Tuesday, October 2, 2012

There are more than 350,000 species of beetles in the world

There are more than 350,000 species of beetles in the world, living in diverse places like deserts, tropical climates, and even in water. Some are pests that eat garden plants and some eat the pests, like aphids and mites, that eat garden plants. Some are useful in cleaning up carrion or dung. And some are eaten by other insects, animals, and birds. They lay eggs that hatch into larvae that can in some cases take years to become mature adults. The adults are generally not long-lived.

In Japan, the rhinoceros beetle is a popular pet. They have a horn on the thorax and a horn pointing forward from the center thorax. They can reach almost 6 inches long and weigh 3 ounces. They can be purchased from stores and even vending machines. Sometimes they are used for gambling, fighting one another, as males tend to be combative. The Goliath beetle is one of the largest and heaviest at up to 2 to 3 inches long and weighing a hefty 3 or 4 ounces. It belongs to the scarab family. The scarab family has some of the most beautiful markings and colors. Beetles are a little harder to find in the pet trade, and you may have to start with a larvae that will remain buried most of the time. But if you are patient, you will briefly have a fascinating pet.

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