The insect order Coleoptera includes the beetles. Here are a few facts about insects belonging to the order Coleoptera:
- Largest insect order. More than 250,000 known species. About 40% of all insect species belongs to this order.
- Size from very small (< 1 mm) to very big (± 125 mm)
- Vary in their habits.
- Found almost everywhere.
- Economic important.
- Identification by structure of their wings (2 pairs of wings).
- Front wings thickened, leathery or hard. Front wings (elytra) meet in a straight line in the middle of the back, not used for flying.
- Hind wings are longer than elytra, membranous, used for flying, in rest folded and hidden under elytra.
- Mouthparts chewing, mandibles well developed.
- Complete metamorphosis.
- Larvae variable in different families.
- Found in many different habitats, most on land, others subterranean or aquatic.
- Feeding on all kind of plant and animal material. Phytophagous, predaceous, scavengers, mold/fungi, parasitic.
The order Coleoptera is divided into a number of families. Some families containing important agricultural pests are:
- Scarabaeidae = Scarab beetles
- Buprestidae = Buprestids
- Bostrychidae = Shot-hole borers
- Coccinellidae = Ladybird beetles
- Tenebrionidae =
- Lagriidae =
- Meloidae = Blister beetles
- Chrysomelidae = Leaf beetles
- Curculionidae = Weevils or Snout beetles
- Bruchidae = Bruchids or Seed weevils
- Cerambicidae = Longhorns
Another interesting family of beetles are the Lampyridae. These are commonly called fireflies or lightning bugs and they are famous because they produce light.