The rhinoceros beetle, so-named due to its large recurving horn, is a well-known sight in gardens and on farms in Africa.
Beetles are insects that belong to the order ‘Coleoptera’. Insects belonging to this order have front wings that are hard and are used as a protective cover both for their second pair of wings and their soft abdomens. Rhino beetles are strong flyers but many other beetles have lost the ability to fly and the front wings are joined together and form a hard protective cover.
All beetles pass through four stages: from eggs, to larvae, to pupae to adult beetles. Rhino beetle females lay their eggs in manure (particularly horse manure) or compost, both of which provide nourishment and shelter to the large, c-shaped white larvae as they grow to maturity.
The mouthparts of adult rhino beetles are adapted for chewing and biting. They are often found burrowing into the growing crowns of palms to feed on the young leaves. They are nocturnal and often attracted to lights, such as porch and streetlights.