Hercules Beetle Drawing

Dynastes Hercules is the largest of the rhinoceros beetles. We found this nice, large beetle drawing in the August 1873 edition of Popular Science. No illustrator was credited and having been published over 120 years ago, this beetle drawing is in the public domain.

As large as this drawing is, it’s not life sized. These beetles can be as big as six inches. Only the male beetles have the large horns but the females have a slightly larger body. Though these are burrowing animals, it seems the horns are actually used for combat between the males during mating season.

This Hercules beetle drawing is nicely detailed and the scan came out great. The name Hercules stems from the fact that these beetles are super strong – they can life 850 times their own weight. That makes this beetle the strongest creature in the world. That alone would make this large insect interesting but his hard exoskeleton can actually change colors depending upon the humidity of its environment from the normal greenish-yellow color to solid black. Oddly enough, the shell will change color in the presence of moisture even when the insect is no longer alive. Scientists are actually looking into ways to use Hercules beetle shells as natural humidity sensors.

Hercules beetle drawing

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.