A Goliath Beetle (Goliathus) on hand, wings open

A Goliath Beetle (Goliathus) on hand, wings open

Goliath beetles, like almost all other beetles, possess a reinforced first pair of wings (called elytra) which act as protective covers for their secondary pair of wings and abdomen. Only the second pair of wings (which are large and membranous) are actually used for flying. When not in use, they are kept completely folded beneath the elytra. Each of the beetle’s legs ends in a pair of sharp claws, which provide a strong grip useful for climbing on tree trunks and branches. Males have a Y-shaped horn on the head which is used as a pry bar in battles with other males over feeding sites or mates. Females are without a horn, and instead have a wedge-shaped head which assists in burrowing when they lay eggs.

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