The insect order Coleoptera includes the beetles. Here are a few facts about insects belonging to the order Coleoptera:

  • Beetles
  • 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.

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