All About the Atlas Beetle: The Powerful Beetle

All About the Atlas Beetle

Photo: atosan via Getty Images

The Atlas Beetle (Chalcosoma atlas) is a large, striking insect found in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia. The Atlas Beetle is named after the Greek mythological figure Atlas, who was forced to hold the sky for eternity. Atlas Beetles is very strong. Despite their small size to human eyes, their strength lies within their horns. Atlas Beetles is known to lift more than a whopping 850 times their body weight.

This article will explore The Atlas Beetle in detail; we will look at their description and appearance, diet, reproduction, distribution & habitat, and other interesting facts about them.

Let's get started!

Description and Appearance

All About the Atlas Beetle

Photo: feathercollector via Getty Images

The male atlases are much larger than their female counterparts. They don't have any horns, and their legs also happen to be a lot shorter! 

The body of an Atlas Beetle ranges from dark brown up to beautiful metallic green colors with wide rounded shapes.

The male Atlas Beetle has two prominent upper cephalic horns that curve outwards in a U form. It also has a third equally long lower horn that curves upwards. The male Atlas Beetle resembles a spider due to its lengthy appendices. Minor males with significantly shorter horns and legs exist as well. They're generally smaller than other males.

The large, intimidating-looking Rhinoceros Beetles are among the largest Rhinoceros Beetle species. The male sizes range from 2 inches to 4-inch extremes, with an average being about 3 inches long for both minor and major species within this group.

Females are significantly smaller than males, measuring 0.98–2.36 inches long on average. The bugs don't reach their full length until after pupation before they molt for the final time.

Atlas Beetles weigh about 3.5 ounces on average. Their size and sex, however, have an impact on their weight. Did you know that the Atlas Beetle is the planet's strongest creature regarding body size? Its thick horns and robust build enable it to carry weight 100 times its body size.

These beetles always fight during the mating season to try and win the chance to mate with a female. The horns on their head are used as weapons in these battles.

Even though they fight, you can have your own Atlas Beetle Soft Stuffed Plush Toy from Gage Beasley's, which won't threaten you.

Gage Beasley's Atlas Beetle Soft Stuffed Plush Toy


Atlas Beetles is herbivorous, feeding on various leaves, flowers, and fruit.

In Malaysian jungles, for example, Atlas Beetles can be seen clinging to branches while feeding on the leaves of trees. They are also known to feed on the sap of trees.

The larvae feed mainly on rotting wood but have also been known to eat other insects.

The Atlas Beetle is an unusual creature. For one, their diet consists mostly of fruit, including figs. Also, instead of having wings like most beetles, their back is adorned with a hard shell.


Male Atlas Beetles uses their horns to fight other males for the chance to mate with a female. The victor gets to mate with the female and then guards her until she lays her eggs. 

Females lay their eggs in rotting logs or under bark on trees. The eggs hatch after about two weeks, and the larvae feed on rotting wood. They will pupate and metamorphose into adult beetle after about two months.

The larvae are known for their aggressive behavior, biting anything that comes too close, including people's fingers.

The Atlas Beetle has a lifespan of about one year. They are beautiful creatures that are often admired by many. Though their life is relatively short, they make the most of it and enjoy every moment.

Distribution and Habitat

The Atlas Beetle is found in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia. They are also found in parts of Indonesia and the Philippines.

Atlas Beetles lives in tropical rainforests, where they cling to tree branches while feeding on leaves. The adults can also be found feeding on fruit trees.

They are also known to live in secondary forests and plantations. 


All About the Atlas Beetle

Photo: feathercollector via Getty Images

There is no conservation status assigned to the Atlas Beetle, but they are not considered threatened.

They are easily found in Malaysian forests, and their populations appear to be stable.

The Atlas Beetle is not considered at risk of extinction, and there is no need for any specific conservation measures.

However, it is always important to protect the habitats of many species, so if you are lucky enough to spot an Atlas Beetle, please do your best to leave the area as you found it. 

Other Interesting Facts

  • There is only a few thousand Atlas Beetles in the world
  • The larvae can kill each other for space and food
  • They love humans because they give them food
  • Adults are harmless to humans, but larvae can bite
  • The Atlas Beetle is the planet's strongest creature regarding body size.
  • Humans love them as pets because they are so big and look cool.

Final Thoughts

The Atlas Beetle is a fascinating creature known for its large size, robust build, and intimidating horns. These beetles are herbivores and feed on various leaves, flowers, and fruit. The males use their horns to fight for territory and mates, and the females use their horns to protect their young.

Despite its size and intimidating features, the Atlas Beetle is a gentle creature that all can enjoy. They make interesting pets and are sure to fascinate anyone who sees them.



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