Beetles. Warm spring weather brings out the beetles. Recently, I was helping to clear a path in the woods and everytime I moved a piece of dead wood – Beetles! Big ones, little ones, very colorful ones and plain black ground beetles.
What are beetles? A dictionary definition (via Bing dictionary) says beetles are “hard-backed insects: an insect belonging to a large order characterized by a modified outer pair of wings that forms a hard covering for the inner pair.” Hmm, so what are beetles? Most of us are familiar with ladybugs. (photo of ladybug used with permission under a wikipedia creative commons license)
Ladybugs are a type of beetle.
Beetles are invertebrates, meaning that they have a hard outer shell or exoskeleton. Beetles can be fun to study. You can usually find them most anywhere especially near a wooded area. A fun activity for kids is a beetle hunt where you try to find the most beetles.
At Fountain Rock Park & Nature Center we have an old collection of mounted beetles. Some of these beetles are labeled as having been collected as far back as 1911, or over one hundred years ago! Recently, one of our volunteer Master Naturalists (Dawn) found a golden beetle while clearing invasive plants.
If you are interested in beetles, ask one of our park staff or volunteers and they will be glad to answer any of your questions about beetles.