What Do Beetles Eat?

Summary: Beetles eat algae, animal waste, animals, aphids, aquatic insects, bark, beetle larvae, carrion, caterpillars, crustaceans, decaying organic matter, dung, earthworms, fabrics, figs, flies, fruits, fungi, grains, grubs, insect larvae, leaves, maggots, nectar, other beetles, persimmons, plants, roots, scale insects, seeds, slugs, snails, stems, tadpoles (water beetles), textiles (carpet beetles), thrips and wood.

Category: Insects.

Beetles are insects and there are close to 390,000 identified species of beetles worldwide. The exact number is not known as all species have not been discovered yet. With each species of beetle, they will have a different diet than the other species of beetle. Weevils for example will feed on specific plants. Some beetles will eat leaves while others are predatory species. Still more will eat fungi, dead animals or other substances. Some species of beetle can live in water. The diets of the beetle are interesting to discover, so here are some examples of which beetles and the foods they eat.

A golden ground beetle eating an earthworm. © Soebe.

Leaf eating beetles

Leaf eating beetles come in many different species such as the cottonwood leaf beetle, the imported willow leaf beetle and the elm leaf beetle. Japanese beetles can also be a pest. These beetles are very destructive and damage trees and gardens. These species love leaves and can destroy trees and leaves easily.

Beetles that are predatory

There are three different types of beetles that are predatory. They include lightning bugs, black beetles and soldier beetles as these insects all feed in a predatory fashion. Lightning bugs eat caterpillars and aphids, while soldier beetles will eat aphids and the black beetle will also eat soft bodied insects.

14-spotted lady beetle eating soybean aphids (watch video).


Many different types of weevils can infest many different types of plants, grains and trees. Some of the weevils that may be run into are the rose weevil, thistle weevil, boll weevil, agave weevil and so much more. Of these the most ruinous can be considered the boll weevil. This insect still is a bane to those that farm cotton, as it burrows into the cotton and destroys the boll of the cotton plant.

Crustacean eating beetles

Beetles can also eat crustaceans. These beetles include diving beetles which feed on tadpoles, whirligig beetles that are scavengers and crawling water beetles that only feed on plants and algae. So beetles come in many different types and forms. Their diet is varied depending on what type of beetle that they are and what type of environment they live in.

Most commonly recognized beetle

  1. Ladybug’s diet
  2. Firefly’s diet

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