Coleoptera – Beetles
These miniscule jewels are the trendsetters of the insect world
Taking the lead as the largest order in the insect world, beetles are typical yet unique among Insects. Although they lack any common basic characteristic, they are identified by hard front wings (elytra) and softer hind wings.
They possess mouthparts for chewing, which can be adjusted for different purposes. Beetles undergo complete metamorphosis. Coleoptera evolved around 265 million years ago, with early forms resembling modern beetles. They are part of nearly all non-marine habitats. They are one of the oldest groups of insects.
Fireflies’ glow, certain beetles’ poison, and the vibrant colors of some beetles have fascinated people worldwide.
Beetles play essential roles in ecosystems, contributing to pollination, nutrient cycling, and pest control. Some beetle species serve as indicators of environmental health, and their presence or absence can reflect ecosystem conditions. Even though some beetles are pests, damaging crops and stored products, many others are beneficial in agriculture by preying on harmful insects (biocontrol) or aiding in pollination.
Scientists estimate there may be millions more beetles species yet to be discovered.
Families in this order
Can run quickly but rarely fly
Their antennae are often longer than their bodies
Important symbols of rebirth and resurrection, as well as good luck and fortune
With a distinctive shape resembling a bullet and a tough exoskeleton
Known for a unique defensive chemical they produce called cantharidin
One of the largest and most frequently encountered beetle family
They are beetles, not bugs!
Their pattern often resembles a checkerboard or stripes
The fastest known species can run at a speed of 9 km/h (6 mph)
Despite their intimidating appearance, they are absolutely harmless
Can cause blisters when pinched or squashed against the skin
Able to produce water metabolically and do not require any drinking
Has the ability to produce a loud hissing sound when it feels threatened