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With about 400,000 species, beetles (Coleoptera) are the largest order of animals, making up almost 40% of described insect species and 25% of all known animal species. Beetles are present in virtually all habitable terrestrial environments. They can live well both on land and in fresh water and use a great variety of food sources from detritus to living fungi, plants, and other animals. Very few species live in durable structured groups, but social structures of various kinds are nonetheless diverse. These include larval and adult aggregations, prolonged uni- and biparental care, facultative eusociality, and possibly even obligate eusociality .
A very small number of these social systems are well studied, such as parental care in burying beetles (Silphidae) and adult aggregations in tree-killing bark beetles (Curculionidae) . It is...