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Meet world’s largest beetles outside the Brazilian rainforest in the UAE

The Giant Long-horned Beetle. They grow up to 12 centimeters long, have 5cm antennae, strong legs, and mandibles that can draw blood. Some of them have antennae longer than their own body. One of the largest beetles in the world, Giant Long-horned Beetles are exclusively associated with ghaf woodlands, or desert trees common in the Emirates (Ghaf trees are known for their long roots, which stretch between 30 and 60 meters). It is here, underground, that the beetles grow as larvae for up to five years, feeding on the roots. When they emerge from the ground, the beetles are already full size. They never feed. Instead, the giants live off the fat and nutrients they built up underground. The males outnumber females by six to one and spend their adult life in a hole at the base of a ghaf tree. Females emerge from underground, mate, lay eggs and die.

The giant beetles grow, live and die in the shade of a desert tree.

 

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