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........Megasoma elephas (Fabricius, 1775)
........syn. Scarabaeus elephas Fabricius, 1775
........syn. Megasoma mexicanum Fischer, 1968
........syn. Megasoma elephas iijimai Nagai, 2003

Megasoma elephas (Fabricius, 1775)
male, dorsal view
Megasoma elephas (Fabricius, 1775)
female, dorsal view

male, lateral view

female, lateral view
Photos by Matthew R. Moore

Distribution: Southern Mexico to Venezuela.
Diagnosis: Males with elytra and pronoutm veluntinous; females with elytra velutinous. Males with anterior tibiae arcuate. Anterior angles of pronotum produced into antero-laterally projecting horns. Apices of anterior angles (horns) of pronotum not curving inward. Females with pronotum rugose. Scutellum at base rugose. Pronotum without longitudinal, posteromedian carina.
Biological Data: Megasoma elephas is found in tropical evergreen and deciduous forests at elevations between 0-1000 m. Adult M. elephas are known to feed on the sap of “machiche” (Lonchocarpus castilloi Standl., Fabaceae) (Ratcliffe 2005) and “tangerine” (Citrus nobillis Lour., Rutaceae). During the night, adults cut a twig using both foretibiae crossed as scissors and feed on the sap flows (Ratcliffe 2005). Larvae of M. elephas have been collected in the trunks of fallen and standing “jobo” (Spondias mombin L., Anacardiaceae) and Cedrela mexicana Roem. (Maliaceae) (Ratcliffe 2005). Males and females are attracted to lights between 2100 and 2300 h, and most commonly fly when relative humidity nears 98-100% and the temperature is 20.5-22°C (Morón 1979).
Temporal Distribution: September to January (Morón 1979).
Larvae: Ratcliffe and Morón (2005) described the male and female pupae and the first, second, and third instar larvae.

Morón, M.A. 1979. Fauna de coleópteros lamelicornios de la Estación de Biología Tropical, “Los Tuxtlas”, Veracruz, UNAM, México. Anales del Instituto Biología de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México 50(Series Zoología, 1): 375-454.

Ratcliffe, B.C. and M.A. Morón. 2005. Larval descriptions of eight species of Megasoma Kirby (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae) with a key for identification and notes on biology. Coleopterists Bulletin 59: 91-126.



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Author: Matthew R. Moore
Generated on:
22/JAN/2007 .....Last modified: 22/JAN/2007
University of Nebraska State Museum - Division of Entomology