July 19, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Alien beetle invasion?

Jacqueline and I went for a country drive after dinner last evening, and stopped at the home of a friend who showed us this frighteningly weird (but dead) beetle. It was still alive when they caught it. At over two inches in length, it appears to be a Dynastes tityus, a.k.a. Eastern Hercules beetle, which is part of the Rhinoceros beetle family; see goliathus.com and Wikipedia. Most of those species are native to Central and South America, but this one is found throughout the southeastern USA -- not an "alien invader."

Hercules beetle

NOTE: This photo has been retouched.