There are over 350,000 different species of beetles in the world which is close to 40% of all described insect species. This means that a staggering 1 in 4 of all animal species is a beetle.
Beetles are mostly land dwellers, but there are some species of beetle that live in freshwater (these freshwater beetles are described in the pond life section). Interestingly though, there are no beetles that live in the sea.
Beetles have biting mouth parts, 3 pairs of legs and 2 pairs of wings. The rear wings are soft and generally used for flying and the front wings are generally modified to provide a tough protective covering for the flight wings when the creature is at rest or not flying.
In England there are close to 4,000 beetle species and in our A-Z we have described 12 individual beetle species (including the Glow-worm, Nut Weevil, Devil’s Coach Horse and the Seven-spot Ladybird) to provide an indication of the variety of beetles found in this country.