beetle


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.

beetle,

common name for insectsinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of the order Coleoptera, which, with more than 300,000 described species, is the largest of the insect orders. Beetles have chewing mouthparts and well-developed antennae. They are characterized by a front pair of hard, opaque, waterproof wings called elytra, which usually meet in a straight line down the middle of the back. The elytra cover the rear pair of membranous flight wings, protecting them and the body from mechanical damage and desiccation. Beetles are poor flyers compared with many other insects, but they are well adapted for surviving rigorous conditions. They are found everywhere except in oceans and near the poles, and they occupy nearly every kind of habitat. Most are terrestrial, but some are underground tunnelers and some live in water. These water beetleswater beetle,
name for aquatic beetles of several families. They should not be confused with water bugs, which are true bugs (order Hemiptera). The predaceous diving beetles (family Dytiscidae) are a large group, widespread in quiet streams and ponds.
..... Click the link for more information.
 are often confused with water bugs, but the latter all have sucking mouthparts. Beetles range in size from under 1-32 in. (1 mm) to over 6 in. (15 cm) long; tropical species are the largest. Most are dull, but members of several beetle families are brilliantly colored, some with a metallic or iridescent sheen. The majority of beetles are plant eaters, but there are also many predators and scavengers and a few parasites. Many beetles are highly destructive pests of crops and gardens (e.g., Japanese beetleJapanese beetle,
common name for a destructive beetle, Popillia japonica, of the scarab beetle family. Accidentally imported to the United States from Japan, it was first discovered in New Jersey in 1916 and is now widespread in the northeastern states, where it is a
..... Click the link for more information.
, potato beetlepotato beetle,
name for two beetles of the leaf beetle family and for two of the blister beetle family, all destructive to the potato plant and its relatives. Most notorious is the Colorado potato beetle, or potato bug (Leptinotarsa decemlineata
..... Click the link for more information.
, boll weevilboll weevil
or cotton boll weevil
, cotton-eating weevil, or snout beetle, Anthonomus grandis. Probably of Mexican or Central American origin, it appeared in Texas about 1892 and spread to most cotton-growing regions of the United States.
..... Click the link for more information.
), but others are beneficial predators of harmful insects (e.g., ladybird beetlesladybird beetle
or ladybug,
member of a cosmopolitan beetle family with over 4,000 species, including 350 species in the United States. Ladybird beetles are mostly under 1-4 in. (6 mm) long and are nearly hemispherical in shape, with very short legs.
..... Click the link for more information.
). The largest of the many beetle families is the scarab beetlescarab beetle
or scarab,
name for members of a large family of heavy-bodied, oval beetles (the Scarabaeidae), with about 30,000 species distributed throughout most of the world and over 1,200 in North America.
..... Click the link for more information.
 family, with over 20,000 species; among these are the dung beetles, which are invaluable scavengers. Weevilsweevil,
common name for certain beetles of the snout beetle family (Curculionidae), small, usually dull-colored, hard-bodied insects. The mouthparts of snout beetles are modified into down-curved snouts, or beaks, adapted for boring into plants; the jaws are at the end of the
..... Click the link for more information.
 are plant-eating beetles with mouthparts elongated into snouts bearing jaws at their ends. The firefliesfirefly
or lightning bug,
small, luminescent, carnivorous beetle of the family Lampyridae. Fireflies are well represented in temperate regions, although the majority of species are tropical and subtropical.
..... Click the link for more information.
 are luminescent beetles. Blister beetlesblister beetle,
common name for certain soft-bodied, usually black or brown, mostly elongate and cylindrical beetles belonging to the family Meloidae. Blister beetles are common insects found feeding on the flowers and foliage of various plants. Occasionally some, e.g.
..... Click the link for more information.
, including the so-called Spanish fly, produce irritating secretions. Beetles are classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
..... Click the link for more information.
, class Insecta, order Coleoptera.

beetle

[′bēd·əl]
(engineering)
(invertebrate zoology)
The common name given to members of the insect order Coleoptera.
(mining engineering)
A powerful, cable-hauled propulsion unit, operated under remote control, for moving a train of wagons at the mine surface.

beetle

A heavy mallet or rammer; used for driving stones into pavement, for driving wedges, etc.; a maul.

beetle

1
1. any insect of the order Coleoptera, having biting mouthparts and forewings modified to form shell-like protective elytra
2. a game played with dice in which the players draw or assemble a beetle-shaped form

beetle

2
1. a heavy hand tool, usually made of wood, used for ramming, pounding, or beating
2. a machine used to finish cloth by stamping it with wooden hammers
References in classic literature ?
Well, well," I said, "perhaps you have - still I don't see them;" and I handed him the paper without additional remark, not wishing to ruffle his temper; but I was much surprised at the turn affairs had taken; his ill humor puzzled me - and, as for the drawing of the beetle, there were positively no antennæ visible, and the whole did bear a very close resemblance to the ordinary cuts of a death's-head.
For if I should kill another bug or beetle I should surely cry again, and crying rusts my jaws so that I cannot speak.
But presently I thanked God aloud: there was the gig swimming like a beetle over the bloodshot rollers in our wake.
These estimable people were in readiness to receive the Victoria bravely with stones and arrows, but the balloon quickly passed their islands, fluttering over them, from one to the other with butterfly motion, like a gigantic beetle.
What a blind beetle I have been, not to draw my conclusion.
They had almost reached the nearest house when Toto saw a large beetle crossing the path and barked loudly at it.
It ended as the majority of such jungle encounters end--one of the boasters loses his nerve, and becomes suddenly interested in a blowing leaf, a beetle, or the lice upon his hairy stomach.
No littlest beetle that he might eat had given evidence that life of any sort existed here, and it was a hungry and thirsty Tarzan who lay down to rest in the evening.
As in a dream I saw Challenger, like a monstrous beetle, crawling slowly across the floor, and a moment later I heard the gentle hissing of the escaping oxygen.
Polychrome, her beautiful gauzy robes floating around her like a rainbow cloud, went first, dancing back and forth and darting now here to pluck a wild-flower or there to watch a beetle crawl across the path.
The sacred beetle of the ancient Egyptians, allied to
We see these beautiful co-adaptations most plainly in the woodpecker and missletoe; and only a little less plainly in the humblest parasite which clings to the hairs of a quadruped or feathers of a bird; in the structure of the beetle which dives through the water; in the plumed seed which is wafted by the gentlest breeze; in short, we see beautiful adaptations everywhere and in every part of the organic world.