Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Beetles (order Coleoptera) are one of the main groups of insects. The order has more species in it than any other order in the entire animal kingdom. 40% of all insect species are beetles (about 350,000 species), and new species are regularly discovered.
The forewings of beetles are transformed into hard shells, called elytra. These elytra form an armour protecting the abdomen and the sensitive hindwings. The forewings are not used (at least not actively flapped) in flying, but they must (in most species) be raised in order to move the hindwings. After landing, the hindwings are folded below the elytra. Most beetles can fly, but few reach the dexterity of some other groups, e.g. flies, and many species only fly if absolutely necessary. Some beetles have elytra that have grown together and cannot fly at all; a few have lost their wings altogether.
Beetles are endopterygotes with complete metamorphosis . The larva of a beetle is called a grub.
Well-known types of beetles include:
- bark beetle
- bess beetle
- click beetle
- Colorado potato beetle
- ground beetle
- Japanese beetle
- ladybird beetle (or ladybug or lady beetle)
- scarab beetle
- Spanish fly (actually a beetle)
- stag beetle
- water beetle
- Wood-boring beetles (woodworm)
Some types of beetles are less well-known, but are problems in some areas:
The extraordinary number of beetle species poses special problems for classification, with some families consisting of thousands of species and needing further division into subfamilies and tribes.
See Subgroups of the order Coleoptera for a complete list.
- The Coleopterist (UK)
- http://www.koleopterologie.de/gallery - Gallery of middle-European beetles
- http://www.goldenphoenixexotica.com - Information on Beetles and other invertebrates
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details