A-z - Animals

Types of Beetles: The Complete List

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key point:

  • There are 30 types of beetles
  • Beetles have a variety of dietary needs and are very important to our planet's ecosystem.
  • Adult beetles have two sets of wings

Beetles are the most common type of insect. There are many different types of beetles, from hardy dung beetles to pesky weevils to adorable ladybugs. While the following is not a complete list of beetles, it will tell you the facts about the most common types of beetles, including identification, length size, diet, and scientific name.

1. ladybug

Caucasian red seven-spotted ladybug with black and white spots on elytra and long-legged antennae rising on legs in green inflorescence
Caucasian red seven-spotted ladybug with black and white spots on elytra. These types of beetles are omnivorous.

© Sergey/Shutterstock.com

Ladybugs, also known as ladybugs and ladybugs, feed on fungi, leaves, beetle larvae, aphids, and other plant pests. They live in Asia, Europe and North America. They come in red, orange, yellow, black, gray and brown colors and are 0.8-18mm in size. Their scientific name is the ladybug family, and there are more than 5,000 species.

2. Carrion

Types of Beetles - Carrion Beetles
A burial beetle (Nicrophorus vespillo) sits on a small rock. Both adults and larvae of these beetles feed on decaying plants and animals.

©iStock.com/Stefan Rotter

Carrion beetles, also known as burying beetles, can be found in any stage of decay. They live in North America, are mostly black, and are 9-30mm in size. Their scientific name is Silphidae, and there are more than 21 species.

3. Carnivorous

carnivorous beetle
Carnivorous beetle on dead animal. These types of beetles are found on carcasses that have been decomposing for several weeks.

© Tomasz Klejdysz/Shutterstock.com

Carnivorous beetles have the scientific name Dermestidae and are also known as skin beetles, hide beetles, and taxidermy beetles due to their unique ability to digest keratin. They are found on corpses that have been decomposing for weeks, as well as in homes, where they are used to clean bones for identification. They are 10-25 mm in size, vary in color from red to brown and black, and have a long body.

4. Rove

Types of Beetles - Rove Beetles
Lordithon lunulatus, a crawling beetle, on a fungus. These types of beetles live in moist environments all over the world.

©Henrik Larsson/Shutterstock.com

Rove beetles, whose scientific name is Staphylinidae, have 63,000 species and thousands of genera and are one of the most common types of beetles. The most famous is the devil's carriage beetle. They may be less than 1 to 35 mm in length, but most measure 2-7.6 mm. Their colors range from reddish-brown, brown, red, and yellow to black and iridescent greens and blues. Living in wet, humid environments around the world, their diet is eating plants and scavenging insects.

5. Weevils

Types of Beetles - Weevils
Hylobius abietis, large pine weevil beetle. Weevils are one of the most common types of beetles.

© iStock.com/nechaev-kon

The scientific name of the weevil is Curculionoidea. Their long snouts and size of about a quarter inch or 6 mm make identification easy. They range in color from brown to black and have oval or elongated bodies. There are 97,000 species, making them one of the most common types of beetles. Their diet is crops, which depend on the species. They live in crops, crop storage facilities, and in homes. One common species is the Fuller's rose beetle, which is broad-nosed.

6. Ground

Types of Beetles - Ground Beetles
A male ground beetle, Carabus intricatus, sits on a rock. These types of beetles have volatile defense secretions.

© iStock.com/mirceax

Ground beetles live in many habitats above ground, feeding on other insects, larvae, worms, snails, slugs, and plant seeds, including weeds. Their scientific name is Carabidae, and there are 40,000 species worldwide. Most are metallic or shiny black, and they come in a variety of colors and sizes, but all have ridged wing covers. They both have volatile defensive secretions, which the bombardment beetle emits with a loud pop. A major genus is Harpalus , and one notable species is the fiddle beetle.

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7. Scarab

Types of beetles - scarabs
Flower chafers or flower chafers in a glass container. These types of beetles have stocky bodies and are mostly bright metallic in color.

©Alex Stemmers/Shutterstock.com

The scientific name for scarabs or scarabs is scarabidae and there are 30,000 species worldwide. The body is stout, mostly bright metallic color, and the body size is 1.5-160 mm. Their scavenger diet is carrion, decaying plant matter, and dung. Two common types of scarabs are rose beetles and grape beetles.

8. Feces

Types of beetles - dung beetles
Macro shot of forest dung beetle (Anoplottrupes stercorosus) on moss. The food of these beetles is feces .

© Mike Laptev/Shutterstock.com

Dung beetles eat dung, and their scientific name is Scarabaeoidea. They live on every continent except Antarctica. They are 5-50 mm in size and mostly brown to black in color, usually shiny but some have a bright metallic colour.

9. Bucks

Types of Beetles - Stag Beetle
Lucanus cervus is a species well known throughout much of Europe and is known in the UK as "the" stag beetle. These types of beetles are the largest land insects in the UK.

©iStock.com/KarelGallas

The scientific name of the stag beetle is Lucanidae, and its English common name refers to its large jaws for easy identification. There are 1,200 species, all feeding on plant sap. They measure 0.5-5 inches and come in red, brown, green, and black colors.

10. Soldier

Types of Beetles - Soldier Beetles
The soldier beetle is a beetle that secretes toxic defense chemicals.

©Suede Chen/Shutterstock.com

Also known as skinwings, soldier beetles have soft wing shells and straight sides. Their scientific name is Mythariaceae, and there are 35,000 species. They measure 8-13 mm in color from yellow to red with brown or black wings, and their English name refers to the appearance of the English red coat. They secrete a toxic defensive chemical, and their diet is plant-eating insects.

11. Fireflies

fireflies on leaves
A firefly sits on a leaf. These types of beetles are named for their bioluminescence at night.

© khlungcenter/Shutterstock.com

Fireflies, named for their bioluminescence at night, are also known as fireflies and lightning bugs. Their scientific name is Lampyridae, and they live in different habitats around the world. Their physical characteristics vary, and their diet, depending on the species, ranges from none with nectar or pollen, to smaller fireflies and mollusk land dwellers.

12. Squash

Squash beetle, Epilachna borealis on leaf.
Squash beetle, Epilachna borealis on leaf. This is a type of beetle that is often confused with ladybugs or cucumber beetles due to their yellow to orange color.

©Huw Penson/Shutterstock.com

Because of their yellow to orange color, squash beetles are often confused with ladybugs or cucumber beetles, also known as squash ladybugs and pumpkin ladybugs. They have seven black spots on each wing covering and four smaller spots on their thorax. Epilachna borealis is their scientific name, and their food is gourd or squash plants. They live in North America and are 7-10 mm in size.

13. Potato bugs

Types of Beetles - Potato Bugs
A potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, sits on a leaf of a potato plant. These types of beetles are among the world's worst potato pests .

© D. Kucharski K. Kucharska/Shutterstock.com

Also known as the Colorado potato beetle, Colorado beetle, ten-row potato beetle, or ten-striped spearman, the potato bug is actually found in Mexico and most of the United States. Leptinotarsa decemlineata is their scientific name. They measure 6-11 mm and are orange-yellow in color with 10 black stripes on the wing shells.

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14. leaves

Types of Beetles - Leaf Beetles
Dog hemp beetle (Chrysochus auratus) on a dog hemp plant leaf. This beetle feeds on poisonous dog hemp leaves. The bright iridescence on the beetle warns predators not to attack.

©Gerry Bishop/Shutterstock.com

The scientific name for leaf beetles is Chrysomelidae, and there are more than 37,000 species. With 2,500 genera, they are one of the most common types of beetles in the world, and each species feeds on certain plants. They range in size from 1-35 mm and vary in color and shape, so identify three points from their chest. Notable species are the turtle beetle and the dog-striped beetle.

15. Coconut Cashews

Types of Beetles – Coconut Beetles
The coconut leaf beetle, bicolored coconut leaf beetle, or coconut beetle, is a species of beetle that feeds on young leaves.

©Lam Van Linh/Shutterstock.com

Brontispa longissima is the scientific name of coconut beetle, also known as coconut leaf beetle and bicolor coconut leaf beetle. They live in Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, where their food is coconuts, areca nuts, ornamental and wild palms. They are 8-10 mm in size and are mostly reddish brown to black in color with a lighter head and antennae.

16. Mountain Pine

Types of Beetles - Mountain Pine Beetle
Mountain pine beetle in the Bucegi mountains, Romania. This beetle eats bark.

© Cristi Croitoru/Shutterstock.com

The mountain pine beetle is a species of bark beetle with the scientific name Dendroctonus ponderosae . They are native to western North America, where they live and eat the bark of pine, jack, scotch, black, whitebark, and ponderosa pine trees. They both have dark black exoskeletons measuring a quarter of an inch in size.

17. Japanese

Japanese beetle on wet leaf
Originally from Japan, the Japanese beetle was discovered in the United States in 1916. Swarms of these types of beetles have been shown to destroy a peach tree in 15 minutes.

© iStock.com/Justin Tahai

The Japanese beetle is a species of scarab beetle native to Japan, although they can be found all over the world. They feed on herbivores, are green or golden in color and measure 15 mm in size.

18. Hercules

Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) on a mossy branch in Ecuador.
Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) on a mossy branch in Ecuador. Hercules beetles are just one of many different types of beetles in the scarab family.

©feathercollector/Shutterstock.com

The Hercules beetle is a species of rhinoceros beetle, just one of many different types of beetles in the scarab family known as Dynastes hercules . Males are identified by their large horns, which females do not, and their size of 1.5-7 inches (including horns) or 2-3.3 inches (without horns). They also make panting noises when threatened. These rare beetles are native to the Lesser Antilles, South and Central America, and their diet is entirely herbivorous.

19. Atlas

Types of Beetles - Atlas Beetles
The Atlas Beetle (Chalcosoma atlas) is a well-known exotic pet found in Southeast Asia. These types of beetles are named after Atlas, the giant in Greek mythology that held up the sky.

© Mark Brandon/Shutterstock.com

Male Atlas beetles are identified from their three horns. Named after Atlas, the Greek mythological figure who held up the world, they can lift up to 4 grams. Their scientific name is Chalcosoma atlas , all members of the Chalcosoma genus are very large, and this particular species has a wider head horn. They live in Southeast Asia, their skin color is metallic green, gray or black, and their diet is rotting vegetables and fruits. Male 60-120mm, female 25-60mm.

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20. Click

Types of Beetles - Click Beetles
Male click beetle, Ctenicera pectinicornis. These types of beetles are named for their distinctive clicking sound.

© Karolsejnova/Shutterstock.com

Also known as bouncing beetles, skipjack beetles, spring beetles or beetles, click beetles are named for their distinctive clicking sound. Their scientific name is Elateridae. Most are under 2 cm in size and have oblong, brown or black bodies without markings, although some are larger and brightly colored. They live in warm climates with lush vegetation, and their diet is herbivorous.

21. Black Caterpillar Hunter

Types of Beetles - Black Caterpillar Hunter Beetle
A black caterpillar hunter beetle resting on a leaf. These types of beetles live in woodlands and gardens in the southern United States.

©iStock.com/MichaelRLopez

Black caterpillar hunters are also known as Sai's caterpillar hunters and have the scientific name Carabinae. They are 25-28mm long and have a shiny black body and fluted wing shells with rows of ruby red dimples. They live in woodlands and gardens in the southern United States and feed on the larvae and pupae of grubs, flies, caterpillars, and moths.

22. Tiger

The Most Brightly Colored Beetle – The Tiger Beetle
Tiger beetles are one of the most colorful beetles with their iridescent shells.

©wagtail/Shutterstock.com

The scientific name for tiger beetles is Cicindelinae. There are 2,600 species and they are known for speeds of up to 5.6 mph and predatory aggression. They measure up to an inch long and have metal shells of various colors, large, curved jaws, long legs and bulging eyes. They live in the tropics and feed on other small insects and arthropods.

23. Deathwatch

Deathwatch beetle on wood
The watch beetle is a common beetle. These types of beetles are easily identified by their mating sounds.

© Tomasz Klejdysz/Shutterstock.com

Feeds on old oak and other types of wood, and the death watch beetle is well known as a pest in timber construction. They are brown, black and white in color and about 7mm in size. Named for the knocking sound made by males, they are considered an omen of death. They are native to England and live in temperate woodlands.

24. Square

Types of Beetles - Checkered Beetle
Checkered beetle Trichodes quadriguttatus species of beetle sitting on a blue flower. These types of beetles are also known as "cowkiller ants," which alludes to their sting.

© iStock.com/Irina Chayko

Checkered beetles live all over the world, with different diets and habitats. Their scientific name is Cleroidea. Oblong, setose, 3-24 mm, most with bright color patterns.

25. Blister

Most Colorful Beetle - Blister Beetle
Venomous blister beetle with bright black and red warning colors. They are some of the most colorful beetles.

©vblinov/Shutterstock.com

Named for the foaming agent they secrete called cantharidin, the scientific name for blister beetles is Meloidae. There are 7,500 species worldwide. They are 1-2.5 cm in color and size, and their diet is omnivorous.

26. Sawyer

Types of Beetles - Saw Leaf Beetle
Pine saw leaf beetle (Monochamus sutor) in Tver province, Russia. These types of beetles eat conifers.

© Mikhail Kochiev/Shutterstock.com

The scientific name of Sawyers or sawyer beetle is Monochamus. They are a cosmopolitan genus of long-horned beetles that feed on conifers, especially pine trees, and are known for their long antennae and camouflage colors. They are about an inch long.

27. Top

Types of Beetles - Spinning Beetle
The vortex beetle (Gyrinus natator) is a water beetle named for its ability to circle in place when threatened.

©Maximillian cabinet/Shutterstock.com

The spinning beetle is a water beetle named for its ability to spin in circles when threatened. Their scientific name is Gyrinidae, and there are 700 species in 15 genera in the world. Their diet is entomophagous, eating mollusk larvae and adults such as flies. They have 3-18 mm oval brown-black bodies, thin rod-like antennae, and horizontally separated eyes.

28. Emerald Ash Borers

Types of Beetles - Emerald Ash Borer
Agrilus planipennis, the emerald ash borer, sits on a branch. These types of beetles kill ash trees by damaging the water and nutrient-conducting tissues under the bark.

©Herman Wong HM/Shutterstock.com

Native to Northeast Asia, the emerald ash borer is a jewel beetle named for its color and its feeding on ash trees. Their scientific name is Agrilus planipennis and they are 8.5 mm in size.

29. Fiery Searcher

Types of Beetles - Fiery Searcher
Ground beetle (Calosoma scrutator; common names: caterpillar hunter, fiery searcher) eating tiger moth under porch light. These types of beetles secrete an oil when threatened that smells like rancid olive oil or rotten milk.

©Kevin Jarrell/Shutterstock.com

Fiery searchers or caterpillar hunters are a species of ground beetle with the scientific name Calosoma scrutator . They can be up to 1.4 inches (35mm) long. They are found in North, Central, and South America and are most abundant in the eastern United States. When threatened, they secrete oil that smells like rancid olive oil or rotting milk.

30. Green June

What June Bugs Eat - June Bugs On Flowers
Green June beetle eating a flower. These types of beetles are lawn pests that eat a variety of plants.

© Galina Savina/Shutterstock.com

Found in the eastern United States and Canada, the green June beetle is a lawn pest that feeds on a variety of plants. They are also known as May beetles or June bugs. They have green wings, a bright shiny green underside, legs, head and golden sides and are 15-22mm long. Their scientific name is Cotinis nitida .

How Long Do Beetles Live?

Beetles have a relatively short lifespan. Its life cycle begins during the mating season between spring and fall, when male and female beetles mate or reproduce asexually. A mother will usually choose the same habitat in which she grew up to produce her offspring. She will lay her eggs directly on a food source, whether it is wood, plant leaves, dung, or wherever prey is plentiful. Eggs can hatch in a few days or up to several months. Larvae go through the larval stage, where they feed, grow and shed their exoskeleton.

The developing beetle then goes through the pupal stage. Some beetles take only a few weeks to transform, while other species take years. During this time, the pupae do not eat, but remain dormant with reduced activity. Once beetles have grown into adults, their lifespan can vary from 10 days to 6 months, depending on the species.

Here is a summary of beetle types:

  1. ladybug
  2. carrion
  3. carnivorous
  4. Rove
  5. weevil
  6. ground
  7. Scarab
  8. manure
  9. stag
  10. Soldier
  11. firefly
  12. squash
  13. Potato
  14. leaf
  15. Coconut Hayes
  16. mountain pine
  17. Japanese
  18. Hercules
  19. Atlas
  20. click
  21. black caterpillar hunter
  22. tiger
  23. death watcher
  24. checkered
  25. blisters
  26. Sawyer
  27. to rotate
  28. emerald ash borer
  29. fiery searcher
  30. green june

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about the author

Heather Hall


I'm a freelance writer with 22 years of experience. I live in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by nature. When I do my daily runs, I often see herds of elk, deer, and bald eagles. I have two dogs that take me on hikes in the mountains where we see coyotes, black bears, and wild turkeys.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How many different types of beetles are there?

A complete list of beetles shows 12,000 species in North America alone, 25,000 in North America, and 350,000 in the world.

How many beetles bite?

Even from a full list of beetles, it turns out that only a few species bite, such as the spruce beetle and the black beetle.

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