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Tough Beetles

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Ants are not the only powerhouses of the insect world. Sometimes, this treatment is given to the members of the Coleoptera order, known simply as beetles. This can be attributed to their shells and body shape giving them a tough, hardened appearance, making them look "beefier" when compared to other insects, as well as their relatively large sizes. Furthermore, some species of beetles are known to be able to lift up to 300 times their own body weight, which greatly contributes to their strong reputation. One consistent exception to this trope is ladybird beetles, or ladybugs, which are usually portrayed as cute and harmless instead.

For obvious reasons, may frequently overlap with Japanese Beetle Brothers. For other uses of beetles being powerful, see Scarab Power and Thunder Beetle. For other shelled animals associated with durability, see Strong Ants and Sturdy and Steady Turtles.

Has nothing to do with The Beatles.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Arachnid:
    • Ran "Kabutomushi" Kabuto has a rhinocerus beetle motif and is some kind of cyborg with armored organs and spiked arms who was born so abnormally powerful she dismantled a tractor with her bare hands and got abandoned by her parents over it. She owns both a spear named Kabuto Horn for crowd control and a foldable BFS called Heracles Horn for one-on-one fighting.
    • Himekuwagata, the stag beetle to Kabutomushi's rhino beetle, starts out as a Token Mini-Moe who controls her body's age by switching between split personalities. She fights evenly with Kabutomushi for some time and in Dorcus titanus form beats her senseless until the Heracles Horn is brought by Kabuto's ally Gokiburi.
  • Berserk: One of the insect-like warriors created by Rosine is an inhumanly-tough rhinoceros bettle man. It takes a point-blank cannon shot to break his skull, and even then it doesn't go all the way through.
  • Digimon Adventure: The Kabuterimon and Kuwagamon lines are based on Japanese rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles respectively, the former being the Digivolution of Tentamon and the latter being a recurring antagonist in the Adventure continuity, most-recently popping up in Digimon Adventure tri.. In particular, Tentamon's Mega form, HerculesKabuterimon, is a giant beetle-like Digimon whose sturdy carapace provides protection against most attacks. In his first appearance, he is able to withstand the combined assault of eight really powerful opponents and forcefully push them back into the cyberspace they came from.
  • In Moriking, the titular character possesses incredible superhuman strength and toughness as a rhinoceros beetle. He can casually stop bullets with his fingers and lifts a two-ton barbell as exercise equipment. Even Oka's Absurdly Sharp Blade pings harmlessly off his exoskeleton.

    Fan Fiction 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon: The titular Megalon is a giant rhinoceros beetle kaiju who, besides being very strong and tough, can also fire lightnings from his horn, spit napalm bombs from the mouth, and has drills for hands.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of Jumborg Ace's many kaiju is the aptly named King Beetle, a monster sent by the Go-Ne faction in an attempt to deal with PAT interferring in the aliens' operations.
  • On Mythbusters, while testing the Trope that Cockroaches Will Rule the Earth, the team subjected 3 bugs to high levels of radiation to see how well they tolerated it. The 3 bugs were fruit flies, cockroaches, and flour beetles. While the fruit flies died off quickly, and cockroaches only survived the low and medium radiation doses, a few flour beetles did survive the high dosage.
  • Ultra Series:
    • Antlar, debuting in Ultraman is a recurrent foe of the Ultras and a tough and powerful stag beetle Kaiju capable of withstanding all kinds of beams and retaliate with massive strength superior to that of most other Kaiju and even Ultras. Its debut even had it killed by the mysterious Blue Stone of Baradhi rather than Ultraman himself and other shows where it appears such as Ultraman Max usually have Antlar requiring to be weakened by the Blue Stone before anyone can even hope of taking the beetle kaiju down.
    • Nokogilin from Return of Ultraman is an alien stag beetle that goes on a murder spree, while it looks a small harmless Earth beetle but when MAT catches it, they accidentally mutate it into a giant that Ultraman Jack has to take care of, and nearly loses until the hero strikes its weakspot antennas which weakens the monster enough for Jack to barely kill it.
    • Satan Beetle from Ultraman Leo is a powerful and deadly beetle kaiju alledgedly sent to Earth by Alien Clean and a tough opponent for the titular Ultra.
    • Ultraman 80 features Guwaganda, formerly the pet stag beetle of a boy named Atchan resurrected by its owner's grief and anger at his pet's death due to his friend Yama-Chan's carelessness into a Minus Energy monster capable of resisting everything UGM throws at it. It is however able to be placated thanks to Atchan and Yama-Chan making amends and causing the hatred that spawned it to dissipate, returning the beetle to normal and back to life as well.
    • Ultraman Mebius has the Insectus kaiju. First arrives a female one which is defeated by GUYS' Windam replica, but her male offspring survives. He starts out as coopeda-like microscopic organisms but eventually matures into an adult form strong enough to contend with Ultraman Mebius thanks to its strength and ability to command Earth insects to do its bidding, requiring a group effort to be defeated.
  • Invoked by the beetle-themed Metal Heroes duology Juukou B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto via their By the Power of Grayskull! invocation, "Juukou" meaning "heavy shell". And being Metal Heroes, they certainly are quite armored looking compared to their three sibling franchises, and even some other Metal Heroes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Giant beetles of various types have been in the game practically from the beginning, but the one that takes home the award for biggest and toughest is the Devastation Beetle from 3.0 and 3.5 Editions. It's an epic-level beetle the size of a small castle that's got a devastating bite, constantly exudes a cloud of acidic vapor, and has several thousand hitpoints in a game where having two hundred is considered a lot.
  • Hive: The Beetle is the most powerful but least mobile piece in the game; it can only move one hex per round, but, uniquely, it can climb on top of other pieces and dominate them.
  • The Unofficial Hollow Knight RPG: The Beetle Clans are a Proud Warrior Race with a culture oddly described as being similar to professional wrestling, of all things, right down to having Faces and Heels. Each clan devotes itself to a particular fighting style and takes part in a highly ritualized, non-lethal "war" with one another to prove the effectiveness of their chosen style.

    Video Games 
  • In Age of Mythology, Scarabs are available as myth units for Egyptians who choose to worship Sekhmet in the Heroic Age. Besides being massive and tough, they also serve as living siege engines, doing bonus damage to buildings, and, if one is killed, it squirts poisonous blood which damages everyone around itself at the moment of its death.
  • The Bloody Roar franchise features Steven Goldberg, AKA "Stun" the Insect. His name is ambiguous compared to other characters, but he's clearly visually inspired by a horned stag beetle and plays as something of a Mighty Glacier through the majority of the games with a moveset that focuses on grappling and heavy hits.
  • Bug Fables:
    • Kabbu is a rainbow scarab beetle and he's The Big Guy of Team Snakemouth, possessing more HP than his teammates. He can also launch huge boulders into the sky and partway into the game learns to demolish rock piles by ramming into them at full speed.
    • There are many other beetles in the game who possess huge strength.
      • Burglars are ladybug criminals who are the strongest of the Desert Bandits and possess more health and defense than other bandit enemies.
      • Zombeetles possess more health and increased defenses compared to other enemies, and can launch huge boulders and ram the entire team at the full speed.
      • Pisci is a beetle ruffian with high defense, making her much more durable than many other enemies in the game.
      • Stratos is a Hercules beetle who is a part of Team Slacker; during his Superboss fight, he possesses a defense stat of 3, making him one of the most durable enemies in game, and is extremely strong, being capable of creating shockwaves with pure strength alone, and is very, very quick.
  • Castle Crashers has Scarabs in the Desert level. They have strong, muscular builds, are very skilled in hand-to-hand combat, can inflict lots of damage, and have quite a lot of health.
  • Beetles in Dungeon Crawl tended to be physically strong and durable, if slow, though most of them were removed for being very easy to kill with no danger to the player. Boulder beetles, the one type of beetle still in the game, are just as durable as ever, but move at normal speed and can roll at their enemies for increased speed and damage.
  • Grounded:
    • Ladybugs are some of the larger enemies and they have a lot of health and can use a powerful charge attack that can stun the player after the strike. However, they don't actively seek to attack the player and fight only in retaliation; otherwise, they are pretty peaceful, unless when they are infected.
    • Ladybirds, identifiable by black wings with red spots, are tougher and more durable versions of ladybugs, and unlike their more gentle relatives, they are always aggressive.
    • Black Ox Beetles are the toughest creatures in the game besides bosses and the Black Widow, possessing lots of health, durable armor, and capable of using variety of devastating attacks, with their Horn Attacks and pebble fling being some of the most dangerous.
  • Far Point sees you battling assorted giant insects throughout the game, the beetle enemy being the strongest and a Heavily Armored Mook.
  • Hollow Knight: Dung Defender is a dung beetle who is very strong and durable, and he can launch a lot of dung balls at the player character. There are also Watcher Knights, who appear to be reanimated beetle shells, and they are quite durable on par with being adept nail-wielders, and there are also six of them.
  • Kirby features various beetle-themed enemies:
    • Bugzzy is a giant stag beetle Mini-Boss debuting in Kirby's Adventure that can grab Kirby with his mandibles and then perform various wrestling moves to crush him, along with sending Bugzzy Jr's after him.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe introduces Beetleys, bipedal rhino beetle-like enemies that attack with their horns, and Hornhead, a giant rhino beetle Mini-Boss that attacks by charging at Kirby or jabbing him with his horn. Both give Kirby the Beetle ability that allows him to attack enemies with his horn.
  • Mega Man X features several Mavericks based on various kinds of beetles. There is Boomer Kuwanger, based on stag beetle, who can effortlessly lift X and throw him around with his mandible-horns, or uses said mandible-horns as a Battle Boomerang. There's also his brother, Gravity Beetle, based on Japanese rhinoceros beetle, who, besides his gravity powers, is very strong and possesses a powerful Horn Attack. And finally, there is Ground Scaravich, based on dung beetle, who can effortlessly roll boulders much larger than his own size.
  • Metroid Prime: Beetles are highly-aggressive alien beetles from Tallon IV. They have resilient carapaces and are very quick burrowers, capable of digging through solid rock, and they attack anything that approaches their lairs. They also have two more powerful variants; the first one is called Plated Beetle, and its carapace is resistant to most of Samus' weapons, while Ice Beetles have their carapaces reinforced by ice.
  • Beaclon (or Beaklon) in Monster Rancher is a large rhinoceros beetle-like monster, usually with life, defense, and strength as its best stats.
  • NetHack: Carnivorous giant beetles are some of the many monsters represented by a glyph, together with ants and bees. Though they are very slow, their bites are very damaging, and they can kill an unprepared adventurer if they're careless.
  • Pikmin (2001): The Armored Cannon Beetle is a huge (at least in comparison to Olimar and the Pikmin) beetle that shoots boulders the same size as itself and is unfazed to all damage. That is, unless you clog its blowhole with a few Pikmin in the middle of its attack, causing it to overheat, leaving its abdomen weak point wide open. Its larval forms also appear in the sequels. Although they're much easier to deal with due to not being armored, their spat rocks can still be a nuisance.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pinsir is based on a stag beetle and has solid Attack and Defense stats. Its most distinguishing feature is the pair of thick, impressive pincers on the top of its head, which it uses to split its prey in half.
    • Heracross is based on a Japanese rhinoceros beetle and boasts one of the highest Attacks of any Bug-type Pokémon, as well as solid defense stats. It's also a Fighting-type, and its sprite in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl shows it flexing its muscles. According to the Pokédex, Heracross can effortlessly lift things 100 times heavier than itself (500, if it is subjected to Mega Evolution).
    • Orbeetle is a rare example of a ladybug that still invokes this trope. Although the dex emphasizes its Super-Intelligence (as a Psychic type) over its brawn, it nonetheless sports high Defense and Special Defense stats, in fact, these are its highest stats (although its type combination leaves it with an unfortunate 6 weaknesses).
  • Rivals of Aether gives us Kragg, Earth's Bastion, who is a humanoid rhinoceros beetle. He's a Mighty Glacier who possesses extreme strength and durability at the cost of the low speed and agility, and he can also throw boulders, create pillars of earth, or roll at his enemies at full speed.
  • Sonic Unleashed: The first boss of the game is Egg Beetle, a giant mech designed after the stag beetle that is quite durable and possesses powerful pincers along with an array of multiple weapons. It also has an updated version called Egg Lancer, which is a combination of salvaged parts of Egg Beetle and Egg Death Ray.
  • In Spectrobes, Vilamasta is a beetle with samurai armour, while its evolution Vilanox is a beetle crossed with a cannon.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Buzzy Beetles are turtles that heavily resemble beetles with their shells, and they are known to be very durable and impenetrable to fireballs.
    • Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel has the Mandibug Clan, stag beetle-like enemies with large mechanical-looking pincers. Mario can't defeat them by just jumping and needs to use a Ground Pound.
  • Scarawatt and Scaravolt from Temtem are giant rhino beetles with Mighty Glacier stats who learn many powerful Electric and (in the case of the latter) Fire attacks.
  • Terraria lets you craft Beetle Armor with a choice of two breastplate options, either a Beetle Shell which generates a beetle shield that absorbs up to 45% of the damage dealt to you at the cost of a beetle, or Beetle Scale Mail which slowly boosts your melee damage as you continuously deal damage to enemies. Beetle Armor is the last melee armor set you can get before the Final Boss, and it's an upgrade of Turtle armor.
  • Titan Quest: Beetle enemies are one of the types that drop Rigid Carapaces.
  • The Twins (2020): Bob and Buck have a giant Hercules beetle living in the catacombs of their home. If you try to shoot it with a revolver, you will get a message commenting on its strength, stating that it will take more shots to kill it.
  • Warcraft and World of Warcraft feature Spiderlords, and their undead counterparts, Crypt Lords. The latter are heavily based on the scarabs of the Egyptian mythology, resembling mummified scarab beetle-mantis-spider hybrids whose spiked exoskeletons harm enemies who attack them, and can impale enemies in a line. They also have an ability that allows them to create giant Carrion Beetles from corpses and their ultimate unleashes a swarm of locusts that damage enemies and heal the Crypt Lord.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: One of Ben's transformations, Eatle is a black and green rhinoceros beetle-like alien with a powerful mandible that allows him to eat hard materials and then shoot energy beams from his horn, is also very strong and tough enough to be able to endure enemy attacks.
  • Mickey Mouse: In "Mickey's Garden," when Mickey accidentally sprays himself with pesticide, he starts hallucinating plants and insects growing to massive size. During his trip, he sees a giant beetle drinking his bug poison and growing stronger from it. As it roars with a Primal Chest-Pound, it then rushes at Mickey to snap him with its mandibles.
  • Transformers: Prime: Insecticons are Decepticons with beast modes heavily resembling the Hercules beetles, and they are Elite Mooks of the Decepticon army, being much more durable than the average Vehicons, with one lone Insecticon being capable to give even Megatron a hard time.

    Real Life