• WordNet 3.6
    • n Coleoptera beetles
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl Coleoptera (Zoöl) An order of insects having the anterior pair of wings (elytra) hard and horny, and serving as coverings for the posterior pair, which are membranous, and folded transversely under the others when not in use. The mouth parts form two pairs of jaws (mandibles and maxillæ) adapted for chewing. Most of the Coleoptera are known as beetles and weevils.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • coleoptera An order of Hexapoda, or of the class Insecta proper, having the posterior pair of membranous wings sheathed by the hardened anterior pair called elytra, which when folded together usually form a nearly complete covering of the body; the sheath-winged insects or beetles. The head is mandibulate, completely and very uniformly constructed, consisting of a labrum attached to a clypeus, generally by means of an epistoma; 2 strong mandibles; 2 maxillæ, each bearing a palp; and a lower lip or labium, also palpiferous, and attached to a mentum which joins the jugulum or under side of the head. The antennæ range in number of joints from 1 to 50 or more, but the typical number is 11; they vary greatly in form. (See antenna.) The larva is variable, having 6 legs or none; there are no prolegs; the pupa is inactive; and metamorphosis is complete. The Coleoptera are by far the largest ordinal group in the animal kingdom, having about 80,000 species and 8,000 genera. Latreille's division of them into Pentamera, Heteromera, Tetramera, and Trimera, according to the number of joints of the tarsi, is still generally followed, though it is to some extent artificial and not strictly correct. Subordinate divisions now current are such as Adephaga, Palpicornia, Brachelytra, Clavicornia, Lamellicornia, Sternoxi, Malacodermi, Atrachelia, Trachelida, Rhynchophora. Xylophaga, Longicornia, Phytophaga, Clavipalpi, Fungicola, and Aphidiphaga. The Coleoptera are also called Eleutherata.
    • n coleoptera Plural of coleopteron.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Coleoptera kol-e-op′tėr-a an order of insects having two pairs of wings, the outer pair being hard or horny, serving as wing-cases for the true wings: the beetles
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. sheath-winged; sheath + wing
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. koleos, a sheath, and pteron (pl. ptera), a wing.


In literature:

Stephens, author of 'A Manual of British Coleoptera,' 1839, and other works.
"The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I (of II)" by Charles Darwin
In the forest itself the only common and conspicuous coleoptera were two tiger beetles.
"The Malay Archipelago" by Alfred Russell Wallace
Give me the Coleoptera, and the kings of the Coleoptera are the beetles!
"The Poet at the Breakfast Table" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Grisebach, and had the pleasure of seeing your noble collection of British Coleoptera.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin" by Charles Darwin
I was disappointed in the general aspect of the Coleoptera.
"A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World" by Charles Darwin
Descriptions of new or unfigured Species of Coleoptera from Australia.
"Discoveries in Australia, Volume 1." by J Lort Stokes
Ambulatorial setae: specialized hairs or bristles, situated on the ventral segments of the abdomen of some Coleoptera.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
Compare the beautifully foreign set coleoptera, with our wretchedly lame and uneven-sided attempts.
"Practical Taxidermy" by Montagu Browne
One may see side by side Coleoptera, crickets, grasshoppers, frogs, and small birds.
"The Industries of Animals" by Frédéric Houssay
As in most of the other species of Coleoptera, the unequal pair is not distinguishable until the spireme stage.
"Studies in Spermatogenesis" by Nettie Maria Stevens