Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

length of the body. The larvae have soft, fleshy bodies, with the head and prothorax large and broad, and the legs very much reduced. They live and feed in the wood of trees. Consequently, beetles of this family are most abundant in forest regions, and reach their highest development in the dense virgin forests of tropical countries, South America being particularly rich in peculiar genera.

EB1911 Coleoptera - Fig. 37.—Phryneta aurocincta.jpg
Fig. 37.Phryneta aurocincta. West Africa.

The Bruchidae, or seed-beetles, agree with the two preceding families in tarsal structure; the head is largely hidden by the pronotum, and the elytra are short enough to leave the end of the abdomen exposed (fig. 38). The development of the pea and bean-beetles has been carefully studied by C. V. Riley, who finds that the young larva, hatched from the egg laid on the pod, has three pairs of legs, and that these are lost after the moult that occurs when the grub has bored its way into the seed. In Great Britain the beetle, after completing its development, winters in the seed, waiting to emerge and lay its eggs on the blossom in the ensuing spring.

EB1911 Coleoptera - Fig. 38.—Bruchus piei, Fig. 39.—Platyrrhinus latirostris.jpg
Fig. 38.Bruchus piei
(Pea Beetle.) Europe.
Fig. 39.Platyrrhinus
latirostris. Europe.

Rhynchophora.—The Rhynchophora are a group of beetles easily recognized by the elongation of the head into a beak or snout, which carries the feelers at its sides and the jaws at its tip. The third tarsal segment is broad and bi-lobed, and the fourth is so small that the feet seem to be only four-segmented. There are six malpighian tubes. The ventral sclerite of the head-skeleton (gula), well developed in most families of beetles, is absent among the Rhynchophora, while the palps of the maxillae are much reduced. The larvae have soft, white bodies and, with very few exceptions, no legs.

EB1911 Coleoptera - Fig. 40-42.—Brenthus anchorago; Otiorrhynchus ligustici; Lixus paraplecticus.jpg
Fig. 40.Brenthus
Tropical Countries.
Fig. 41.Otiorrhyn-
chus ligustici. Europe.
Fig. 42.Lixus paraplecticus.

Of the four families included in this group, the Anthribidae (fig. 39) have jointed, flexible palps, feelers—often of excessive length—with a short basal segment, and the three terminal segments forming a club, and, in some genera, larvae with legs. There are nearly 1000 known species, most of which live in tropical countries. The Brenthidae are a remarkable family almost confined to the tropics; they are elongate and narrow in form (fig. 40), with a straight, cylindrical snout which in some male beetles of the family is longer than the rest of the body.

EB1911 Coleoptera - Fig. 43.—Scolytus ulmi.jpg
Fig. 43.Scolytus ulmi. (Bark Beetle). Europe.

The Curculionidae, or weevils (q.v.), comprising 23,000 species, are by far the largest family of the group. The maxillary palps are short and rigid, and there is no distinct labrum, while the feelers are usually of an “elbowed” form, the basal segment being very elongate (figs. 41, 42). They are vegetable feeders, both in the perfect and larval stages, and are often highly injurious. The female uses her snout as a boring instrument to prepare a suitable place for egg-laying. The larvae (fig. 3) of some weevils live in seeds; others devour roots, while the parent-beetles eat leaves; others, again, are found in wood or under bark. The Scolytidae, or bark-beetles, are a family of some 1500 species, closely allied to the Curculionidae, differing only in the feeble development of the snout. They have clubbed feelers, and their cylindrical bodies (fig. 43) are well adapted for their burrowing habits under the bark of trees. Usually the mother-beetle makes a fairly straight tunnel along which, at short intervals, she lays her eggs. The grubs, when hatched, start galleries nearly at right angles to this, and when fully grown form oval cells in which they pupate; from these the young beetles emerge by making circular holes directly outward through the bark.

Bibliography.—In addition to what may be found in numerous important works on the Hexapoda (q.v.) as a whole, such as J. O. Westwood’s Modern Classification of Insects, vol. i. (London, 1838); J. H. Fabre’s Souvenirs Entomologiques (Paris, 1879–1891); D. Sharp’s contribution to the Cambridge Natural History (vol. vi., London, 1899); and L. C. Miall’s Aquatic Insects (London, 1895), the special literature of the Coleoptera is enormous. Classical anatomical memoirs are those of L. Dufour (Ann. Sci. Nat. ii., iii., iv., vi., viii., xiv., 1824–1828); Ib. (ser. 2, Zool.) i., 1834; and H. E. Strauss-Dürkheim, Anatomie comparée des animaux articulées (Paris, 1828).

The wings of Coleoptera (including the elytra) are described and discussed by F. Meinert (Entom. Tijdsk. v., 1880); C. Hoffbauer (Zeit. f. wissen. Zool. liv., 1892); J. H. Comstock and J. G. Needham (Amer. Nat. xxxii., 1898); and W. L. Tower (Zool. Jahrb. Anat. xvii., 1903). The morphology of the abdomen, ovipositor and genital armature is dealt with by K. W. Verhoeff (Ent. Nachtr. xx., 1894, and Arch. f. Naturg. lxi., lxii., 1895–1896); and B. Wandolleck (Zool. Jahrb. Anat. xxii., 1905).

Luminous organs are described by H. von Wielowiejski (Zeits. f. wissen. Zool. xxxvii., 1882); C. Heinemann (Arch. f. mikr. Anat. xxvii., 1886); and R. Dubois (Bull. soc. zool. France, 1886); and stridulating organs by C. J. Gahan (Trans. Entom. Soc., 1900). See also C. Darwin’s Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (London, 1871).

Many larvae of Coleoptera are described and beautifully figured by J. C. Schiödte (Naturh. Tidsskr. i.-xiii., 1861–1872). Hypermetamorphosis in the Meloidae is described by G. Newport (Trans. Linn. Soc. xx., xxi., 1851–1853); C. V. Riley (Rep. U.S. Entom. Comm. i., 1878); J. H. Fabre (Ann. Sci. Nat. (4), ix., xix., 1848–1853); H. Beauregard (Les Insectes vésicants, Paris, 1890); and A. Chabaud (Ann. Soc. Ent. France, lx., 1891); in the Bruchidae by Riley (Insect Life, iv., v., 1892–1893); and in the Strepsiptera (Stylopidae) by K. T. E. von Siebold (Arch. f. Naturg. ix., 1843); N. Nassonov (Bull. Univ. Narsovie, 1892); and C. T. Brues (Zool. Jahrb. Anat. xiii., 1903).

For various schemes of classification of the Coleoptera see E. L. Geoffroy (Insectes qui se trouvent aux environs de Paris, Paris, 1762); A. G. Olivier (Coléoptères, Paris, 1789–1808); W. S. MacLeay (Annulosa Javanica, London, 1825); the general works of Westwood and Sharp, mentioned above; M. Gemminger and B. de Harold (Catalogus Coleopterorum, 12 vols., Munich, 1868–1872); T. Lacordaire and F. Chapuis (Genera des Coléoptères, 10 vols., Paris, 1854–1874); J. L. Leconte and G. H. Horn (Classification of Coleoptera of N. America, Washington, Smithsonian Inst., 1883); L. Ganglbauer (Die Käfer von Mitteleuropa, Vienna, 1892, &c.); A. Lameere (Ann. Soc. Ent. Belg. xliv., xlvii., 1900–1903); and H. J. Kolbe (Arch. f. Naturg. lxvii., 1901).

For the British species, W. W. Fowler (Coleoptera of the British Islands, 5 vols., London, 1887–1891) is the standard work; and W. F. Johnson and J. N. Halbert’s “Beetles of Ireland” (Proc. R. Irish Acad., 3, vi., 1902) is valuable faunistically. Among the large number of systematic writers on the order generally, or on special families, may be mentioned D. Sharp, T. V. Wollaston, H. W. Bates, G. C. Champion, E. Reitter, G. C. Crotch, H. S. Gorham, M. Jacoby, L. Fairmaire and C. O. Waterhouse.  (G. H. C.) 

COLEPEPER, JOHN COLEPEPER (or Culpepper), 1st Baron (d. 1660), English politician, was the only son of Sir John Colepeper of Wigsell, Sussex. He began his career in