THE FIRST WEB SITE EXCLUSIVELY AND ENTERELY DEDICATED TO THE BEETLES OF THE GENUS GOLIATHUS
Goliathus goliatus, L. 1771
Goliathus goliatus is the first specimen of the genus that was described in 1771.
It was known, till some years ago, as goliathus giganteus.
It is the most widely distribuited specimen of the genus, occurring surely from Kenya to Togo.
In the upper photo is shown the typical form, with brown or black elytra that is common in the central and eastern part of equatorial africa (Congo, Rca, Uganda, Kenya).
G. goliatus is known for its large variability of colour.
In past there was a prosperous activity of description by some authors that seemed to delight themselves describing an absurd number of different forms depending by the number, or position of white patterns or stripes on elytra or protorax.
Of course, the temptation to do this is great, because all the lovers of these beetles are naturally induced to think that any different distribution of colour could reveal a different form .
In any case, we should seriously recognize no more than 3 forms: the typical form (brown elytra), the conspersus form (elytra more or less showing white patterns), and the quadrimaculatus form (with elytra almost totally white, showing only 2 apical and 2 scapular black spots).
Here we offer in any case all the pictures of any described form.
About the reason of this great variability of colour, there is not a clear answer.
Surely we can note that the withe forms occure more frequently in western part of the distribution area (Cameroon, Gabon), near the border of goliathus regius area distribution, that could mean that these two specimens could have crossed in past ant even now, giving intermediate forms.
For unknown reasons, females of g. goliatus are more frequently white coloured than males (this happens also in captive rearing experience), and in some countries like Cameroon, it gets difficult to find females that are completely brown.
About the size, g. goliatus can range from 50 mm to 110 mm, or at least this measure is the one commonly referred.
Males reaching 110 mm are, actually, an absolute rarity and I have newer seen one.
Males under 52-53 mm are also very rare in nature.
In my breeding experience, a male measuring only 48,6 mm emerged from one of my coccons, and it is shown here.
I do not think that in nature this can occur, because usually goliathus molt in pupa when the larva reach a certain weight, and the diet in nature is very rich of animal proteins. In captivity it may happen that a larva molts in pupa when the time is reached but not the weight .
Usually larvae do not molt in pupa if they do not reach , in captivuty, at least 25 grams and if this weight is newer reached, larva can get pupa but pupa normally do not survive;. the male shown here molted in pupa when the weight was only 19 grams and it got an adult measuring only 48,6 mm.
For what I know this is the smallest size for a male of goliathus goliatus.
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION.....