scarab beetle

Any of about 30,000 beetle species (family Scarabaeidae), found worldwide, that are compact, heavy-bodied, and oval.

Each antenna terminates in three flattened plates that fit together to form a club. The outer edges of the front legs may be toothed or scalloped. Species range from about 0.2 to 4.8 in. (5 to 120 mm) long and include one of the heaviest known insects. One species of dung beetle, Scarabaeus sacer, was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. Many species are agricultural pests (e.g., chafer, Japanese beetle, June beetle); many are popular with insect collectors because they are large and have beautifully coloured, hard, highly polished forewings.

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insect
      any of approximately 30,000 species of beetles (insect order Coleoptera) that are compact and heavy-bodied insects with robustly oval outlines. They are distinguished from other beetles by their unusual antennae, each of which terminates in three flattened plates that fit together to form a club. The outer edges of their front legs are often toothed or scalloped to facilitate digging. These beetles vary in size from 5 mm (0.2 inch) for the smaller species to the African goliath beetle, which at 12 cm (4.8 inches) is one of the heaviest known insects.

      Scarab beetles vary considerably in habits, with many species feeding on manure or on decomposing plant materials, others on growing roots or leaves, and a few on fungi. The family Scarabaeidae includes the subfamilies Cetoniinae (see flower chafer); Melolonthinae (see chafer; June beetle); Rutelinae (see shining leaf chafer); Scarabeinae (see dung beetle); and Dynastinae (see rhinoceros beetle).

      The family includes several agricultural pests, including June beetles (or June bugs), rose beetles, and the Japanese beetle (q.v.). The dung beetle Scarabaeus sacer was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. Scarab beetles are one of the most popular families with insect collectors owing to the large size and beautifully coloured, hard, highly polished forewings of many species.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • scarab beetle — noun see scarab 1 * * * scarab f24 [scarab scarabs] [ˈskærəb] [ˈskærəb] (also ˈs …   Useful english dictionary

  • scarab beetle — noun Any of very many beetles, of the family Scarabaeidae, especially Scarabaeus sacer regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians Syn: dung beetle …   Wiktionary

  • Scarab — beetle may refer to: *A beetle of the family Scarabaeidae *A dung beetle, especially the Scarabaeus sacer worshipped by the ancient Egyptians as an embodiment of the god Khepri (an amulet made by that people in the shape of the species is also… …   Wikipedia

  • Scarab — Scar ab, Scarabee Scar a*bee, n. [L. scarabaeus; cf. F. scarab[ e]e.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of lamellicorn beetles of the genus {Scarab[ae]us}, or family {Scarab[ae]id[ae]}, especially the sacred, or Egyptian, species… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scarab — ► NOUN 1) a large dung beetle, regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt. 2) an ancient Egyptian gem in the form of a scarab beetle, engraved with hieroglyphs on the flat underside. ORIGIN Greek skarabeios …   English terms dictionary

  • scarab — /skar euhb/, n. 1. any scarabaeid beetle, esp. Scarabaeus sacer, regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians. 2. a representation or image of a beetle, much used among the ancient Egyptians as a symbol, seal, amulet, or the like. 3. a gem cut to… …   Universalium

  • scarab — /ˈskærəb / (say skaruhb) noun 1. Also, scarab beetle. any scarabaeid beetle, especially Scarabaeus sacer, regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians. 2. a representation or image of a beetle, much used among the ancient Egyptians as a symbol,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • beetle — beetle1 /beet l/, n., v., beetled, beetling. n. 1. any of numerous insects of the order Coleoptera, characterized by hard, horny forewings that cover and protect the membranous flight wings. 2. (loosely) any of various insects resembling the… …   Universalium

  • scarab — scar|ab [ˈskærəb] n also scarab .beetle [Date: 1500 1600; : Latin; Origin: scarabaeus] a type of large black ↑beetle …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • scarab — [ skarəb] noun 1》 a large dung beetle, regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt. [Scarabaeus sacer.]     ↘any scarabaeid. 2》 an ancient Egyptian gem in the form of a scarab beetle, engraved with hieroglyphs on the flat underside. Origin C16: from L.… …   English new terms dictionary

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