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Seven-inch long beetle can snap wooden pencil with jaws

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 23rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Titanus giganteus, the world's largest beetle - capable of growing up to seven inches in length, is one of the most mysterious creatures on Earth. More commonly known as the Titan beetle, it can grow up to seven inches long and snap a wooden pencil in two with its jaws.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Oddity Central assures everyone that the fearsome insect is entirely harmless to humans. Hiding out in South America's humid tropical rainforests, the male of the species only ventures out to find a mate.

The larvae of the giant insect has never been discovered. Scientists believe that the grubs are two inches in diameter and grow up to be a foot long.

Judging by large boreholes found in dead trees, scientists believe the grubs feed on decaying wood underground for several years before they are fully grown.

From the reserves gathered in its pupa stage, the energy is used to fly just long enough to find a mate. The beetle is so large that it does not have enough energy to fly from the ground. The beetle must climb trees and launch itself from a branch before it actually takes to the air.

Females wait for the males to find them and fertilize their eggs and as a consequence are very rarely seen.

When threatened, the beetles defend themselves by hissing in warning and then use their huge jaws to bite attackers.

The Titan beetle boasts strong legs and sharp claws that can tear animal and human flesh, but don't attack unless provoked.

Residing in the rainforests of Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, the Guineas and Peru, natives sometimes attempt to catch them after dark with bright lights.

Some tourists pay top dollar to attempt to see the insect in its natural habitat. The creature is a brilliant example of a successful eco-tourism initiative.

The largest Titan beetle ever discovered was over six inches long and was found in French Guyana.

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