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.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Scarab beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) fauna in Ardabil Province, North West Iran.
Several species of Cymbopetalum, Annona, Duguetia and Malmea are pollinated by large dynastid scarab beetles; their flowers are large and tissue-rich and their nocturnally active flowers have accentuated thermogenesis and corresponding strong scent emissions.
In addition, he has marked "Khepri was the morning sun-god, conceived as a scarab beetle. In the following context there is a play on the name and the word kheper 'come into being'" (6, note 3).
Nick Would's The Scarab's Secret (0802795617 $16.95) tells of the days of ancient Egypt where a tiny scarab beetle holds the key to the life of the pharaoh.
The material is divided into nine chapters that cover animals with religious significance; those used in agriculture and to provide food; those that were hunted; domestic pets; denizens of the Nile; birds (more fully treated in the author's Birds of Ancient Egypt); a group of largely noxious creatures, although it includes the harmless scarab beetle; exotic animals collected by or for the king; and finally examples of animals subjected to possibly humorous treatment.
The more art we looked at, the more we saw the ankh, the eye of Horus, the scarab beetle and the cobra.
First record of the scarab beetle, Phyllophaga lissopyge from South America, with descriptions of adult seasonal activity and male response to sex attractants.
You can create jewelry, embossed scarab beetle drawings on copper or aluminum, or even scratch-art portraits on gold scratchboard.
Create a Scarab beetle pin, write your name in hieroglyphics and craft your own cartouche.
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It also serves as an alternative host for crop pests, such as scarab beetle: a pest of sunflower, functioning as an inoculums source.