Guest blog written by Marc Arbuckle, Wiltshire county recorder for Coleoptera

There are over 24,000 known species of insect in the United Kingdom but did you know over 4,000 of these are beetles (Coleoptera)?

British evolutionary biologist and geneticist J.B.S. Haldane quipped that if a god or divine being had created all living organisms on Earth, then that creator must have an “inordinate fondness for beetles.” 

In his 2013 TED talk, Max Barclay, curator of beetles at the Natural History Museum in London, stated that “one in five of the creatures around you is likely to be a beetle. Beetles are one of the largest and most diverse groups of organisms on the planet. Over 400,000 species have so far been described worldwide, and even this huge number may just be scratching the surface.”

Max goes on to point out, well he would wouldn’t he, that our two most famous evolutionary theorists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace, were first and foremost beetle enthusiasts. Darwin’s theory of evolution On the Origins of Species which he published in 1859, particularly his discovery of the principal of natural selection was based on the study of beetles by these two Victorian amateurs.

With so many species to identify and so little time it’s hard for a mere amateur like me to claim to be ‘an expert’, however, if you do find an interesting beetle and require help with identification, email your photo to me via [email protected] 

Or, if you already think you have a good idea what it is and simply require confirmation that you are correct then please submit the relevant data and photo to iRecord where it will be picked up by that family expert or national recording scheme for verification.

Submit a sighting

Discover our Action For Insects project