Subject: Large beetle
Location: Hanover County, Virginia
June 28, 2017 10:47 am
I need some identification on this beetle. It was in my skimmer box. It’s very large-over 1″ long, 3/4″ wide, and sits up 1/2″ high. All these measurements are with its hairy legs tucked in. It looks like a rhinoceros beetle except for the stripes.
Signature: Judy Hill
We believe we have correctly identified your Dung Beetle as Dichotomius carolinus thanks to the Blue Jay Barrens site where it states: “The beetle at first appeared to be adorned with pale stripes. Closer examination revealed the stripes to actually be soil caked into grooves on the wing covers. Dung Beetle larvae develop in the ground at the bottom of a deep burrow where they feed on a supply of dung placed there by the adult beetle. The beetles can accumulate soil on their bodies when digging nest burrows or when burrowing out of the soil after pupation.” According to BugGuide: “A big, black or blackish-brown, and bulky dung beetle. Note prominent striations on elytra, though these are often partly filled with dirt. Pronotum distinctively shaped. Vertex of head has short, blunt horn in male” and “Said to be so strong that it is hard to hold within a clenched fist.” Your individual appears to possess the “short, blunt horn” indicating it is a male.