The beetles are the most diverse order of living organisms and their numbers are extraordinary with more than 350,000 named species that represent about 40% of all insects and 30% of all animals. There are at least six times as many beetles as vertebrate species and 90 times more than the number of all mammals. The order is divided into four suborders and about 150 families.
Polyphaga is by far the largest suborder, containing 85% of the known species, including rove beetles, scarabs, stag beetles, metallic wood-boring beetles, click beetles, fireflies, blister beetles, meal-worms, ladybirds, leaf beetles, longhorn beetles, and weevils.
Perhaps the single most important factor in the success of the beetles is the development of the elytra or armored forewings that are leathery and hard, they are not used in flight but are a sheath that covers the more delicate flying wings when they are not in use. In-Flight, the elytra are held perpendicular to the body and are used as airfoils. Beetles live in almost every conceivable terrestrial and freshwater habitat and even in some marginal marine ones. Many species live in freshwater, either in the larva stage or in both larval and adult stages. Many adults have ventral patches of fine setae that trap air bubbles for use in breathing underwater. Most species of beetles are predators.
Beetles are of immense ecological and economic importance. Many are vital in the cycles of decomposition of plant and animal matter. Others are predators of insects and other invertebrates that damage crops and other plants. On the other hand, many beetles feed on the foliage and roots of plants, causing much damage to crops, and they can kill huge tracts of valuable forests in a short time.
Banded Longhorn Beetle
The Long-Horned Beetles are easily recognizable due to their long antennae, usually longer than the body. Most species are elongated and cylindrical and many are brightly colored. The Banded Alder Longhorn Beetle feeds on pollen, flowers, leaves, bark, and wood. The larvae are plant-eating and burrow in wood. Read More….
This Carabid beetle is one of the more distinctive and attractive of the ground beetles. It is common in forests, parks, and gardens in our area. They have an appetite for escargot, but will eat slugs when shelled delicacies are scarce! The narrow head is an adaptation for eating snails from the shell. Read More….
The Click Beetle’s common name comes from the clicking sound that is made by a mechanism on the thorax of adults. These beetles use this mechanism to throw themselves into the air or to right themselves when they are on their backs. Click beetles are commonly found under stones and logs or look at flowers and vegetation. Read More….
Most species of Darkling Beetles are active above ground through spring, summer, and fall. With the onset of winter weather, some species seek shelter below ground in burrows of other animals and remain there until warmer weather returns in the spring. Read More….
Dung Beetle is a group of beetles in the family Scarabaeidae, insect order Coleoptera. They are important insects that help dramatically with the decomposition of animal manure. There are several species; some live in woodlands and others dwell in pastures, some live in dog manure. Read More….
European Ground Beetle
European ground beetles are easily distinguished from the others because they are about 2.5 to 4 cm long, making them the largest ground beetles on the island, and their upper thorax and elytra are metallic purple or coppery. The elytra each have 3 rows of dimples running along the ridges. Read More….
Fire Colored Beetle
Fire Colored Beetles have chewing mouth parts and hardened front wings that meet in a straight line down the back of the abdomen when closed. They are quite interesting to observe. Commonly encountered in the Pacific Northwest, most fire-colored beetles are a little less than 2.5 cm long, but some species are much smaller. Read More….
These Firefly Beetles can be found all over the Pacific Northwest. Unlike other Fireflies, these beetles don’t produce light, but the larvae sometimes have a pale green luminescence on their abdomen. Fireflies are beetles. Read More….
Flat Faced Longhorn Beetle
The Flat Faced Longhorn Beetles are a species of the subfamily Lamiinae. They can be up to 11 mm long. It has a pitted exoskeleton and is brown with black mottling. Its larvae feed under the bark of conifers. Adults can be found attracted to lights from April to September. These guys can bite, handle with care. Read More….
Flower Longhorn Beetle
The markings on the Flower Longhorn Beetles can be very striking with the black and yellow, green, red, or black. These beetles are extraordinary flower pollinators and are in a family characterized by their long antennae which can be as long as their bodies. Read More….
The June Beetles are found west of the Rocky Mountains. Larvae feed on the roots of plants and the adults feed on foliage. Infestations spread as mated females tend to stay in one spot and the long-time span of each generation, which can be four to five years before they reach sexual maturity in the pacific northwest. Read More….
Lady Bird Beetle
This is one of the most beneficial families of beetles because adults and larvae of most species of Ladybird Beetles feed on pest insects like aphids. A few species like the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle are plant-eating and can be major pests of cultivated crops. Read More….
Metallic Wood Boring Beetle
Both the larvae and adults live on and in dead trees and under the bark on logs. Some species of Metallic Wood Boring Beetles will attack living trees or newly cut logs. Other species occur on the leaves of trees and shrubs or are leaf miners. These beetles will fly when they are alarmed. Read More….
Predaceous Diving Beetle
Predaceous Diving Beetle is usually black or dark brown, sometimes with green, bronze, or brown stripes or spots. The body is oval and very hard, and the hind legs are flattened and fringed for swimming. Read More….
The Soldier Beetles feed on nectar and pollen or on other insects, such as aphids. Most larvae are predaceous on soft-bodied insects like caterpillars and also on insect eggs. A few species are omnivorous and feed on wheat, potatoes, celery, and other vegetables. Read More….