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Rhinoceros Beetle (Megasoma elephas), National Park Tortuguero, Costa Rica

The Rhinoceros Beetle lives in Costa Rica's lowland rainforest, in younger stages inside large fallen trees. The species can be found from southern Mexico down to northern Colombia and northern Venezuela. It is reported from the National Parks: Palo Verde National Park, Corcovado National Park, Tortuguero National Park, and Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. The rhino beetle is one of the strongest insects in the world with relation to its body size, and is the largest beetle within the country. The male is unmistakable with his massive size and long, intimidating horn that curves up. He has additional, shorter horns that project out from his head, but the long one is used for fighting. Females are smaller and do not have such a dramatically adorned head. The light to dark brown rhinoceros beetle can look almost velvety because it has fine, short hairs over the exoskeleton. This rhinoceros can fly short distances, although its heavy body makes it rather ungraceful in flight. Because many parts of tropical lowlands have been deforested, or at least overcut, the rhinoceros beetle is rare and struggling to survive.

Year: 2012

From album: Costa Rica - Model for Linking Tourism & Conservation

Photographer: Peter Prokosch

Tags: fauna

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