The larvae of these holometabolous insects (with complete metamorphosis) are highly variable in shape. They transform into adults by going through a pupal stage. The adult looks very different from the larva, and adults also vary greatly in their appearance.

In general, beetles overwinter as pupae or adults. Some also overwinter as larvae, but few do so as eggs.

Most of the species have one generation per year, but a number of xylophagous (wood boring) species only have one generation every two or three years.

The diet of Coleoptera is varied: some are phytophagous (plant feeders), others are zoophagous (predators) or saprophagous (detritivorous). Depending on their diet, they can be found in a variety of habitats, both aquatic and terrestrial, such as under tree bark, in forest litter, on plant foliage, flowers and fruits, as well as in caves and animal dens.


Here are typical representatives of some families in this order. At least one species associated with these families is described in the site's fact sheets.

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