By George Hangay
Winner of the 2010 Whitley Medal
A consultant to the Beetles of Australia is an engaging advent to this massive and various workforce of bugs – the Coleoptera. Beetles make up forty% of all bugs. The variety of recognized beetle species on this planet – greater than 350,000 – is greater than six occasions the variety of all vertebrate species.
New beetle species are being came across forever. Of the 30,000 species which could take place in Australia, simply 20,000 were scientifically defined. those comprise 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 big range of this certain insect Order. It emphasizes the environmental position of beetles, their relationships with different vegetation and animals and their value to humans.
• Treats all major households of Australian beetles
• presents an creation to beetle biology
• Copiously illustrated with prime quality photos
Read or Download A Guide to the Beetles of Australia PDF
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Additional resources for A Guide to the Beetles of Australia
One family, the Rhinorhipidae, is endemic to Australia and has only one described species. The biology of these beetles is varied – some are predaceous, others are plant feeders, while the adults of many species don’t seem to eat at all. Their larvae usually take a long time to develop, while adults have much shorter lives. The larvae of some of the plant feeders, such as those of the click beetles, may have economic significance, as they feed on the roots of some cultivated plants, thus causing damage.
A great number of ground beetles (Carabidae) also use repulsive secretions as a form of defence, but most of them are far from passive creatures; they can also bite viciously if cornered! In defending themselves, great water beetles of the genus Dytiscus (Dytiscidae) may discharge a milky substance from their glands found on the sides of their prothorax. Whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae) do the same from glands on their abdominal segments. 35 FOOD AND SUR VIVAL Other insects have gone one step further and have developed some very potent forms of defence – their body tissues contain substances that make them disagreeable to predators.
Weevils form the largest family of living organisms in the world. About 6500 named species of curculionoids are known from Australia. 7 They are not common anywhere and quite rare in collections. At present there are only six described species divided into two genera in Australia. Little is known about their habits except that the larva lives in ﬁrm, dry, but fungiinfested, decaying wood and the adults can also be found in the same environment. They may be pollen feeders, judging by the grains of pollen found in the gut of one species and the ﬂower-visiting habits of another.