Beetles are everywhere, on land, water, forests, campsite, and houses. They are as common as ants, and they account for around 30% of the insects and animals living on our earth. Here is list of types of beetles with pictures and descriptions:
However, rove beetles love moist spots, so one can expect them to be near ponds, lakes, streams, damp leaves, and stems as well.
These beetles come out from their hidden homes late at night (when they are most active) to consume tiny arthropods, pollen, fungal spores, and insects like ants. While these creatures are harmless because they don’t bite, they can give a nasty bite if mishandled.
As Rove Beetles belong to the Staphylinidae family, they comprise a highly diverse group with over 25000 species. These pests can be found widely in decayed plants, other insect nests, dung, and fungi.
Rove beetles have prominent abdominal segments with a slight wing structure. Although their frontal wings are tiny, they can still fly because of their significant hindwings underneath. Adults are about 7mm long.
Lady Beetles are also recognized as ladybugs or ladybird beetles. Lady beetles are a few of the most frequently found beetles on the planet. These species mostly exhibit an orange or red body with black spots. Few such beetles also boast a pink body with black markings on it.
These beetles are small, round to oval in shape, and mostly have yellow forewings. Their pronotum that is the area behind their back may also have a unique pattern.
Primarily, larvae and adult lady beetles are found in North America and like to feed on small insects, eggs of other insects, and mites. Research has shown that female lady beetles can lay twenty to thousand or more than a thousand eggs for just three months. These eggs are kept near aphids in stems and leaves to guard them against their foes.
Harpalus is a kind of ground beetle that consists of approximately five hundred species and subspecies. Like many ground beetles, these creatures are widely found in North America.
They are considered advantageous insects. Studies have shown that soldier beetle larvae reduce the mass of predatory insects from the garden.
Soldier beetles are often mistakenly associated with fireflies as they both have similar looks. When they fly, these pests are assumed as wasps and brushed away. Note that they do not sting but do make a buzzing sound. The trained gardeners know the importance of soldier beetles. Thus, they find ways to attract these species to their garden by planting Goldenrod.
Despite that, one thing that needs to be remembered is to ensure that these pests can’t enter one’s house as they can damage your property. One can prevent them from entering by sealing the house’s windows through weather-stripping etc.
The best way to recognize soldier beetles is by knowing that they are yellow or tan, with black markings on both wings. Nevertheless, their coloring may vary depending on the region they live. They do not have a hard shell.
These beetles are the largest group of beetles occurring in North America, with over 2000 species there alone. Given that they come in innumerable varieties, most of these beetles appear and behave similarly.
Ground beetles are primarily black, growing up to only half an inch. Also referred to as black ground beetles, they are intensely black, with dark brown marking on their antennae and legs.
Most ground beetles are harmless to humans as they don’t bite them. But some species like securities or quadriceps can pinch your skin which might mildly hurt. Ground beetles mostly opt to stay outdoors in moist places, under stones, leaves, and wood logs. In case they enter inside, they might wreak havoc. Hence, cleaning and vacuuming their residential areas is essential to eliminate them.
This kind of beetle can’t fly but fancies climbing shrubbery or trees to find its prey.
This beetle has a slender body and long legs about 10 to 20mm in length. Their large, bulgy eyes assist them to see better than most other types of beetles.
These beetles look exotic due to their multiple colors, such as orange, blue, green, and scarlet. They are also fast runners to catch their prey in a few seconds.
Tiger Beetle belongs to the subfamily Cicidelinae. Both larvae and adults are ravenous eaters.
Violin Beetles can be classified as the subfamily of Lebiinae. The Violin beetle possesses a unique violin-shaped elytron. These species mostly opt to live among bracket fungi (polypores) layers.
Fireflies are also called lightning bugs and glowworms. Fireflies exhibit a chemical reaction that releases light. All the species have a distinguish lightning pattern, and the males use this pattern to attract the females and let them know that they will be the perfect match together.
These lights are also utilized as a defense mechanism, signaling a warning sign, for the fellow fireflies, of the prey’s unappetizing taste. Very few people are aware that fireflies aka glowworms also belong to the family of beetles. These are tiny and charming insects with over 2500 different species and are present worldwide, especially in the USA.
Fireflies pose no harm to the environment or human beings. They are nocturnal and come out at night to find their food and mating. They release a chemical flashing signal from their bodies to attract other fireflies. These beetles also produce a warm light with no ultraviolet to infrared frequencies. This light looks a lot like sunlight but is entirely different from that.
The size of Fireflies is about the size of a paper clip, which implies they are hardly an inch long. They are also found in various shades, such as light red, yellow, orange, and green. These insects perform well in warm and moistened areas and are common in summer evenings/nights in humid regions of Asia and America.
Generally, these beetles have an oval-shaped body, short legs, and antennae half the size of their overall body length. In general, these creatures are smaller than 12 mm in total length. As hinted by their name, leaf beetles prefer feasting on leaves and crops and they prefer to stay in leaf-concentrated areas. Their habit of consuming leaves can negatively affect environmental situations.
These insects can produce toxic chemicals that serve as their dominant defense mechanism. These toxins are detrimental not only to other predators but also to human beings. The toxin released from their mouths can immediately cause neuronal diseases in humans.
Leaf Beetle is a member of the Chrysomelidae family. Leaf beetles have their habitats typically in tropical regions. Study shows that about Thirty-five thousand species of leaf beetles are confined in different parts of the world.
Relating to the Scarabaeidae family, scarab beetles are giant, oval-shaped insects with distinguishing antennae that are flattened to look like a club. Their front legs are toothed, which assists them in digging to hide from their predators and constructing their habitat. These pests vary from 5 mm to 12 cm, depending on the type. One of their types – the African goliath beetle- is the heaviest beetle.
Just as they differ in size, various species of scarab beetles vary in their habits as well. Few insects prefer to feed on dead insects and plants or manure, while others feed on growing leaves, roots, and fungi.
Also called June bug or May beetle, June beetles consist of nearly 300 species primarily distributed among plant-eating subfamilies. June beetles possess luminous elytra and a reddish-brown body that varies in size from 12 to 25 mm.
These beetles feast on flowers and foliage at nighttime; their eating habits often damage the garden as they can deteriorate several types of crops, including potatoes, grains, strawberries, and corn.
As the name suggests, these are the kinds that strike roses as the Rose flowers are their prime food source. To shield one’s garden roses, one needs to use insecticides designed to kill the pest without reducing the beauty of the pretty flowers.
Popillia japonica’s scientific name and the Japanese beetle are highly harmful as it chews the leaves of plants such as grapes, rose, and linden.
These miniature beetles can be spotted in gardens and different types of landscapes of the United States.
Research reveals that these insects have three hundred species that prefer to feed on flowers, fruits, and foliage. Nevertheless, the larvae, primarily known as white grubs, eat roots of grasses in lawns, parks, and golf courses.
It flies very fast and follows a pattern that resembles a bee. It lingers over the flowers, which is why it is also an excellent pollinator.
These little creatures are a half-inch in their overall size and can be identified from their silvery bluish-green heads, copper-colored backs, and primary wings with tiny white hair on each side of their abdomen as shown in picture above isolated on white.
It is also known as one of the prettiest and most vibrant beetles living in the USA, specifically in North America. It has copper-colored wings and a green body.
Japanese beetles can be eliminated in multiple ways. For example, one can control them by sprinkling neem oil onto plants, using insecticides, or catching them through fruit cocktails.
Referring to the Cleridae family, Checkered Beetles are a very furry species of beetles. They have deep, shiny blue bodies with black and red wing casings. The abdomen, similar to their bodies, is deep red.
Sadly, these beetles became extinct and lost in the UK in the eighteenth century. However, they can still be observed in multiple parts of the European countries where they are commonly regarded as “Clarion des Ruches” which means “Bugle of the Beehive.”
These species serve small insects and microspores while larvae consume bees’ grubs and wasps. They are typically observed in summers (May to August) in parks, gardens, campgrounds, woodlands, and hedgerows.
Amidst their bright green luminosity, Dogbane Beetles are one of the most beautiful species of beetles. Although tiny in size, these shiny creatures can captivate the beholder in a vast field and proper light. These species have a green head, whereas their elytra are gold, copper, and emerald with specks.
The Dogbane Beetle nurses on the Dogbane plant are American hemp or Indian hemp. The plant is not only their chief source of food but a final spot to find their mating companion. The females place eggs in their feces and guard them by attaching eggs to the bottom of a leaf.
The Blister Beetle has approximately 2500 kinds. These pests give off an instigating matter – cantharidin, collected from the European species – Spanish fly and Mylabris. Cantharidin is a common remedy for skin problems like warts. In the primitive era, it was a vital ingredient in “love potions.”
Adult Blister Beetles have long, slender bodies, ranging between 3 to 20 mm in length. Few of these species appear in deep black with a redhead, whereas others have their bodies covered with bright emerald or blue wings.
Snout beetles are found in the USA and Canada. They have a well-developed snout from which a set of antennae projects out. There are around 3000 species of snout beetles, and all of them are plant feeders. Some of them are also considered pests. Their snout helps them in sensing danger. The snout falls to the ground and becomes still when they are threatened. This behavior is called “thanatosis.”
Another USA beetle species, known as darkling beetles, is North America. They are often misidentified as ground beetles. There are around 1000 species of darkling species in the USA alone. They are vegetarian, but some of them also feed o stored grains.
As the name suggests, click beetles make a clicking sound as they move or jump to run away from their predators. These beetles are brown or black. The adult click beetle feeds on plants and is most commonly found in the Nearctic region.
The Jewel beetle is found in both USA and UK. They are metallic, have a very vibrant color, and have a bullet-shaped body containing blue, green, black, and copper shades. That is why they are also called jewel beetles. They live in the woods and feed on plants and leaves. The larvae of these beetles cause colossal damage to trees and vegetation.
Ten-Lined June Beetle
The Ten-Lined June Beetle is a large beetle species living in the American Southwest. It is widespread but is confined only in the southwest region of America. This beetle is attracted to lights and is mainly found around light inside homes and urban areas.
The unique feature of a Ten-Lined June beetle lies in the way it defends itself. If you try to touch it or grab it, this beetle will suddenly make a loud vibrating buzz. Not only this, but it can also zing your fingers. However, it is not poisonous or harmful.
This beetle species is around half an inch in length.
Carrion beetle is another corpse beetle that feeds on the bodies of dead animals. They are also known as “burying beetles.” They are large and vibrant. They are also good fliers, and you will often find them lingering around bright lights.
One of the most popular beetles living in the USA is the Sawyer beetle. It is commonly found on fishing and camping sites. They prefer a habitat where there is plenty of vegetation and trees. The larvae of the Sawyer beetle are pale and look very much like caterpillars. They live inside dead wood or trees, especially pine trees. These larvae bore tunnels in wood, which is why it causes a lot of damage to commercial timber.
Sawyer beetles are harmless to humans. They fly fast and are also attracted to lights. An adult male Sawyer beetle is smaller than its female counterpart and has a longer antenna.
The fiery searcher is another beautiful beetle found in the USA and Canada. You might have never seen a fiery searcher because it is nocturnal and also very fast. It is highly adapted to hunting and killing other invertebrates. It feeds on other insects.
According to scientists, if you ever touch a fiery searcher by mistake, you must wash your hands immediately because this beetle has a chemical defense system. Its body oozes out poisonous fluid to keep the attackers away. This toxic fluid smells like old socks and has a very nasty smell. That is why it is always better to stay away from these beetles.
Beetle families in the UK:
The UK also has an abundance of beetles despite its harsh weather conditions. It means that these insects can survive in any weather condition and can withstand extreme summers and winters.
In the UK, the most commonly found beetle species is the “ladybird,” but over 4000 beetle species live there. Most of them are easy to identify because of their distinct and striking colors. Urban areas have more beetles than the cities in the UK. In London, there are around 2000 beetle species. London also has one rare beetle species known as the stag beetle. It is the giant beetle found in Britain. The stag beetle is a giant insect.
These beetles can be found anywhere in green spaces, parks, graveyards, and gardens.
Rainbow leaf beetle
As the name suggests, the Rainbow leaf beetle is a colorful beetle species found in the Welsh mountainsides. It is even more colorful and vibrant than a rainbow itself. Rainbow leaf beetle is scarce in the UK. Some of these species live on Mount Snowdon. It feeds on leaves, flowers, and wild thyme. Since the rainbow leaf beetle is scarce, it comes under legal protection in the UK.
Rosemary beetle is another beautiful and vibrant beetle species found in the UK. It consists of purple and metallic green stripes.
Rosemary beetle comes out in specific months when the weather is pleasant. It is mainly found living on the flowers and feeding on pollens. You can often find this beetle between May and October lingering on rosemary, lavender, thyme, and sage.
Rosemary beetle was discovered in London back in 1994, after which it quickly gained population and spread throughout the region.
It is said that the species probably arrived in the UK on an imported rosemary plant from southern Europe as this species is native to that region. Some gardeners also consider this species a pest as it nibbles on the leaves of lavender and rosemary plants. However, it is a beautiful addition to the gardens due to its striking colors and beautiful pattern.
This species of beetle living in the UK resembles a wasp, which is why it is given the name “Wasp beetle.” It is yellow having black stripes, and is 16mm long. This beetle looks precisely like a wasp and also flies like that. You will often find it on the flowers as it mainly feeds on pollens. However, unlike a wasp, this beetle is harmless and doesn’t sting. It only mimics a wasp because of nature’s way of protecting itself from predators.
Adult wasp beetles mostly come put in the springtime and are excellent pollinators. May to July is their peak pollination season. During this time, they live in hedgerows, wood, and flowers. The baby wasp beetle lives in dry and deadwood.
This beetle is common in England and Wales. Due to the harsh climate and short summer months, it is scarce in Scotland.
Rose Chafer Beetle
Another beautiful and standout beetle species in the UK is “Rose Chafer.” It is a lovely golden-green beetle around the size of 20mm. It is extremely noisy as it flies. Like other beetle species living in the UK, this species also comes out in the warm summer days and mainly lives on flowers. The baby rose chafer beetle, or larvae, live on rotting wood and decaying plants.
Rose chafer beetle is also called “Jewel-beetle” due to its shape and color. This species is found in southern Britain, London, and its suburbs. It is said that this beetle is so beautiful that it doesn’t go unnoticed by people.
Rose Chafer became scarce 100 years ago. Surprisingly it emerged again and became common. Now, it is becoming more common in the south of Britain. You can see them often in London now, not only in gardens and cemeteries but also along the streets. Wherever there are flowers, these beetles will be there.
Green Tiger Beetle
The UK is not only a beautiful region itself, but it seems like it also has a unique variety of insects and animals.
The green tiger beetle is another beautiful, shiny green species with creamy-yellow spots. It has bronze purple legs, and its size ranges anywhere from 10 to 15mm in length.
This beetle has a unique shape and long legs like a grasshopper. It is one of the most fastest running insects. There are some tiger beetles whose speed reaches up to nine kilometers per hour.
This beetle is given the “tiger” beetle due to its fast speed and powerful jaws. The insect uses its mandibles or jaws to catch other small invertebrates. The adult tiger beetle and the baby beetle of larvae have jaws. They can quickly grab and clamp any insect that strays too close to them.
Although tiger beetles are prevalent throughout Ireland and Great Britain, they are primarily found in the northern region. They prefer sparse vegetation, grassland, and dunes.
Scarlet Lily Beetle
The scarlet lily beetles are often confused with that of a ladybug due to the similarities in their appearance. They have a red body with a black head and legs. These beetles are small, usually 8mm long.
These beetles are known as lily beetles due to their feeding preferences. They primarily feed on lilies and other fritillary flowers. You will find them in the garden and in flowers. Due to the same reason, they are considered pests by the gardeners. It is a non-native species that is now widely spread and living in the UK.
The scarlet lily beetles are highly dependent on weather conditions, and that is why they spend their winter away from the plants and under the soil or around the leaf litter. You can find them in sheltered places during the harsh winter conditions. They come out later in March and April and start their search for host plants.
Although not vibrant or beautiful like other beetles found in the UK, a stag beetle comprises impressive antlers. These antlers are its jaws and are used to grab its prey. These beetles reach a length of up to 7.5 cm.
They are known as the greatest stag beetle and the largest beetle found in the UK. It is sporadic and only found in some areas in the south of the UK.
The larvae of stag beetle spend up to four to six years feeding on rotten wood and other decaying material present on the ground and under the soil, such as fallen timber.
Since it is a rare species, it is threatened throughout the UK and northern Europe.
The stag beetles come out in the warm summer months of June, mainly in the evenings. You can see them flying alongside green areas and wooded roads. Some common areas where they are seen are Barnes, Kew, and Richmond. Some are also seen in Wimbledon.
As stag beetles are endangered species, that is why it is advised not to step on them and better move them back into the green areas or some vegetations so that they can be kept safe from cats and other dangers.
In the UK, there are three species of stag beetles. The male stag beetle contains big antlers as compared to the female counterparts. They also use their antlers to fight and defend themselves from other predators.
Thick-legged flower beetle
This beetle species is metallic green in color and is 10mm long.
It is another eye-catching beetle species in the UK and has large bulges on its thighs. Due to its appearance, it is also known as swollen-thighed beetle. Due to their appearance, it is easy to distinguish them.
The thick-legged beetles are generally found from April to September. Just like other species of beetles, it is also found in gardens, on the flowers, in the meadows, and on the waste ground.
They are excellent pollinators and move from flower to flower to collect nectar. Their most loved flowers are roses, poppies, daisies, and cornflowers.
Like its name, this beetle is another species from the ladybird family. It is lemon yellow and has 22 spots on its body. This beetle is around 4mm long.
There are over 50 species of these ladybirds in Great Britain, among which only three species are 22-spot ladybirds. This species feeds on mildew found on plants. This characteristic is highly unusual for ladybirds because most beetles feed on roses and garden plants.
You can find this species from May to August when the weather starts getting warmer. These are the spring and summer months in the UK. They are mostly found on grasslands, woodlands, and even in urban settings like gardens and towns. They are primarily seen in Wales and England.
The 22-spot ladybird has two varieties-one of them is white, and the other one is entirely yellow.
This beetle is a tiny (only 4 to 8mm long) insect and has a dusty brownish pattern on its body. It doesn’t have vibrant colors, but its striking feature is its long snout known as a rostrum.
This species is mainly found in oak woodland. You can also find them in gardens, parks, and hedgerows. They are ubiquitous in southern Britain.
Here come another beautiful and eye-catching species of beetle known as the Tansy beetle. The Tansy beetle has a bright metallic color and has a sheen in it. Its size is about 11mm. It is round and resembles a ladybird in shape.
As the name suggests, the tansy beetle depends totally on the tansy plant and spends its entire life around one plant.
This beetle is slowly declining in Great Britain. Now, you can only find it in North Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire. The most common reason for the decline of this beetle is the loss of habitat, as its only source of survival is a tansy plant. Once the plant is removed, the beetle loses its habitat. Since this beetle cannot fly, it walks to find another tansy plant.
The typical mint beetle is often confused with a tansy beetle due to the similarity in its appearance.
Golden-bloomed grey longhorn
One of the unique species of beetles is a golden-bloomed grey longhorn. This beetle has a hairy texture; it is grey and has a golden sheen. It has a length of about 25mm and contains a long and patterned set of antennae. Their striped antennae are longer than their entire body.
Golden-bloomed grey longhorn lives on a variety of plants. The adult golden-bloomed grey longhorn feeds on nettles, hogweed, and parsley. The female insect feeds on plants such as thistles.
The most favorable weather for these beetles is warm summer and spring months. You will often find them from April to August. They live in hedgerows and damp meadows. They are found in eastern and central England. These beetles are becoming more common in recent years.
As the name suggests, this beetle species is often misidentified as a ladybird due to the similarity in their appearance. This beetle has a red body like a ladybird with five black spots on it. The head is black. The size of an adult false ladybird is around 4 to 7 mm in length. The shape is exactly like that of a ladybird. It is dome-shaped. The best distinguishing feature of these beetles is their long antennae are not present in the ladybirds.
The false ladybird is mostly found under the bark of dying trees. They eat fungus and live in dark areas like birch or beech. They are present all over the UK but most common in southern Britain.
The Sulphur beetle is found in the southern half of Great Britain. They are bright yellow and have a length of up to 10mm. These beetles are mainly found in the coastal areas, dunes, and dry grasslands.
The larvae of the Sulphur beetle feed mainly on decaying plants and wood. You will spot them mostly on sunny days between May and June. They feed on pollen and nectar of tiny thyme flowers. There are excellent pollinators due to their nature of living around flowers.
Common sexton beetle
The common sexton beetle that lives in the UK is very common and is found throughout Great Britain. It is black and has orange markings on its body. It goes up to 20mm in length. It is also known as a burying beetle as it buries and mostly lives off corpses. This beetle can even detect the smell of rotten flesh from a considerable distance of miles away.
As these beetles feed on decaying animal remains and flesh, they also recycle the nutrients. That is why they are used in forensic entomology, which is used to determine the time of death.
The common sexton beetle creates a habitat for their baby beetles under the soil with a corpse. The female beetles then feed the larvae with the decaying flesh.
This one is quite a scary-looking beetle, having a round, hairy and black body. It has a glossy body and three prongs coming out from the middle of their bodies. They are 20mm long.
Male counterparts comprise bull-like horns that are utilized for their defense and to compete for females.
This beetle falls under the category of a scarab beetle which belongs to the earth-boring dung beetle group. They feed on animal droppings and also provide their larvae with the same. Their horns also help them in dragging the dung to their nests.
Minotaur beetles are scarce, but at the same time, they are widespread across England and Wales. They are rarely spotted in spring or autumn. Look out for rabbit holes or sheep dung if you want to spot them.
Spotted longhorn beetle
Another UK beetle species known as the spotted longhorn beetle has a yellow appearance with tiny black dots on its abdomen. It is up to 20mm long. This beetle also looks like a wasp. It is an excellent pollinator like many other beetles. You will find them feeding on the nectar of aromatic flowers such as parsley and celery in the warm summer months.
The larvae of spotted longhorn beetle live on trees like hazel, oak, willow, and hornbeam.
This beetle is widespread in Wales and England but is rare in Scotland.
What you should know about beetles:
When it comes to beetles, it is essential to know that:
- Beetles are not a danger to planet earth. Most of them are beneficial to our ecosystem in many ways.
- Beetles are biological controllers of our environment.
- Beneficial beetles are often misidentified as pests.
The lifecycle of a beetle:
Beetles come from “Coleoptera,” the most abundant insect order. They go through the process of metamorphosis.
The lifecycle of a beetle is just like any other insect. It passes through egg, larva, pupa, and then adult stages. After mating, the female beetle lays football-shaped eggs. The eggs are colorless initially. Over time, they turn dark yellow and brown. These eggs then hatch, and larvae come out of it. These larvae are mobile. They feed on soft-bodied insects such as aphids.
Larvae pass through many stages before becoming a pupa. The pupa stage is short-lived, and very soon, the adult beetle emerges out of it having functional wings. The adult beetle has reproductive organs as well. These mature beetles are either herbivores or carnivores. The entire lifecycle of a beetle is entirely dependent upon temperature.
Most beetles have a life span of one year, but some live up to three years.
How to recognize a beetle?
Beetles are often confused with small bugs due to the similarity in their appearance. The first distinguishing characteristic of a beetle is its wings and wing covers. Unlike other winged insects, beetles have thick and hard wings. These stiff wings are present on the top of flying wings, and they protect the fragile body of beetles and their flying wings.
The flying wings remain folded under the rigid wings and only come out when the insect is ready to fly. Due to this characteristic, beetles are also known as “Coleoptera,” a Latin word that means “folded wing.”
Another way to recognize a beetle is a bit harsh-they will crunch if you step on them due to their brittle wing covers (but let’s not do that).
Some species of insects and bugs belong to the class “Hemiptera,” whose wings are similar to beetles and thus often confused as beetles. Their wings are partly thickened and produce a crunchy sound if you step on them.
However, unlike traditional beetles, their wings are translucent, distinguishing them from beetles. Moreover, their mouths are also different than those of beetles. The mouth part of beetles is designed for chewing the food, while for other insects, it is designed for sucking or piercing. If you flip over an insect and find a ridge running from the top to the end of the head, then it is not a beetle.
It is easy to distinguish and recognize mature or adult beetles compared to immature beetle. An immature beetle is generally oval with three pairs of jointed legs and a highly diverse appearance.
What makes them so crucial on the planet Earth?
Our planet earth is filled with millions of astonishing creatures, some of which might not even be discovered yet. However, every creature living on earth with us comes with some benefits to the ecosystem. The same is true for beetles. Beetles are everywhere and come in all shapes and sizes. Even some species of beetles are the smallest insects in the world. Some species of beetles are single-celled as well.
On the contrary, there is also a variety known as “titan beetle.” The titan-beetle is a giant Brazilian longhorn with extremely sharp jaws of anywhere around 168mm. The jaws of the longhorn beetles are so strong that they can even snap a pencil.
What do they eat?
Beetles are known as food lovers. They love eating anything coming in their way from garden plants, wild plants, pollen, fruits, leaves, flowers, algal film, roots, stems, nuts, dung, stores food, carrion, timber, wood, and other insects and invertebrates. They even eat each other. That is why you will find beetles everywhere. They live up the trees, under the soil, in the water, inside our houses, the ants and bird nests, in bee burrows. They also spend their time over the flowers to patrol leaves. In short, they are everywhere, eat anything and do everything!
Disadvantages of Beetles:
Insects as Agricultural Pests
Adverse impacts from beetles constitute a significant threat to agriculture. Destructive insect pests include caterpillars, grasshoppers, locusts, and, beetles which eat the leaves, seeds, and fruits of various crops. At times, Beetles can form massive plagues of several million, which can cause extensive damage to crops and lead to starvation events. Beetles engulf the sap from plants, affecting plant growth and development and making plants more susceptible to disease.
The adverse effects of pests also involve carrying and spreading plant diseases that affect agricultural crops. Possibilities for controlling insect pests include sprinkling pesticides, using smoke, applying irritating chemicals such as capsicum, and promoting biological control by natural predators.
Climate Change and Insect Damage
Climate change can double the amount of destruction caused by beetles. The European pine beetle was introduced to North America and has significantly harmed pine trees. Due to global warming, the beetle’s range is spreading northward and causing extensive devastation to pine plantations and forests.
Beetle Bites and Stings
Many dangerous insects can cause painful bites and stings. It can be irritating if a single bite or sting occurs, but stinging insects that live in colonies can cause notable injury and even cause death. Two examples incorporate the Fire ant and the African honeybee, which are incredibly aggressive when displaced nests.
Spread of Disease
Diseases from beetles can create severe illness and death in humans and other animals.
Building and Infrastructure Damage
Beetles can cause damage to houses, buildings, and other infrastructure. Several species can cause structural damage to wooden building materials. Few species, such as termites and powderpost beetles, use wood instantly as part of their diet. Carpenter ants do not consume wood but will crush timber to construct their nest hollows.
Whereas not damaging the house directly, bees and wasps can make large nests in wall cavities and nearby support beams, which are not only hazardous to humans but are also challenging and expensive to remove. Other kinds of harmful insects include carpet beetles and fire ants. Carpet beetles strike textiles such as clothes, carpets, and furniture, while fire ants are drawn towards electrical fields and can create power outages and electrical fires.
Effects of the use of pesticides
The excessive use of pesticides can lead to harmful impacts on human health and the environment. The use o0f pests can contribute to the development of several diseases in humans. Many of the most at-risk people are farmers in developing countries.
Pesticides can pollute soil, water, and vegetation within the environment and affect living organisms such as birds, fish, and beneficial invertebrates. These creatures often play a vital role in controlling insect pests through predation, and when they are killed off, insect populations can rise.
Other means of control have also caused unforeseen side effects. The cane toad was introduced to Australia to manage the Cane Beetle, destroying sugar cane crops. Nevertheless, the cane toads have increased hugely in their population and range and threaten other native animals by eating smaller creatures and poisoning predators due to a toxin they produce for self-defense.
Benefits of Beetles
The various features of Beetles make them beneficial to the planet in several ways. Beetles are widely used for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. Not only this but there are also many species of beetles that are edible and are used as a significant food source in many countries. These edible species are in high demand with the increasing human population. The edible species of beetles are highly nutritious and extremely healthy. It is also famous for its delicious taste.
These insects are beneficial to mankind due to their extensive benefits. They break down the waste matters, feed on the dead and decaying bodies of animals, feed on rotten wood, leaf litter, and crop pests, and thus play a highly beneficial role in aerating the ecosystem.
The famous beetle species ladybirds are very beneficial to our ecosystem because they’re primarily feeding on garden beetles and crop pests.
Beetles are also a natural alternative to pest control services as they feed on aphids, mealworms, plant-sucking bugs, spider mites, sap feeders, and plant lice. Thus, they post numerous benefits to human beings.
Given below are the benefits of beetles to our ecosystem:
The chemical composition of beetles is highly dense. They are rich in fatty acids and amino acids. They are also excellent sources of protein. Research shows that an adult species of beetle known as “Holotrichia Parallela Motschulsky” has a protein amount of 70% and fat and minerals. Not only this, but beetles also contain chitin, a higher percentage of linoleic acid and oleic fatty acids. Thus, they are excellent sources of minerals and proteins for animals and human beings.
The amazing fact here is that they are consumed as food while still in their larval stage. That is why they are extensively used for culinary purposes and are the most popularly consumed insects. However, it is essential to note that not all beetles can be consumed as food. Some of the beetle species found in the USA and Canada are poisonous. Thus, it is highly advisable to do your research and consume only the edible variety.
The edible beetle species include dung beetles, aquatic beetles, wood-boring larvae, Holotrichia parallela Motschulsky, mealworm, darkling beetle, and rhinoceros beetle.
Here, it is important to mention before consuming a beetle, always allow them to empty their digestive system to get rid of any poisonous plants or insects they have eaten.
Beetles can be consumed by frying, boiling, roasting, or steaming.
Housekeeper of nature:
Beetles are nature’s housekeepers. They keep the environmental condition stable through their crucial role in the ecosystem, as mentioned before.
Several studies have revealed that beetles contain Aphrodisiac properties that help stimulate sexual desire in humans. The study was conducted back in 1988 by DeConconi and Moreno.
To benefit from their aphrodisiac properties, the larvae of a specific beetle species known as Spanish fly Lytta vesicatoria is consumed by roasting or mashing and then mixing in water. It is then consumed to stimulate sexual desires and rid urogenital disorders.
Beetle’s lifecycle is reliant on the availability of manure. Without Beetles, there would be more dung than humans could cope with.’ Their presence in nearly all ecosystems of the world ensures the healthy turnover of nutrients and waste.
Carrion Beetles decay organic matter like dead bodies.
Reducing agents for pest insects:
In addition, as well as providing food for other animals such as birds, rodents, and hedgehogs, some beetles are predators themselves and help control pest insects.
Assist in pollination:
Beetles are also important pollinators, as several species of plants are dependent on beetles.
Some beneficial beetles:
Not all beetles are beneficial. Some are also harmful to the environment, and some species are even poisonous. Therefore, it is essential to distinguish the beneficial beetles. The most common species among the beneficial beetles are rove beetles, tiger beetles, blister beetles, ground beetles, and ladybirds. Given below is a list of other beneficial beetles along with their benefits:
Tortoise beetles belong to the group of leaf beetles. There are around 35species of these beetles living in North America. The adult tortoise beetle is often misidentified as a lady beetle due to the shape of its forewings. An adult tortoise beetle ranges from 5 to 13 mm in length. Its head is concealed entirely. An adult tortoise beetle is metallic and highly vibrant, and colorful. It feeds on a thistle, weed, and horsenettle. Tortoise beetle is often considered a pest as they also feed on tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and eggplant.
Two tortoise beetles are used for biological control. They are golden tortoise beetle and thistle tortoise beetle. These species are highly beneficial to the ecosystem due to their pest-controlling characteristics. Thus, tortoise beetles are placed under the category of beneficial beetles.
Another beneficial beetle known as the thistle-head weevil is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is helpful for the biological control of nodding or musk thistle. The mature thistle-head weevil is anywhere around 11 to 15mm in length. It is yellowish-brown in color and has a snout. The female thistle-head weevil lays eggs on a thistle flower bud upon mating. The larvae feed on the thistle seeds. This beetle species is also an excellent pollinator. However, the lifecycle and existence of this beetle are entirely dependent on the thistle flower.
Two-spotted melyrid beetle
The scientific name of the two-spotted melyrid beetle is Collops bipunctatus. This beetle is a tiny and soft insect with a winged body. The body of a mature two-spotted melyrid beetle is wide from the back, and the front part of the body is relatively more delicate than other beetle species. Their legs are also different compared to other beetles, and they are slender. A mature two-spotted melyrid beetle has an orange and dark green body with metallic green forewings. It also has two dark spots on its body.
This beetle is beneficial due to its characteristic of feeding on aphids. Thus, it helps the ecosystem.
Some Fascinating Facts about Beetles:
Beetles are found extensively on planet Earth. This group of insects contains bugs, pests, and other fascinating varieties mentioned earlier. Below are some interesting facts about beetles you might never have heard before.
Beetles are the most extensive group of living organisms living on earth. They are even more extensive than plants. There are over 350,000 species of beetles. There may be as many as 3 million beetle species living on the earth through some calculations. Thus, they form the most prominent kingdom.
Beetles also communicate with each other in a very interesting way. They communicate through the release of chemicals. Yes, that is true! Some species of beetles release a specific type of chemical from their bodies that are used to send a signal to their fellow beetles. The fellow beetles also respond the same way. Thus, the release of chemicals becomes a two-way communication.
Some of the beetle species also communicate by making sounds. They scrap their mouthparts to send signals. Some also rub their bodies with the ground. Some varieties never communicate with the world and spend their entire lives by staying lifeless.
Some forms of beetles communicate with each other by making vibrations.
Beetles as pets
Beetles are often kept as pets, but people know that beetles can’t be good pets. They can’t make friends with humans or even develop attachments. Moreover, beetles are well-known for their ability to destroy crops and food sources. Not only this, but they also have a habit of laying eggs in random places and even inside food sources and jars. Hence, it is not very wise to keep them as pets as in no way are these insects beneficial.
Infographic diagram of anatomy: