Facts About Beetles



  • At least 250,000 species of beetle have been identified. They live everywhere on Earth, apart from in the oceans.
  • Unlike other insects, adult beetles have a pair of thick, hard, front wings called elytra. These form an armour-like casing over the beetle’s body.
  • The goliath beetle of Africa is the heaviest flying insect, weighing over 100 grams and growing to as much as 13 cm long.
  • Dung beetles roll away the dung of grazing animals to lay their eggs on. Fresh dung from one elephant may contain 7,000 beetles – they will clear the dung away it’ little more than a day.
  • The ooversized mandibles (jaws) of these stag beetles harmless. They are quite show that the males have reached maturity and are ready to breed.
  • A click beetle can jump 30 cm into the air.
  • The bombardier beetle shoots attackers with jets of burning chemicals from the tip of its abdomen.
  • The rove beetle can zoom across water on a liquid given off by glands on its abdomen.
  • The leaf-eating beetle can clamp on to leaves using the suction of a layer of oil.
  • Stag beetles have huge jaws which look like a stag’s antlers.
  • The jewel beetles of tropical South America get their name from the brilliant rainbow colours of their elytra (front wings)