Types of Beetle Larvae

There are thousands of beetles in the world and they all go through a larvae phase. It is quite difficult to give a comprehensive list but they do have common characteristics no matter what type of beetle they are. To begin with, many of them look like a worm. They have segmented bodies and they move in a similar fashion to worms. Beetle larvae generally have six legs with very distinct heads.

They are anywhere from 2 to 20 millimeters long and they live virtually everywhere. Beetles are essential to the lifecycle of the planet and its inhabitants. In fact, there are more beetles alive at any given moment than any other animal. Beetles make up 20 percent of all living species. Beetle larvae can be found in moist areas, compost piles, streams, slow moving waters, rivers, dams and lakes where they can find food easily.

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Beetle larvae eat plant and animal matter. Beetle larvae as well as adult beetles rely on oxygen to survive, but many can survive under water because they have gills similar to fish. These gills allow them to live their entire lifecycle under water and often give them the appearance of looking silvery in color.

Beetles of North America belong to the Order Coleoptera, the largest order within the animal kingdom. This means that they have more species within the order than any other order that has been identified and classified by scientists. The Order Coleoptera is made up of one-third of all insects that are known to man.

The lifecycle of every beetle consists of four stages: eggs, larvae, pupa and adult. The larvae stage is the second stage of development and the only stage where beetles resemble worms. The larvae stage can last anywhere from one cycle to 30 cycles of growing and shedding the exoskeleton. The length of time it takes for larvae to complete this stage of development, as well as the number of times the exoskeleton is shed, depends on the type of beetle.

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The pupa stage is when the beetle inhabits a cocoon-like house where they develop into adult beetles. This stage can take up to nine months, often occurring over the winter. Adult beetles have varying life spans. They are unique in color and appearance depending on what type of beetle it is and they have wings that allow them to fly.

Common beetle larvae include: Red Milkweed Beetle, Tiger Beetle, Japanese Beetle, Lady Beetles (aka Ladybugs), Soldier Beetle, Dogbane Leaf Beetle, Black Blister Beetle, Weevil, Leaf Beetle, Longhorned Beetle, Firefly / Lightening Bug and Corn Rootworm Beetle.

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