>  Blog   >  Rainforest Friday: the Rhinoceros Beetle in Costa Rica

Some of my readers may be curious about how I spend my weekends here in the Costa Rican rainforest.

Well, said readers, today is your lucky day. I’m here to let you in on a steamy secret – my Friday nights sometimes involve beetles.

I should add that this secret is only steamy because it occurs in the jungle which is quite humid. And by beetles I don’t mean Paul, John, George, Ringo or anyone else associated with The Beatles.

Rhinoceros Beetle

I mean the insects that have six legs and crawl on the ground – the kind of beetles that make a former city slicker like me wonder why I thought it was such a good idea to move to the Costa Rican rainforest in the first place.

Let me introduce you to my date last Friday evening – Mr. Rhinoceros Beetle.

Rhinoceros Beetle

The Rhinoceros Beetle in Costa Rica

My date was quite fabulous. I was sitting in one of my favorite places in Costa Rica – the bar at Doce Lunas hotel in Playa Jacó – when one of my friends walked up with this beetle on his incredibly large shoe.

Rhinoceros Beetle

Don’t we make a cute couple? I wish I was joking. But this is the reality of my life here in Costa Rica. I sometimes spend Friday evenings with insects.

Have I sold you on this destination for your next holiday yet? Here, let me at least share a picture of alcohol so you will be more intrigued.


Well actually, beetles such as the rhinoceros beetle pictured with yours truly are quite interesting.

Rhinoceros Beetle

(c) Wikimedia

Did you know that the female rhinoceros beetle has no horns?

Or how about that rhinoceros beetles use their horns for fighting other males or for burying themselves?

I bet you really didn’t know that the rhinoceros beetle is the strongest beetle on the planet and can lift 850 times their body weight.

This is the largest beetle in Costa Rica. It is found in the rainforests and especially in Palo Verde National Park, Corcovado National Park, Tortuguero National Park, and Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge.

Wow. Look at that. Now you will have so many fun facts about rhinoceros beetles to share with whoever you are spending this Friday evening with. You’re welcome.

And don’t worry. Despite their looks, the rhinoceros beetle is actually completely harmless. Unless of course I decide to send one in the mail to you. Then I would lose a reader and it would hurt me. Truly.


  • February 25, 2015

    Hello Lauren,

    Thanks for sharing such lovely details about these wonderful beetles. We see them very frequently here in Cahuita too. My children love their soft shells–just like velvet.

    Keep the great Costa Rica stories coming,


  • Scott

    October 20, 2018

    Hey there, I have never seen a rhinoceros beetle the size of the one you are holding in the photo. As much as I love insects, one that size would scare the living crap out of please continue to post your adventures in Costa Rica

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