Download A Guide to the Beetles of Australia by George Hangay PDF

By George Hangay

Winner of the 2010 Whitley Medal

A advisor to the Beetles of Australia is an interesting creation to this large and numerous workforce of bugs – the Coleoptera. Beetles make up forty% of all bugs. The variety of identified beetle species on the earth – greater than 350,000 – is greater than six instances the variety of all vertebrate species.

New beetle species are being came across forever. Of the 30,000 species which may happen in Australia, purely 20,000 were scientifically defined. those comprise round 6,000 weevils (Curculionidae), 3,000 scarabs, dung beetles and chafers (Scarabaeidae) and 3,000 leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae).

A consultant to the Beetles of Australia highlights the large range of this distinctive insect Order. It emphasizes the environmental position of beetles, their relationships with different vegetation and animals and their significance to humans.

Key features
• Treats all major households of Australian beetles
• presents an advent to beetle biology
• Copiously illustrated with top of the range photos

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Extra info for A Guide to the Beetles of Australia

Sample text

They use their mandibles to capture and kill or de-mobilise their prey and then introduce some digestive juice to 33 FOOD AND SUR VIVAL them and lick up the resulting goo. Not a nice way of eating, but it is very effective! The digestive tract of beetles has developed differently in different species. Some of those that imbibe their nourishment in roughly cut particles, or feed on substances which are difficult to digest, have developed a kind of crop, in which the particles of food undergo a pre-digestive process before passing further into the alimentary canal.

Both rove beetles (Staphylinidae) and darkling beetles (Tenebrionidae) are known to do this also. A great number of ground beetles (Carabidae) also use repulsive secretions as a form of defence, but most of them are far from passive creatures; they can also bite viciously if cornered! In defending themselves, great water beetles of the genus Dytiscus (Dytiscidae) may discharge a milky substance from their glands found on the sides of their prothorax. Whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae) do the same from glands on their abdominal segments.

Some disguise their eggs with a coating of excrement, which may contain a ‘starting culture’ of microscopic symbionts, necessary for newly born larva to process its food. Others build elaborate burrows for egg-laying and pack them with specially prepared food for their progeny. But there are many species of beetles that simply drop their eggs amidst plentiful food supplies or scatter them around ‘carelessly’ on the ground and let the hatching larvae fend for themselves the best way they can. In temperate environments egg laying often occurs towards the end of summer and the larvae hatch the following spring.

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