Elephant Beetle - Costa Rica | ©Laura Gosling
Megasoma elephas (Coleoptera - Scarabaeidae - Dynastinae) is one of the giants of the insect world. It is a large and distinctive tropical beetle known from southern Texas, southern Mexico, Central America, and South America.
The most distinctive feature of this beetle is what gives it its name, the long rhinoceros-like and upward-curving horn that males have. This horn has a furry covering and it splits into two at the tip. In addition to the long horn on the head, the pronotum of the male elephant beetle bears a smaller, central horn and a triangular horn on each side. The female elephant beetle is distinguished from the male by its lack of horns
This beetle ranges in size between 7–12 cm (2.75-4.75 in); males are sometimes even bigger .
Curious fact: the Elephant beetle is one of the species that has been used in military application experiments conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and sponsored by the Pentagon (US), for implanting radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating power systems and remotely control the flight of the insect, creating the prototype called "cyborg beetle" which may serve as useful models for “micro air vehicles”