Did You Know the World’s Largest Beetle Calls Colorado Home?
Bug enthusiasts might be intrigued to know that the world's largest beetle can be found in Colorado — sort of.
It may be the biggest beetle ever, but fortunately, this massive insect is in the form of a statue that stands proudly in front of the family-owned May Natural History Museum.
Fondly named Herkimer, the statue is a male specimen replica of the world’s largest beetle, Dynastes Hercules. The real Hercules beetles (thankfully) live far away from Colorado in the West Indies. Although they are the biggest beetles on earth, they only get to be 8 inches long, not 10x16 feet like Herkimer.
The statue of Herkimer has been the trademark of the May Museum since 1952. John May, the owner of the entomology museum built the beetle himself in 1949.
At first, the giant beetle was part of the traveling May Tropical Exhibition and was housed in Florida during that time. When that exhibit closed in 1963, Herkimer was transported back to Colorado Springs, where he's now stood for more than 60 years.
The beetle has unfortunately been vandalized with graffiti throughout its life in Colorado. Another time, thieves took off with the Herkimer's legs. Because of those incidents, the Mays moved the statue behind a fence with 24/7 surveillance for some time.
Recently, however, Herkimer went through a complete restoration process. As of May 2022, the fiberglass beetle has been moved back to his original location, where guests can get up close and pose with the unique roadside attraction.
The towering bug can be found along Highway 115 at 710 Rock Creek Canyon Road in Colorado Springs.
The May Museum also has more non-living Hercules beetles as part of its collection along with thousands of other insects.