The term "beetle" came from the Old English word "bitela," meaning "small biter." In the scientific classification system, beetles belong to the order Coleoptera, which has the largest number of species (about 300,000) under class Insecta. Every type has wings as well as the ability to fly. Brown beetles belong to several different suborders and have diverse characteristics in terms of their physical attributes, food and habitat.
Also called Passalid beetles, bess beetles belong to family Passalidae, which has about 500 species. There are only about two species known to thrive in the United States: Odontotaenius disjunctus and Odontotaenius floridanus. Bess beetles can be dark brown or black in colour and grow up to 1 1/2 inches long. They have extended bodies, as well as horns on their heads and feed on decomposing wood. Bess beetles live in groups, usually nesting inside rotten wood.
Commonly found all over the world except in Asia and Antarctica, bombardier beetles have reddish heads and brownish-blue wings. Bombardier beetles release a volatile mixture of hydrogen peroxide, hydroquinone and other powerful catalysts that can be used in hunting other small creatures and insects; this mixture can also potentially cause damage to human skin. Bombardier beetles live under rocks, in loose bark, and sometimes in the ground during the night; these beetles tend to be partial to areas with water sources.
Alternatively called "hide beetles," carcase beetles have coarse, bumpy bodies, that are dark brown in colour and oval in shape. Carcass beetles belong to Trogidae, a family of beetles that contains around 300 species. They live in dry environments and often feed on animal carcases whose flesh has already dried. Adult and larvae often live together in a dry carcase, with larvae burrowing underneath it; other common nesting areas include the nests of birds.
Native to Japan, Japanese beetles -- scientific name: Popillia japonica -- are about 1/2 inch long and ¾ inch wide with oval, metallic-green bodies, as well as reddish-brown elytra. Japanese beetles inhabit grasslands, gardens, and lawns and feed on common plants, such as roses and poison ivy. Larvae eat roots of grasses and can be found burrowed in garden lawns. In the United States, adult Japanese beetles are considered pests since they eat many types of plants and trees, including grape plants, apple trees, birch trees and raspberry bushes.
Pupating under the ground and rising in springtime, June beetles or June bugs -- genus Phyllophaga -- vary in size, potentially growing up to 1 inch in size. Their colour is usually either black or brownish-red. June bugs are nocturnal pests that emerge during the day. They feed on shrubs and foliage trees and can be harmful to plants when they appear in large numbers.
Pine Bark Anobiid
Native to Northern Europe, the pine bark anobiid or waney edge borer, are now prevalent in all parts of the Mediterranean area of Europe. They are oval in shape and have a reddish-brown colour; pine bark anobiids are extremely small, often only growing up to 1/4 inch. Their main home is in the sap of conifer woods where they spend their time feeding.
- Interesting Animals: Brown Beetle
- Cirrus Image: Beetles of North America - Order Coleoptera
- Pest World For Kids: Beetles
- OZ Animals: Pine Bark Anobiid
- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: White grubs
- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Drugstore beetle