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WHAT IS A BEETLE?

Beetles have two prominent compound eyes, and antennea of various shapes and sizes that arise between the eyes. There are more than 300,000 known species of beetles in the world, a number approximately equal to that of known plant species.

Most species of beetles can fly, most do so only to cover short distances or to reach vegetation close to the ground. The rest of their time is spent crawling on or near the ground or on vegetation or swimming. Both beetle larvae and adults are active predators eating only aphids and other plant eating insects, such as scales and mites.


Both adults and larvae live on plants frequented by aphids, including roses, oleander, milkweed and broccoli. In the winter, the adults hibernate in large groups, often in mountains at high elevations. The female beetle lays eggs only where she knows aphids are present.

 













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Beetles makeup about 40% of all known insects, and about one-third of all known animal species. You can find them in every conceivable habitat, except for saltwater and polar icecaps. It is possible that beetles are the most successful organisms on earth.

In every sort of dead and decaying matter a beetle will be found. They use the decaying matter for food for themselves and their young. The beetles, working in pairs, will quickly bury the animal, shoveling away the earth from beneath it with their legs and flattened heads. Once buried the corpse is used as food by the beetles and the female lays her eggs on it so that it provides food for the young.


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