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Portrait of a beetle

The Coleoptera /koʊliːˈɒptərə/ order of insects is commonly called beetles. The word coleoptera is from the Greek κολεός, koleos, meaning sheath; and πτερόν, pteron, meaning wing, thus sheathed wing, because most beetles have two pairs of wings, the front pair, the elytra, being hardened and thickened into a sheath-like, or shell-like, protection for the rear pair, and for the rear part of the beetle's body. The superficial consistency of most beetles' morphology, in particular their possession of elytra, has long suggested that the Coleoptera are monophyletic, but growing evidence indicates this is unjustified, there being arguments, for example, in favour of allocating the current suborder Adephaga their own order, or very likely even more than one
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