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The beetle is part of the category of beetles. Their real name is scarabaeidae or scarabéidae. This large family brings together many very different individuals, who are controversial within the research community.

The particularities of beetles

More or less large, beetles are generally flying insects. However, some specimens are not capable of this. They have antennae that end in small tufts. Their wings are hidden under a shield called elytra which can be black, colored or patterned depending on the family. Some beetles have the particularity of rubbing their elytra against their abdomen to make a sound. They are then said to chirp.

Rather discreet, even if they are present on all continents, it is quite rare to see beetles in nature. These small insects measure between 1 and 3 cm depending on the species and their 3 pairs of notched legs help them dig holes in the earth. Some beetles have quite strange shapes, like the rhinoceros beetle which has horns to impress females and confront males in a duel. The lifespan of these beetles is quite short, varying from a few months to three years at most.

The diet of beetles is of two different natures, thus allowing them to be classified into two categories. On one side, we therefore have the coprophagous beetles, which consume fecal matter and on the other, the saproxylophages, which feed on decomposing dead wood, plants or even roots and fruits. Their predators are varied since they are easy prey for birds, hedgehogs, lizards and even ants.

The different types of beetles

In reality, there are only 2 families of beetles (those mentioned above), which are divided into 28 subfamilies. Each of these subfamilies represents a particular beetle. Some of them have scientific names, but are better known by their vernacular name, such as the rhinoceros beetle, the dung beetle or the cockchafer.

We also find the aclopinae, the aphodiinae, the orphninae, the tichiinae as well as the valginae. Among this selection, we can further detail 2,590 different genera of beetles, such as Acrossus, Loboserica, nanniscus or even zomba.

The different connotations linked to beetles

If today beetles are “common insects”, they nevertheless have a special place in certain cultures. This is for example the case of the Egyptians who saw in it a symbol of the sun. The god Re (god of the sun) was often represented in the form of a scarab. It was one of the 12 sacred animals associated with the 12 night and day hours.

In Asia, some beetles are captured from the wild and then trained for fighting. This is a very common practice in Thailand, where the Siamese rhinoceros beetle or the xylotrupes gideon (fighting beetle) are the stars of many bets. These battles are called Kwang and intrigue scientists as to the insect’s “attachment” to their “human”.

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