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Coleoptera - Beetles



 Kingdom: Animalia 
 Phylum: Arthropoda
 Subphylum: Hexapoda
 Class: Insecta
 Order: Coleoptera

Lily Beetle Beetles are found all over the world in all types of environments, except the Antarctic. There are over 350,000 described species of beetles in the world. Scientists estimate that there may be hundreds of thousands more species yet to be discovered. In fact, scientists describe about 2,000 new species every year! Beetles make up at least a quarter of all the known species of animals in the world.

Beetles come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Beetles have two pairs of wings. The forewings or elytra are hard, like a shell, and protect the hind wings. When a beetle flies, it uses its hind wings. When a beetle prepares to fly, the forewings open and the hind wings unfold. Beetles are insects, so they have antennae on their head;, six pairs of segmented legs; and their body is divided into three parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen.

FireflyOne unique beetle is the firefly or lightning bug. The firefly produces bioluminescence using special chemical compounds in a light organ on the underside of its abdomen. Fireflies use bioluminescence to attract mates. The male flashes his light and the female responds with her own flash of light. Each species of firefly has its own special light signal that other members of its species recognizes. Even the eggs of fireflies light up! There are over 1,900 species of firefly in the world! Most species are brown or black and are less than an inch in length.