The species was first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1771.
When they first see it, many people think that Titanus giganteus looks like an enormous cockroach, because of its:
Nothing could be further from the truth. Titanus is a true beetle, belonging to a group called the holometabolous insects - insects which have a distinct larval and pupal stage in their development. The group also includes:
In contrast, a cockroach is a hemimetabolous insect - immature forms look, and live, like miniature versions of the adults. Other hemimetabolous insects include:
The 2 groups are only distantly related and they separated hundreds of millions of years ago. Any resemblance that this giant beetle has to a cockroach is entirely superficial, probably because both insects evolved in similar environments, pushing through tropical forest leaf-litter.
Unlike Titanus though, some cockroaches have also adapted to live in our houses!