General Beetle Information
Introduction:

Beetles make up the order Coleoptera (sheath-winged in Latin).  They are perhaps the most successful order on earth with the total number of known species exceeding 300,000.   In North America alone there are 111 families with roughly 30,000 species (White, 1983).   Due to their adaptability you can expect to find them almost anywhere on earth.  In fact, not only are they found in almost every habitat on earth but they also exist in the fossil record as far back as 245 million years ago.  They range in size from 0.25 mm up to 200mm.   In general, beetles can be distinguishing from other insects by the following anatomical characteristics: opaque armoured forewings (elytra) which adjoin in a straight line down the center and cover the hind two thoracic segments and most of the abdomen, chewing mouth parts, two compound eyes and antennae that attach to the head between these eyes.

 

Beetles in the Fossil Record

 

Beetle Anatomy

 

Beetle Metamorphosis

 
 

Beetles in the Fossil Record

 

Beetle Anatomy

 

Beetle Metamorphosis

 
   

 

 

References

   
   

Habitat and Food

 

References

   
            
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