Distribution

Titanus giganteus is found in good quality tropical rainforest across parts of northern South America, especially:

  • north Brazil
  • the Guianas
  • Colombia

It has also been found in Ecuador and Peru.

Most specimens today come from French Guiana, and it was there that Sir David Attenborough filmed this spectacular insect for the BBC television series Life in the Undergrowth.

This giant beetle - one of the largest of all living insects - is restricted to the hot, wet, tropics, in areas more or less adjoining the equator.

The larvae of most prionine longhorns (the group to which it belongs) develop in dead subterranean wood, and Titanus is probably no exception. The larvae, which look like pieces of vacuum cleaner hose, are rather poorly known, but because of their huge size are assumed to need large chunks of buried wood, for example the root systems of vast decaying tropical hardwood trees.

Hence this insect is dependent on the continued existence of good quality forests with large trees.