Golden Stag Beetle

Black Bess Beetle
Brown Bess Beetle

Black Dung Beetle
Greed Dung Beetle
Punctated Dung Beetle 
Green Scarab Beetle
Brown Cockchafer
Yellow Cockchafer
Nectar Scarab Beetle 
Common Christmas Beetle
White Christmas Beetle
Golden Christmas Beetle
Green Christmas Beetle 
Black Nail Beetle
Small Brown Scarab
Small Black Scarab 
Rhinoceros Beetle
Cowboy Beetle
Red-brown Flower Beetle
Fiddle Beetle
Spotted Flower Chafer
Brown Flower Beetle
Mango Flower Beetle


Rhinoceros Beetle - Xylotrupes gideon 


This page contains information and pictures about Rhinoceros Beetles that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Male, body length 45mm  
The rhinoceros beetles also commonly known as Elephant Beetles.  They belong to the Scarab family. Scarab beetles have special antennae with fans on their tips. The rhinoceros beetle is the largest of all beetles and is named that because the males generally have notable horns on the front end of the body.
  Male (left) and female (right) 
This beetle can be found in south-east Asia, the islands of Indonesia, the Solomons and Australia. It is often founding suburban areas of Queensland's coastal towns, including Brisbane. They can be seen lying under street lights during summer months in Brisbane but can be found at any time of the year in the tropical north. Rhinoceros beetles are also seen in large groups on Poinciana trees.
The rhinoceros beetle is 60mm in length and is recognised by the large horns on its front. This black beetle uses its horns to try to knock other males off a tree when they smell a female. They also make hissing squeaks when disturbed. These hissing sounds are made by rubbing the abdomen against the wing covers. Rhinoceros beetles are actually quite harmless; as long as you avoid the sharp claws on the end of their legs. Only male have horns. Females are quite plain and seen less often. It is also thought that the large gatherings on the Poinciana trees are part of the beetles mating behaviour
A    B   C
A, B, same profile of head and thorax showing variation in male. C, head and thorax of female.
The rhinoceros beetle larvae ( grub ) hatches from eggs and develop into pupae and the pupae eventually develop into a beetle. A female lays about 50 white eggs in decaying vegetable matter. The eggs take about three weeks to hatch and when the larvae has hatched it feeds on the decaying vegetable matter. In Brisbane, it is thought that this beetle requires up to two years to grow into the full size. The rhinoceros beetle's larvae is easily recognised by its transparent grey, its fine reddish down, its dark brown head and its enormous size-almost filling the palm of an hand. When the larvae is full grown, it forms a cell in the soil and lines it with faeces which solidifies into a waterproof layer. The adult beetle hatches out and digs its way to the surface after about a month. The adult lives for about 2-4 months.
Unknown grub.jpg (97538 bytes)
Photo thank to Colin Burt in Hervey Bay
Colin sent us the above photo on Apr 2010. He advised that: "The large white 'grub' found in soil on digging and in pile of mulch when turned over. Has quite a powerful nip when picked up ! So far no sign of any damage after seven years of living here." 
DSC_2663.jpg (358953 bytes)
Found this dry body near the White Rock on 2011. Notice the variation of the prothorax.  
The beetles sometimes can be found under and around the street light in Brisbane during mid summer.
(Text by Sandy Chew, 2001)

DSC_4446.jpg (214928 bytes)  DSC_4447.jpg (253424 bytes)
This very large Rhinoceros Beetle is in Oxenford, the way to Tamborine National Park. 

1. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Ryan, Michelle (ed.), Queensland Museum, Brisbane, 1995, p.90.
2. Insects of Australia, CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p 630.
3. Beetles of Australia - Trevor J Hawkeswood, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1987, plate 36.  

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Last updated: April 24, 2011.