Today’s post is going to be a bit shorter than usual.  As you are well aware, sometimes life interferes with your plans but nature still provides a calming balm.  Hopefully, a beetle challenge is calming!

Throughout the next few days, look around as you go about your activities, on a hike, near the lake, or wherever you are.  You are looking for beetles.  See how many different types you can find. You don’t need to know what they are called.  Instead, note some distinguishing features and in what kind of environment you found them.  Keep a tally. 

Beetle Collection
Image by Frantic00 at

Beetles are the largest order of insects.  There is extraordinary diversity in this order, with more than 400,000 species. They make up about 40% of all types of insects and 25% of all types of animals.  

While they are very diverse, they all have a head, thorax, abdomen, and six legs.  Look for these as your first clues.  Its body may also appear as a hard shell, but it just looks that way.  Beetles exist in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.  Finally, if in doubt, beetles have sharp mandibles (chewing mouthparts). You’ll be able to identify them if you flip the beetle on its back.

During a recent walk, I found at least a dozen different varieties and that was with very little effort.  I’ll bet you can beat this easily with a little diligence.  Good luck!  And more about the natural history of beetles next week. 

This challenge is rated as easy.

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