scarab beetle


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scarab beetle

or

scarab,

name for members of a large family of heavy-bodied, oval beetlesbeetle,
common name for insects 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.
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 (the Scarabaeidae), with about 30,000 species distributed throughout most of the world and over 1,200 in North America. North American scarab beetles range in length from less than 1-2 in. to more than 2 in. (5–50 mm); members of some tropical species grow several inches long. Many scarab beetles are brightly colored and many are iridescent.

A large group of scarab beetles are scavengers, feeding on decaying vegetation or on the dung of grazing animals. Most of these lay their eggs in underground chambers supplied with dung, where the larvae feed and pupate, emerging as adults. These scarabs, called dung beetles, play an extremely important role in the rapid recycling of organic matter and the disposal of disease-breeding wastes. Australia, which has few native dung beetle species, has imported African species to help dispose of cattle dung.

Some of the dung beetles, known as tumblebugs, form balls of dung that they roll about with their hind legs, sometimes for long distances and sometimes working in pairs. Eventually they bury the ball and lay eggs in it. One such ball-roller is the sacred scarab (Scarabaeus sacer), a black scarab beetle of the Mediterranean region. In ancient Egypt the periodic appearance of this beetle in great numbers on the surface of the Nile mud led men to associate the sacred scarab with resurrection and immortality. It was believed that all scarabs were males capable of reproducing their kind. Their ball-rolling activities were associated with the diurnal movement of the sun.

Other species of scarab beetles feed on living plants. Members of these groups include such major crop and garden pests as the 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
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, the rose chafer, and the June beetleJune beetle
or May beetle,
a blackish or mahogany-colored beetle of the scarab beetle family, widely distributed in North America and especially abundant in the NE United States and the adjacent parts of Canada.
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 (also called June bug and May beetle). Cockchafers are Old World species similar to June beetles. Adult plant-eating scarab beetles attack leaves, flowers, and fruits, while the larvae, which develop from eggs laid in the ground, attack roots.

The largest scarab beetles in North America are the plant-eating Hercules beetles and their close relatives, the rhinoceros beetles and elephant beetles. In most species of this group the males are prominently horned. The Hercules beetles of the S United States may grow 2 1-2 in. (6.4 cm) long; their tropical relatives may attain a length of 6 in. (15 cm) including the horns. Despite their ferocious appearance these beetles are harmless to people.

The term scarab is also applied to representations of scarab beetles made of stone, metal, or other materials. Finely carved scarabs were used as seals in ancient Egypt; inscribed scarabs were issued to commemorate important events or buried with mummies. Roman soldiers wore scarab rings as military symbols.

Scarab 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.
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, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Scarabaeidae.

References in periodicals archive ?
In fact, Albright also discusses scarab beetles and especially their use in dating archeological finds in ancient Palestine (84).
In the 1920s the fashionable took a shine to all things Egyptian when Howard Carter and Lord Canarvon unearthed the treasures of Tutankhamen's tomb and scarab beetle jewellery and asp arm bands were the rage for flappers and the style elite.
Of course, it wasn't all tours and temples and the free afternoons gave us a chance to visit the souks which sell everything from camel bone letter openers and bright blue scarab beetles, and where spice merchants sell saffron by the pound.
1999), including other scarab beetles (Howden 1955) and specialized phoretic Diptera in the family Sphaeroceridae.
An American mercenary who knows the secret location of an ancient treasure struggles against unscrupulous rivals, flesheating scarab beetles, killer sandstorms and more to recover it 1999 ?
Scattered among this refuse, like Scarab beetles in a pile of dung, are a collection of beautiful, delicate stars -- starfish, actually, made of blown glass, some colored in simple primary hues, other made of clear glass as fine as spun sugar.
In arriving at Dumbledore as God, Killinger takes readers on a journey from the headmaster's name meaning "bumblebee," to scarab beetles, to Egyptian sarcophagi, to cats in Egyptian mythology, to Dumbledore and McGonagall awaiting Harry's arrival in the first chapter of the first Potter book.
Washington, Apr 20 (ANI): Jewel scarab beetles use the same technology that created the 3D effects for the blockbuster movie Avatar to find each other-and hide from their enemies, according to a new study.
And some families in Ecuador wait for the spring rainy season to collect scarab beetles.
As well as shuffling the works in these rooms, Fabre has installed his own work--from blue Bic biro drawings to the trademark sculptures covered with blue-green scarab beetles.
Children ages 3 to 14 and their families will participate in a variety of art projects, including rug-making, mosaics, iftar bowls, fanoos lanterns, scarab beetles, hamsa symbols, calligraphy and an Egyptian decorated collar.
They will be able to meet animals that would have roamed the land in ancient Egypt including live scarab beetles, scorpions and a cobra, as well a mummified Ibises, falcons and crocodiles.