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.