Over 300 species are used as food, mostly as larvae; species widely consumed include mealworms and rhinoceros beetle larvae. In some cases, however, more dramatic changes occur. The mass of beetles are able to overcome the chemical defenses of the tree. [21][26], As a consequence of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the fossil record of insects is scant, including beetles from the Lower Triassic. Like all insects, beetles' bodies are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Many species of leaf beetles, longhorn beetles, and weevils are very host-specific, feeding on only a single species of plant. [175], The Dermestidae are often used in taxidermy and in the preparation of scientific specimens, to clean soft tissue from bones. In some day-flying species (for example, Buprestidae, Scarabaeidae), flight does not include large amounts of lifting of the elytra, having the metathorac wings extended under the lateral elytra margins. [145], Several species of dung beetle, especially the sacred scarab, Scarabaeus sacer, were revered in Ancient Egypt. Serious pests include the boll weevil of cotton, the Colorado potato beetle, the coconut hispine beetle, and the mountain pine beetle. No, not the car, the insect. A female may lay from several dozen to several thousand eggs during her lifetime, depending on the extent of parental care. (Leiodidae) completes its larval stage in the fruiting body of slime mold in 2 days and possibly represents the fastest growing beetles. Among certain beetle families or genera, particularly those that exhibit parasitic lifestyles, the first instar (the planidium) is highly mobile to search out a host, while the following instars are more sedentary and remain on or within their host. [99], Subsociality, where females guard their offspring, is well-documented in two families of Chrysomelidae, Cassidinae and Chrysomelinae. In Japan the Genji firefly, Luciola cruciata, is extremely popular, and in South Africa the Addo elephant dung beetle offers promise for broadening ecotourism beyond the big five tourist mammal species. This immense number led the evolutionary biologist J. This beetle lives as a parasite both as a larva and as an adult, feeding on epidermal tissue and possibly on skin secretions and wound exudates. To these insects a sting has been denied by Nature; but in one large kind we find horns of a remarkable length, two-pronged at the extremities, and forming pincers, which the animal closes when it is its intention to bite. The English name beetle comes from the Old English word bitela, little biter, related to bītan (to bite),[2][3] leading to Middle English betylle. This species can stridulate to communicate,[93] but others may use sound to defend themselves when attacked. [7], As with all endopterygotes, beetle larvae pupate, and from these pupae emerge fully formed, sexually mature adult beetles, or imagos. They may not mate at all if they do not perform the precopulatory ritual. [122], Beetle-pollinated flowers are usually large, greenish or off-white in color, and heavily scented. The name of the taxonomic order, Coleoptera, comes from the Greek koleopteros (κολεόπτερος), given to the group by Aristotle for their elytra, hardened shield-like forewings, from koleos, sheath, and pteron, wing. [198], Living beetles have been used as cyborgs. For example, the tansy beetle walks between habitats despite being physically capable of flight. The fungus penetrates the plant's xylem tissue, digests it, and concentrates the nutrients on and near the surface of the beetle gallery, so the weevils and the fungus both benefit. At least 250,000 species are known -- more than one-quarter of all animal species. Certain Cerambycidae use antennae to balance, and blister beetles may use them for grasping. [21] The first coprophagous beetles are from the Upper Cretaceous[39] and may have lived on the excrement of herbivorous dinosaurs.