Tiger beetles use this incredible speed to run down both prey and mates. But as they sprint, their environment becomes a blur because their eyes simply can’t gather enough light to form an image. They have extremely sharp vision for insects, but when they’re running, the world smears into a featureless smudge. To compensate, the beetle has to stop to spot its prey again, before resuming the chase.
It seems like a bad evolutionary joke: a hunter that loses sight of its prey whenever it runs.
But tiger beetles don’t mind because… well… they are really, really fast. They can afford to stop in the middle of a chase because they are so ridiculously quick when they’re in motion. It’s like the aforementioned Bolt pausing at the 50-metre mark for a drink, and still winning…
Bombardier Beetle when threatened, sprays the attacker with a boiling hot mixture of caustic chemicals reaching 212° F (100° C). Even more impressive, the bombardier beetle can aim the poisonous eruption in the direction of the harasser.
The beetle itself is not harmed by the fiery chemical reaction. Using two special chambers inside the abdomen, the bombardier beetle mixes potent chemicals and uses an enzymatic trigger to heat and release them.
The foul concoction does burn and stain the skin. This defense proves effective against everything from hungry spiders to curious humans.
Megasoma elephas (Coleoptera - Scarabaeidae - Dynastinae) is one of the giants of the insect world. It is a large and distinctive tropical beetle known from southern Texas, southern Mexico, Central America, and South America.
The most distinctive feature of this beetle is what gives it its name, the long rhinoceros-like and upward-curving horn that males have. This horn has a furry covering and it splits into two at the tip. In addition to the long horn on the head, the pronotum of the male elephant beetle bears a smaller, central horn and a triangular horn on each side. The female elephant beetle is distinguished from the male by its lack of horns
This beetle ranges in size between 7–12 cm (2.75-4.75 in); males are sometimes even bigger .
Curious fact: the Elephant beetle is one of the species that has been used in military application experiments conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, and sponsored by the Pentagon (US), for implanting radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating power systems and remotely control the flight of the insect, creating the prototype called "cyborg beetle" which may serve as useful models for “micro air vehicles” 
The rove beetle, Stenus bimaculatus, family Staphylinidae, in this photo was photographed in Germany, but the family is very widely distributed.
In 1832, during his voyage on the HMS Beagle that would provide fuel for his revolutionary insights about evolution, Charles Darwin collected an enormous number of specimens—including a rove beetle he collected in Argentina that was “rediscovered” in a museum drawer in 2008. This beetle was recently described as a new species and named in Darwin’s honor.
Although remote areas of the world are rich sources of still undescribed species, previously unrecognized species can be discovered even in very unremote regions in Europe. Listen to Encyclopedia of Life’s One Species at a Time podcast about searching for new species in familiar places.
Keystone XL Pipeline: 4 Animals and 3 Habitats in Its Path
Power line impact on the whooping crane just one of the wildlife concerns.
by Mel White
Climate change has been the focus of much of the opposition to TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline. But many conservationists are also concerned about more immediate environmental consequences.
They’re worried about the pipeline construction’s impact on wildlife and ecosystems, and of possible spills of the heavy crude oil that will flow through the pipeline at the rate of 830,000 barrels a day. (See related: “Interactive: Mapping the Flow of Tar Sands Oil.”)
Some people, seeing a map of the pipeline’s proposed 875-mile route through the Great Plains, may picture the region in the terms of 19th-century explorers who called it the “great American desert”: a barren land lacking in natural-history interest. In fact, though the vast herds of grazing animals that Lewis and Clark saw are greatly diminished, rich ecosystems endure. And while the pipeline route crosses some agricultural land, much of it would traverse natural habitats in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska where harmful effects on native animals and plants could—some say would, inevitably—occur…
Sometimes known as the blind cave beetle, Leptodirus hochenwartii is a species of troglobitic round fungus beetle (Leiodidae) that is endemic to caves in the western Dinaric Alps. Like other troglobites L. hochenwartii is highly adapted for life underground, as it has elongated legs and antennae, reduced eyes, and an absence of pigment. Due to its isolated environment much of the ecology of L. hochenwartii is unknown, however several individuals have been seen feeding on carcasses.
This green beetle is easily identified by a yellow gold stripe down the middle and around the edges of its thorax. The large grey and white grubs feed on the roots of plants and the adults can be seen and heard flying at dusk on summer evenings.
It is a common scarab throughout New Zealand during the summer months in most kinds of forest.
The Emerald-Green Blister Beetle aka Spanish Fly, Lytta vesicatoria, is actually a blister beetle in the family Meloidae. This species contains a high concentration of cantharidin, a strong poison that induces heavy blistering upon contact.
Preparations of desiccated Spanish flies are among the world’s oldest aphrodisiacs, with a reputation dating back to the early western Mediterranean classical civilizations. In ancient China, the beetles were mixed with human excrement, arsenic and wolfsbane to make the world’s first recorded stink bomb. Today, cantharidin is used as a topical application for treatment of benign epithelial growths including warts.
… is one of our more common native ladybug species. Adults will overwinter in sometimes large aggregations in protected cracks or beneath leaf litter. Ladybugs in general are relatively cold-hardy insects, among the earliest to emerge in spring; in mild winters or during warmer spells, sometimes adults, including those of this species, will briefly come out from hibernation.
Spotted Lady Beetles are an excellent species to have around the garden, feeding not only on aphids but also the eggs of pests such as cabbageworm, corn earworm, or potato beetles. They also will eat pollen, especially dandelion, squash and corn, and are the only ladybug species that can complete its whole life cycle on nothing but pollen. While their black-spotted pattern is familiar as that of ladybug, they are more elongate than most ladybug species.
They are also quite small - only ~1/4 inch (6mm) on average. They are primarily an eastern species, though some records exist from Arizona and Nevada as well.
Cyphochilus is a genus of beetle with an unusually bright white body, occurring in Southeast Asia. The whiteness of its body is caused by a thin layer of a highly reflective natural photonic solid in its scales and has nothing to do with pigment. The secret is in the size of the filaments of which the scales are made and the spacing between the filaments. This structure scatters light in an unusually efficient manner. Unlike colours, which can be created by using highly ordered structures to scatter light, white is created by a random, simultaneous scattering of light.
It is believed that the beetle’s whiteness has evolved to mimic local white fungi as a form of camouflage while it feeds on sugar cane but science’s recent interest in this genus of beetles centres around how the secret of its colour can benefit humans. In the future, the paper we write on, the colour of our teeth and even the efficiency of the rapidly emerging new generation of white light sources like LEDs will be significantly improved if technology can take and apply the design ideas we learn from these beetles.
This individual is also host to an entourage of orange immature mites. (Newly hatched larval stages of mites are six-legged. Later nymphal stages, and of course the adults, have eight legs.)