Beetles - Order Coleoptera


Wasp-mimic Longicorn
Hesthesis sp.

This is by far the largest order in Australia and the rest of the world. There are over 28,000 species in this country and they come in all shapes and sizes and can be found everywhere.
 

Beetles all have a pair of compund eyes, which can vary in shape and size from species to species. They also have a pair of antennae in many shapes and lengths. The vast majority of beetles have two pairs of wings. In all cases, the forewings have become hardened, or sclerotised, to form a protective cover over the hindwings, which are membranous and used for flying. When at rest, the hindwings are tucked under the forewings to reduce the risk of damage. In some flightless species, the hindwings have disappeared and the forewings have become fused together to act as body armour.

Collectively, Coleoptera eat just about anything as larvae and adults - leaves, wood, carrion, dung, fungi, nectar, seeds, each other and other insects. For this function, they all have mandibulate (chewing) mouthparts.

Beetles undergo complete metamorphosis. The larvae hatch from eggs and develop in 3 to 5 stages, called instars, which involves moulting at each stage. At the end of the final instar, they pupate, eventually emerging as fully-developed adults. The devlopment from larvae to adult can take as long as several years.

Nature has an incredible imagination and beetles are prime examples. The variety of shapes, sizes and colours is staggering and at times breathtaking. I don't think any photo can truly do them justice, but I've tried to do my best to capture what I saw. You should have seen the ones that got away!

Special thanks to coleopterist Boris Buche from Germany, and biologist and author, Dr. Trevor Hawkeswood, and Justin Bartlett from DPI, who have been kind enough to assist with many of my beetle identifications. See the Acknowledgements & Links page for details of their sites.

Thanks also to Allen Sundholm for his invaluable assistance and advice, especially with regard to the Jewel Beetles (Buprestidae). 

And a big thank you to Tom Weir, former curator of the CSIRO's Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra, for offering new and corrected identifications for some of the beetles in my collection.

Click on an image below to see the beetles of Australia.


Anobiidae
Furniture & Spider
Beetles


Anthicidae
Flower Beetles


Anthribidae
Fungus Weevils


Apionidae
Apionid Weevils


Belidae
Belid Weevils


Bothrideridae
Dry Bark Beetles


Brentidae
Straight-snouted
Weevils


Buprestidae
Jewel Beetles


Cantharidae
Soldier Beetles


Carabidae
Ground Beetles


Cerambycidae
Longicorn Beetles


Chrysomelidae
Leaf Beetles


Cleridae
Checkered Beetles


Coccinellidae
Ladybird Beetles


Cucujidae
Flat Bark Beetles


Curculionidae
True Weevils


Dermestidae
Dermestid Beetles


Elateridae
Click Beetles


Endomychidae
Handsome Fungus
Beetles


Erotylidae
Pleasing Fungus and
Lizard Beetles


Lampyridae

Fireflies


Lucanidae
Stag Beetles


Meloidae
Blister Beetles


Lycidae
Net-winged Beetles


Melyridae
Soft-winged Flower
Beetles


Mordellidae
Pintail Beetles


Nitidulidae
Sap Beetles


Oedemeridae
False Blister Beetles


Passalidae
Bess Beetles


Pyrochroidae
Fire-colored
Beetles


Rhipiceridae
Feather-horned
Beetles


Rhipiphoridae
Wedge-shaped
Beetles


Salpingidae
Narrow-waisted
Bark Beetles


Scaphidiidae

Shining Fungus
Beetles


Scarabaeidae
Scarabs


Staphylinidae

Rove Beetles


Tenebrionidae
Darkling Beetles


Unknown Beetles

 

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