Gratuitous said...

This is a tough one. As you point out, it looks and acts like a dung/earth boring beetle (http://bugguide.net/node/view/6810), (http://bugguide.net/node/view/14364) in every way... except for the horn! I couldn't find an exact match; all we know for sure is it's in the Scarabaeidae family (http://bugguide.net/node/view/187).

Fun fact: dung beetles are the strongest insect in the world! Females dig a tunnel under some poop, and a male will come in to mate, but if another male tries to compete, they'll lock horns (if they have any) and push each other mightily. The strongest man in the world can lift 2.3 times his body weight, whereas the dung beetle can pull nearly 1,200 times his weight!

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Those are good links Gratuitous- !

I always forget about that cool bug guide you found. It must be a male dung beetle with horn - it looks just like the other beetles in the pics, and I think it was last year i found a female one in my room (maybe you even made jokes about my room having poop in it>?) I have to say, I like the male better- that horn is really an impressive thing to have!