Big Big Bug
Dear What’s That Bug,
I live on the west coast of Costa Rica in the Guanacaste province, and found this giant beetle one night on our patio. I’ve never seen a bug as big or heavy as this. He filled my entire open hand- must have been about 5 inches long including the horn. After browsing all your beetles pages, I found that the submission from Lisa from Panama (03/16/2006) to be the closest.
After taking the hint to google a bit, I really think this must be a “megasoma elaphas” aka elephant beetle. Makes sense because the adults like to eat coconut flowers which were blossoming at the time, not to mention its enormous size and weight! We have another really big bug that shows up from time to time. It’s like a giant dark red and yellow locust or grasshopper about 6 inches long- the Costa Ricans call it “langosta” which means “lobster”. Last time I saw one I was without my camera- I’ll try and get a picture for you next time I see one. keep up the good work, very cool site!
Thanks so much for sending us this wonderful image of the Elephant Beetle, Megasoma elaphas. We believe the large grasshopper you mentioned is probably Tropidacris dux, the Giant Grasshopper.