Types of Beetles: The Complete List

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: January 19, 2022
Image Credit YapAhock/Shutterstock.com
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Beetles are the most common type of insect. There are many different types of beetles, all the way from the hardy dung beetle to the pesky weevil to the cute ladybug. While the following is not a complete list of beetles, it will tell you the facts about the most common types of beetles, including identification, size in length, diet, and scientific name.

1. Ladybug

Caucasian red seven-spotted ladybug with black and white spots on the elytra, long legs, antennae has risen on legs in green inflorescence
Caucasian red seven-spotted ladybug with black and white spots on the elytra. These types of beetles are omnivorous.

Sergey/Shutterstock.com

Ladybugs, also called lady beetles and ladybird beetles, have an omnivorous diet of fungus, leaves, beetle larvae, aphids, and other plant-eating pests. They live in Asia, Europe, and North America. Their colors are red, orange, yellow, black, grey, and brown, and their size is 0.8-18mm. Their scientific name is Coccinellidae, which has over 5,000 species.

2. Carrion

Types of beetles - carrion beetle
A burying beetle (Nicrophorus vespillo) sitting on a small rock. Both adult and larvae of these types of beetles feed on decaying animals and plants. 

iStock.com/Stefan Rotter

Also called burying beetles, carrion beetles are found during any stage of decay. They live in North America and are mostly black, with a size of 9-30mm. Their scientific name is Silphidae and there are over 21 species.

3. Flesh-eating

Flesh-eating beetle
A Flesh-eating beetle on the body of a dead animal. These types of beetles are found on bodies that have been decomposing for weeks.

Tomasz Klejdysz/Shutterstock.com

Flesh-eating beetles have the scientific name of Dermestidae and are also called skin, hide, and taxidermy beetles due to their unique ability to digest keratin. They are found on bodies that have been decomposing for weeks as well as in homes, and they are used to clean bones for identification. Their size is 10-25mm and their colors range from red to brown and black, with long bodies.

4. Rove

Types of beetles - rove beetle
Lordithon lunulatus, a type of rove beetle, on fungi. These types of beetles live in moist, humid environments around the world.

Henrik Larsson/Shutterstock.com

The scientific name of rove beetles is Staphylinidae, which has 63,000 species and thousands of genera, making them one of the most common types of beetles. The most famous is the Devil’s horse-coach beetle. They can be less than 1 to 35mm long but most have a size of 2-7.6 mm. Their colors range from reddish-brown, brown, red, and yellow to black and iridescent green and blue. Living in moist, humid environments around the world, their diet is plant-eating and scavenging insects.

5. Weevil

Types of beetles - Weevil
Hylobius abietis, the large Pine Weevil Beetle. Weevils are one of the most common types of beetles.

iStock.com/nechaev-kon

Weevils have the scientific name Curculionoidea. Their long snouts and size of about a quarter-inch or 6mm make identification easy. Their colors range from brown to black and their bodies can be oval or slender in shape. There are 97,000 species, making them one of the most common types of beetles. Their diet is crops, with specific crops depending on species. They live in crops, crop storage facilities, and homes. One common species is the Fuller rose beetle, which is broad-nosed.

6. Ground

Types of beetles - Ground beetle
Male Ground beetle, Carabus intricatus, sitting on a rock. These types of beetles all have volatile defensive secretions.

iStock.com/mirceax

Ground beetles live in many habitats on the ground and have a diet of other insects, larvae, worms, snails, slugs, and seeds of plants including weeds. Their scientific name is Carabidae which has 40,000 species around the world. Most being metallic or shiny black, they come in a range of colors and sizes but all have ridged wing covers. All have volatile defensive secretions and those of bombardier beetles make loud popping sounds. One major genus is Harpalus and one well-known species is the violin beetle.

7. Scarab

Types of beetles - scarab beetle
Flower chafers or flower scarabs in a terrarium. These types of beetles have stout bodies with mostly bright, metallic colors.

Alex Stemmers/Shutterstock.com

The scarab beetle or scarab’s scientific name is Scarabaeidae and there are 30,000 species around the world. They have stout bodies with mostly bright, metallic colors, and a size of 1.5-160mm. Their scavenger diet is of carrion, decaying plant matter, and dung. Two common types of scarabs are the Chinese rose beetle and the grapevine beetle.

8. Dung

Types of beetles - dung beetle
Macro shot of forest dung beetle (Anoplotrupes stercorosus) on moss. The diet of these types of beetles is feces.

Mike Laptev/Shutterstock.com

Dung beetles eat feces and their scientific name is Scarabaeoidea. They live in all continents except Antarctica. Their size is 5-50mm and their color mostly ranges from brown to black and is usually shiny, but some have bright, metallic colors.

9. Stag

Types of beetles - Stag beetle
A well-known species in much of Europe is Lucanus cervus, referred to in the United Kingdom as “the” stag beetle. These types of beetles are the largest terrestrial insect in the UK.

iStock.com/KarelGallas

The scientific name of the stag beetle is Lucanidae, while its common name in English refers to its large jaws which make for easy identification. There exist 1,200 species, all with a diet of plant sap. Their size is 0.5-5 inches and their colors are red, brown, green, and black.

10. Soldier

Types of beetles - soldier beetle
A soldier beetle is a type of beetle that secrets a toxic defensive chemical.

Suede Chen/Shutterstock.com

Also called leatherwings, soldier beetles have soft wing-cases and straight sides. Their scientific name is Cantharidae and there exist 35,000 species. Their size is 8-13mm and their colors range from yellow to red with brown or black wings, with their English name referring to the look of a British redcoat. They secret a toxic defensive chemical and their diet is plant-eating insects.

11. Firefly

firefly on leaf
A firefly sitting on a leaf. These types of beetles are named for their bioluminescence at night.

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Fireflies are named for their bioluminescence at night and are also called glowworms and lightning bugs. Their scientific name is Lampyridae and they live all over the world in various habitats. Varying in physical features, their diet depends on the species and ranges from nothing to flower nectar or pollen to smaller fireflies and soft-bodied ground-dwelling animals.

12. Squash

Squash Beetle, Epilachna borealis on a leaf.
Squash Beetle, Epilachna borealis on a leaf. This is a type of beetle that is often confused with ladybugs or cucumber beetles due to their yellow to orange colors.

Huw Penson/Shutterstock.com

Squash beetles are often confused with ladybugs or cucumber beetles due to their yellow to orange colors and are also called squash lady beetles and squash ladybugs. They have seven black spots on each wing covering and four smaller ones on their thorax. Epilachna borealis is their scientific name and their diet is gourd or squash plants. They live in North America and their size is 7-10mm.

13. Potato Bug

Types of beetles - Potato Bug
A Potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, sitting on the leaf of a potato plant. These types of beetles are one of the worst potato pests in the world. 

D. Kucharski K. Kucharska/Shutterstock.com

Also called Colorado potato beetles, Colorado beetles, ten-lined potato beetles, or ten-striped spearmen, potato bugs are actually found in Mexico and most of the United States. Leptinotarsa decemlineata is their scientific name. Their size is 6-11mm and their colors are orange-yellow with 10 black stripes on their wing-cases.

14. Leaf

Types of beetles - Leaf beetle
Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus) on the leaf of the dogbane plant. This type of beetle feeds on dogbane leaves, which are toxic. Bright iridescence on beetle warns predators against attack.

Gerry Bishop/Shutterstock.com

Leaf beetles have the scientific name of Chrysomelidae and there exist over 37,000 species. With 2,500 genera, they are one of the most common types of beetles around the world, with each species having a diet of certain plants. Their size is 1-35mm and their color and shape vary, so identification comes from the three spots on their thorax. Well-known species are the tortoise beetle and the dogbane beetle.

15. Coconut Hispine

Types of beetles - coconut hispine beetle
The coconut leaf beetle, the two-coloured coconut leaf beetle, or the coconut hispine beetle, is a type of beetle that feeds on young leaves.

Lam Van Linh/Shutterstock.com

Brontispa longissima is the scientific name of coconut hispine beetles, which are also called coconut leaf beetles and two-colored coconut leaf beetles. They live in Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, where their diet is coconuts, betel nut, and ornamental and wild palms. Their size is 8-10mm and their colors are mostly reddish-brown to black with lighter heads and antennae.

16. Mountain Pine

Types of beetles - Mountain pine beetle
Mountain pine beetle in the Bucegi mountains, Romania. This type of beetle eats the bark of trees.

Cristi Croitoru/Shutterstock.com

Mountain pine beetles are a type of bark beetle and have the scientific name of Dendroctonus ponderosae. They are native to western North America where they live and eat limber, jack, Scots, lodgepole, whitebark, and ponderosa pine tree bark. All have a dark black exoskeleton and are a quarter-inch in size.

17. Japanese

Japanese beetle on wet leaf
Originally from Japan, the Japanese beetle was spotted in the United States in 1916. One swarm of these types of beetles has been shown to destroy a peach tree in 15 minutes.

iStock.com/Justin Tahai

Japanese beetles are a type of scarab beetle that is native to Japan, although they are found all over the world. They have an herbivorous diet, their colors are green or golden and their size is 15mm.

18. Hercules

Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) on a moss-covered branch in Ecuador.
Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) on a moss-covered branch in Ecuador. The Hercules beetle is just one of the many different types of beetles in the scarab family.

feathercollector/Shutterstock.com

Hercules beetles are a type of rhinoceros beetle and are just one of the many different types of beetles in the scarab family, with the scientific name Dynastes hercules. Identification of males comes from their large horns, which females do not have, as well as their size of 1.5-7 inches including their horns or 2-3.3 inches without. They also make a huffing sound when threatened. These rare beetles are native to the Lesser Antilles, South America, and Central America, and their diet is strictly herbivorous.

19. Atlas

Types of beetles - Atlas beetle
Atlas beetle (Chalcosoma atlas), a famous exotic pet, is found in Southeast Asia. These types of beetles are named for Atlas, the giant of Greek mythology who supported the skies.

Mark Brandon/Shutterstock.com

Identification of male Atlas beetles comes from their three horns. Named after the Greek mythological figure of Atlas who held up the world, they can lift up to 4 grams. Their scientific name is Chalcosoma atlas and all members of the genus Chalcosoma are very large in size, while this particular species has a broader head horn. They live in Southeast Asia, their colors are metallic green, grey, or black, and their diet is decaying vegetables and fruit. The size of males is 60-120mm and that of females is 25-60mm.

20. Click

Types of beetles - click beetle
Male Click beetle, Ctenicera pectinicornis. These types of beetles are named for their unique clicking sound.

Karolsejnova/Shutterstock.com

Also called elaters, skipjacks, spring beetles, or snapping beetles, click beetles are named for their unique clicking sound. Their scientific name is Elateridae. The size of most is under 2cm with long, rectangular, brown, or black bodies and no markings, although some are large and colorful. They live in warm climates with high vegetation and their diet is herbivorous.

21. Black Caterpillar Hunter

Types of beetles - black caterpillar hunter beetle
A Black Caterpillar Hunter beetle resting on a leaf. These types of beetles live on woodlands and gardens of the southern United States.

iStock.com/MichaelRLopez

Also called Say’s caterpillar hunters, black caterpillar hunters have the scientific name of Carabinae. They are 25-28mm long with shiny black bodies and grooved wing-cases with rows of ruby-red pits. They live on woodlands and gardens of the southern United States, where their diet is the larvae and pupae of grubs, flies, caterpillars, and moths.

22. Tiger

Most colorful beetles - Tiger Beetle
Tiger Beetles, one of the most colorful types of beetles, have iridescent shells.

wagtail/Shutterstock.com

Tiger beetles have the scientific name Cicindelinae. There are 2,600 species, which are known for running up to 5.6 mph and their predatory aggression. Their size is up to an inch long and they have metallic shells in various colors, large, curved jaws, long legs, and bulging eyes. They live in tropical regions, where their diet is other small insects and arthropods.

23. Deathwatch

deathwatch beetle on wood
The deathwatch beetle is a common house beetle. These types of beetles are easily identified by their mating sound.

Tomasz Klejdysz/Shutterstock.com

Feeding on a diet of old oak and other types of wood, deathwatch beetles are known for being pests in wooden buildings. Their colors are brown, black, and white and they are about 7mm in size. Named after the tapping sounds the males make, they were thought to be death omens. They are native to Britain and live in temperate woodlands.

24. Checkered

Types of beetles - Checkered beetle
Beetle species of checkered beetles Trichodes quadriguttatus sitting on blue flower. These types of beetles are also called “Cow-killer ants” which hints at how their sting feels.

iStock.com/Irina Chayko

Checkered beetles live around the world and have different diets and habitats. Their scientific name is Cleroidea. Long and oval with bristly hairs, they are 3-24mm and most have bright color patterns.

25. Blister

Most Colorful Beetles - Blister Beetle
Poisonous blister beetles with bright black and red warning coloration. They are some of the most colorful types of beetles.

vblinov/Shutterstock.com

Named after the blistering agent they secrete called cantharidin, blister beetles have the scientific name of Meloidae. 7,500 species exist around the world. They come in brought colors and a size of 1-2.5cm, while their diet is omnivorous.

26. Sawyer

Types of beetles - sawyer beetle
Pine sawyer beetle (Monochamus sutor) in Tver Province, Russia. These types of beetles eat conifer trees.

Mikhail Kochiev/Shutterstock.com

Sawyers or sawyer beetles have the scientific name Monochamus. They are a worldwide genus of longhorn beetles that eat conifer trees, especially pines, and are known for having long antennae and camouflage colors. They’re about an inch long.

27. Whirligig

Types of beetles - Whirligig beetle
Whirligig beetle (Gyrinus natator) is a type of water beetle that is named for swimming in circles when threatened.

Maximillian cabinet/Shutterstock.com

Whirligig beetles are a type of water beetle that is named for swimming in circles when threatened. Their scientific name is Gyrinidae, and there are 700 species with 15 genera around the world. Their diet is insectivorous, eating soft-bodied larvae and adult insects such as flies. They have oval, brownish-black bodies 3-18mm in size, tiny, clubbed antennae, and horizontally divided eyes.

28. Emerald Ash Borer

Types of beetles - Emerald Ash Borer
Agrilus planipennis, Emerald ash borer, sitting on a branch. These types of beetles kill ash trees by destroying the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the tree’s bark. 

Herman Wong HM/Shutterstock.com

Native to northeast Asia, emerald ash borers are jewel beetles named after their color and diet of ash trees. Their scientific name is Agrilus planipennis and their size is 8.5mm.

29. Fiery Searcher

Types of beetles - Fiery Searcher
Ground beetle (Calosoma scrutator; common names: caterpillar hunter, fiery searcher) eating a tiger moth at a porch light. These types of beetles secrete oil that smells like rancid olive oil or rotten milk when threatened.

Kevin Jarrell/Shutterstock.com

Fiery searchers or caterpillar hunters are a ground beetle species with the scientific name of Calosoma scrutator. They measure up to 1.4in (35mm) long. Found in North, Central, and South America, they are most abundant in the eastern United States. They secrete oil that smells like rancid olive oil or rotten milk when threatened.

30. Green June

What Do June Bugs Eat - June Bug on Flower
A Green June beetle eating flowers. These types of beetles are turf pests that eat a variety of vegetation.

Galina Savina/Shutterstock.com

Found in the eastern United States and Canada, green June beetles are turf pests that eat a variety of vegetation. They are also called May beetles or June bugs. With green wings, bright, shiny green underside, legs, head, and gold sides, they measure 15-22mm long. Their scientific name is Cotinis nitida.

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How many different types of beetles are there?

The facts from a complete list of beetles show that there are 12,000 types with 25,000 species in North America alone and 350,000 species worldwide.

How many beetles bite?

Even from a complete list of beetles, the facts show that only a few types of beetles bite humans, such as spruce and darkling beetles.

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