Monday, April 25, 2016

Entomology Exploration:Hercules Beetles

You probably know from the SAVE THE FROGS! event that I'm against dissections. So, when my mom found a 4D Vision dissection model for a Hercules beetle, we figured that it would be a good dissection alternative lab.

Click on the image to go to Amazon to buy the model!


The completed model. Its construction went fairly well, except one of the parts didn't seem to have anywhere it could attach. After constructing the model, I created some sketches. 




As well as doing some sketches, I also assembled  this model.




Some behind-the-scenes looks at sketches in the making.


Information about Hercules Beetles

Hercules Beetles or Rhinoceros Beetles are large, herbivorous beetles in the scarab beetle family (Scarabaeidae) that have been observed to eat decaying plant material, including rotten fruit, logs, and leaves. Their common name comes from the large horn exhibited on the male, used during mating season to combat with other males for mates. Ounce for ounce, Hercules Beetles are the world's strongest creatures, with some species able to lift 850 times their own body weight. When disturbed, some species produce hissing squeaks by rubbing their abdomen against their wing covers. Some species are of conservational concern, but in some Asian countries, bets are placed on which one of two male Hercules Beetles will knock the other off a log and in many cases, they are collected as pets. Due to their impressive horns and large size, they are sought after for many insect collections. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, ranging from Arizona eastward, traveling north to Kentucky. Which means that they are native in my area (I'm near Memphis, Tennessee) so I now have a new bucket list species. They undergo complete metamorphosis with the female laying eggs, which hatch into grubs. The grubs pupate, and emerge from the pupa as young Hercules Beetles. In males, the size of the horn depends on how much nutrition the beetle received as a grub. Including the larval and pupal stages, the lifespan of a Hercules Beetle ranges from 1-2 years. 


Bibliography

Hercules Beetles of Kentucky. Blake Newton. University of Kentucky Entomology. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, 7 Mar. 2008. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/beetles/hercules/hercules.htm.
Rhinoceros Beetles. A.V. Evans. National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America. National Wildlife Federation, 2007. Web. 25 Apr. 2016. http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Library/Invertebrates/Rhinoceros-Beetles.aspx.

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