Beetles or Coleoptera (scientific Latin name) are the order including the largest number of species not only in the class of insects (Insecta), but also in the entire animal kingdom (Animalia). Not less than a quarter of all animal species on our planet are beetles. Beetles occur in every part of the world and in nearly every type of habitat. Beetles are studied by a special area of zoology - coleopterology. Studies of beetles have been conducted at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), St.Petersburg, since its foundation. The well-known coleopterists E. Menetries, A.P. Semenov-Tian-Shansky, G.G. Jacobson, A.N. Reichardt, M.E. Ter-Minasian, O.L. Kryzhanovsky and many others worked at the Zoological Institute. The Coleoptera Department at the Laboratory of Insect Taxonomy of the Zoological Institute is the centre of Coleoptera studies in Russia. The Head of the Department and the Laboratory is the eminent coleopterist Prof. G.S. Medvedev. Coleopterists of the Zoological Institute in co-operation with their colleagues from other research institutions decided to establish and maintain in the Internet a special Web-site on Coleoptera and coleopterists, which should be of interest to specialists and to those who have only started to take interest in beetles, or have just come across our pages.
Welcome to the world of beetles and specialists studying them!