Subject: Large black beetle
Location: East Coast of Virginia
July 31, 2014 1:13 am
We had this beetle stuck in our air duct system. It was 2-21/2 inches long We live in temperate zone. Our home in on creek with marsh and trees. Temperatures are in 80-90’s with hug humidity.
Signature: Jennifer in Virginia

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

Dear Jennifer,
Hot, humid summer days in the eastern portion of North America is peak beetle sighting season, and that is the time large Scarab Beetles like your Triceratops Beetle are active.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide and according to BugGuide‘s information page, the Triceratops Beetle is:  “Black, distinctly flattened, both sexes with three prominent horns on head. Elytra deeply striated. … Both genders have horns. This is unusual among horned scarabs.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Food:  Adults of this genus will take fruit and meat in captivity. One sources says adults eat other insects.
Life Cycle:  Adults come to lights. Larvae feed in rotten logs, reported, in particular, from dead oaks. Presumably, males (?) use horns to defend breeding sites. Lifespan of adults is reported to be quite long (up to two years) in captivity. Reported to have structures for sound production (stridulation) (2). Stridulate softly when handled (P. Coin, Durham, NC 11 July 2007).  Larvae and adults are also “carnivorous” and will – if not preferentially – feed on grubs & pupae of other scarabs (incl. D. tityus).”

Triceratops Beetle

Triceratops Beetle

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Location: Virginia

4 Responses to Bug of the Month August 2014: Triceratops Beetle

  1. aussietrev says:

    “with hug humidity” Never encountered hug humidity, must be nice. 🙂 Humidity in Queensland is never in the hug range, more like the “get off me” range.

  2. Kelly says:

    My boyfriend found one of these guys in his office building (in central FL) and brought it home for me a few years back and I kept him as a pet. He lived almost exactly 2 years and did indeed stridulate when handled, it’s a soft clicky chirping noise and you could see his elytra fluttering when he did it. Ate bananas and sometimes tiny mealworms and would hang out on my shirt when he wasn’t tunneling in his terrarium. Such a neat dude, one of my favorite pets!

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