Largest insects in the world


Goliath beetle

photo: A. Jaszlics

Goliath Beetle

A resident of African tropical forests, the goliath beetle is the largest and heaviest beetle crawling around the undergrowth today.

How big can it get?

The goliath beetle is known to reach lengths of 115 millimetres (4.5 inches) and weights of 100 grams (3.5 ounces). A package intercepted by U.S. officials in 2008 was said to contain specimens that may have been even bigger.  But to get a better idea or how big it is, just check out the video!




What does it eat?

It’s keen on nectar and tree sap as well as enjoying a spot of fruit, rotten or otherwise. It also loves dining out on animal faeces found on the rainforest floor. Yum!


How does it eat?

The Goliath beetle can pick its food directly off of the floor or, despite its size, can fly, making it easy to take sap from the branches of trees or gnawing on a piece of tree-hanging fruit.


How dangerous is it?

Despite its hugeness, it’s pretty harmless. In fact, in some ancient cultures this beetle, which is a subspecies of the Scarab beetle, would have been revered by people.


How many are left?

Population levels are considered stable at the moment.


Anything else?

As well as being big, it is also tough and has a set of additional wings (known as elytra) that act as armour for its flying wings. Each beetle features a unique design on its back that resembles warrior face-paint, whilst males are equipped with a horn to fend off rivals and predators.


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