Download e-book for iPad: A Guide to the Beetles of Australia by George Hangay

By George Hangay

Winner of the 2010 Whitley Medal

A advisor to the Beetles of Australia is an engaging advent to this massive and various team of bugs – the Coleoptera. Beetles make up forty% of all bugs. The variety of recognized beetle species on the planet – greater than 350,000 – is greater than six occasions the variety of all vertebrate species.

New beetle species are being stumbled on for all time. Of the 30,000 species which may take place in Australia, purely 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 variety of this detailed insect Order. It emphasizes the environmental position of beetles, their relationships with different crops and animals and their significance to humans.

Key features
• Treats all major households of Australian beetles
• presents an creation to beetle biology
• Copiously illustrated with prime quality pictures

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Extra resources for A Guide to the Beetles of Australia

Sample text

However, a great many species don’t do any of this. They just find a suitable place and start to pupate. As the larva’s body shape alters, it begins to look like the adult beetle. Its exoskeleton thickens and often takes on the colour of Once the larva reaches the last stage in its development, its muscles and organs begin to transform. The larva often changes colour and its posture and shape begins to alter. The insect is approaching its next stage in life: the pupa. Pupation is often preceded with a period of inactivity and the larva hides in a quiet, secluded and safe place where it remains.

Some of the larger Australian beetles – still very much lightweights in the animal kingdom – weigh no more than 12 or 13 g, yet they may live for several years or more. Phalacrognathus muelleri (Lucanidae). 30 In the temperate zone, where winters are cooler, some beetles hibernate and start afresh in the spring. Predators, such as the adults of some species of the ground beetles (Carabidae) live for two to three years in nature and probably longer in captivity. Pollen and nectar feeders, like many of the beautiful rose chafers (Cetoniinae) and jewel beetles (Buprestidae) simply starve to death when the flowers die on which they feed.

These species – as many as 3000 or more worldwide – belong to a number of families but they all share one important characteristic – they live in the nests of ants. Some are predators, preying on the ants within their homes, while some hunt parasitic mites that live on the ants. Others are more humble and eat the refuse and debris found in ant nests. But the most interesting associations are those in which the beetles exude secretions, which are favoured by the ants. In exchange for this delicacy, the ants feed the beetles and rear their larvae.

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