"Just how big can the Hercules beetle get?" is a question asked by many. Sources from all over the world--let it be encyclopedias, books, or websites--say it can grow to over 18 cm. 20 cm pops up here and there. The most exaggerated number I have seen is 25 cm. These numbers are unwarranted. I have studied Dynastes hercules for 16 years, and the biggest real specimen I have seen with my own eyes measures 16.1 cm from tip of thoracic horn to end of elytra. Specimens in the 17 cm class definitely exist. However, it is highly unlikely that the average beetle enthusiast ever gets to see one in his or her lifetime.

    「長戟大兜蟲究竟可以長多大?」是很多人問的問題。世界各地的資料不管是百科全書、書籍,或是網頁—都說長戟可以超過18 cm。三五時會看到20 cm。我看過最誇張的數字是25 cm。以上的數字都是沒有依據的。我研究長戟16年,而我親眼看過最大隻的個體的角鞘量法是16.1 cm。17 cm的個體絕對存在。但是,一般人幾乎一輩子都不會看到一隻。

    When it comes to Dynastes hercules, 12 cm is common. 13 cm is slightly big. 14 cm is big. 15 cm is exceptionally big. 16 cm is monstrously big. 17 cm is almost out of this world. 18 cm is almost certainly out of this world.

    以長戟大兜蟲而言,12 cm算普通。13 cm算有點大。14 cm算大15 cm算很大。16 cm算超大17 cm算超特大18 cm很可能不存在。

    I have 4 individuals in the 16 cm class. Here they are:

    我有416 cm級的長戟,如下:

Above is a Dynastes hercules hercules from year 2010.

Above is a Dynastes hercules hercules from year 2011.

Above is a Dynastes hercules lichyi from year 1999.

Above is a Dynastes hercules lichyi from year 2008.

    Of the 12 known subspecies of Dynastes hercules, DHH and DHL are known to exceed 17 cm. D. h. ecuatorianus is known to exceed 16 cm. D. h. septentrionalis, D. h. occidentalis, D. h. trinidadensis, and D. h. bleuzeni are known to exceed 15 cm. D. h. morishimai, D. h. takakuwai, and D. h. paschoali are known to exceed 14 cm. D. h. reidi is known to exceed 10 cm. No specimens other than the holotype and paratype of D. h. tuxtlaensis have been collected. The holotype measured 8 cm.

    在已知的12亞種當中,就目前的數據而言 (不代表以後沒機會再突破)DHHDHL可以超過17 cmDHE可以超過16 cmDHS, DHO, DHTrinidadensis, DHB可以超過15 cmDHM, DHTakakuwai, DHP可以超過14 cmDHR可以超過10 cmDHTuxtlaensis目前只有採集到兩隻個體。正模式標本是8 cm

    The world's largest verifiable Dynastes hercules hercules belongs to Mr. Kenji Yoshida of Japan. This specimen was collected over 80 years ago. It is for sale. Mr. Yoshida is asking for 3,800,000 Yen, which is about 38,000 US Dollars. Here is a picture of it: