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For alternate meanings see: Beetle (disambiguation)

Beetles (Coleoptera) are one of the main groups of insects. They are the most speciose order in the entire animal kingdom, followed closely by the butterflies, bees and wasps, and flies. 40 % of all animal species are beetles, and every day new species are discovered.


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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota[?]
Superorder: Neoptera[?]
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder Adephaga
   Cicindelidae - Tiger Beetle
   Carabidae[?] - Ground Beetle
   Dytiscidae[?] - True Water (or Diving) Beetle
   Gyrinidae[?] - Whirligig Beetle
Suborder Archostemata
Suborder Polyphaga
 Superfamily Hydrophiloidea
 Superfamily Histeroidea
 Superfamily Staphylinoidea
   Silphidae - Carrion beetles
   Staphylinidae[?] - Rove Beetle
 Superfamily Scarabaeoidea
   Lucanidae - Stag Beetle
   Scarabaeidae - Chafer, etc.
 Superfamily Dascilloidea
 Superfamily Byrrhoidea
 Superfamily Dryopoidea
 Superfamily Rhipiceroidea
 Superfamily Buprestoidea
 Superfamily Elateroidea
   Elateridae[?] - Click Beetle
 Superfamily Cantharoidea
   Lampyridae - fire-fly
   Cantharidae[?] - "Spanish fly"
 Superfamily Dermestoidea
 Superfamily Bostrychoidea
   Lyctidae[?] - Powder Post Beetle
 Superfamily Cleroidea
 Superfamily Lymexyloidea
 Superfamily Cucujoidea
  Section Clavicornia
   Coccinellidae - Ladybug
  Section Heteromera
   Pyrochroidae[?] - Cardinal Beetle
   Meloidae[?] - Oil Beetle, Blister Beetle
 Superfamily Chrysomeloidea
 Superfamily Curculionoidea
   Curculionidae - Weevil

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 can be found in almost all biotopes. They don't occur in the sea or in the polar regions.

Beetles are endopterygotes[?] with complete metamorphosis[?]. The larva of a beetle is called a grub.

When J. B. S. Haldane, British physiologist and philosopher, was asked what his studies of nature revealed about God, he replied, "An inordinate fondness for beetles."

Larger Aphthona flava flea beetle

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