Glass dome Dynastes hercules lichyi
1 x Dynastes hercules XXL under glass dome
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SPECIES : Dynastes hercules lichyi
Adult body sizes (not including the thoracic horn) vary between 50 and 85 mm (2.0 and 3.3 in) in length and 29 and 42 mm (1.1 and 1.7 in) in width. Male Hercules beetles may reach up to 173 mm (7 in) in length (including the horn), making them the longest species of beetle in the world, if jaws and/or horns are included in the measurement. The size of the horn is naturally variable, more so than any variation of the size of legs, wings, or overall body size in the species. This variability results from developmental mechanisms that coincide with genetic predisposition in relation to nutrition, stress, exposure to parasites, and/or physiological conditions.
D. hercules is highly sexually dimorphic, with only males exhibiting the characteristic horns (one on the head, and a much larger one on the prothorax).
GENUS : Dynastes
Males of Dynastes bear two long horns, one on the head, and the other on the pronotum, forming a “plier”; the pronotal horn has reddish setae on its underside. This pronotal horn is absent in females. Some species have an iridescent colouration to their elytra. Certain species of the genus Dynastes also have the ability to change colour.
This variation in colour is due to a spongy layer below the transparent cuticle; this spongy layer is a network of filamentous strands made up of three-dimensional photonic crystals lying parallel to the cuticle surface. When the cuticle is filled with gas this layer can show through, presenting the yellow to khaki green colour, but when filled with fluid the cuticle appears black. This is due to the change in refraction index allowing us to see the difference in colours.
FAMILY : Scarabaeidae
Some of the well-known beetles from the Scarabaeidae are Japanese beetles, dung beetles, June beetles, rose chafers (Australian, European, and North American), rhinoceros beetles, Hercules beetles and Goliath beetles.
Several members of this family have structurally coloured shells which act as left-handed circular polarisers; this was the first-discovered example of circular polarization in nature.
In Ancient Egypt, the dung beetle now known as Scarabaeus sacer (formerly Ateuchus sacer) was revered as sacred. Egyptian amulets representing the sacred scarab beetles were traded throughout the Mediterranean world
ORDER : Coleoptera
The largest of all families, the Curculionidae (weevils), with some 83,000 member species, belongs to this order. Found in almost every habitat except the sea and the polar regions, they interact with their ecosystems in several ways: beetles often feed on plants and fungi, break down animal and plant debris, and eat other invertebrates. Some species are serious agricultural pests, such as the Colorado potato beetle, while others such as Coccinellidae (ladybirds or ladybugs) eat aphids, scale insects, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects that damage crops.