There are over 350,000 different known beetle species worldwide and new species are being discovered all the time.
The huge number of beetle species demonstrates their ability to live in almost any environment. Their front wings (called elytra) are hard sheaths that protect the beetles hind wings and cover the breathing pores. This enables beetles to control their body temperature and retain water. Beetles also have diverse mouthparts, and they eat anything from hardwood to the ooze from rotting fungi.
Of the 30,000 species that may occur in Australia, only 20,000 are scientifically described. Some 1500 species may occur in the Sydney region.