Red beetle on green leaf (c) Kat Pocklington


Beetles form around 40% of all insects and are therefore the biggest insect group, with around 350,000 species in total. All beetles start life as grubs and then form a pupa and metamorphose into their adult form. Most adult beetles can fly, although a few, such as glow-worms and weevils, have lost the ability.

Scientific name: Coleoptera

Rank: Order

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Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.