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the web of life in southern Africa

Life cycle and biology of beetles

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Pachnoda sinuata life cycle

Beetles grow and develop through a process called metamorphosis from egg, larva, pupa to adult (beetle). Adults lay eggs in the required habitat, depending on the type of beetle. A larva hatches from each egg and feeds on the food surrounding it, develops to full size and then pupates, sometimes in a cell that it makes. The adult (beetle) emerges from the pupa.


Adult Pachnoda sinuata feeding on flowers. [image H. Robertson, Iziko ].



Adult females lay their eggs on decaying organic matter and compost heaps. The larvae hatch and feed on the decaying vegetable matter. They grow and then pupate inside hard soil cocoons that they construct and the adult later emerges from this cocoon.

Different sized larvae from a compost heap. [image H. Robertson, Iziko ].



Pupa in soil cocoons from the bottom of a compost heap (left hand cocoon cut open). [image H. Robertson, Iziko ].


Page by Margie Cochrane