Types of Beetles
Beetle population estimates vary, however, experts suggest that they represent anywhere from twenty to twenty five percent of all earth's living creatures.
|Types of Beetles: Coleoptera
Buprestidae: Jewel Beetles
Tumbling Flower Beetles
Longhorned Beetles: Cerambycidae
Flower Longhorned Beetles
Checkered Beetles: Cleridae
Ornate Checkered Beetle
Coccinellidae: Lady Beetles
Ladybug Life Cycle
Types of Insects
As the largest order (Coleoptera) of insects, their sheer size and their ability to cause extensive agricultural and forest damage puts them at the top of the entomological research agenda.
Beetle interest also extends beyond the realm of agriculture research. Arguably, beetles as a group lack the aesthetic appeal of butterflies and dragonflies, although some beetle families, such as the scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae), enjoy a prominent place in some cultures.
Still, many beetle species are sufficiently colorful to provide an incentive for insect enthusiasts to capture them on film or pin them to boards.
Identifying any one of the three hundred thousand or more types of beetle species world wide or the twenty-five thousand or so beetle species native to the United States can challenge even the best entomologists.
A quick visual image of the common ladybug offers an identification starting point. The presence of a pair of hardened wings, or elytra, that form a visible line down the center of the abdomen when the wings are folded are indicative of a beetle species.
Apart from this initial clue, beetle habitat, along with some of their physical characteristics, often serve as starting points for organizing this large and diverse group of insects. Leaf beetles, for example, live around, and feed on, leaves.
Longhorn beetles can be initially identified by the presence of extended antennae. The giant long-horned beetle (titanus giganteus), a South American native, possesses a long body to match its long antenna. Measuring up to six inches in length, it sets the record for the world's largest beetle.
The physical and habitat fit, however, is not a perfect identification guide. While ground beetles such as the tiger beetle spend most of their time on the ground, beetle species from other families, such as darkling beetles, can also be found on the ground.
In the broadest terms, it's safe to estimate that over 99% of all beetle species fit into one of two beetle suborders:
- Suborder Adephaga: While often characterized as the large ground and water beetles, not all large beetles found on the ground or in the water belong to families in the suborder. Suborder members are held together by a handful of shared physical characteristics.
- Suborder Polyphaga: This is the largest group, with estimates that it contains close to 85% - 90% of all beetle species. Ladybugs or ladybird beetles might be the most recognizable species. Other flower beetles such as the longhorn beetles can often be found in and around residential areas.
To help with identification, this album contains a small sample, of some common beetle families. For identification help, many of the family listings contain multiple species and pictures.
© 2009-2011. Patricia A. Michaels