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Belonging to the scarab beetle family minus the penchant to devour human flesh like Brendan Fraser’s enemy beetles, the grant’s rhinoceros beetles are among the favorite pet insect in America. Grant’s rhinoceros beetles (Dynastes granti) have horn resembling that of rhinoceros, hence the name grant’s rhinoceros beetle. They’re the largest and the most beautiful beetles found in the United States, which the children can’t resist chasing during summer nights as the beetles head toward street lights.

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Do Grant’s Rhinoceros Beetles Make Good Pets

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If you’re not squeamish about a prickly-legged pet insect, then a grant’s rhinoceros beetle makes a very good pet. The beetle’s spotted elytra (the hard wing that covers the inner soft wing used for flying) resembles a Dalmatian sporting black spots on white coat. Grant’s rhinoceros beetles rarely bite, and if they do, the bite is not poisonous. They don’t mind being held unlike other pet insects that bite, kick, and squirm free from your hold. And although they can’t play catch with you, they’re an excellent flier. Children particularly love to watch their pet grant’s rhinoceros beetle fly toward an apple hanged from the ceiling. Just make sure the windows and the door are shut though.

Special Abilities of Grant’s Rhinoceros Beetles

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Pound per pound, beetles are the strongest animal in the world. And since grant’s rhinoceros beetles are the largest, you can boast that you have the strongest pet in your tank. Grant’s rhinoceros beetles can lift 850 times their own weight. (If you can lift this much weight, you can throw your car on the other side of the stream like a stone.) The male grant’s rhinoceros beetles fight over a female (which is hornless) using their long horns. It’s really fun to watch two males wrestling and trying to throw the other male using their horns. Don’t worry; the fight is not harmful for your pet insect.

Housing Grant’s Rhinoceros Beetles

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Grant’s rhinoceros beetles are fairly easy to house. For a single pet beetle, a 5-gallon tank with 4 inches loose soil substrate, rotten log, and some good size tree branch for climbing is perfect. Remember that grant’s rhinoceros beetles are excellent fliers, so place a tight but well ventilated mesh lid to contain your pet inset in. If you have close to 20 male and female pet beetles, a 20-gallon tank is ideal. You can breed your own rhinoceros beetles in this tank size too.

Feeding Grant’s Rhinoceros Beetles

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In the wild, grant’s rhinoceros beetles are mainly tree sap feeders. Don’t worry, though, because in your tank, your pet insect would suck on succulent, sweet fruit such as apples, pears, and watermelons. Slice the fruit to revel the succulent flesh in which your pet beetle can sink its jaws in. For a treat, reduce some maple syrup with water and place it in a shallow dish with a sponge in; your pet beetles can suck the syrup from the sponge. And if you want your grant’s rhinoceros beetles to remember what’s it like to look for food, hang some sliced sugar beet or apples from the ceiling and release a couple of your beetles to look for the treat themselves.

Where to Get Grant’s Rhinoceros Beetles

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If you live in counties in Arizona or New Mexico, you’re lucky because you can just catch some grant’s rhinoceros beetle in some clear summer night. They like to hover around bright light during the night, so you can just place a bright light in your porch to catch your pet insect. If you live in other states, you can visit exotic pet stores that sell pet insects to see if they have one available.

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