Oh, where should we begin with this tiny creature called the beetle? Did you know that there are 300,000 different species of this little guy in the entire world? 12,000 of those species of beetles live in the United States alone – so there are plenty of things to say about our bug friend.
If you’ve ever wanted to know some interesting information about the beetle, read below to learn more. We’ve compiled our favorite facts about beetles, and you may be rather surprised by what you discover.
▪ Interestingly enough, there are beetles that have the power to both help and hurt our environment. There are some species of beetles, like the Asian Longhorned Beetle, which destroy crops and trees. Other species of beetles, like dung beetles, help the environment by getting rid of garbage, eating unnecessary waste, and pollinating our flowers.
▪ Adult beetles actually have two sets of wings – their first pair is harder and more thickened. These tougher wings are a protective shield for their flying wings, which are hiding underneath. The flying wings of a beetle are fragile, but serve their purpose very well.
▪ Beetles are the most common type of bug in the world – you can find them almost anywhere. They are often confused with other insects because they are residing pretty much everywhere.
▪ Because beetles are so common and there are so many species, they are found in many different types of environments. They can be everywhere from the hottest, driest deserts to the wettest tropical rainforests of the world. Areas containing salt water or polar climates are two of the only places where beetles are not found.
▪ The lifespan of a beetle consists of four stages – egg, larva, pupil, and adult. The length of these stages depends on the species of beetle and factors in the environment. For example, the May Bug (a European beetle) could live anywhere from two to a very respectable eight years.
▪ Beetles cannot see very well – unlike people, who often use their eyes when communicating with others; beetles have to rely on other methods for communication. Beetles will interact using sounds, vibrations, and pheromones, a chemical released by some animals that can affect the behavior of similar animals.
▪ Although many people view beetles as pests, they may be surprised to find that the lovely ladybug is also a beetle. Considered “good luck” in many cultures, some people even believe that hurting a lady bug will bring you bad luck. Aside from that, lady bugs are very helpful creatures that help farmers out by protecting their crops.
▪ Many people may picture beetles as being black and plain, but some of these bugs can be extremely colorful. They can be red, yellow, orange, green, or even purple, and some even have interesting patterns like stripes or spots. A good example of this is the tiger beetle, which can be a very festive bright blue.
▪ Beetles may seem very small, but many of them can protect themselves from predators in ways you wouldn’t expect. Some beetles release acids that could burn the skin and eyes. The Bushman arrow-poison beetle, found in Africa, is dangerously poisonous. Even the larvae of this beetle are poisonous enough to cause bad injury to someone.
▪ Beetles, like all insects, have six legs.
▪ Generally speaking, beetles like to consume bits of plants, leaves, seeds, and some fruit. There are species of beetles that will eat gnats (imagine having a meal that small!) or even tree bark and wood. Beetles that feast on bark too often are unknowingly harming the environment.
▪ Because there are so many species of beetles, they vary quite often in size and shape. Some species will only reach 1/16 of an inch, which is very small! Other species can grow to 6 inches long, which is much longer than many people think beetles are. Beetles that live in cooler, more tropical climates are usually larger than beetles that live in much colder climates.