What is a Scarab Beetle?
Other than carvings on Egyptian artifacts I had no clue what a Scarab Beetle was. I had to look it up. According to Dictionary.com :
- any scarbaeid beetle, especially Scarabaeus sacer, regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians
- a representation or image of a beetle, much used among the ancient Egyptions as a symbol, seal, amulet or the like.
- a gen cut to resemble a beetle.
Ah, so that settles it. My visitor was a Scarabaeus sacer. Except, I didn't know what that was either. So I had to look it up. The Scarabaeus sacer, otherwise known as a Mediterranean Dung Beetle. Aha! I've seen those on television shows on nature channels. Yes, Dung Beetles. Except this prettily painted beetle was not plain black in color. So I had to look some more.
More about the Eastern Hercules Beetle
Hercules Beetles are in the Scarabaeidae family, which include June Beetles, Japaneese Beetles, and Dung Beetles. There we go, I have had some up-close-and-personal experiences with Japaneese and June Beetles.
The Eastern Hercules Beetle is the largest. And my visitor was a male as evidenced by his horns. Mrs. Hercules has no horns and is a bit smaller. Mr. Hercules can grow to almost 2 1/2 inches long.
Their colors are varied. When I look at just his color (and ignore that face and those legs) I am mesmerized. It looks like some sort of beautiful water colored Rorschack test.
Their life span includes egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. I will not share any photos of the eggs, larvae, and pupae because I do not find them at all endearing. But the adult male - after a few minutes - I began to see him as pretty.
The good news is, they are not considered pests and can be found both in Maryland and in West Virginia. If I keep my eyes open, I may see another Eastern Hercules Beetle at some point.
Here are some children, some adorable children who are much more brave than I am. They were brave enough to hold their Mr. Hercules visitor in North Carolina:
I turned him over several times after moving him to the mulch, behind a shrub, and to the shade. And when I checked on him later I found him belly-up again. And when I checked on him even later. It is a good possibility that he's at the end of his life cycle since they live for less than 6 months as an adult.
After my initial fright, I am glad to have seen this interesting beetle. My interest in scarabs has grown and apparently I am only catching up with many people who like these beetles.
|A face only his momma can love|
Scarab and Beetle Gifts, Clothing, and Jewelry:
I was aware that Scarabs were a part of Egyptian art and the carved gems are used for jewelry. I've always loved ladybugs. But I had no idea how currently popular Scarab and beetle items are. And I MUST get the Book of Beetles: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred of Nature's Gems. If you are at all interested in beetles, you can see what this book has to offer in the "look inside" feature. I can see that my visitor is not the only strange beetle in existence.
|THE Book of Beetles|
|CowCow Women's Skater Dress - Beetles|
|Egyptian Sterling Silver Scarab Bracelet|