The Beetles (Coleoptera)
The beetles are the largest single order of insects, they total a staggering 360,000 + named species and in 1977 1 in 4 or 25 percent of all animal species was a beetle.
Beetles can be described as holometabolous insects with biting mouth parts, 2 pairs of wings, the first pair of which are modified into leathery elytra which are not used in flight (though they may act as aerofoils), the Prothorax is large and the Mesothorax much reduced. The larvae are usually campodeiform or eruciform with biting mouthparts, the pupa are generally adecticous and exarate.
Beetles range in size from 0.25 mm to over 170mm long, and comprise both the largest and very nearly the smallest insects in the world.
There are several different ways of measuring the size of an insect, most people would consider the largest insect to be the bulkiest and in this case the champion insect is the Acteaom Beetle from South America the males of which can be 9cms long by 5cms wide by 4cms thick.
Another competitor for the title is the extremely rare South American Longhorn Beetle Titanus giganteus these giants can be over 16cms in body length (not including antennae) other longhorn beetles are nearly as long and may look bigger because of their longer legs i.e. Xixuthrus heros from Fiji, while another beetle, Dynastes hercules is also well known for reaching 16cms in length though it is not nearly a heavy. In the other direction many beetles are less than one millimetre in length, and the North american Feather-winged Beetle Nanosella fungi at 0.25mm is a serious contender for the title of smallest insect in the world.
It would be impossible to talk in general terms about such a vast panoply of organisms or given the space I have available to delineate the 125 Families in 4 Suborders, instead I intend to attack the Beetles in a series of small groups, most of which will be at family level, I hope eventually to have something up about all of the following at least:-.
Bark Beetles ( Scolytidae
Burying Beetles ( Silphidae; Nicrophorus sp.)
Click Beetles ( Elateridae)
Dung Beetles ( Scarabaeoidea (in part))
Ground Beetles ( Carabidae)
Jewel Beetles ( Buprestidae)
Lady Birds ( Coccinelidae)
Larder Beetles ( Dermestidae)
Leaf Beetles ( Chrysomelidae)
Longhorn Beetles ( Cerambycidae)
Mealworms and Relatives ( Tenebrionidae)
Rove Beetles ( Staphylinidae)
Soldier and Sailor Beetles ( Cantharidae)
Stag Beetles ( Lucanidae)
Tiger Beetles ( Cicindelidae)
True Water Beetles ( Dytiscidae)
Weevils ( Curculionidae)
Whirligig Beetles ( Gyrinidae)
Woodworm Beetles ( Anobiidae)
Biological atlas of Aquatic Insects by W. Wichard, W. Arens and G. Eisenbeis
Fauna of New Zealand No.43. Carabidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) By A Larochelle and M.-C. Larivière.
Fauna of New Zealand No.42. Aphodiinae (Insecta: Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) By Z. T. Stebnicka
World Catalogue of insects. Volume 2. Hydrophiloidea by Michael Hansen
The Biology of Tiger Beetles by Barry Knisley and Tom Schultz
World Catalogue of Insects: Volume 1 Hydraenidae (Coleoptera) by Michael Hansen
Fauna of New Zealand No.37. Coleoptera : family-group review and keys to identification. By J. Klimaszewski and J. C. Watt.
The Evolution of Social Behaviour in Insects and Arachnids, by Jae C. Choe and Bernard J. Crespi (Eds).
Peterson Field Guides: Beetles, by Richard E. White (For N. America)
Common dung beetles, by Marina Tyndale-Biscoe
Wood-destroying Insects, by J. W. Creffield
Australian Beetles, by John F. Lawrence and E.B.Briton
Aquatic Insects of Northern Europe Vol. 1. a taxonomic handbook by, Anders Nilsson (Ed.)
Dung Beetle Ecology, by Ilkka Hanski and Yves Cambefort (Eds)
Field Guide to Northeastern Longhorned Beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), Illinois Natural History Survey Manual 6, by Douglas Yanega.
Jewel Beetles, by Sadahiro Ohmomo and KÔyÔ Akiyama
IIE Guides to Insects of Importance to Man 3. Coleoptera, by R.G. Booth, M.L. Cox and R.B. Madge
Naturalists' Handbook Series 3 Relevent volumes, one on Weevils, one on Ground Beetles and one on Ladybirds (Very UK oriented)
A checklist of the ground-beetles of Russia and adjacent lands (Insecta, Coleoptera, Carabidae) by O. L. Kryzhanovskij, I. A. Belousov, I. I. Kabak, B. M. Kataev, K.V.Makarov, V.G.Shilenkov
Catalogue of the ground-beetles of Bulgaria (Coleoptera: Carabidae) by V. B. Gueorguiev and B. V. Gueorguiev
Reclassification of world Dyschiriini with a revision of the Palearctic fauna (Coleoptera, Carabidae) by D. N. Fedorenko
Click Beetles Genera of the Australian Elateridae, by Andrew A. Calder
Beetles on the Web
and Fire-flies Page
The Black Pecan Weevil Curculio caryae (Horn).
and Its larva
The Hickory Shuckworm
A beetle larva, Laspeyresia caryae (Fitch).
Classification of families and subfamilies of aquatic Coleoptera hierarchical classification linking to checklists of species
Beetles from Iowa State University Entomology Image Gallery
Bibliography of aquatic Coleoptera Illinois Natural History Survey
Checklist of Genera of Noteridae
Coleoptera at University of Colorado Museum
Coleoptera catalogue at UMMZ
List of Families University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Costa Rican Lamenicorns incl key to Scarabaeidae
Tree of Life Coleoptera