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Dynastes tityus

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Eastern Hercules beetle

Dynastes tityus, the eastern Hercules beetle, is a species of rhinoceros beetle that lives in the Eastern United States. The adult's elytra are green, gray or tan, with black markingsThe grubs feed on decaying wood from various trees.

The whole animal, including the male's horns, may reach 60 mm (2.4 in) in length. Adults of both sexes are 20–27 millimeters (0.8–1.1 in) wide, and males are 40–60 millimeters (1.6–2.4 in) long,

The elytra are greengray, or tan, usually with black mottling.The pattern of spots is unique to each individual. Beetles that are found in the soil or in rotten wood often appear very dark, with the spots on the elytra obscured. This results from moisture which the shell has absorbed; when the elytra dry out, they return to their paler color. Occasionally, both elytra may be a uniform mahoganycolor, or one elytron may be pale with dark blotches, while the other is a plain mahogany color.

D. tityus lives in the eastern and southeastern United States, from New York stateIllinois and Indiana, south to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, with eastern Texas marking the western limit of its range.

The larvae are large C-shaped grubs with white bodies and chewing mouthparts, which feed on decaying wood and litter within rotten trees and produce distinctive rectangular fecal pellets about 10 mm (0.39 in) long. After 12–18 months, the larva pupate in late summer. Adults remain underground through the winter, initially remaining in their pupal cell. They emerge in the summer and live for 3–6 months. The adults' diet is not well known but includes fruit and tree sap.

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