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The Origins of Beetles In Our Homes
What Are Beetles Not?
When we start talking about beetle pests in residential homes people often have flashbacks to very different things. Memories of the great Tim Burton movie Beetlejuice, The VW Beetle, or even the band, the Beatles!
The Beetles we deal with here are insects!
Where Does The Word Beetle Come from?
The word "beetle" comes from the old English word "betylle", meaning to bite and the old English "Chafer" with German roots.
Scientifically this group of insects was named by the ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle.
Aristotle classified beetles as "Coleoptera", which comes from the Greek "koleopteros", Describing their elytra, (hardened shield-like forewings), "koleos", sheath, and "pteron", for the wing.
Beetles belong to a diverse group of insects numbering over 500000 described and collected but undescribed species.
Scientists estimate the number of beetles could easily exceed two million species.
Sadly, scientific participation in taxonomy has fallen out of favour in recent years. The result is less scientific collection and investigation to catalogue, study and protect these fascinating insects.
What Is The Worlds Smallest Beetle?
The smallest beetle in the world is the feather wing beetle (Scydosella musawasensis) discovered in Central America's largest country, Nicaragua. This tiny beetle measures in at a little over 0.3mm.
Many of the insects being discovered today are tiny. Most of the larger species have been catalogued because they're easily seen and captured.
One reason many species of beetle are still undiscovered is that they live in leaf litter, beneath bark or even beneath the water of streams, rivers and lakes!
What Is The Worlds Largest Beetle?
The worlds largest beetle discovered to date, by weight, is the Africas Goliath Beetle (Goliathus goliatus) measuring almost 5 inches. Female beetles weigh in at over 100grams.
The worlds longest Beetle is the Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) measuring in at almost 7 inches! This is another incredible insect from Central and South America.