Top 10 Best Pet Beetle Species for Beginners (With Pictures)

Most people think about little garden dwellers when they hear the word beetle. However, they are amazing animals that come in a great variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Some of them make great pets, thanks to their amazing appearances and behaviors.

They’re very interesting to observe, and some can even be handled quite easily. If you’re new to the world of bug keeping, you might be wondering what the best beetle species are to start out with. You’re in luck because we’ve created a top 10 of the best beetle species for beginners!

All the species on this list are quite easy to care for, are harmless, and have something unique to offer. They’re very fun to observe and play with, so you can’t really go wrong choosing any of the entries on this list as your first insect. In fact, even experienced bug keepers are sure to find a specimen of interest on this list. Let’s dig in!


The Best Pet Beetle Species for Beginners

1. Rainbow Stag Beetle

CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common NameRainbow Stag Beetle
Scientific NamePhalacrognathus muelleri
TypeStag beetle
Size2.8 inches (7cm)
Lifespan12-18 months
Experience LevelBeginner

The Rainbow Stag Beetle is at the top of this list, thanks to its beautiful colors and cool appearance. It has all the menacing power of a stag beetle mixed with unique metallic colors in tones of green and yellow.

They’re powerful, easy to keep, and easy to breed. You can even take them out of their enclosures and handle them easily, making them ideal for children’s parties.

2. Atlas Beetle

Source: Flickr
Common NameAtlas Beetle
Scientific NameChalcosoma atlas
TypeRhinoceros beetle
Size5 inches (12.5cm)
Lifespan3+ Years
Experience LevelBeginner

The Atlas Beetle earned second place in our top thanks to their strength, powerful looks, and engaging behavior. The horns they use to fend off each other give them a menacing appearance. They’re also shiny and smooth, which adds appeal to their looks.

The factor that separates them from other rhinoceros beetles is their habit of redecorating their enclosures. For reasons yet to be discovered, these beetles throw and move around any rocks and decorations they find in their path, making them fun to look at.

3. Goliath Beetle

mf9000CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common NameGoliath Beetle
Scientific NameGoliathus goliatus
TypeGoliath Beetle
Size2-4.3 inches (5-11cm)
Lifespan6-12 Months
Experience LevelBeginner

Often considered the largest beetle in the world, the Goliath Beetle earns the number three spot thanks to its size, bulkiness, and amazing patterns. The Goliathus goliathus is the most famous out of the Goliath Beetles, but all five species are amazing and great additions to your collection. They’re also very safe to handle, and their mesmerizing brown, red, and white patterns will have you staring for hours.

4. Rainbow Dung Beetle

Sebastian EderCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common NameRainbow Dung Beetle
Scientific NamePhanaeus vindex
TypeScarab Beetle, Dung Beetle
Size½ to ⅞ inches long (1.27 to 2.22 cms).
Lifespan6 – 18 Months
Experience LevelBeginner

Dung Beetles are great at bringing balance and processing the resources of the ecosystems. They help enrich the soil and allow plants to grow strong and healthy. However, most people don’t consider them good pets because of their feeding habits; but that’s not a problem with RDBs. Except for breeding purposes, they’re happy eating the food you’d give to any other beetle. They’re also absolutely gorgeous and harmless, which makes them excellent pets.

5. Hercules Beetle

Muséum de ToulouseCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common NameHercules Beetle
Scientific NameDynastes Hercules
TypeRhinoceros beetle
Size7 inches (18cm)
Lifespan2-3 Years
Experience LevelBeginner

Falsely known as the strongest beetles in the world, the Hercules Beetle is one of the most popular pets you’ll find in the hobby. They’re bred for their strength and size, and hobbyists consider the biggest specimens a wonderful achievement.

They’re powerful, beautiful, and easy to care for, so no collection is complete until it holds one of these amazing insects.

6. Sun Beetle

Drägüs, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common NameSun Beetle
Scientific NamePachnoda marginata peregrine
TypeFlower Chafers
Size1 inch (2.5cm)
Lifespan5-10 Months
Experience LevelBeginner

A popular choice for children, thanks to their lively colors and daily habits, Sun Beetles are great pets that deserve a spot on this list. They’re easy to care for, beautiful, and harmless. They’re also small and agile, so they’re easy to handle without hurting them. 

7. Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle

Source: Flickr
Common NameJapanese Rhinoceros Beetle
Scientific NameAllomyrina dichotoma
TypeRhinoceros beetle
Size3 inches (8cm)
Lifespan16 Months
Experience LevelBeginner

We couldn’t help adding this Rhinoceros Beetle to our top ten. The JRB fulfills all the desirable traits you’d find in this type of beetle. Power, strength, and beauty are some of the reasons why people love having them as pets.

Hobbyists know that JRBs are special for their mating rituals. After fighting a rival male to get the chance to mate with a female, the male JRB will serenade the female to gain her favor. This romantic gesture happens every time they mate, even without the fight, so you’ll get the chance to hear your JRB sing.

8. Rose Chafer Beetle

I, Chrumps, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common NameRose Chafer Beetle
Scientific NameCetonia aurata
TypeFlower Chafers
Size0.8 inches (2cm)
Lifespan2 Years
Experience LevelBeginners

Rose Chafer Beetles need to be on this list thanks to their bright metallic colors. They’re easy to keep and handle, so they’re ideal pets for beginners. They also live up to two years, breed easily, and are very small and harmless, so it’s easy to consider them as pets for children.

9. Blue Death Feigning Beetle

Source: Flickr
Common NameBlue Death Feigning Beetle
Scientific NameAsbolus verrucosus
TypeDarkling Beetle
Size0.71-0.83 inches (1.8-2.1 cm)
Lifespan15+ Years
Experience LevelBeginner

This list wouldn’t be complete without a Darkling Beetle. Darkling Beetles are reliable, sturdy, and they have very long lifespans. Darkling Beetles are usually cherished for their easy-to-grow and nutritious larvae, but this particular species has become very popular as a pet.

The Blue Death Feigning Beetle became an excellent pet thanks to its particular blue color and how easy it is to keep. Hobbyists tend to keep them in enclosures with other desert species since they can usually live with other types of arthropods in peace. They also have a fun defense mechanism which is feigning death, so they’re interesting to keep around and handle.

10. Purple Beetle

Common NamePurple Beetle
Scientific NameChlorocala africana oertzeni
TypeFlower Chafers
Size0.8 inches (2cm)
Lifespan3-7 Months
Experience LevelIntermediate

Purple Beetles are beautiful Flower Chafer Beetles that deserve a spot on this list even if they’re new in the hobby. They’re at the bottom because there’s not enough information available, and they’re not easy to get. However, they display a beautiful purple that will mesmerize you for hours.

We only have them as intermediate because you’d need to know how to keep beetles before trying your luck with one of these beautiful insects; you can rest assured that, just like every other flower chafer, PBs are harmless.


Final Words

The beetle-keeping hobby is still in its early stages, and we’re sure many more species will be available in the future. However, we’re sure you won’t regret getting any of the specimens from our top ten. They’re amazing insects that will brighten your days once you learn how to care for them properly

Jesse A.