Home / Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae) / Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle (Allomyrina dichotoma)

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle (Allomyrina dichotoma)

Japanese rhinoceros beetle of the scarab beetles family is primarily indigenous to Japan, Taiwan, China, and Korea. They have eight subspecies, some of them being Allomyrina dichotoma dichotoma and Allomyrina dichotoma septentrionalis. It is alternately called kabutomushi, with ‘mushi’ meaning insect in Japan and kabuto translating to ‘helmet’.

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Scarabaeidae
  • Genus: Allomyrina
  • Scientific name: Allomyrina dichotoma

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: Males – 40 to 80 mm (1.57 – 3.14 inches); Females – 40 to 60 mm (1.57 – 2.36 inches)

Color: They may vary from reddish to dark brown, with the lower part of their body appearing black, besides red and white eyes.

Other Characteristic Features: The males of this species have a lean body, long horn in the shape of ‘y’ that they mostly use during mating and demarcating their territories. Their female counterparts have a chubbier appearance with shorter horns alongside a bump on the head. They even look hairier than the males preventing the humus from sticking on their body while laying eggs.

Allomyrina dichotoma

Larva

The larvae are large with a pale white body that produces wriggling movements.

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The larva makes small chambers in their dwellings where the pupal phase begins.

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle Pupa

Egg

The eggs are laid on the ground, attaining a round or oval shape.

Quick Facts

Other NamesJapanese horned beetle, kabutomushi
Adult lifespanApproximately 4 months
Duration of larval stage8 – 12 days
DistributionJapan particularly in the Okinawa, Honshu, and Kyushu islands, eastern China, Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan
HabitatBroad-leaved forests and mountainous regions
Seasons active fromJune – August
Diet of larvae and adultsLarvae: Decayed plant matter Adults: Sap, nectar, and fruits of host plants
Japanese Horned Beetle

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Like most other rhinoceros beetles, the Japanese rhinoceros beetle also harms plants by skeletonizing their leaves. However, the extent of the damage caused by them is unknown.

Did You Know

  • They have a prominent place in Japanese culture, mostly seen in films, advertisements, and animes.
  • In Japan, these beetles are popular as pets, sold between 500 and 1000 yen, preferred mainly by children.
  • They are mostly used in gambling, with two male beetles placed on logs attempting to push each other. The one who remains on the log emerges as the winner.
Kabutomushi

Image Source: goodricha.weebly.com, abrowntks.weebly.com, abrowntks.weebly.com, scontent.fccu2-1.fna.fbcdn.net, factsjustforkids.com, files.tofugu.com

Japanese rhinoceros beetle of the scarab beetles family is primarily indigenous to Japan, Taiwan, China, and Korea. They have eight subspecies, some of them being Allomyrina dichotoma dichotoma and Allomyrina dichotoma septentrionalis. It is alternately called kabutomushi, with ‘mushi’ meaning insect in Japan and kabuto translating to ‘helmet’.

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: Males – 40 to 80 mm (1.57 – 3.14 inches); Females – 40 to 60 mm (1.57 – 2.36 inches)

Color: They may vary from reddish to dark brown, with the lower part of their body appearing black, besides red and white eyes.

Other Characteristic Features: The males of this species have a lean body, long horn in the shape of ‘y’ that they mostly use during mating and demarcating their territories. Their female counterparts have a chubbier appearance with shorter horns alongside a bump on the head. They even look hairier than the males preventing the humus from sticking on their body while laying eggs.

Allomyrina dichotoma

Larva

The larvae are large with a pale white body that produces wriggling movements.

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The larva makes small chambers in their dwellings where the pupal phase begins.

Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle Pupa

Egg

The eggs are laid on the ground, attaining a round or oval shape.

Quick Facts

Other NamesJapanese horned beetle, kabutomushi
Adult lifespanApproximately 4 months
Duration of larval stage8 – 12 days
DistributionJapan particularly in the Okinawa, Honshu, and Kyushu islands, eastern China, Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan
HabitatBroad-leaved forests and mountainous regions
Seasons active fromJune – August
Diet of larvae and adultsLarvae: Decayed plant matter Adults: Sap, nectar, and fruits of host plants
Japanese Horned Beetle

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Like most other rhinoceros beetles, the Japanese rhinoceros beetle also harms plants by skeletonizing their leaves. However, the extent of the damage caused by them is unknown.

Did You Know

  • They have a prominent place in Japanese culture, mostly seen in films, advertisements, and animes.
  • In Japan, these beetles are popular as pets, sold between 500 and 1000 yen, preferred mainly by children.
  • They are mostly used in gambling, with two male beetles placed on logs attempting to push each other. The one who remains on the log emerges as the winner.
Kabutomushi

Image Source: goodricha.weebly.com, abrowntks.weebly.com, abrowntks.weebly.com, scontent.fccu2-1.fna.fbcdn.net, factsjustforkids.com, files.tofugu.com

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