beetle

(redirected from beetles)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to beetles: Beatles

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 ?
I can't let you off, you know, because I have some beetles to show you.
Beetles, rodents and caterpillars were devoured with seeming relish.
If I told them of this they would be much interested for a short time-I might even hold the interest of a few long enough to get them here and explain their duties to them; but soon they would lose interest and when you needed them most they might be off in the forest searching for beetles instead of watching their posts.
Some of them were dozing against the boles of trees, while others roamed about turning over bits of bark from beneath which they transferred the luscious grubs and beetles to their mouths.
We shall have Cabinet Ministers running about the place like black beetles.
From the blank darkness outside came in, through the aperture that served for a window, all the ever unfamiliar noises of night in the wilderness--the long nameless note of a distant coyote; the stilly pulsing thrill of tireless insects in trees; strange cries of night birds, so different from those of the birds of day; the drone of great blundering beetles, and all that mysterious chorus of small sounds that seem always to have been but half heard when they have suddenly ceased, as if conscious of an indiscretion.
He made collections of shells and minerals, knew how to stuff birds, kept a mass of curiosities bought for nothing in his bedroom; took possession of phials and empty perfume bottles for his specimens; pinned butterflies and beetles under glass, hung Chinese parasols on the walls, together with dried fishskins.
Most people know the English Phallus, which in autumn taints the air with its odious smell: this, however, as the entomologist is aware, is, to some of our beetles a delightful fragrance.
More than his fellows he required meat, and so, while they were satisfied with fruits and herbs and beetles, which could be discovered without much effort upon their part, Tarzan spent considerable time hunting the game animals whose flesh alone satisfied the cravings of his stomach and furnished sustenance and strength to the mighty thews which, day by day, were building beneath the soft, smooth texture of his brown hide.
As it is, however, I will make lighter of you, since I have to carry what is heavy; and what matter if beetles and May-bugs also alight on my load!
There were beautiful butterflies, moths and strange bugs in the securing of which the scientist evinced great delight, though when one beetle nipped him firmly and painfully on his thumb his involuntary cry of pain was as real as that of any other person.
It was a large black beetle with formidable jaws -- a "pinchbug," he called it.