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Titanus giganteus

Titanus giganteus, Photo: Bruno P. Ramos

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Coleopterida
Ordo: Coleoptera
Subordo: Polyphaga
Infraordo: Cucujiformia
Cladus: Phytophaga
Superfamilia: Chrysomeloidea

Familia: Cerambycidae
Subfamilia: Prioninae
Tribus: Prionini
Genus: Titanus
Species: Titanus giganteus

Titanus giganteus (Linnaeus, 1771)

Type locality: French Guiana, Cayenne.


Cerambyx giganteus Linnaeus, 1771 (Original combination)
Prionus giganteus (Linnaeus, 1771)
Percnopterus giganteus (Linnaeus, 1771)

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1771. Mantissa Plantarum Altera. Generum Editionis VI et Specierum Editionis II. Holmiae [Stockholm]. pp. [6] + 143­–587, Appendix. BHL Reference page. : 531
Audinet-Serville, J.G. 1832. Nouvelle classification de la famille des Longicornes. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (1) 1: 118–201. BHL Reference page. : 134


Tavakilian, G. & Chevillotte, H.: Titanus giganteus. TITAN: Cerambycidae database. Reference page. Accessed 2020-11-18.

Vernacular names
беларуская: Дрывасек-тытан
čeština: Titán obrovský
Deutsch: Riesenbockkäfer
English: Titan beetle
suomi: Titaanijäärä
français: Le Titan
magyar: Óriáscincér
日本語: タイタンオオウスバカミキリ
русский: Дровосек-титан

The titan beetle (Titanus giganteus) is a Neotropical longhorn beetle, the sole species in the genus Titanus, and one of the largest known beetles.


The titan beetle is one of the largest beetles, with the largest reliable measured specimen being 16.7 cm (6.6 in) in length,[1] comparable to such beetles as Xixuthrus heros (15 cm (5.9 in)) and the Hercules beetle, Dynastes hercules, in which giant males occasionally can grow up to 17.5 cm (6.9 in),[2] but the Hercules beetle males have an enormous horn on the pronotum or thorax making up around half of its total length. As such, the body of the Titan beetle is considerably larger than that of the Hercules beetles. The short, curved and sharp mandibles are known to snap pencils in half and cut into human flesh.[3] Adult titan beetles do not feed, searching instead for mates via pheromones while in flight.[4]

The larvae have never been found, but are thought to feed inside wood and may take several years to reach full size before they pupate. These beetles are also thought to feed on decaying wood below the ground. Boreholes thought to be created by titan beetle larvae seem to fit a grub over two inches wide and perhaps as much as one foot long. A famous "life-sized" photograph of a putative larva of this beetle appeared in National Geographic magazine, filling an entire page,[3] but it turned out to be of a different species of beetle, possibly Macrodontia cervicornis.

The adults defend themselves by hissing in warning and biting, and have sharp spines, as well as strong jaws.[3]

It is known from the rain forests of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, the Guianas, and north-central Brazil.

See also

List of largest insects


Williams, David M. (2001). "Chapter 30: Largest". In Walker, T.J (ed.). University of Florida Book of Insect Records.
Ratcliffe BC, Cave RD. 2015. The dynastine scarab beetles of the West Indies (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Dynastinae). Bulletin of the University of Nebraska State Museum 28: l-346.
Zahl, P. A. (1959): Giant insects of the Amazon. Natl. Geogr. Mag. 115 (5): 632-669.
"Titan Beetle". Smithsonian. May 31, 2011.

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