By George Hangay
Winner of the 2010 Whitley Medal
A advisor to the Beetles of Australia is an interesting advent to this large and various team of bugs – the Coleoptera. Beetles make up forty% of all bugs. The variety of identified beetle species on this planet – greater than 350,000 – is greater than six instances the variety of all vertebrate species.
New beetle species are being came upon forever. Of the 30,000 species which can happen in Australia, in basic terms 20,000 were scientifically defined. those contain round 6,000 weevils (Curculionidae), 3,000 scarabs, dung beetles and chafers (Scarabaeidae) and 3,000 leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae).
A consultant to the Beetles of Australia highlights the large variety of this targeted insect Order. It emphasizes the environmental function of beetles, their relationships with different vegetation and animals and their value to humans.
• Treats all major households of Australian beetles
• presents an advent to beetle biology
• Copiously illustrated with top of the range photos
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Additional resources for A Guide to the Beetles of Australia
This ferocious aquatic beetle, a predatory dytiscid, can ambush an equally fearsome, predaceous water scorpion and make a meal of it. 32 FOOD AND SUR VIVAL One of the largest termite-loving beetles in Australia is the 6-mm-long Megaxenus termitophilus (Aderidae), which is often seen on the outside of termite mounds in north Queensland rainforests. This weevil (Curculionidae) is using the chewing mandibles at the tip of its rostrum to dig holes for its eggs. A few beetles live as ectoparasites on mammals.
Some species that live in decaying wood or under bark build cradle-like nests or hollow out special pupating chambers inside the timber, while others prepare underground cells in the soil. However, a great many species don’t do any of this. They just ﬁnd a suitable place and start to pupate. As the larva’s body shape alters, it begins to look like the adult beetle. Its exoskeleton thickens and often takes on the colour of Once the larva reaches the last stage in its development, its muscles and organs begin to transform.
However, no adult beetles have urogomphi or cerci and therefore it may seem strange that some beetle larvae do have these organs. The legs of the larvae can be as diverse than those of the adult beetles. Aquatic species have natorial (swimming) legs, while REPRODUCTION AND DE VELOPMENT Some beetle larvae A ‘curl-grub’ type larva of a stag beetle (Lucanidae), typical of the Scarabaeoidea. The carpet beetle (Dermestidae) larva is free-living and strongly sclerotised. The predaceous larva of a diving beetle (Dytiscidae) has a breathing siphon at the tip of its abdomen.
A Guide to the Beetles of Australia by George Hangay