The ladybug, the back colored by black dots on red background above, the primavera, with jaw-like horns, and glow-worm, capable of emitting light, are examples of the most diverse group of insects, spread by almost the entire planet, they are share the beetles.
Beetle is the common name of several insects of the order of beetles, which comprises at least 350,000 and perhaps 250,000 species is the largest order taxonomy of the animal kingdom. Many types of beetles are other popular names, but the word beetle is generally considered equivalent to scientific term coleopterous. Some of the largest and smallest known insects belong to the order of beetles. The ptiliídeos and hidroscafídeos, for example, measuring fractions of a millimeter, while some Cerambycidae, as one found in the Amazon, can reach 18cm.
Characteristics. The main characteristic of beetles are the wings previous hard (élitros), which do not serve for the flight and act as a kit that covers and protects the pair of wings later. Hence the name coleopterous, the Greek Koleos, "kit" and pteron "wing". In some cases, the wings are very small at all or absent. Another distinctive feature is the mouth-type masticatory ie, the mouth presents well-developed mandibles. The other physical traits are extremely varied: shape, size and number of segments of the antennae; types of eyes (sometimes absent); shape and structure of the legs (tailored to specific functions such as swimming, digging and jumping) etc.
How to play the majority of species is ovípara. The eggs are put into trunks in decomposition, excrement and various other types of environments. The life cycle of beetles includes a process of complete metamorphosis (holometabolismo): the egg is the larva, which after some ecdysis (seedling), turns into pupa, which, after a certain period, giving rise to the adult insect. The larvae, usually active, have feet and around the city.
Also the habits of beetles are very diverse: there are aquatic species (of which most is fresh water), semi-aquatic and terrestrial, for daytime or nighttime habits. Some species feed on plant material if, like plants or wood from trees sick or dead. There are predatory species - to hunt insects or other animals - and there are those who feed meat in decomposition or excrement. Some beetles live in association with other animals, like ants or termites, or are parasites, such as meloídeos.
The division taxonomy of beetles is complex and controversial. The most recent and seemingly more natural, of Crowson RA (1955), considers four suborders, a total of 153 families.
Arcostemados: considered the most primitive, the suborder of arcostemados comprises only two families (of which only the cupedídeos was found in the neotropical), with a few dozen species. It is believed that it arose all recent beetles.
Adéfagos: too primitive, the suborder of adéfagos includes ten families, waterfowl (ditiscídeos and girinídeos, for example) and terrestrial (carabídeos).
Mixófagos. Mixófagos of the suborder, primitive and still poorly known, comprises four families, with a hundred species of tiny (about a millimeter) and waterfowl. The families appear to be remnants from atuais seasons in which the suborder was widely distributed.
Polífagos: meets the suborder of beetles polífagos most recent: 18 superfamilies and 137 families. In the vast superfamily of Scarabaeidae this includes the roll-dung, dung beetles that use of animals to make acorns in which they put the eggs and of which feed on larvae. The real vagalumes or glow-worm belonging to the family lampirídeos, which have luminescent abdominal segments. Some species of click beetle also have luminescent organs.
In the family of dermestídeos there are species that attack organic matter in decomposition. The anobiídeos are pests, for example, the weevil of smoke. The Cerambycidae form a large family, which includes the mountain-sticks, are generally vistosos such as Pantaloon (Acrocinus longimanus). The bruquídeo include many species, such as the weevil attacking stored grain.
The weevils, characterized by elongated rostrum, belong to the family curculionídeos, one of the largest in the animal kingdom.