Beetles are insects. They belong to an order of insects called Coleoptera which, translated from the Greek, means sheath wings. Beetles have two pairs of wings, the front of which are, in most species, hardened and serve to cover the hind wings, the flight wings, when not in use. When on foot, most beetles fold their flight wings and store them under the hardened forewings, the elytra.
Beetles constitute about 40% of all insects on the planet with anywhere from 350,000 to 400,000 species, depending upon which source is referenced. The familiar lady bug, lightning bug, and boll weevil are all beetles. They live under water, on and under the ground, burrow into trees, most species can fly, and some of them harvest and consume dung.
They’re a diverse lot. Here’s a very small sampling of photos of beetles that have been seen here at the Museum. The photos are in no particular order.
And there you have it, eighteen species, although two of them are not positively identified. A small sample indeed. There were many other species seen out on our 84 acres that are not shown here. What have you seen?