National Geographic : 1998 Mar
ROVE BEETLE As peripatetic as their name suggests, members of this family can be found among leaf litter, under rocks, and in the mud along waterways. Many prey aggressively on other insects. SCARAB BEETLE Essential to ecosystems, these beetles recycle plant matter and feces. Though some are bril liantly colored, it was a black dung beetle that ancient Egyptians revered as a symbol of rebirth. DARKLING BEETLE Beetles, many of then" darkling beetles, makeup a significant portion o' desert fauna. Commoly eating dead, dry vegel tion, this family lives i virtually every habitat, including rain forests. EUCHROMAGIGANTEA METALLIC WOOD BORING BEETLE Often called jewel beetles because of their dazzling iridescence, this family is a favorite of collectors. Their feeding habits help speed the decomposition of wood in forests worldwide. WEEVIL Eight families make up the superfamily of wee vils. Major crop destroy ers, they chew into nuts, seeds, and plant stems. Among their vast number is the giraffe weevil of Asia. GROUND BEETLE A typically predaceous ground beetle prepares to use its elongated mouth to extract snail flesh from a shell. Most family mem bers live on the ground, though some, in spite of their name, live in trees.