Scarab beetles Facts

Scarab beetles Facts
Scarab beetles are large group of insects with more than 30.000 described species. They can be found on all continents except on the Antarctica. Scarab beetles inhabit farms, grasslands, forests and deserts, but they usually avoid areas with extremely hot and cold weather conditions. Some species of scarab beetles are classified as agricultural pests. Habitat loss and uncontrolled collecting of scarab beetles from the wild are the major threats for their survival. Luckily, global population of scarab beetles is still large and stable.
Interesting Scarab beetles Facts:
Scarab beetle can reach 0.08 to 6.7 inches in length and up to 3.5 ounces of weight.
Most species of scarab beetles are black or brown colored. Tropical species are usually brightly colored and covered with numerous markings. Body of some species of scarab beetles have metallic sheen.
Scarab beetles have heavy, oval-shaped body and 3 pairs of legs. Forewings, called elytra, are hard and well polished (they protect scarab beetle from predators).
Rings made of scarab beetles were military symbols in the ancient Rome, while ancient Egyptians carved body of scarab beetles and used them as seals (for various documents).
Males of most species of scarab beetles have prominent horns. They are used for fight (for the protection of food and mating partner) and for digging the holes in the ground.
Head of scarab beetle bears antennas that end with three flattened plates. These plates can be arranged in the form of club or fanned out (when scarab beetle collects sensory information from its environment).
Scarab beetles have broad and flat front legs with serrated edges designed for digging of the soil. Unlike forelegs, hind legs are long and thin.
Most species of scarab beetles are nocturnal creatures (active during the night).
Diet of scarab beetle depends on the species. Some scarab beetles eat decaying plants (manure), while others consume live plants (eat root, leaves, flowers and fruit). Certain species of scarab beetles consume insects, millipedes or even snail's slime.
The best known scarab beetles are dung beetles which collect and eat dung of various grazing animals and elephants. They create balls of dung that can be easily transported toward their distant underground shelters.
Australians import scarab beetles to facilitate removal of excess dung from their farms.
Natural enemies of scarab beetles are bats, birds (such as Blue jay), American toad and various reptiles.
Scarab beetles have complete metamorphosis. That mean that they undergo 4 developmental stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult insect.
Females lay hundreds or thousands of eggs in the underground tunnels or inside the dung ball (which serves as a source of food for larvae). Larval and pupal stage take place under the ground or under the leaf litter.
Life cycle of scarab beetle lasts from couple of months to few years, depending on the species.

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