Subject: Odd, Damaged Beetle
Location: Hartsville, South Carolina, USA
July 26, 2013 12:06 pm
Today (July 26, 2013) my daughter and I saw this beetle staggering across the Wal-Mart parking lot. Upon closer inspection, we discovered it had a large crack in the shell covering it’s head. It seemed unable to move it’s right front leg and held it pinned close to its head. I’m not a bug person, but I felt bad for the little fellow so we scooped him up in a little paperbag and planned to take him somewhere green and let him lose. Then I decided I needed to take a picture of him first so we put him in a stainless steel bowl, took his picture, then set him lose in the shade of some pine trees in our backyard. I tried to look him up and thought he might be a grapevine beetle, but he has more than 3 spots running down each side so I kept looking, but couldn’t find anything else. Any ideas? We’re in Hartsville, SC. Thanks if you can help me. Lillian Turner
Signature: L. Turner
Oh I think it must be a female Eastern Hercules Beetle. As I was scrolling through your site, I found a picture of it! Thanks. Lillian
Your submission saddened us, but we were also touched by your kindness. You are correct that this is a female Eastern Hercules Beetle, Dynastes tityus. Male Eastern Hercules Beetles are the heaviest beetles in North America. Many insects fall victim to Unnecessary Carnage, but large insects in busy parking lots tend to become statistics of human violence at a disproportional rate. Perhaps it is related to road rage or not being able to find convenient parking at Walmart, but whatever the reason, many people have no qualms about stomping and smashing insects they encounter in public places. Your kindness to this living creature is greatly appreciated, so we are tagging your submission with the Bug Humanitarian Award as well as tagging it as Unnecessary Carnage because of the misguided rage of the anonymous shopper who encountered this magnificent creature before you did. Sadly, she is mortally wounded and will likely die soon. We have been called away from the office unexpectedly for a family emergency, so we are postdating your submission to go live on August 6 during our absence.