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Beetle Battle: Gigantic Insects Fight for Prized Female

Betting on Rhinoceros Beetle fights is a common pastime in Northern Thailand.

Two Rhinoceros Beetles battle for a female at a fairground in Doi Lo, Thailand, on Oct. 19.

In northern Thailand, gambling on Rhinoceros Beetle fights is a popular pastime during the September and October mating season. The male beetles, which are captured in the jungle at night, fight over a female beetle which is placed in a small compartment inside of the fighting perch.

Taylor Weidman / ZUMA Wire

Rhinoceros beetles are sold from a roadside stand in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Oct. 15.

Taylor Weidman / ZUMA Wire

A customer compares beetles before making a purchase at a fairground in Doi Lo, Thailand, on Oct. 19.

Taylor Weidman / ZUMA Wire

Thai men gather to gamble on Rhinoceros Beetle fights at a large fairground in Doi Lo, Thailand, on Oct. 19.

Individuals can bet anywhere from 20 Thai Baht up to a few hundred Baht (a little over fifty cents to ten dollars) on the beetles.

Taylor Weidman / ZUMA Wire

A Rhinoceros Beetle uses its pinchers to lift up a rival male during a fight in Hang Dong, Thailand, on Oct. 19.

A beetle wins when it throws or otherwise forces its opponent off the log. The beetles rarely die from the fights.

Taylor Weidman / ZUMA Wire

A Thai man shows off his Rhinoceros Beetle, a recent winner in a fight in Hang Dong, Thailand, on Oct. 19.

After the battles are over and the weather starts to get cold, the beetles are typically returned to the jungle where they mate before they die off.

Taylor Weidman / ZUMA Wire