Very large beetle? larvae
May 18, 2010
I found this large larvae in our leaf compost this morning. It was under about 3 feet of leaves, in the soil. Uncoiied it is more that 2 inches long and about 3/4 inches thick. The tail end is curved and flattened. I’m not sure if you can tell what kind if beetle it is, but my children would like to keep it as a pet. can we keep it in an aquarium filled with compost and leaves (and a well fitting lid?) Will it become an adult this year or does it have a way to go? How big will this monster get?
Mansfield Connecticut

Ox Beetle Grub

Hi Louanne,
This is a Grub of one of the large Rhinoceros Beetles in the subfamily Dynastinae.  We believe it to be an Ox Beetle Grub in the genus Strategus.  Of the five species pictured on BugGuide, Strategus antaeus is reported the furthest north.  A photo of the Grub of Strategus antaeus was identified and a compost pile is mentioned as a likely habitat.  Of the genus, BugGuide indicates:  “One year life cycle, apparently. Larvae, in captivity, feed on rotting wood, vegetation.
”  Information on a photo of a Grub and Pupa of a related species, Strategus aloeus found in Florida provides this information on BugGuide which may be helpful in your attempts to raise this Grub to maturity:  “A student of mine gave me these two grubs two months ago. I have had them buried in sand feeding them roots and dry dog food. The grubs buried themselves to a depth of about 6 inches in sand. About three weeks ago they surfaced and stopped moving about going into a dormant stage preparing for pupation. There they sat (one is still to pupate) until a week ago when the one began to pupate. The larval skin is still evident at the end of the abdomen. One can see the head of the grub skin. It is fascinating watching these change. I will add more photos as I notice changes. These beetles are beginning their emergence in this area as well.

Thank you! My daughter took it to school and the children loved watching it move around. We will set it up with it’s own tank and observe what it does. Very cool!

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