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Catalina Island Conservancy




photo gallery

Photos by Carlos de la Rosa Chief Conservation and Education Officer Catalina Island Conservancy
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October 2008

Beetlemania!

No, this month’s gallery is not about rock music, long hair and bell-bottom pants. It’s about the order Coleoptera—the most diverse groups of insects. Welcome to the world of beetles!

Of the estimated 1 million known species of insects, more than 350,000 are beetles. Scientists think there may be up to 10-million species once the ongoing survey of the Earth’s biodiversity is completed. This is a disproportionate number when compared to other insect groups. Butterflies and moths, the next largest group, barely have 165,000 species currently identified. A full 1/5th of all known species of insects are beetles!

From the gigantic Hercules beetle —a full 6 inches in length—to the tiny Flower Beetle (which at 1/6th of an inch could almost pass through the eye of a needle), beetles are truly the jewels of the insect world. They are colorful, phenomenally well adapted to survive, revered by ancient civilizations, and inspiring in their beauty.

Beetles are common on Catalina Island. There are several species there that have been described as “endemic,” meaning they are found on Catalina and no where else in the world.
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Come explore the diversity and beauty of Catalina’s fantastic beetles. Click here