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Coleoptera

Coleoptera (beetles; subclass Pterygota, division Endopterygota) An order of insects which have biting mouth-parts and in which the fore wings are modified into more or less horny, rigid elytra which meet medially when at rest and partly or wholly cover the hind wings and abdomen. When present, the hind wings are membranous and much folded when at rest. They are the sole means of flight, although the elytra are said to provide some lift in some groups. The head and well-developed prothorax form a distinct fore body, while the hind body comprises the meso- and metathorax and abdomen, covered by the elytra. The mesothorax is usually reduced, and the abdominal sterna (see STERNUM) are more strongly sclerotized than the tergites. The larvae have a distinct head capsule, with antennae and well-developed mandibles, and may or may not have thoracic legs. The pupae are adecticous and exarate. The Coleoptera is the largest order of animals and contains at least 350 000 species.

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Coleoptera

Coleoptera An order of insects comprising the beetles and weevils and containing about 330 000 known species – the largest order in the animal kingdom. The forewings are hardened and thickened to form elytra, which meet at a precise mid-dorsal line and protect the underlying pair of hindwings and abdomen. The mouthparts are generally modified for biting and in some species assume antler-like proportions. Beetles occur in a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic habitats; many feed on decaying organic matter, some eat living vegetation, while others prey on other arthropods. A number of beetles and weevils are economically important pests of stored grain, timber, and crops. The young emerge as larvae and generally undergo metamorphosis via a pupal stage to form the adult beetle.

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coleoptera

coleoptera (zool.) the beetles. XVIII. modL. n. pl., f. Gr. koleópteros sheath-winged, f. koleón sheath + pterón wing (see FEATHER).

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beetles

beetles See Coleoptera.

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beetles

beetles See COLEOPTERA.

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