This is a female Atlas Beetle. The males are one of the a largest insects in the world. The females, though smaller, are still very impressive. I ran into one in central Panama recently. After finding her, we tried to manipulate her for a photo, and suddenly she latched onto my hat. Surprise!! This then turned out to be an even better picture then my au-natural pictures. Mostly because it gives her a sense of scale and tells a funny story!
The amazing thing about a bug this large is how heavy it is. I wish I had a scale at the time to measure it but the hat kept tipping forward because of its weight. Now all I need to find is a large male. The males of this species have a HUGE “horn” on the end of their head and are easily one of the largest insects in the world. Even this large female was not anywhere near their maximum size.
After a couple minutes, we realized that she wasn’t going anywhere. So the photos were snapped and we even passed the hat around. Ten minutes later we released her off the hate on the plant were we had found her.