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Dynastes MacLeay, 1819
syn. Theogenes Burmeister, 1847

Dynastes hercules (L.)
photo by
Matthew R. Moore


Distribution of Dynastes species.
Family........... Subfamily......


Dynastinae Taxa Map

Dynastinae key

Dynastini key
Pentodontini key

Distribution: Nearctic and Neotropical realms. Nearctic species found in the southwestern, southeastern, and eastern regions of the United States. Neotropical species range from central Mexico south to Bolivia.


Description: Clypeal apex narrowly rounded, bidentate or emarginate. Elytra greenish-gray or black, mottled with dark spots in most species. Pronotum at middle in males produced into long, forward projecting horn with fringe of tawny setae beneath. Pronotum in females lacking horn.


Temporal Distribution: Adults are usually collected at night at lights. Adults can also be observed in flight and feeding during the day.


Biological Data: Dynastes species have a two to three year life cycle. Females oviposit in rotting stumps and fallen trees. The larvae feed on decaying wood. Adults are frugivores, and some have been observed eating tree sap.


Larvae: The larvae of Dynastes satanus and Dynastes maya are not described. Decscriptions of the other third instar larvae are given by:

Morón, M. 1987. Los estados inmaduros de Dynastes hyllus Chevrolat (Coleoptera: Melolonthidae: Dynastinae); con observaciones sobre su biologia el crecimiento alometrico del imago. Folia Entomologica Mexicana No. 72: 33-74.

Onore, G. and M. Morón. 2004. Dynastes neptunus Quensel (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae); Descriptions of the third instar larva and pupa, with notes on biology. Coleopterists Bulletin 58(1): 103-110.

Ratcliffe, B.C. 2003. The dynastine scarab beetles of Costa Rica and Panama (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Bulletin of the University of Nebraska State Museum 16: 1-506.

Ritcher, P.O. 1966. White Grubs and Their Allies. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OR. 219 pp.


Revision or Synopsis:
Endrödi, S. 1976. Monographie der Dynastinae (Coleoptera) 6. Tribus: Dynastini. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 22: 217-269.

Endrödi, S. 1985. The Dynastinae of the World. Series Entomologica, Volume 28, W. Junk, Dordrecht. 800 pp., 46 plates.

Lachaume, G. 1985. Dynastini 1: Dynastes - Megasoma - Golofa. Les Coleopteres du Monde 5. Sciences Nat, Venette, France. 85 pp, 29 plates.

Ratcliffe, B.C. 2003. The dynastine scarab beetles of Costa Rica and Panama (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Bulletin of the University of Nebraska State Museum 16: 1-506.

Ratcliffe, B.C. and R.D. Cave. 2006. The dynastine scarab beetles of Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Bulletin of the University of Nebraska State Museum 21: 1-424.


Composition: The genus Dynastes contains eight species: D. granti Horn, 1870; D. hercules (Linnaeus, 1758); D. hyllus Chevrolat 1843; D. maya Hardy, 2003; D. miyashitai Yamaya, 2004 (incertae sedis); D. neptunus (Quensel, 1817); D. satanus Moser, 1909; and D. tityus (Linnaeus, 1763).

Species profiles: (click on species names)

Dynastes hercules (Linnaeus, 1758)
Dynastes hyllus Chevrolat, 1843
Dynastes maya Hardy, 2003
Dynastes miyashitai Yamaya, 2004
Dynastes grantii Horn, 1870
Dynastes tityus (Linnaeus, 1763)
Dynastes neptunus (Quensel, 1817)
Dynastes satanus Moser, 1909

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Author: Matthew R. Moore
Generated on:
30/JUN/06.....Last modified: 6/JUL/06
University of Nebraska State Museum - Division of Entomology