By George Hangay
Winner of the 2010 Whitley Medal
A advisor to the Beetles of Australia is an interesting creation to this massive and numerous workforce of bugs – the Coleoptera. Beetles make up forty% of all bugs. The variety of recognized beetle species on the earth – greater than 350,000 – is greater than six occasions the variety of all vertebrate species.
New beetle species are being found for all time. Of the 30,000 species which could happen in Australia, basically 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 specific insect Order. It emphasizes the environmental function of beetles, their relationships with different vegetation and animals and their significance to humans.
• Treats all major households of Australian beetles
• presents an creation to beetle biology
• Copiously illustrated with prime quality pictures
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Additional info for A Guide to the Beetles of Australia
Digestion Some beetles don’t chew their food – they are liquid feeders and employ a peculiar method for preparing their food, known as extraoral digestion. They use their mandibles to capture and kill or de-mobilise their prey and then introduce some digestive juice to 33 FOOD AND SUR VIVAL them and lick up the resulting goo. Not a nice way of eating, but it is very effective! The digestive tract of beetles has developed differently in different species. Some of those that imbibe their nourishment in roughly cut particles, or feed on substances which are difﬁcult to digest, have developed a kind of crop, in which the particles of food undergo a pre-digestive process before passing further into the alimentary canal.
Beetles develop through complete metamorphosis – the typical lifecycle consists of four basic forms: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The wonder of metamorphosis is The typical mating position of weevils (Curculionidae) and many other beetles; with the smaller male riding on the back of the female. 21 REPRODUCTION AND DE VELOPMENT one of the most fascinating events an entomologist can observe. Although modern science knows a great deal about this process, it is still a miraculous event. Eggs Beetle eggs are generally quite simple; most of them are ovoid or round, like tiny balls and usually creamy coloured or translucent.
The pupa soil particles or debris found in the vicinity. It is usually completed from the inside, thus encapsulating the larva. 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.
A Guide to the Beetles of Australia by George Hangay