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Satanas Beetle - Dynastes satanas
Topic Started: Aug 14 2012, 02:35 PM (2,341 Views)
linnaeus1758
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Satanas Beetle - Dynastes satanas

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Subfamily: Dynastinae
Genus: Dynastes
Species: Dynastes satanas

Dynastes satanas is a species of beetle, described from Bolivian specimens by the entomologist Julius Moser in 1909.
Can grow up to 115 mm long.

The male beetle has large horns, and commands high prices from collectors.
Because of collecting and habitat loss it is protected in its home country, Bolivia, and has recently been placed on Appendix II of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

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Distribution and habitat
Dynastes satanas is found only in moist forest areas in Bolivia, at between 900 and 2000 metres and is confined to the moist forests in the Departments of La Paz and Cochabamba. Even here, it is restricted to altitudes between 900 and 2000 metres, where the rainfall is between 1500 to 6000mm a year, and the temperature goes no lower than 7 degrees and no higher than 24ºC.

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Biology
Satanas beetles take 2 years to mature. Females lay 25 - 40 eggs, which hatch after approximately two months. After hatching, there are 3 larval stages that last 1.5--2 years, then a pupal stage which lasts about 2 months before the adult emerges. The adult can live approximately 9 months in captivity, but it is not known how long they live in the wild. The larvae feed on dead tree trunks acting as decomposers, while the adults probably feed on sap, nectar or fruit.

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Description
Adult males are black and glossy and their elytra are very finely pitted. Their most dramatic feature is a large “horn” arising from the pronotum, the underside of which is thickly covered in thick yellow-gold hairs. Another horn arises from the head, and males use these horns in combat over females. In contrast females do not have a thoracic horn and are much less shiny.

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Conservation
Dynastes satanas was listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March 2010, and is protected in Bolivia, its home country. The species is threatened in the wild by agriculture - expanding fruit and coca plantations, and the burning of grasslands, are causing habitat loss. Specimens have also been sold for high prices to collectors and people who use them as fighting animals.

Edited by linnaeus1758, Sep 11 2014, 02:13 PM.
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