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Elephant Beetle Megasoma elephas Male Side 2699px.jpg
Megasoma elephas, the elephant beetle
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Subfamily: Dynastinae
Genus: Megasoma
Kirby, 1825
Type species
Megasoma actaeon (Linnaeus, 1758)

Megalosoma Burmeister 1847
Megasominus Casey 1915
Lycophontes Bruch 1910

Megasoma is a rhinoceros beetle genus. Commonly known as the elephant beetles, Megasoma species are found from the southern half of North America to most of South America.


Megasoma beetles are generally large in size (as indicated by the name, which is "large body" in Greek). As a group, the genus are some of the largest beetle species on the planet. However, there are minute species of this genus as well. The largest ones can be up to 135 mm, while small ones like Megasoma punctulatus can be around 20 mm.

Many Megasoma species (Megasoma elephas, Megasoma thersites, Megasoma gyas, Megasoma cedrosa, Megasoma anubis, Megasoma occidentalis, Megasoma joergenseni, Megasoma vogti) have thin microscopic hairs (setae) covering nearly their entire bodies, giving the appearance of being pale or orange.

Males of most species have large horns that they use to wrestle with other males. Females do not have horns.


Megasoma beetles usually drink tree sap or suck juice from fruit.

Behavior and Habitat[edit]

Megasoma are nocturnal and are attracted to lights. They usually stay in trees.

Species list[edit]

See also[edit]