Hercules beetles are detritivores, which means they help keep habitats healthy by eating dead and decaying plant matter like rotting wood or fallen leaves.
Activity: Bug Hotel
Hercules beetles live in Central and South America, but you can help detritivores that live near you by creating a bug hotel.
Start with a clean empty can or jar, then roll pieces of paper into tubes with an opening just big enough to fit your finger into. Tape them so that they stay rolled up. Fill your jar or can with these tubes and cut them to be just long enough to reach the opening of the can/jar. You can add some dead leaves or pine cones to fill any gaps. Lay your can or jar on its side in a shady spot where you think bugs might need a safe resting place. Share your creations with us!
Tip: You can also create detrivore habitat simply by leaving leaf and brush piles in your lawn instead of cleaning them up!
Activity: Hercules strength
Hercules beetles are known for their super strength! They've been known to carry up to 850 times their own weight. To see how much that would be for you, weigh yourself and then multiply that by 850.
Now try some of these animal workout to boost your strength!
Bear crawl: Start on your hands and knees. Gently lift your knees a few inches off the ground. Move by crawling like a bear, keeping your back flat with your knees bent and close to the ground. Super strength challenge: hold up one arm or leg!
Crab walk: Sit on your bottom with your hands behind you and legs bent at the knees. Lift your bottom off the ground. Walk using your hands and feet, see how far you can go! Super strength challenge: balance something on your belly like a book!
Frog Jumps: Squat down with your hands on the ground. With your hands and feet, jump as high as possible. Try 10 of these in a row!
Caterpillar Crawl: Start by standing up. Bend forward and lower your hands to ground. Keep your feet stuck in one spot as you walk your hands out to a push-up plank. From there keep your hands stuck as you walk your feet up to your hands.
Seal Walk: Lay on your belly and use your hands to lift your chest off the ground. Pull yourself along using only your hands, dragging legs behind to build strength.