MDC invites people to meet the beetles in July 25 online program

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Beetles are an integral part of the natural world and some species can be beneficial to humans. Ladybugs that help control pests in our gardens and soldier beetles that prey on agricultural crop pests are two of several examples of how some beetles help humans.

People can learn about beetles that can be found in Missouri’s natural world and how some of them help us in the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) free virtual program “Beetle Basics.” This online program will be 10-10:30 a.m. on July 25 and is being put on by the staff of MDC’s Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center.

Beetles, which are insects in the order Coleoptera, comprise one-fourth of the world’s animals – not just insects, but one-quarter of the world’s animals. (Many don’t think of insects when they think of the word “animal,” but taxonomy indicates they are – Class Insecta is part of Kingdom Animalia.) To be clear, not all beetles are beneficial to humans (think emerald ash borers or cucumber beetles). However, it’s equally true that humans owe a huge debt of gratitude to the pest-control, pollination, and carrion-removal roles played by a number of beetle species. This program is designed for people ages 12 and up. People can register for this program at

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. This program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at