The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Number of Beetles

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Barnes, Sue, & Helena Curtis. Biology. 5th ed. Chicago: Worth, 1989. "Of the approximately 1 million classified insects, at least 300,000 are beetles." 300,000
Microsoft Encarta Online. 2001. "The beetle order embraces more species than any other group in the animal kingdom. At least 250,000 species are known -- more than one-quarter of all animal species." 250,000
Bellamy, Charles & Arthur Evans. An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles. New York: Holt, 1996. "By the most conservative estimate, approximately 350,000 species of beetles have been described since 1758." 350,000
Barker, Will. Familiar Insects of America. New York: Harper, 1960. "Since the day Mr. Montieth commented on the number of examined beetles, there has been almost a threefold increase in the known, described species of these sheath-winged insects. In 1959 the number was more than 275,000 species, including a small brown one named the confused flour beetle." 275,000
Beetles. 5 May 2001 "Number of species in the world about 300 000 in about 500 families. (Thousands more probably still to be discovered.)" 300,000

Ever wondered how many beetles there were on earth? No, not the car, the insect. Beetles, under the class known as Coleoptera, are believed to make up at least quarter of the animal kingdom. Beetles are the largest group of animals, representing one fifth of all known living organisms and one fourth of all animals. Almost half of all living beetles are known as weevils under the family known as Curculionidae. It is believed that the number of species of beetles range from approximately 250,000 to 350,000.

Beetles are among the most fascinating of all animals. They differ in range of size, color, and form. Some beetles are as large as 16 cm while others are as small as 1 mm. Many tropical beetles have large horns and claws, making no attempt to hide themselves while others try to make themselves as little noticeable as they can.

Beetles also live under the most diverse conditions. Some beetles live in salt water while others live in fresh water and under the bark of dead and living trees. Some beetles feed on the roots, wood, leaves, flowers, and fruit of living plants while others are scavengers. Beetles have an important role in society today. They prey on pest insects and are therefore extremely important to biological control. Virtually any product from the animal or vegetable kingdom can serve as food for a beetle.

Beetles prove to be one of the most interesting animals on earth. They live in the most diverse conditions and they have the most interesting habits. Beetles are the largest group of animals in the animal kingdom and their population seems to be growing everyday.

Keith Singh -- 2001