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Order Coleoptera - Beetles

cf. Bruchinae - Amblycerus robiniae Beetle - Anomala marginata Ground Beetle - Acupalpus testaceus Click Beetle - Limonius agonus Tritoma sanguinipennis? - Tritoma sanguinipennis Asian Ambrosia Beetle - Xylosandrus crassiusculus Tiny Beetle for ID - Pycnomerus sulcicollis Acmaeodera quadrivittatoides - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Other Common Names
larvae are often called grubs; 'white grubs' usually refers to scarab larvae
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The Coleoptera have recently undergone massive taxonomic changes(1), although the superfamilial arrangement appears settled(2). Many groups once treated at family rank are now subfamilies, and vice versa.
If you can't find your group:
search with a wildcard (e.g. Pselaphi* - the former Pselaphidae is now a subfamily of Staphylinidae), OR
go to the Taxonomy tab and click the "view all" link to see the list of all the subordinate taxa on one page
Recent changes in higher taxonomy followed in the Guide but not reflected in (3)(4)
Scydmaenidae sunk into Staphylinidae
Ceratocanthidae sunk into Hybosoridae
Anobiidae are now Ptinidae
members of the cerylonid clade recently moved from Cucujoidea to a separate superfamily, Coccinelloidea, and underwent massive splitting
Brachypteridae are now Kateretidae
Microsporidae are now Sphaeriusidae
Languriidae sunk into Erotylidae
Cybocephalidae restored(5)
Monommatidae and Colydiidae sunk into Zopheridae
Rhysodidae tend to be treated within Carabidae (arrangement not yet implemented in the Guide)
Akalyptoischiidae split from Latridiidae
Peltidae, Thymalidae, and Lophocateridae split from Trogossitidae
Mauroniscidae and Rhadalidae split from Melyridae
Bruchidae sunk into Chrysomelidae (had a separate family chapter (121)(4) but were also included into the key to subfamilies(4) and the synopsis of the higher classification of NA Chrysomelidae(4))
Disteniidae split from Cerambycidae
Ithyceridae sunk into Brentidae
Explanation of Names
Greek 'sheath wing'; Aristotle already called beetles 'koleopteros' (κολεοπτερος) to refer to the hardened front wings.
beetle means 'little biter', from Old English bītan, 'to bite'
The largest order in the animal kingdom, with close to 400,000 described species in almost 30,000 genera of >200 families worldwide(6)(7), or ~40% of known insects. About 25,000 described (close to 28,000 estimated) spp. in ~130 families are known from our area(8)(9), ~8200 in Canada(10)
Genera missing in the Guide are listed in(11)
Order Coleoptera
0.3‒200 mm
VISUAL GUIDE TO FAMILIESNot aligned with the scheme above! • Number in brackets corresponds to chapter in (3)(4)Thumbnails-only version
Order Coleoptera
Suborder Archostemata
Family Cupedidae - Reticulated Beetles [1]

Family Micromalthidae - Telephone-pole Beetles [2]

Suborder Myxophaga
Family Sphaeriusidae - Minute Bog Beetles [3]

Family Hydroscaphidae - Skiff Beetles [4]

Suborder Adephaga
Family Rhysodidae - Wrinkled Bark Beetles [5]

Family Carabidae - Ground Beetles [6]

Family Gyrinidae - Whirligig Beetles [7]

Family Haliplidae - Crawling Water Beetles [8]

Family Trachypachidae - False Ground Beetles [9]

Family Noteridae - Burrowing Water Beetles [10]

Family Amphizoidae - Trout-stream Beetles [11]

Family Dytiscidae - Predaceous Diving Beetles [12]

Suborder Polyphaga
Family Hydrophilidae - Water Scavenger Beetles [13]

Family Sphaeritidae - False Clown Beetles [14]

Family Histeridae - Clown Beetles [15]

Family Hydraenidae - Minute Moss Beetles [16]

Family Ptiliidae - Featherwinged Beetles [17]

Family Agyrtidae - Primitive Carrion Beetles [18]

Family Leiodidae - Round Fungus Beetles [19]

Family Silphidae - Carrion Beetles [21]

Family Staphylinidae - Rove Beetles [20 & 22]

Family Lucanidae - Stag Beetles [23]

Family Diphyllostomatidae - False Stag Beetles [24]

Family Passalidae - Bess Beetles [25]

Family Glaresidae - Enigmatic Scarab Beetles [26]

Family Trogidae - Hide Beetles [27]

Family Pleocomidae - Rain Beetles [28]

Family Geotrupidae - Earth-Boring Scarab Beetles [29]

Family Ochodaeidae - Sand-loving Scarab Beetles [30]

Family Hybosoridae - Scavenger Scarab Beetles [31 & 32]

Family Glaphyridae - Bumble Bee Scarab Beetles [33]

Family Scarabaeidae - Scarab Beetles [34]

Family Eucinetidae - Plate-thigh Beetles [35]

Family Clambidae - Minute Beetles [36]

Family Scirtidae - Marsh Beetles [37]

Family Dascillidae - Soft-bodied Plant Beetles [38]

Family Rhipiceridae - Cicada Parasite Beetles [39]

Family Schizopodidae - False Jewel Beetles [40]

Family Buprestidae - Metallic Wood-boring Beetles [41]

Family Byrrhidae - Pill Beetles [42]

Family Elmidae - Riffle Beetles [43]

Family Dryopidae - Long-toed Water Beetles [44]

Family Lutrochidae - Travertine Beetles [45]

Family Limnichidae - Minute Marsh-loving Beetles [46]

Family Heteroceridae - Variegated Mud-loving Beetles [47]

Family Psephenidae - Water Penny Beetles [48]

Family Ptilodactylidae - Toe-winged Beetles [49]

Family Chelonariidae - Turtle Beetles [50]

Family Eulichadidae - Forest Stream Beetles [51]

Family Callirhipidae - Callirhipid Cedar Beetles [52]

Family Artematopodidae - Soft-bodied Plant Beetles [53]

Family Brachypsectridae - Texas Beetles [54]

Family Cerophytidae - Rare Click Beetles [55]

Family Eucnemidae - False Click Beetles [56]

Family Throscidae - False Metallic Wood-boring Beetles [57]

Family Elateridae - Click Beetles [58]

Family Lycidae - Net-winged Beetles [59]

Family Telegeusidae - Long-lipped Beetles [60]

Family Phengodidae - Glowworm Beetles [61]

Family Lampyridae - Fireflies [62]

Family Omethidae - False Soldier Beetles [63]

Family Cantharidae - Soldier Beetles [64]

Family Jacobsoniidae - Jacobson's Beetles [65]

Family Derodontidae - Tooth-necked Fungus Beetles [66]

Family Nosodendridae - Wounded-tree Beetles [67]

Family Dermestidae - Carpet Beetles [68]

Family Bostrichidae - Horned Powder-post Beetles [69]

Family Anobiidae - Death-watch and Spider Beetles [70]

Family Lymexylidae - Ship-timber Beetles [71]

Family Trogossitidae - Bark-gnawing Beetles [72]

Family Cleridae - Checkered Beetles [73]

Family Mauroniscidae - Mauroniscid Beetles [ ]

Family Melyridae - Soft-winged Flower Beetles [74]

Family Sphindidae - Cryptic Slime Mold Beetles [75]

Family Kateretidae - Short-winged Flower Beetles [76]

Family Nitidulidae - Sap-feeding Beetles [77]

Family Smicripidae - Palmetto Beetles [78]

Family Monotomidae - Root-eating Beetles [79]

Family Silvanidae - Silvanid Flat Bark Beetles [80]

Family Passandridae - Parasitic Flat Bark Beetles [81]

Family Cucujidae - Flat Bark Beetles [82]

Family Laemophloeidae - Lined Flat Bark Beetles [83]

Family Phalacridae - Shining Flower Beetles [84]

Family Cryptophagidae - Silken Fungus Beetles [85]

Family Erotylidae - Pleasing Fungus Beetles [86 & 87]

Family Byturidae - Fruitworm Beetles [88]

Family Biphyllidae - False Skin Beetles [89]

Family Bothrideridae - Dry Bark Beetles [90]

Family Cerylonidae - Minute Bark Beetles [91]

Family Endomychidae - Handsome Fungus Beetles [92]

Family Coccinellidae - Ladybird Beetles [93]

Family Corylophidae - Minute Hooded Beetles [94]

Family Akalyptoischiidae - Akalyptoischiid Scavenger Beetles

Family Latridiidae - Minute Brown Scavenger Beetles [95]

Family Mycetophagidae - Hairy Fungus Beetles [96]

Family Archeocrypticidae - Cryptic Fungus Beetles [97]

Family Ciidae - Minute Tree-fungus Beetles [98]

Family Tetratomidae - Polypore Fungus Beetles [99]

Family Melandryidae - False Darkling Beetles [100]

Family Mordellidae - Tumbling Flower Beetles [101]

Family Ripiphoridae - Wedge-shaped Beetles [102]

Family Zopheridae - Ironclad Beetles [103, 104 & 105]

Family Tenebrionidae - Darkling Beetles [106]

Family Prostomidae - Jugular-horned Beetles [107]

Family Synchroidae - Synchroa Bark Beetles [108]

Family Oedemeridae - False Blister Beetles [109]

Family Stenotrachelidae - False Longhorn Beetles [110]

Family Meloidae - Blister Beetles [111]

Family Mycteridae - Palm and Flower Beetles [112]

Family Boridae - Conifer Bark Beetles [113]

Family Pythidae - Dead Log Beetles [114]

Family Pyrochroidae - Fire-Colored Beetles [115]

Family Salpingidae - Narrow-waisted Bark Beetles [116]

Family Anthicidae - Antlike Flower Beetles [117]

Family Aderidae - Antlike Leaf Beetles [118]

Family Ischaliidae - Broad-hipped Flower Beetles

Family Scraptiidae - False Flower Beetles [119]

Family Cerambycidae - Longhorned Beetles [120]

Family Megalopodidae - Megalopodid Leaf Beetles [122]

Family Orsodacnidae - Ravenous Leaf Beetles [123]

Family Chrysomelidae - Leaf Beetles [121 & 124]

Family Nemonychidae - Pine Flower Snout Beetles [125]

Family Anthribidae - Fungus Weevils [126]

Family Belidae - Cycad Weevils [127]

Family Attelabidae - Leaf Rolling Weevils [128]

Family Brentidae - Straight-snouted Weevils [129 & 130]

Family Curculionidae - Snout and Bark Beetles [131]
virtually any terrestrial and freshwater habitat
all sorts of organic matter
Life Cycle
3‒5 larval stages(13)
See Also
Dermaptera (earwigs) have pincer-like appendages at the tip of the abdomen.
Heteroptera (true bugs) have sucking mouthparts; front wings rarely meet in a straight line.
Blattaria (cockroaches)
Print References
Useful reference sources (other than already cited):
Guides:(14)(15)(16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21) | aquatic:(22)(23)
Faunal lists:(10)(24)(25)(26)(27)(28)
Non-native beetles:(29)(30)
Evolutionary history, recent findings:(31)
Internet References
type specimen images at(32)(33)
Family profiles (in Spanish)
Helpful sites covering Palaearctic fauna:(41)(42)(43)(44)
Works Cited
1.Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta)
Bouchard P, Bousquet Y, Davies A, Alonso-Zarazaga M, Lawrence JF, Lyal CH, Newton A, Reid CA, Schmitt M, Ślipiński SA, Smith A. 2011. ZooKeys 88: 1–972.
2.Phylogeny of the Coleoptera based on morphological characters of adults and larvae
Lawrence J.F., Ślipiński A., Seago A.E., Thayer M.K., Newton A.F., Marvaldi A.E. 2011. Annales Zoologici (Warszawa) 61(1): 1-217.
3.American Beetles, Volume I: Archostemata, Myxophaga, Adephaga, Polyphaga: Staphyliniformia
Arnett, R.H., Jr., and M. C. Thomas. (eds.). 2000. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
4.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
5.Molecular phylogeny of Nitidulidae: assessment of subfamilial and tribal classification...
Cline A.R., Smith T.R., Miller K., Moulton M., Whiting M., Audisio P. 2014. Systematic Entomology 39: 758–772.
6.Order Coleoptera Linnaeus, 1758. In: Zhang Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification...
Ślipiński S.A., Leschen R.A.B., Lawrence J.F. 2011. Zootaxa 3148: 203–208.
7.Catalogue of Life
8.Beetle fauna of the United States and Canada
Marske K.A., Ivie M.A. 2003. The Coleopterists Bulletin 57(4): 495-503.
9.Synopsis of the described Coleoptera of the world
10.Checklist of beetles (Coleoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Second edition
Bousquet Y., Bouchard P., Davies A.E., Sikes D.S. 2013. ZooKeys 360: 1–402.
11.Coleoptera Wish List: Let's fill the gaps
12.Comprehensive phylogeny of the Cleroidea (Coleoptera: Cucujiformia)
Gimmel M.L., Bocakova M., Gunter N.L., Leschen R.A.B. 2019. Sys. Entomol. 44: 527-558.
13.The Insects : Structure and Function
R. F. Chapman. 1998. Cambridge University Press.
14.Peterson Field Guides: Beetles
Richard E. White. 1983. Houghton Mifflin Company.
15.How to Know the Beetles
Ross H. Arnett, N. M. Downie, H. E. Jaques. 1980. Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
16.A Manual of Common Beetles of Eastern North America
Dillon, Elizabeth S., and Dillon, Lawrence. 1961. Row, Peterson, and Company.
17.Introduction to North American Beetles
Charles S. Papp. 1984. Entomography Pubns.
18.The Beetles of Northeastern North America, Vol. 1 and 2.
Downie, N.M., and R.H. Arnett. 1996. The Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, FL.
19.Beetles associated with stored products in Canada: An identification guide
Bousquet Y. 1990. Research Branch Agriculture Canada, Publication 1837.
20.Beetles of Eastern North America
Arthur V. Evans. 2014. Princeton University Press.
21.An illustrated synopsis of the principal larval forms of the order Coleoptera
Adam G. Böving and Frank C. Craighead . 1931. Brooklyn Entomological Society.
22.The aquatic Coleoptera of North Carolina: a biologist's handbook with standard taxonomic effort levels. Version 2.1
Beaty S.R. 2011. NC Dept of Environment & Nat. Resources. 56 + 12 pp.
23.The Water Beetles of Florida
Epler J.H. 2010. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Tallahassee. 414 pp.
24.A Distributional Checklist of the Beetles (Coleoptera) of Florida
25.The Beetle Fauna of Rhode Island, an Annotated Checklist
Derek Sikes. 2004. Rhode Island Natural History Survey.
26.Checklist of Coleoptera Known from Great Smoky Mountains National Park
27.List of Coleoptera Collected in Latimer County, Oklahoma by Karl Stephan (2002)
28.Checklist of the Coleoptera of Oklahoma
29.Review of adventive species of Coleoptera (Insecta) recorded from eastern Canada
Klimaszewsky J., Langor D., Majka C.G., et. al. 2010. Pensoft Series Faunistica 94, 272 pp., 20 colour plates, 189 figs.
30.Exotic bark- and wood-boring Coleoptera in the United States: recent establishments and interceptions
Haack R.A. 2006. Can. J. For. Res. 36(2): 269–288.
31.Evolutionary history of Coleoptera revealed by extensive sampling of genes and species
Zhang S.-Q., Che L.-H., Li Y., Liang D., Pang H., Ślipiński A., Zhang P. 2018. Nature Comm. 9, Article 205: 1‒11.
32.Smithsonian Department of Systematic Biology: Entomology
33.MCZ Type Database @ Harvard Entomology
34.California Beetle Project
35.Majka C.G. Atlantic Canada Coleoptera
36.Biologia Centrali-Americana. Insecta. Coleoptera. Volume I-VII
Henry Walter Bates et al. 1881. Bernard Quaritch Limited, London.
37.Gimmel M.L., Carlton C.E. (2011) Checklist of the Coleoptera of Louisiana
38.University of New Hampshire Insect and Arachnid Collections
39.Coleoptera species pages developed for the GSMNP project
40.Pickering J. et al. (20??-) Nearctic Coleoptera data base on Discover Life
41.Köhler F., ed. (2000-2011) The beetle gallery
42.Benisch C. (2007-) – Beetle fauna of Germany
43.Borowiec L. (2007-) Iconographia Coleopterorum Poloniae
44.Atlas of beetles of Russia