Largest Number of Species

This is why I don’t care what the name of this beetle is or from what kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species (one of the enduring lists memorized from BFJHS 9th grade biology) it morphed:

Having just watch an earlier episode of Cosmos, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson provided the number of beetle species that was so extraordinary, I wished I’d written it down!  Thinking my ears deceived me, I researched. Most of you probably never wondered (or even care) how many beetles there are on earth, right? Beetles are believed to make up at least quarter of the animal kingdom. They are the largest group of animals in the animal kingdom representing one fifth of all known living organisms and one fourth of all animals, and their population seems to be growing everyday. It is believed that the number of species of beetles range from approximately 250,000 to 350,000.

Beetles are among the most fascinating of all animals. They differ in range of size, color, and form. Some beetles are as large as 16 cm while others are as small as 1 mm. Many tropical beetles have large horns and claws, making no attempt to hide themselves while others try to make themselves as little noticeable as they can.

Beetles also live under the most diverse conditions. Some beetles live in salt water while others live in fresh water and under the bark of dead and living trees. Some beetles feed on the roots, wood, leaves, flowers, and fruit of living plants while others are scavengers. Beetles have an important role in society today. They prey on pest insects and are therefore extremely important to biological control. Virtually any product from the animal or vegetable kingdom can serve as food for a beetle.

Below are several “stacked” macro images (ranging from 5-14 images each).

beetle1-69-72_900 beetle5-52-68_900 beetle3-91-98_900 beetle4-13-17_900 beetle2-75-78_900


About Laurie Merritt Photography

Owner: Laurie Merritt Photography
This entry was posted in Animal Kingdom, Creative, entomology, Insects, Macro Photography, Macro Stacking, Nature, Photography, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Largest Number of Species

  1. Right! One just never knows what’s out there!

  2. tomsimard says:

    “Beetles are believed to make up at least quarter of the animal kingdom.”

    Amazing. Who would have thought?

  3. AMERICAN MALE says:

    Not a fan of beetles but cool factoid

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