truly spectacular beetles are commonly known as a
RAINBOW STAG BEETLES and
they originate in the rainforests of north-eastern
Queensland in Australia, although these were bred by a friend of mine in the UK.
These photographs do not even come close to
capturing the true colours and beauty of these beetles
and they really do need to be seen to be believed!
Depending on the angle and lighting by which you
view these beetles they appear to change colour and
truly do seem to shine with all the colours of the
rainbow, with these colours looking more like
metallic paint than the sorts of colours you would
expect to find on a living thing!
beetle is much larger than the female and only he
has the impressive mandibles or 'antlers' which you
can see in these pictures. The males use
them for fighting, with each beetle trying to get them
underneath their opponent so that they can use them
to turn their opponent over onto their back.
It is not unusual for them to throw each other into
the air using them as they are very strong indeed
for their size! Here are some pictures of the
just the male:
Whilst the female does not
have the huge antlers of the male she does still
have a small pair of mandibles and is very beautiful
as you can see in the pictures below:
All beetles start their
life cycle as a larva, or grub, and in the
case of the world's largest beetle species these grubs can
get to a very large size before pupation.
Most grubs start off in life very small as you can see in
the picture below:
Their growth rate can be
incredibly rapid, and as an example the pictures
below show grubs of the same species of beetle at just
a few months apart!
As you can see in the
picture above, many grubs have very sharp jaws
which they use to chew through the rotten wood in
which they live and on which they feed. They
can bite quite hard if they feel threatened and for
this reason larger ones need to be handled very carefully!
The grub pictured below is
one of the largest I have kept so far, and belongs
to a very large species called the elephant beetle
which comes from southern Mexico and central