; subclass Pterygota, order Coleoptera)
Family of beetles, which are very diverse in form and habit, and are 2–150 mm long. The antennal club consists of movable, flattened plates. Chafers (e.g. Melolontha melolontha, the maybug or cockchafer) are nocturnal. Adults are leaf-feeders, often pests. Larvae are C-shaped, fleshy, and feed on roots, often taking up to three years to develop. Dung rollers (e.g. Scarabaeus sacer, the sacred scarab) have front legs without tarsi, specialized for forming the dung ball that is rolled to an underground chamber to feed larvae. Some species remain with their young until these are mature. Cetoniines (rose beetles) are large, brightly coloured, and diurnal (e.g. Goliathus giganteus, Goliath beetle, which is up to 150 mm). Larvae are found in decaying plants; adults feed mostly on fruits or flowers. Dynastines, the rhinoceros beetles (e.g. the elephant beetle and Hercules beetle) are virtually all tropical. Adults are dark, shiny, and nocturnal, with large curved horns on the head and thorax of males. Some larvae are pests of sugar-cane and palm trees. There are 17 000 species.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.