Beetles

^ I1KRK ARK 166 families and

_ 370,000 species in the order

Coleoptera. About one in three insects in existence today is a beetle, and they have successfully colonized every sort of terrestrial and freshwater habitat. They range from tiny insects less than /vin (1mm) in length to tropical giants measuring 7in (18cm).

Although beetles vary enormously in both their shape and their coloration, a major distinguishing feature is their toughened forewings, also known as elytra. These hard forewings protect the larger, membranous hind wings that are folded underneath. The elytra may be short, but in all species they meet down the middle of the body. The protective elytra and compact, strong body have contributed to the success of the order Coleoptera because these traits allow beetles to dig or squeeze themselves into all kinds of spaces and survive in a huge variety of habitats. In aquatic species, the space beneath the elytra provides a valuable storage area for air.

Mating usually takes place with the male clinging to the female's back. Most beetle species are herbivorous, but there are many scavengers and predators, as well as a few specialized parasitic species. Metamorphosis is complete.

branched antennae males

A pthjnus pectinicornis is found all over central Europe. It sometimes becomes a pest by attacking wooden furniture.

A xestohh1m rueovlu.osllm, the Dcathwatch Beetle, is so named because its mating calls (head-taps against tunnels in wood) were once commonly heard in quiet rooms during wakes.

elongate shape ptinomorphl v imperiaus is common in central Europe. It may be found on hawthorn flowers in springtime.

antennae have 1 segments

distinctive patterns on elytra

0rder COLEOPTERA

Family ANOHIIDAK

No. of species j ^qq ptinomorphl v imperiaus is common in central Europe. It may be found on hawthorn flowers in springtime.

I vARVAK that cat wood contain symbiotic yeasts that break cellulose down into sugars.

Woodworm

The larvae of some of these small beetles attack wood - hence the common name. They are pale brown to black and vary from elongate to oval. The head is often hooded by the pronotum, and the short legs fit into grooves on the underside of the body. The last three segments of the antennae are lengthened or expanded.

• LIFE Cycle Eggs are laid on a suitable food source, and the larvae bore inside, making circular tunnels. Pupation takes place just below the surface.

• OCCl IRRENCE Worldwide. In woods, stores, warehouses, and other buildings.

• REMARK This family includes the notorious Furniture Beetle or Common Woodworm (/I nobiutn punctatum).

antennae have 1 segments distinctive patterns on elytra branched antennae males

A xestohh1m rueovlu.osllm, the Dcathwatch Beetle, is so named because its mating calls (head-taps against tunnels in wood) were once commonly heard in quiet rooms during wakes.

A pthjnus pectinicornis is found all over central Europe. It sometimes becomes a pest by attacking wooden furniture.

elongate shape

0rder COLKOPTKRA

Family ANTHRIBIDAK

No. of species ^ qqq

Fungus weevils

Most of these weevils are oblong. They are usually dark and densely covered with patterns of white or dark scales or hairs. The antennae usually have 11 segments.

• LlMv CYCLK Kggs are laid, and larvae develop, inside rotten wood, fungi, or plant tissue. Adults mostly eat fungi.

• ()C( :i IKKKNCK Worldwide, especially in tropical regions. On twigs, under bark, and in fungi, wood, and seed pods.

I ,AKVAK are pale and curved, often with short, two-segmented legs.

I ,AKVAK are pale and curved, often with short, two-segmented legs.

broad nose very long antennae, with / / segments

MldOCI HI ,S 01 /.I.LIA is found in Southeast Asia. It has exceptionally long antennae.

broad nose

MldOCI HI ,S 01 /.I.LIA is found in Southeast Asia. It has exceptionally long antennae.

very long antennae, with / / segments

Length yM_\y,¡n (0.05-3.8cm), most under Xiin (2cm)

Larval feeding habits ^ 0

0rder COLKOPTKRA

Family ßOSTRICHlDAK

No. of species 7QQ

Branch-boring beetles

I hese cylindrical beetles are mostly dark brown or black in color. The head points downward.

• LlFK CYCLE Kggs are laid under the surface of wood. Adults and larvae may tunnel into wood, branches, or twigs. Their guts contain microorganisms that help them digest wood.

• ( )(;ci IRKENCE Worldwide, especially in tropics and subtropics. Inside wood of host plants.

liOSTKICIIl S < 1/7 CINl S is a widespread European species.

• parallel-sided cylindrical body i . A UVA H are pale and short-haired.

i . A UVA H are pale and short-haired.

liOSTKICIIl S < 1/7 CINl S is a widespread European species.

• parallel-sided cylindrical body

Larval feeding habits

0rder COLKOPTKRA

Family URKNTII)AK

0 0

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