The beetles comprise the largest insect order in the world with a staggering 350000 species so far described and, as you would probably expect from such a large number of species, they encompass a huge diversity of morphologies and lifestyles. In size alone they range from the largest insects, with the Goliath Beetle weighing over 100g and its larvae measuring over 15cm in length, to some of the smallest insects in the world, measuring less than 0.25mm.

Sub-order: Adephaga

The name Adephaga means "gluttenous", so it is no surprise that the majority of the 40000 species in this group are voracious predators. A few, however, have developed highly speciallized lifestyles, such as being ectoparasitic to some insects and millipedes. Examples of Adephaga beetles are found in practically every terrestrial habitat from mountaintops to caves, and a few of the groups are also highly aquatic, such as the Whirligig beetles and predaceous diving beetles.

Sub-order: Polyphaga

90% of all the beetles so far described belong to this enormous and incredibly diverse group.