Giant beetle discovery is a Florida first

FORT MYERS, Fla. – It may look like a scary bug, but actually it is making history. The first ever Hercules Beetle found in the State of Florida.

The insect is native to Central and South America. Travis Williamson, the man who found it, said he was walking at night down the side of Del Prado Blvd in North Fort Myers when he found the beetle. 

He posted it online to find out that it was one the first documented cases of the insect being found in Florida. 

“I was just walking around, shining in some trees, just trying to see what I can find.” Williamson said. “I just caught it off the side view on the ground. I said no way. It had to be fake, it can’t be real. I know we ain’t got these.”

The species is called Dynastes Hercules, and is one of the largest flying insects on earth. The one found is male, based on its horns.

“One of the insect ID groups on Facebook. A couple buddies I know are in college for Biology. They were all freaking out. They couldn’t believe I found it.” he said.

Even though it was dead, the side of Del Prado is far from the Jungles of Central and South America, where this bug calls home. 
So how did it get here? 

Both FWC and an Insect Expert from FGCU say it’s unlikely that it was born in the wild, and was probably an escaped pet. Hercules Beetles are common in the pet trade, and they don’t do well in temperatures below 65 degrees. 

“Where it was found, it was more set back, more rural. Not a whole lot of houses back there. But they do fly, so it could have flown in from the surrounding neighborhood or something.” Williamson said. 

But for now, where this bug came from remains a mystery.